With the announcement of the two expansions The island of solitary armor e The snowy lands of the crown, Game Freak presented several new mechanics, game modes and Pokémon that enrich the gaming experience of Pokémon Sword and Shield. Both versions can be purchased through the expansion pass on the Nintendo eShop for 30 euros. You cannot buy them separately, but only together!
The announcement - various controversies and roadmaps
The first announcement of the new Pokémon Sword and Shield expansions officially arrived on 9st January of this year. A short trailer that reveals only some key features, such as open world areas, new Pokémon and unpublished characters.
It was immediately made clear that these would be the official replacement for the "third versions" of past titles (Pokémon Emerald, Pokémon Platinum, Pokémon Ultra Sun / Ultra Moon, etc.). Two fairly massive downloadable content coming out in two different periods of 2020 would have replaced the usual old story, at the cost of 30 euros in total. Indeed, they weren't wrong about the price!
Although the contents shown seemed quite varied and the price was very affordable, two factors made some fans turn up their noses a lot:
- il reintegration of hundreds of "new" Pokémon from old titles initially cut from the base game
- il purchase method.
As for the first factor, it's a big plus to bring back several pocket creatures that fans have been missing out on in Generation XNUMX games. But, it is also true that it is going to strengthen the opinion that the various excuses given by Game Freak regarding their initial removal were a mere excuse to "put less work in the title".
Game Freak's Lies - Cut Pokémon or Laziness?
Surely the reasons why they were not included before are not limited to a "did not want". Game Freak, however, certainly did not help with its justifications which turned out to be, in the end, completely false. I am talking in particular when they said that the Pokémon had been cut "to better balance the game". Above all, let's not forget that the first justification given and clearly bogus concerned the care for models and animations.
It annoys me enough that in order to transfer the same Pokémon from other titles, we must have the Pokémon Home premium service (15,99 euros per year). I can understand why some fans are complaining about the latest Pokémon policies!
At least, those who do not have paid services will be able to obtain the Pokémon in question through normal exchange o prodigious. But let's not forget the participation in Dynamax Raid of a player who owns the expansion, which is fortunately possible.
To pay or not to pay?
To learn more:
Pokemon Sword and Shield: The Isle of Armor - a sea that surrounds England
It depends on how much you are in love with the series. The second factor concerned the payment method and I answer you clearly by saying that there is no absolute truth.
It is very clear why it turned out to be an operation of dubious taste (not to be scurrilous). The DLCs they cannot be purchased separately, and therefore force you to buy them both. I think this thing could have been avoided, since it is not very fair to charge other people who want only half the expansion.
Furthermore, the purchased pass is different for those who own Pokémon Sword and those who have Pokémon Shield, thus bringing the cost to 60 euros in total for those who had both versions.
In this case there is nothing to say, the whole operation was handled very badly, in order not to be biased and to speak of real malice to make the consumer spend additional money for no reason.
The promised content at least seems to be justified for that price, but it still leaves a bad taste in the mouth after all.
In order to better understand all that has been announced, we refer you in the meantime to complete roadmap and we will deepen further in the article the specific contents and any doubts about it.
The contents obtainable upon purchase - Galar's preorder bonus and Slowpoke
The purchase of the Expansion Pass allows anyone who makes it to receive two cosmetic bonuses for the character.
The first consists of a Pikachu / Eevee themed uniform.
To get them, just enter the code that will be sent once the purchase is made. The code can only be used once.
The second is instead constituted by the hat and from leon tights, this time obtainable simply by entering the game and connecting to the internet.
The island of solitary armor
The first DLC to be announced was The Island of Solitary Armor, which takes the player to a new area with an exclusive open world map, several new gameplay and many historical Pokémon.
From 17 June it is available to anyone who has purchased the expansion pass.
