Pokémon Sword and Shield have seen great success following their initial release in mid-November last year. It was recently revealed that the titles have already surpassed 17 million units sold, outperforming previous titles like Pokémon X and Y, Pokémon Sun and Moon and Pokemon Black and White. Given their success and the impending release of their expansions, it’s more than likely that these sales will continue, ultimately making Pokémon Sword and Shield not only one of the most successful Pokémon generations but one of the highest selling games on the Nintendo Switch.
The first of two expansions; Pokémon: The Isle of Armor is set to release next month and comes with a brand new location, storyline, characters and a collection of new and returning Pokémon.
The Isle of Amor is a large island off the coast of the Galar region. Made up of beaches, forests, caves and more, the island is home to many Pokémon not normally seen in the Galar mainland. Some of these (such as the previously revealed Slowpoke) even have their own Galarian forms.
From the footage we’ve seen, Game Freak has done a great job in creating a location that feels unique. We’ve only seen some small glimpses at a few areas, but the island looks bright, vibrant and full of colour. I’m hoping this is the case for the DLC in its entirety.
The Isle of Armor is home to a dojo where trainers go to hone their skills. Players can train under Mustard, the dojo’s master who will gift them with the legendary Pokemon Kubfu. Eventually, Kubfu can evolve into another new Pokémon – Urshifu – after completing The Towers of Two Fists, a unique challenge that will ultimately determine Urshifu’s fighting style and typing.
The idea sounds cool, but from the small piece of information that we’ve heard about the dojo and the expansion’s story, I’m worried that it won’t be very long. Obviously, much of the expansion’s content will be centred around catching the new Pokémon, but I’m hoping that we’ll need to spend some time undertaking challenges with Kubfu before we’re able to take on the towers.
Alongside the addition of Kubfu and Urshifu, we’ll also see the return of Pokémon from generations past, as well as some new Galarian and Gigantamax forms. So far we’ve seen Galarian Slowpoke, as well as Gigantamax forms for the three Galar starters. Blastoise and Venasaur are getting their own forms too. It should be noted that the returning Pokémon will be available to all players regardless of whether they’ve purchased the expansion pass. Considering the criticism Game Freak received for not including over half of the Pokemon in the entire series, including them for free is the best choice to make. Game Freak hasn’t specified the exact amount of returning Pokémon, but I’m hoping that one day we’ll have all of them available in the game.
Some smaller additions will also come with the expansion. Apricorns will return to the series after originally appearing in Pokémon Gold, Silver and Crystal. You’ll once again be able to use these to craft Poké Balls of various kinds. The move tutor will have more moves available to teach, and the new EXP. Charm will increase the amount of experience that your team receives after a battle.
I’m a sucker for Pokémon, so I’m looking forward to playing The Isle of Armor once it releases. It looks to be more of the same, which certainly isn’t a bad thing at all, but my only worry is whether the amount of content that’ll be available is enough to justify the price. We’ve yet to see a release date, but at the moment the game is scheduled to release at some point next month.