Pokemon Sword / Shield — Kevin Knezevic, Associate Editor
The Switch has no scarcity of nice titles to engross your self in when cooped up at dwelling, however Pokemon Sword and Shield are among the many finest. What makes Pokemon games–and Sword and Shield in particular–such compelling timesinks is the depth hidden beneath their floor. Even in case you’ve already conquered the Pokemon League and cleared the principle storyline, there are nonetheless a wide range of completely different actions to do. You can tackle an countless procession of AI opponents within the Battle Tower, scour the Wild Area for any elusive Pokemon you could have missed, hunt for extremely uncommon Shiny monsters, and even attempt to uncover each recipe within the Curry Dex.
The true draw of the video games, nonetheless, is making an attempt to assemble a aggressive workforce. While you possibly can simply run by means of each opponent you encounter throughout the principle journey with any outdated Pokemon you’ve got caught, you will must put far more time and thought into your celebration in case you hope to fare effectively in on-line battles. This entails breeding Pokemon with the precise natures and base stats, EV coaching them to enhance their stats, and devising the precise movesets and techniques on your workforce. It’s time-consuming however extremely rewarding, and Sword and Shield have made some sensible tweaks to streamline this complete course of, making aggressive battling extra accessible than ever earlier than. (We even have an amazing sequence of movies that can assist you get into aggressive Pokemon battling if this all sounds daunting.)
Even if the aggressive side of the sequence does not enchantment to you, Sword and Shield are nice video games to play with buddies because of the brand new Max Raids–cooperative battles during which you workforce up with three different trainers to tackle Dynamaxed Pokemon. The monsters you encounter in these battles usually have a number of excellent base stats and their Hidden Ability (which may’t in any other case be obtained within the video games), and also you get a ton of engaging rewards for profitable like Exp. Candy and TRs, so it is at all times enjoyable to participate in Max Raids.
Moreover, these raids are the one option to encounter Gigantamax Pokemon, that are uncommon and simply plain cool. I’ve spent dozens of hours leaping into Max Raids with my buddies, and I do not anticipate that altering any time quickly as long as Game Freak continues to repeatedly provide new Max Raid occasions. The Pokemon sequence has lengthy lacked a very good cooperative mode to enhance its aggressive hooks, however Sword and Shield have lastly remedied that, making them a good way to occupy any idle downtime.