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Difference Between Pokémon Sword and Shield

From the house that brought us the popular Pokémon Sun and Moon video games, brings yet another great adventure in the fictional Galar region as a new generation of the infamous Pokémon franchise comes to Nintendo Switch. 

In 2019, following the massive success of Pokémon Sun and Moon, Nintendo expanded the Pokémon universe with two brand new role-playing games – Pokémon Sword and Shield – setting the players on a new, adventure-filled quest in the new Galar region, which is based on the United Kingdom. A whole new adventure, a fierce competition and new friends await you in the eighth generation of the Pokémon game series as you fight off different Gym Leaders and encounter the wilderness of Galar full of a variety of Pokémon.

What is a Theme?

Like previous generations, the new series of the Pokémon world begins with you as a Pokémon trainer aiming to become the Champion in the fictional world of Galar which is a great combination of scenic countryside, modern cities, and splendid landscapes full of grassy fields, snowy terrains and mountains. Your journey starts with choosing one from the three partners Pokémon: Grookey, Scorbunny and Sobble. For most the game, they tell the same story of rivalry, battling off rival Gym Leaders while dealing with the troublemakers of the Team Yell to finally defeat the Pokémon League Champion, Leon.

You’ll meet newly discovered Pokémon throughout your journey, some of which are very powerful and downright fierce for a trainer who’s just getting started. You get to compete with Gym Leaders and win battles to increase your battle statistics and earn Badges. You also get to fight with ‘Trainers’ who you occasionally encounter in cities and towns. You beat them and you’ll earn points and reach new tiers, as you battle tough rivals along the way as you make your way up as a Trainer.

What is a Story?

There are total eight Gym Leaders in the game who basically own the cities and towns. You beat all of them and you’ll receive eight Badges, which take you to the ‘Champion Cup’. The core structure of the game remains the same just like the previous generation of the Pokémon games – you travel the world collecting gym badges after defeating the mighty gym leaders as you qualify your way up for the big game. In Pokémon Sword and Shield, the world gets bigger and more adventurous with a variety of new Pokémon in a variety of natural habitats. You’ll also uncover mysteries involving ancient creatures, such as the giant Pokémon depicted in hillside Turffield geoglyph.

So, after you’ve collected all the eight Badges, you now enter the Champion Cup, which unlike the Pokémon League in other regions, takes you on a rematch spree with other Champion challengers and Gym Leaders, which are the best of the best in Galar. So, unless you have assembled a skilled team of brilliant Pokémon trainers or upgraded your Pokémon, these fights won’t be a walk in a park. If you defeat all of them, you get to challenge the Galar Champion, Leon, who is undoubtedly the strongest and your biggest rival. After you defeat Leon, you finally become the new Galar Champion. 

Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing

The game also introduced two new fantastic features to enhance the gameplay experience, Dynamax and Gigantamax. In specific locations in the Galar region, Pokémon can Dynamax – a phenomenon that allows Pokémon to grow significantly in size which in turn makes them more powerful, with increases stats. You get to encounter Dynamax Pokémon in Max Raid Battles. Lucky for you, your own Pokémon can Dynamax but once per battle and they become normal after three turns. Only trainers with a Dynamax band will be able to upgrade their Pokémon with Dynamaxing.

There is yet another similar game mechanic called Gigantamax – a phenomenon which allows Pokémon to change both its size and appearance. Unlike Dynamaxing, which allows for a size change while keeping the appearance intact, Gigantamaxing transforms a Pokémon into a different Pokémon with increase strength and power and a different look. So, basically they are somewhat similar with a slight exception to the appearance of the Pokémon. This features is limited to select Pokémon who get a new look and a powerful set of G-Max moves.

Difference between Pokémon Sword and Shield 

Legendaries 

– As with all the previous Pokémon titles, Pokémon Sword and Shield both have their exclusive Pokémon which the other doesn’t have. Talking about Legendary Pokémon, Zacian is the legendary Pokémon on the Pokémon Sword, whereas Zamazenta is the legendary mascot of the Pokémon Shield.

Gym Leader Exclusives

 – In addition to offering different Pokémon to catch, each version of the game feature their exclusive Gym Leaders and type specialties. Pokémon Sword players fight against the Fighting-type gym leader Bea of the Stow-on-Side Gym and Rock-type gym leader Gordie of the Circhester Gym. Pokémon Shield players will battle against the Ghost-type gym leader Allister and Ice-type gym leader Melony.

Expansion Exclusives

 – The new rival for both the DLC varies as well, depending on which version of the game you own. For Pokémon Sword, the new rival that comes with the Isle of Armor DLC is a poison-type trainer, Klara. For Pokémon Shield, it’s Avery, who is a psychic-type trainer.

Pokémon Sword vs. Shield: Comparison Chart

Summary

Both Pokémon Sword and Shield are a fun-filled adventure into the massive Galar region, and having to choose between the two almost similar versions of the same game has long been a distinctive trait of the infamous Pokémon franchise. And like its previous installments, the Pokémon Sword and Shield both pack something different under their sleeves, whether it’s the version exclusive Pokémon or the legendary ones which are exclusive to each version, or the Gym Leaders for that matter. That being said, each version is slightly different, but the core structure of the game is the same – to make your way to the top.

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    References :


    [0]Tapsell, Chris and Lottie Lynn. “Pokémon Sword and Shield Pokédex: every Pokémon in the Galar. Accessed 12 May 2021.

    [1]Boyle, Emma and Vic Hood. “Pokémon Sword or Shield: version differences and exclusives explained.” techradar, Future Publishing Limited, techradar.com/in/how-to/how-to-decide-between-pokemon-sword-and-shield-exclusives-and-gym-leaders-explained. Accessed 12 May 2021.

    [2]“Check Out the Natural Beauty of the Wild Area.” The Pokémon Company,

    [3]Lynn, Lottie. “Pokémon Sword and Shield version differences, including version exclusive Pokémon in DLC.” Eurogamer, Gamer Network Limited, eurogamer.net/articles/2019-11-07-pokemon-sword-and-shield-version-differences-exclusive-pokemon-6017. Accessed 12 May 2021.

    [4]Image credit: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49400492228_c49642ca43_b.jpg

    [5]Image credit: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49494516838_dfbb337fae_b.jpg

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