Pokémon Shield, AKA The One With The Rainbow Pony Pokémon, marks my third time with the series. I started with Pokémon Moon, which was more or less an impulse buy based on upcoming international flights that were going to have me stuck in airplanes for something like 20 hours, moved on to Pokémon Black 2 based on fan recommendations, and now I’m trying out The One For The Switch, though I suppose it’s actually the second one for the Switch.
I’m pretty sure that the way I play these games counts as Playing Them Wrong, because I tend to start at my humble home, get handed one of three otherwise-innocent beasts that I am going to whip into shape, pound the crap out of various kinds of wildlife for a while, and then see the end credits and stop playing. I understand there is a whole crazy postgame, but that’s for people with way more time on their hands.
So anyway, from the perspective of a guy who plays these things for the story campaign, it’s a pretty neat upgrade, visually, from the older titles.
You get some Expansive Scenery Teasing Your Future Destinations
and some random cute details like these cutouts you can stick your face through
and in general the world is just a cheerful and pretty place to run around.
Unfortunately, it kept the thing I disliked most about Moon, which is that you start off by picking the cutest possible critter and it very quickly evolves into something less cute. I want to roll up to the final boss and stomp him with the power of d’awww and the game does not want me to do this.
Still, while I now have Emo Teen Rabbit, I vaguely remember looking up the final form of Scorbunny and at the very least it doesn’t go full professional-wrestler like my kitten did in Moon.
I actually “started” the game a few months ago, mostly because I wanted to get some limited-time freebies while they were being offered, but only played up to the point where the Mystery Gift option became available so I could collect the freebies. It wasn’t until yesterday that I finally got out of the starting town and started knocking off Gym Leaders.
Yes, and you have become something of a hot topic among fan artists, Nessa, and most of it exceedingly lewd.
Doing this has made me come to a realization, as well. See, I’ve always seen the games described as painfully easy, and so it’s been a little embarrassing whenever I’ve gotten to one boss or another and just gotten curb stomped. I don’t remember hitting any particularly hard roadblocks in Moon – just a couple times where I got sent packing and had to come back with a different team – but I had to resort to a strategy guide to get me through the final boss gauntlet in Black 2.
This time, however, I took advantage of the import features of the game. This involved a painfully-obtuse series of apps to get my Black 2 Pokémon into the 3DS using the “Pokémon Transporter” app, then “Pokémon Bank” to get the Black 2 and Moon Pokémon into Nintendo’s 3DS online storage solution, and finally “Pokémon Home” to get them out of the 3DS online locker and into the Switch.
Not all of them came over, of course, but the effect is that I have hundreds of little bastards at all level ranges and that I pretty much have pre-leveled Pokémon of any type for when I need them.
So, when I rolled up on Nessa’s water gym, I didn’t need to go out and scour the countryside for Electric-types to counter her, I just one-shot all of her Gym Trainers with an imported Pikachu.
Then I stomped her team with the same Pikachu, this time like 50 feet tall. I had five other critters behind this one, just in case, but they turned out not to be necessary.
So… yeah. It’s been kind of a cakewalk so far, and Nessa’s badge means that I can now use imported ‘mons up to level 40 and the next gym is a fire gym and OH LOOK I have two water types already in their mid 30s.
Anyway, it’s pretty good times. I’m just hoping the story pops off a little beyond the “go become the best that ever was” schtick.