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The First ‘Pokémon Sword’ & ‘Shield’ Reviews Are Pretty Positive

The First ‘Pokémon Sword’ & ‘Shield’ Reviews Are Pretty Positive

We don't have Pokémon Sword & Shield yet. We're working on it. We should have had it by now, and a review up today as a result; but then the leaks happened, and we were one of countless outlets to have their access postponed.

However, a bunch of other sites do have their Pokémon Sword & Shield reviews up - and it's so far, so good for the Switch exclusive, Game Freak's first brand-new games for a home console (after last year's Let's Go was a remake of Pokémon Yellow).

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Polygon - which doesn't hand out scores to the games it reviews - highlights that the game has limitations, and that despite appearances it is categorically not an open-world game. But it compliments its ability to surprise the player, deep into the experience, and how it feels full despite the criticism of its compromised dex.

Gamesradar+ awards Sword & Shield four and a half stars out of five, considering it to be beautiful, with "impeccable" attention to detail, and calls this "a seriously memorable Pokémon adventure". The site does say, however, that the game's visuals aren't up to the standard seen in many other Switch titles.

At Eurogamer, the verdict isn't quite so sunny, with a "lack of substance" seen as a problem, and the Wild Area dismissed as being "desperately flat". It concludes with a winner of a line, but it's not one that'll have Pokéfans amused: "Pokémon Sword and Shield project a sense of scale and ambition far beyond any previous ones in the series, but to take it back to those gargantuan new Dynamax forms, the size is merely a shadow."

Pokémon Sword & Shield / Credit: Nintendo, Game Freak
Pokémon Sword & Shield / Credit: Nintendo, Game Freak

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IGN is far from backwards in coming forwards with its praise for the game(s), slapping down a score of 9.3 (out of 10, obviously), and stating that these are the best games in the whole series. Wow.

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Game Informer scores the game 8.75 out of 10, concluding that it "delivers a new generation of creatures to capture throughout a consistently enjoyable adventure". VG247 come in a little lower with a three-out-of-five rating, leaving the reader with advice to sit tight for a while: "this is not the revolution that was promised or hoped for, and some may prefer to wait for a sale or wait and see if an improved, definitive release is on the cards".

There are further strong reviews for Sword & Shield from Nintendo Life (8/10), Gamespot (9/10) and Kotaku ("it definitely has something for Pokémon's core audience: everyone in the entire world").

At the time of writing, Pokémon Sword & Shield has a Metacritic Metascore of 81/100 for both titles, and an average of 80% according to OpenCritic. Not bad, you little monsters, you. Not bad.

We'll have our own review of Pokémon Sword & Shield - well, one or the other - online just as soon as we can.

Featured Image Credit: Nintendo / Game Freak

Topics: pokemon, gamingbible

Mike Diver

Head of Content at GAMINGbible. Former gigs include VICE Gaming, BBC Music, BBC Gaming Show. Author of 'Indie Games: The Complete Introduction to Indie Gaming' (2016), 'How to Be a Professional Gamer' (2016), 'Retro Gaming: A Byte-Sized History of Video Games' (2019). Contact: [email protected]