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Where Mint Shines

Marnie is adorable, as she’s being cheered on by Team Yell, but honestly is just doing her own thing. Because it can only be used once per battle, players have to use it at the right time. Even more interesting, though, is how Dynamax battles are incorporated into raid-like confrontations when up to four players can take on one super-powered Dynamax Pokemon. It creates a team element as the group has to work together to beat a powerful foe.

  • The post-storyline content is disappointing, the storyline is woefully simplistic (although it’s in line with past Pokemon games), and there’s not a ton of challenging battles.
  • Throughout Galar the pokemon run visibly through the long grass so you can easily choose which wild creatures to battle, or avoid them entirely, rather than facing unavoidable battles at set intervals.
  • You can focus on finding and catching the creatures you want, and battling only when you want to earn experience points and level up your team.
  • Here we review the new major aspects added to this generation of Pokémon games, from Max Raid Battles to PokéJobs.
  • Most of my disappointments in Pokemon Sword and Shield are that the game still runs into many of the pratfalls of past games.

The gyms are also a lot of fun, even if they can be a little easy for more experienced players. Before the actual battle, you have to complete gym challenges, which are basically minigames.

Dynamax lasts for 3 turns and you may only use it once per fight. Also found in the Wild Area are small, glowing rock structures, often with a beam of light emerging from the centre. These places are Pokémon dens where you can take on giant-sized Pokémon in so-called “Max Raid Battles” with up to three other players–both online and locally. The Pokémon that you battle in these raids have humongous health bars, can attack multiple times and can also put up a temporary shield that weakens your attacks.

When participating in tougher raids, teamwork will be important and it can be exciting trying to co-ordinate with other players. Pokemon’s greatest failure is having only eight gym battles because that means that I can only experience the gym battle soundtrack eight times through each playthrough of Sword and Shield. By far, the highlight of this game’s sound happens in the gym battles. The energetic buzz of the gym theme melds perfectly with the sound of the cheering crowds, which changes depending on which stage of the battle you’re currently in.

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The score and the crowd both get more hectic and disorganized as you get closer to beating the gym leader, and the extra layer of excitement that covers Dynamax battles is addicting. Outside the towns, there are the routes, and there’s the Wild Area. Open world games have been popular for years, so Gamefreak tried their hand at the concept by introducing a large patch of land where you can freely roam and encounter Pokemon of varying levels. I loved racing around the wild area with my bike, racing to see how fast I could loop around it, straining my eyes to find Pokemon I’d yet to encounter to fill my Pokedex.

The reward is a Pokemon with a hidden ability or even more powerful form called Gigantamax. About those giant-sized Pokémon… Previous games had gimmicks during battles such as Mega Evolution and Z-Moves that momentarily made your Pokémon stronger. During certain fights, such as a ccleaner update raid battle or a Gym Leader bout, you’re allowed to Dynamax any of your Pokémon . Also, all of their moves change into “Max Moves”, which deal more damage and have a powerful secondary effect, like altering stats or changing the weather.

I felt fully immersed knowing that there are other characters doing their challenges alongside me as well as plenty of NPCs cheering me on as I continue my Gym Challenge. Some of these characters include your main rival Hop, and secondary rivals in the form of Bede and Marnie. I found Hop’s story to be really fascinating because he starts off as that hyperactive and friendly rival, similar to Barry in Gen 4, but he starts to really doubt himself and his capabilities in a relateable way. Bede was interesting because his personality is very similar to Blue/Gary crossed with a bit of Silver and Cheren.