Pokemon Shield: First Impressions

16/11/2019 Games, Lifestyle 2

So yesterday was release day for the new Pokemon games, Sword and Shield! Hooray!

I’ve been pretty excited for this for a while, as I’ve loved what I’ve seen in the trailers, and it’s pretty exciting to get a proper Pokemon game for the Nintendo Switch (not that Let’s Go Pikachu wasn’t fun!).

I started playing it last night, and so far I’ve really been enjoying it, so I thought I’d do a little ‘first impressions’ post. I’m still quite early into the game (I think I’m basically as far as the first gym battle), so maybe I’ll do a more full review when I’ve played more? But here are some of my early thoughts:

The starters

I think the line-up of starters for Sword and Shield has been pretty strong! Bear in mind, I always base my choice on cuteness level, which probably isn’t the best way to pick! But all three of the Sword and Shield starters – Grookey, Scorbunny and Sobble – are pretty adorable, so it was a tough choice.

I chose Scorbunny in the end though, because he’s probably the cutest of the three, and also Fire always seems like a good type to start with. I haven’t properly looked up the evolutions yet though, so I’m hoping he’ll still be cool looking in his evolved forms!

The setting

One thing I was excited about from seeing the trailers was that the game seems to be set in a British based region (the Galar region), and I’m loving that aspect of it so far! Aside from the setting itself having a very British countryside look to it, there’s a few words the characters seem to be using that feel very English. For example, the characters’ mothers are referred to as ‘Mum’, and your in-game bestie Hop keeps calling you ‘mate’ (and I’m pretty sure he says ‘cheers’ at one point?).

The setting in general just looks really good too…it’s so pretty! And whilst I haven’t visited many areas yet, I’m hoping there’s going to be quite a lot of variety.

New Pokemon

I know a lot of people on the internet have been complaining about some of the new Pokemon designs, but the ones I’ve seen so far have all been pretty cool looking. I love Wooloo the sheep Pokemon, and as I say, I love all the new starters.

We also picked to buy Pokemon Shield over Sword purely on the basis that the exclusive Shield Pokemon is a pastel coloured unicorn version of Ponyta, which I’m pretty excited about. I’m not sure what point of the game it’s going to appear, but I seriously need to catch one.

There’s also Yamper, a Corgi style Pokemon that I really love, Nickit, which is a fox… I even like the Pidgey of this game, Rookidee, which I’m not sure if it’s meant to be some kind of owl or sparrow, but it’s pretty cute, anyway!

Catching Pokemon

One thing I really like that they kept from Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee is the ability to see wild Pokemon walking around. That way you can avoid them if you want, and aren’t accosted by them every few steps when you’re trying to get somewhere.

Your new friends

So your friend/rival in this game is a guy called Hop, who so far seems to be kind of annoying? He’s just ridiculously over enthusiastic (which I guess you can expect from the friend/rival character in a Pokemon game, I suppose?) and keeps going on about how he’s pretty much a legend in the making? We’ll see, Hop!

His brother Leon is also some big-shot Pokemon champion (who is basically your in-game mentor) who wears a very silly outfit of football uniform, plus royal cape and crown… He is also apparently famous for getting lost, as it tells you in pretty much every speech he makes… But still!

Character customisation

One thing I’m really loving so far with this game is the level of character customisation you can make, even this early on in the game. I could afford an entire new change of clothes by the time I left my home village, and in the first big town you can get your hair changed and your make up done.

And I’m so happy there’s bright hair colours available (my character’s is currently green!). I seem to remember in Sun and Moon there wasn’t really any unnatural hair colours, which was a bit of a shame!


One thing I saw them make a big deal of in the trailers is this new dynamaxing thing, where you can make your Pokemon huge, and so far I’m still kind of confused by it all? It’s already come into the game and been explained to an extent, but I’m still confused…so it just makes them more powerful and glowy?

I guess I’ll find out more about it as the game goes on!

So have you played Pokemon Sword or Shield yet? What do you think?

2 Responses to “Pokemon Shield: First Impressions”

  1. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    I love you’re talking about a game I’m dying to buy! I have been playing Pokemon since Red and Blue came out so I was excited to have a proper Pokemon game. I am waiting to get it until Christmas (I’m sorry, 28 is not too old to be getting video games as presents) but I’m excited to see everyone’s thoughts on the newest game. I always choose the fire starter, it’s my favourite type and I feel like I’m predictable but oh well. I am also happy for a British inspired setting. I just can’t wait to play and I hope you enjoy.

    • Laura

      I hope you enjoy the game as much as I’ve been enjoying it (28 is definitely not too old to be getting video games as presents – my Mum and Dad got me Just Dance last year!)! I generally choose Water or Fire as my starter, but I’m glad I picked Fire this time, because Scorbunny is so cute! And the evolutions are quite cool as well.

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