The final (although I have my doubts it will be the final one) DLC for Pokemon Sword and Shield — The Crown Tundra released, added a lot of existing Pokemon (most of them legendaries), a couple of new Pokemon and regional variants.
The Crown Tundra adds a new region to the Galar map, sitting underneath the town that you start from which as a British person (Galar being based on Britain) I have to say has some confusing terrain choices.
The south of the UK is the warmest area and in areas like Cornwall there are beaches that would resemble those in The Isle of Armour so I feel like The Crown Tundra and The Isle of Armour are potentially swapped around in this regard as I can see The Crown Tundra being similar to an island off of the north of Great Britain.
Gameplay wise The Crown Tundra is another open world area similar to The Isle of Armour that really makes you wish that Sword and Shield were also open world.
Being able to ride from Freezington into the Giants Bed and then go to the different regi temples without transitions just feels far more ‘adventurous’ than the set towns linked by routes in the main game.
The Crown Tundra packs in a lot of content, there are three legendary tasks to complete that gets you a set of new legendary Pokemon (some new, some variants and some old) which keeps you very engaged.
There are also a number of legendaries to track down in a manner similar to the Alolan Diglett task that was given to you in The Isle of Armour, however this time the search for these are a little more forgiving so it doesn’t feel like a chore.
Once these tasks are complete there’s even more to do as you can then unlock a set of legendary Pokemon associated with those you’ve just caught (and it requires you to have caught these as part of the previous tasks so no cheating!).
These layers upon layers of legendary Pokemon is a really rewarding experience, the only downside being that the Sword and Shield pokedex doesn’t include them so the only way you can prove you’ve caught them is through Pokemon Home.
Dynamax Adventures — Even more content
One of the new features introduced in The Crown Tundra is Dynamax Adventures, a spin on the dynamax raid format in that you now have to complete four dynamax raids in a row in order to get a legendary Pokemon.
I found this mode quite fun but when I attempted to play it online I found that players would just disconnect from the raid if one of the party fainted which was incredibly annoying as the game didn’t recover from this and never allowed me to continue with the dropped player substituted with an AI player.
In the end I decided to do the adventures offline which works reasonably well, there are a few annoying AI moments like when you have a water heavy team and the AI picks a Maractus with the Water Absorb ability which renders any water attacks pointless and it never gets rid of that Maractus.
One reason to play online though is that unless you have both games you’ll be unable to get all the legendary Pokemon in the Dynamax Adventures as there are number of version exclusives.
There aren’t that many version exclusives though so if you’re having to hold out to help someone get your version’s exclusives you can still go through and clear out the non-version exclusives, just make sure you don’t keep the ones exclusive to your version if you catch them so you can battle them again once the other player(s) are available.
That last point is what I think will keep hardcore players, especially those that enjoy shiny hunting coming back to the game. There are higher odds for getting a shiny legendary when taking part in Dynamax Adventures so I think it’s likely that there will be a thriving online raid scene as people chase after those shinies.
I really like The Crown Tundra and while it’s another reminder of what the main games could have been it’s still a nice addition and the new regional forms of the Kanto legendary bird trio are great ( I always thought Articuno looked cool, even more so now).
I really don’t think this will be the last DLC for Sword and Shield as there are still plenty more Pokemon to make their way into the game and it’s still not entirely clear how Meltan and Melmetal fit into the Galarian pokedex.
While I think we’re likely to see another DLC next year it does make me wonder what they’ll include in it as they’ve given us almost every legendary in this latest update.
Maybe next time it’ll be mythical Pokemon