Pokemon Sword/Shield – Crown Tundra Review

Hey guys! Crown Tundra has been out for little more than a week, so I thought I’d give my honest opinions on it! There will be story-based spoilers going forward, so if you don’t want to know anything, please leave now and come back once you’ve played through it!


Story

There are different tasks that are in the game, but the focal point of the story is led by Calyrex. The DLC does suffer from an abominable amount of cutscenes, however, so bear that in mind!

For me, a lot of the time Legendary Pokemon tend to be devoid of any personality, because of what they are – usually you only see them during an encounter. But with Calyrex, and Kubfu before it, the stories allow their personalities to come through into the story. However, unlike Kubfu, Calyrex is still pretty awesome even in one of its mounted forms. But I can’t say no to Calyrex when it smiles, it’s just so cute! I chose Glastrier for my steed, because I was under the impression we could choose the opposite steed later on, but that wasn’t the case.

I love the running gag of Peony being used by Calyrex to talk to you directly – as an intelligent Pokemon, I found that fitting, although humerous. Peony was a tad overbearing, but I feel that was all part of his characterisation, and it ended up being a little endearing towards the end.

As for the tracking down the Titans, it was interesting that we didn’t have to read Braille, nor did we have to have specific Pokemon (Cryogonal aside). I ended up choosing Regieleki, which is now the fastest Pokemon in existence. As soon as I saw it, I knew I made the right decision, because of the way it moves in its idle mode (don’t write off 3D models just yet, folks)!

Can we also talk about how your phone gets the attention of the Legendary Birds, and just makes for a funny scene? Overall, I found both Moltres and Articuno frustrating, because I kept running into momentum-crashing encounters, but I got it, and Articuno was mostly hidden until it literally hurled itself at me and I got the right apparition the first time. Zapdos was just a chase sequence, which was fun, and reminded me of the egg thieves from the Spyro games.


Following In Their Footsteps

The extra task is to find all 150 sets of footprints, so that you can find all of the Swords of Justice. This was quite fun, although tracking Virizion’s was a bit of a nightmare. I will say that this didn’t hurt my eyes nearly as much as the Diglett hunting, so that’s a plus.

It was interesting seeing the Swords of Justice, as well as being able to encounter Keldeo for the first time, in its Resolute Form. I really like Keldeo based on design alone, so it was nice to be able to obtain one for the first time.


Dynamax Adventures

This had to be the one element that I really got my teeth stuck into. I played alone for this (because I’m a bit of a loner), and I had a lot of fun trying out the rental Pokemon. It just so happened that I was using the likes of Cryogonal and Togedemaru for the first time. Of course, I kept the Legendaries that I already have shinies for in some form, so I wasn’t too bothered about shiny hunting those.

It’s interesting that the shiny forms only show up when you’re in the results page. Two days in, I managed to get two shinies, but I know of people with a lot more luck! But no matter, it’s fun to go through the dens. I was getting bored of raiding, so this adds a bit of spice that I never thought I needed. I do wish there was a bit more variety in what we get, but I think it’s early days yet.

I was expecting specialised themes as callbacks to the previous games, but I really like the revamped Max Raid theme making it more orchestral is just the chef’s kiss.


Criticisms

There are obviously a few issues with this DLC, and I might as well address them here. First of all, Breloom isn’t in the game, but I’ll let that slide.

Another issue I had is the limited number of non-Legendary Pokemon returning. Now this just ensures that you spend a lot of time in the Dynamax Adventures (not gonna lie, not mad about that), but there just wasn’t many returning Pokemon that weren’t Legendary. And it means that we won’t get to see the Snubbull and Ducklett lines, both of which would have fit perfectly in Galar.

Speaking of Legendary, I didn’t like how we had to choose between Spectrier and Glastrier, as well as Regieleki and Regidrago. It just means that I might as well play through the story again on Shield to get the counterparts. Basically, it means more work for me, and it’s a pain in the butt. I don’t half mind, because the stories are good.

Another critique I have is that there isn’t enough time to decide what to do in the Dynamax Adventures, especially when it comes to thinking out strategical decisions.


Other Notes

My boyfriend kept wondering why Pokemon had a crossover with My Little Pony (Keldeo) and Final Fantasy (Zapdos) in reference to their designs, suggesting that Galarian Zapdos, especially in its shiny form, looks like a chocobo, especially when it starts running.


Let me know what you all thought of the Crown Tundra! Did you get stuck on Dynamax Adventures and not finish the story? What did you think of the new Legendaries?

2 thoughts on “Pokemon Sword/Shield – Crown Tundra Review

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