- A new open world map (similar to the wilds of the base game)
- More than 100 new Pokémon from previous titles
- Slowbro forms Galar
- A new legendary, Kubfu, which can evolve into one of two forms of Urshifu
- 7 exclusive Gigamax forms, two for both forms of Urshifu, three for the eighth generation starters and the last two for Venusaur and Blastoise
- New battles accessible after completing the game
- The item "Experience Amulet" that gives more passive experience to your Pokémon
- New items to customize your character with (clothes, hair and backgrounds for the League Tile)
- A new Move Teacher that will allow your Pokémon to learn unique moves
- Apricorns are back, special objects with which to create Pokéballs
- Limited Test Function
The Isle of Armor, a new area to explore
Entering the DLC for the first time, we will be catapulted into the new open world area, the Isle of Armor.
To learn more:
Pokémon Sword and Shield: Crown Lands - New Pokémon and Gigamax
Unlike the wilds, this area will feature several biomes, such as beaches, swamps and desert dunes, each with unique characteristics and unprecedented Pokémon.
This division into areas already differentiates it a lot from the aforementioned Wild Lands, both for the greater variety and for the clear distinction between the various areas within it, without counting the over 100 new Pokémon present within it.
In the center of the island, you will find Master Mustard's Dojo, within which the main story of the expansion will develop.
Inside the dojo, we will find a particular machine waiting for us that can be useful in case you have too many objects: the Cramobot.
This particular robot in the shape of Cramorant will allow you to recycle 4 items to get a new one, which can be as common as a Pokéball or as rare as a PP up or MT.
Also inside the dojo it will be possible to use various objects present on the Armor Island to create one Zuppamax, or a dish whose intake will allow certain Pokémon to gigamaxize.
Only Pokémon that can potentially take advantage of a Gigamax can obviously make use of this new mechanic, but it will still be very useful if you want to donate this particular form to a specific Pokémon in your team.
The hunt for the Diglett
Near the wooden bridge leading to the dojo, you will be able to find a trainer who will need help for find all his missing Diglett.
They will be present throughout the map 151 Diglett, each buried and recognizable only by a few tufts that come out of the ground.
This big event will allow the protagonist to get all the Alola forms and the 3th generation starters, each with at least 31 IVs to XNUMX (the starters will also have the special ability).
A new way to fight: Limited Trial mode
Thanks to this new unprecedented mode, it will be possible to face particular fights with different limitations, which may involve the type of Pokémon to be used or other more particular conditions.
The purpose of this component of the DLC is to force the player to think about new tactics and to use Pokémon that they would otherwise not even consider, making the game experience more varied.
The snowy lands of the crown
The second and final DLC announced was instead The snowy lands of the crown, which, in direct opposition to the more maritime setting of the Isle of Armor, takes the player to snowy peaks with mysterious temples to explore and legendary Pokémon to discover.
Its official release is set for autumn of 2020.
- A new legendary with the appearance of a bipedal deer, Calirex
- Slowking forms Galar
- New Galar forms for Moltres, Zapdos and Articuno
- Two unpublished regi
- Deeper exploration of Pokémon lairs
- Legendary Pokémon from previous titles in the series return via Raid
- A new co-op mode for 4 players, the Dynamax Adventure
- The Tournament of the Stars of Galar mode arrives in the base game, with which to face 2 vs 2 fights with various known characters
- New aesthetic accessories for the character
- More than 100 new Pokémon from the previous generation
A new way to face Raids: Dynamax Adventures
With the second and final expansion of the pass, the mechanics of the Raid Dynamax will gain greater depth thanks to the so-called Dynamax adventures.
This new cooperative mode will see a group of 4 people collaborate in the exploration of a Pokémon lair, facing different Raids along the way and having the opportunity to meet very rare Pokémon respecting certain conditions, among which are included the legendaries of past generations.
An unprecedented mode for lovers of double fights, the Tournament of the Stars of Galar
Once you have progressed far enough into the expansion, Goalwick will unlock the ability to participate in the so-called Goalwick Galar Star Tournament.
In this new mode, the player will be called upon to face two opponents already met in the main adventure in a doubles battle, receiving the help of a manager of their choice.
The future of the series
After talking to you about more or less everything you need, it's up to you to draw the conclusions. If you are a true fan of the series, you have probably already purchased the expansion without even thinking about it. The price does not convince me at all, but unfortunately there is nothing we can do about it. The real surprise will be the Crown's Rift, which apparently bodes well in terms of novelty!