Written by: Kevin Alvarez
Recently, Nintendo released a new trailer featuring some of the additions coming in the Isle of Armor expansion. I’ve been grappling with the idea that the Pokemon Company is releasing its first DLC ever. Pokemon Sword and Shield sold millions of copies in spite of the hardcore fan’s disappointment in this entry to the series. I already went into depth on how I felt about that whole fiasco. You want to find out more by reading this article. Now, one of the biggest issues I, and others, have with the game is the lack of endgame content.
I’m the type of Pokemon player who doesn’t play online matches or really collect all the Pokemon. I love playing the game for the story, finishing endgame quests, and making a powerful team for the battle tower. So far, Isle of Armor and the Crown Tundra, seem to be aiming at addressing some of those issues while including more returning Pokemon back into the fold.
Training A Pokemon Warrior
Kubfu is a new pokemon and the mascot for the Isle of Armor. This is the type of content that I want, playing the game in a different way. You have to train and raise your Kubfu until he becomes a Pokemon martial artist and defeat what seems like a Dojo tower of some sort. There is definitely an eastern flair to this new island that is being introduced alongside a martial art style of story.
You get to train under Guru Mustard who ties into the mainline game by being Leon’s former master. You have to raise your Kubfu until you can beat one of two respective towers with challenges. Depending on which Tower is defeated, it determines into which style of Urshifu your Kubfu evolves into.
While this Tower idea is reminiscent of Pokemon Silver and Gold. I hope it isn’t a one and done affair. Pokemon Company has yet released any information about how long this storyline will be or what it entails to train your Urshifu. While Pokemon Sword and Shield on average takes about 16–20 hours if you only stay focused on the main storyline path of becoming a Pokemon Master.
What I wonder the most is how will your current lineup of Pokemon fair against this new island? I have a decent team that can beat almost any game team being throw at me. Will players be restricted and only allowed to play and train our Kubfu’s once we step foot on the island? It becomes more evident each year that the Pokemon Company is being stretched thin. The quality of other Nintendo games on the platform that have more development time is a clear indicator.
Brand New Twist of Oldies
We’re getting new Wild Areas to explore in this upcoming release for the Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra. This creates a new opportunity for the developers to re-introduce and include older Pokemon that didn’t make the cut, which sparked the whole National Pokedex debate.
While hardcore fans will lament that these Pokemon should have been included from the start. I have two takes on how releasing new Pokemon in this expansion could help keep the game fresh. By releasing new and older Pokemon back into the pool, it forced people to try out new Pokemon that were introduced in Pokemon Sword which clearly help define some favorites both in the fandom and competitively. By including more Pokemon from previous generations, it will shake up the meta for competitive Pokemon play. Thus keeping helping the game stay current and giving some opportunities to try out different Pokemon and where they fall under now a wider pool to choose from.
The second being that we’re getting updates on older Pokemon that look amazing. Slowbro is getting a brand new evolution with a new typing alongside the original legendary trio of mythical birds. Also, The Crown Tundra is seemingly becoming the “legendary hunt” part of the endgame we want. The Regi line of Pokemon is getting new additions plus a quest to go alongside the adventure. The second expansion pass DLC clearly wants to give us access to older legendaries from Mewtwo, Kyogre, Palkia, etc.
Will This Expansion Satisfy?
I can’t help but wonder if the Pokemon Company is concentrating too much on giving players more Pokemon. While I’m glad to get them back and have new ways to obtain some of these harder to obtain Legendaries, I want the focus to be on updating the endgame content with more to do. Don’t get me wrong, the trailer does seem to address that they’re updating with other enhancements. One of them is possibly a refresh of the trainers you fight in the Pokemon Cup with the tease of a double battles variant.
What are you most excited about this new expansion? Do you think its too little or too late to win back the hardcore base? Let us know in the comments below! don’t forget to check out my review One Step From Eden on Nintendo Switch or my piece on VR headsets breaking into the mainstream. For more great interviews, reviews, editorials, and news stay tuned to CultureOfGaming.com or check us out on OpenCritic.com!