Top positive review
A New Way of Playing Pokemon
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 19 November 2019
So I had to sit down and write a review for this game after reading a few others and seeing that they have clearly missed the whole point of this game! One review here states they completed it in 20 hours and so one starred it...well I am 15 hours into the game and am just on my way to 4th gym. The reason is is that this is not a game you are meant to grab a team of 6 and blast through everything.
Like most people I was turned off by some of the features that were to be included, Dynamax, lack of National Dex, etc. But I picked it up anyway and instantly found myself immersed as I emerged from my house and saw Wooloos (sheep pokemon) grazing and Butterfrees flying overhead. It felt like I truly was stepping into the world of Pokemon. As someone who has played since Gen 1, I was impressed. I also enjoyed how they set you up for the gym challenge with you having to be endorsed/sponsored.
After watching a brief animation of the starters mucking around I picked up my Grooky and was ready to begin my adventure...but first a narrative forced route through The Slumbering Weald, a dense forest thick with fog that began to cloud my vision with haunting music playing through the background. There a strange pokemon emerged before me, a chilling cry spreading fog further into my path, I attacked but to no avail, then blacked out and awoke to find it gone. Not going to lie...I was intrigued. For the first time in a long time I wanted to know more!!
Following the usual shtick, i.e. fight rival, be the best blah blah blah I found myself in the heart of the game, the Wild Area, and this place is awesome! Think a smaller scale Breath of the Wild. Unlike most games there are not just a handful of pokemon, as the weather and time changes you can find more than 30-40 pokemon around here, this gives you huge team opportunities and will allow for future playthroughs to be different each time. I wandered to the right and picked up a Tyrogue and a handful of new pokemon. I then encountered the first issue in game, that people moan about...not being able to turn off EXP Share. I arrived at the first city and headed around towards the gym where I trounced the first gym with absolute ease and my pokemon were a good 4 levels over despite me being careful and avoiding trainers and wild battles so as not to overlevel. I returned to the Wild Area and decided I wanted to spend some time exploring and just enjoying the game, so I boxed my main team and pulled out a fresh new team of 6 of randoms that I didn't care if I levelled up, and this is where I found the real joy and heart of this game. Wandering around and exploring the lush scenery and finding all the hidden gems and pokemon, camping out and searching for rare, exotic items and pokemon, switching my team around every so often to raise some of the new critters I had found. This is NOT a game to run around with 6 pokemon, but a game that allows you to swap and change your team and raise them quickly so you don't have to worry if a new pokemon comes along that you want to try. My main team of 6 quickly began changing as I tried out every new pokemon I could find. My Tyrogue became Hitmonlee and I picked up a Toxel from the nursery...one of the COOLEST evolutions I have ever seen! I even picked up the Apple pokemon which again evolved into a surprisingly awesome dragon! Well done Gamefreak! The designs for this game are some of the best in a long time!
In short I will spend hours more on this game just exploring and raising all the new pokemon. I'm currently swapping between around 20 pokemon (you have a portable pokemon box so can switch on the go). You set your own challenge. I keep my main team for the story and am finding they are even slightly underlevelled now which is great as the wild pokemon end up being really strong and gym trainers and challengers actually put up more of a fight! But if I so wish I can power them up with a few random battles against the stronger Wild Area pokemon. So don't rush and overpower yourself, just take your time and enjoy exploring everything! There's plenty of side quests and hidden gems to find