Pokémon Sword feels like an introduction to Pokémon rather than a continuation of an over 20-year-old series. Its greater focus on the gym challenge creates realistically high stakes that encourage strong and consistent character development. However, there are a few high stakes moments that feel out of place in a more down-to-earth adventure. The gym challenge is also too easy, with the automatic EXP share mechanic over leveling Pokémon. Sword is still enjoyable but does not have the challenge or side stories that have fleshed out previous titles. Pokémon Sword is fantastic for newcomers but may feel underwhelming for veterans.

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