Pokemon Sword and Shield’s Isle of Armor expansion is fantastic

Mustard introducing you to a Kubfu.
Image: Nintendo / Game Freak

When Nintendo first announced that Pokémon sword and Pokémon shield Receiving two massive DLC expansions that would drastically add to the overall geography of the Galar region, it felt as though the company was preparing to tackle the game’s previous tendency to feel a little “empty” at times. Hopefully that meant things were unfolding and included a host of new and old pocket monsters, the way fans always waited game editor would do.

In addition to introducing a new pair of rivals who dream of one day becoming Galar’s new Pokémon gym leaders, The island of armor It also has former champion of the Galar region, Mustard, a strange old man who currently spends his days working with young trainers in a dojo. As part of your adventure on the Isle of Armor, Mustard makes the decision to entrust you with a Kubfu, a legendary Pokémon with the potential to evolve in one of two different ways depending on how your character trains the monster. The plot of the game is designed to create the general impression that your relationship with Kubfu is a key part of your growth as a Pokémon Master.

At a time when people really haven’t been able to safely return to real-world gyms to ease their stress and stay fit, the Isle of ArmorThe focus on making trainers and their fellow Pokémon work to stay ready for competitive battles is charming, because the goal is to strengthen their ties.

This specific part of Galar introduces a number of new environments not seen in the rest of the region, and there are several points in the story where different characters point out that gaining a deeper understanding of what Galar’s nature has to offer is a crucial part of understanding various aspects of a Pokémon’s total power. This is partially reflected in classic Pokemon like Blastoise and Venusaur who get new Gigantamax shapes that can only be unlocked when a trainer discovers how to cool a special soup design to harness the hidden power of the Pokemon, allowing them to channel natural energy. that radiates from Galar Particles.

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What is perhaps most enjoyable about the relationship you develop with Kubfu is how the creature represents the importance of being able to get up, get out, and explore the world if one really wants to understand its surroundings (traveling is explained as a kind of Kubfu thing). Despite the fact that Armor Island brings a series of family species not previously seen in Sword or To protect, it is explained that Kubfu does not usually live in Galar, and the one you know follows the traditions of this type when traveling the world in search of strength and wisdom focused on the fight. The idea isn’t as cool as the way the previous games let you travel entirely between Pokemon various regions of the world, but it’s nice to see that Nintendo and Game Freak are still keen to use the existence of other regions as a central part of the gaming myth.

A Pokémon trainer who meets a Kubfu for the first time.

A Pokémon trainer who meets a Kubfu for the first time.
Image: Nintendo

The longer you bike, swim, and run around the Isle of Armor, you get the distinct feeling that the island has been largely uninhabited by humans for a period of time long enough for Pokémon to live there. with a kind of carefree freedom that incorporated Pokémon from cities no. Where the Wild Areas of the main game (the land outside of the cities where the powerful Pokémon take care of their affairs until the trainers get too close, causing the monsters to attack) are different and differ from what could be considered the “main game”, the entire Isle of Armor is a wild area in itself. What ends up happening, then, is that expansion creates an atmosphere in which your journey is not about rushing through open fields to reach the next urban center, and more about existing in nature as a necessary part of the development of the coach.

Promotional art featuring a pair of Pokémon Trainers, a Kubfu, and a number of new Gigantamax forms.

Promotional art featuring a pair of Pokémon Trainers, a Kubfu, and a number of new Gigantamax forms.
Image: Nintendo

What is even more promising, however, is that it seems that this spirit of exploration and discovery, having little to do with traditional organized struggle, will present itself as an important element of The Crown Tunda, the previously unprecedented expansion due to the fall later this year. Partnering with Kubfu, training with Mustard, and learning to take your Pokémon’s strengths to new heights puts your character in the headspace just to walk down an even more dangerous path that leads to the depths of Galar, where more powerful Pokémon inhabit. and recently discovered.

It is exactly the kind of evolution that Sword and To protectThe story is badly needed from the jump, and it’s great to see that game developers are definitely moving forward to keep these games fresh.

The island of armor DLC is now available for digital purchase on the Nintendo eShop.

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