This week Pokemon Sword and Shield got their first DLC, which added 100 Pokemon to collect as well as a new Slowpoke regional variant and much to my eventual frustration — 151 Diglett to hunt down.
Before the DLC was made available there was a short presentation from the Pokemon Company on YouTube which covered a couple of new games and apps that they plan to release over the next year.
The biggest announcement for me was that they are making a new game in the Pokemon Snap series.
The original Pokemon Snap was a memorable game due to the way that it allowed you to interact with Pokemon in their habitats and cause various scenarios such as pushing a Charmeleon into a lava pit which caused it to evolve into a Charizard.
I’m a big fan of photography in games, and have had a number of pictures I’ve taken with Pokemon Go featured in some articles over on Pokemon Go Hub.
While the Augmented Reality pictures that you can create with Pokemon Go are really fun, the tools that you have to take them with aren’t plentiful.
Especially compared to the tools that you have available in Animal Crossing: New Horizons where you can create a number of scenes (provided you have clothes and scenery in your inventory), give the animals a number of expressions and you have a really good level of control over the in-game camera.
Pokemon Snap is an ‘on-rails shooter’ but if the new Pokemon Snap has at least some of the options available for creating scenes and for camera controls then it’s going to be an amazing app for creating Pokemon content.
Isle of Armor
Firstly, as someone who uses UK English my screen is covered in squiggly red lines under that spelling of Armour and I personally think as Galar was based on the UK they should have spelt it properly.
The isle itself is essentially a giant wild area with a storyline that you have to follow in order to get hold of the new legendary but there’s a lot of content with all the new Pokemon available across the different habitats.
Personally I think this ‘Wild area with some areas that progress the story’ is how the original Sword and Shield should have played out.
Having full freedom over where you can travel and the camera makes it feel a lot more epic than Pokemon’s usual route based system, it makes the environments feel more organic and the Pokemon feel more at home in those habitats.
A good example of how well some Pokemon work in these new environments is Sharpedo. In the DLC when you’re traversing the sea you get a sense of panic as a mass of waves speeds towards you and if you’re too slow you’ll get attacked.
In Isle of Armor there’s a means to get a number of the regional variants from Alola and Kanto by collecting 151 Digletts across the various different areas on the island.
I thought this was a nice little way of getting the different variants as well as a nice way of getting a Slowpoke, with which you get Slowking as you get it holding a King’s Rock (needed for that evolution via trade).
However as with most ‘hunt the thing’ type of side-quests it can get a little tedious when you have to track down the last one that’s evaded you, however fortunately there’s a particular number per area and you get an indication of how many are left.
Is it worth the money?
The DLC costs £27 for both expansions (there’s another one coming out in a couple of months) so £14 for roughly 14 hours of content is not bad, but the real value comes from how the new Pokemon that have been added will affect the meta for ranked battles.
Personally, I don’t play ranked as I don’t have the time to invest in it but I still found the expansion worth the money as I lie more in the ‘collect all things’ camp of Pokemon fans, so any excuse to go collect more Pokemon is good for me.
The other DLC coming out later this year appears to add a number of regional variants to existing legendaries which I think is going to make it worth the £14 alone just to see how these new variants work and that’s before there’s yet another 100 Pokemon to track down and catch.