With just days until Pokemon Sword and Shield officially releases, review embargos have been lifted which means Metacritic can share their score on the new Pokemon game.
With so many different topics of interest surrounding the release of Pokemon Sword and Shield, trainers are especially fascinated as to how good (or bad) reviews for the game will be – waiting particularly for the Metacritic score, a website seen as somewhat of a standard bearer when it comes to review scores.
They have given a score of 84, based on aggregation of multiple of reviews. This is considered a good review.
There will almost certainly be backlash from this as its detractors, especially those who have encouraged others to boycott the game in the absence of a National Pokedex, will be furious with such a high score. The same could have been said had the game received negative reviews, with a portion of fans thrilled they get the opportunity to play an extensive Pokemon game on the Switch.
The ‘good’ score of 84 shouldn’t come as a surprise, though, because despite the concerns surrounding the game, critic scores tend to be higher than user scores. As of the time of writing, there are no user scores available.
A section of the game’s fanbase would have been expecting large publications to reflect on the title more positively than the general player, due to close relationships a lot of them have with Nintendo. However, it’s difficult to say whether or not that’s had any influence on the score.
It should be noted that user scores can often have the opposite effect, whereby players who have never played the game will score it low as well. Clearly, there are many factors in play which could determine the rating it’s been given.
Notably, the highest score came from IGN, who gave Pokemon Sword and Shield a score of 93. Their review states: “Pokemon Sword and Shield are the best games in the series, streamlining its most tedious traditions without losing any of the charm.”
Conversely, Metro GameCentral were far less complimentary with a mediocre score of 70: “The furore over Dexit may be overblown but even without it this is an underwhelming and unambitious attempt to modernise Pokémon and expand its horizons.”
A debatable topic
There is a lot going for Sword and Shield in that it ushers in a brand new generation of species and it is the first mainline Pokemon game to feature on the Nintendo Switch.
This should, theoretically, take Pokemon to the next level. We already know there are open world elements to the game, but whether it will live up to overall expectations remains to be seen.
However, the build up to its release has been marred in controversy. The removal of the National Pokedex caused uproar throughout the Pokemon community, which even lead to promises of boycotting the game altogether.
Trainers who have been able to get early access to Pokemon Sword and Shield have also complained about graphical glitches, poor quality animations, performance issues and even bugs.
Should you buy Sword and Shield?
Review scores alone shouldn’t dictate whether you buy Pokemon Sword and Shield or not. The key will be in the details of the reviews, so make sure you take the time to read them thoroughly if you’re still on the fence.
It will also depend on your view of the National Pokedex controversy and whether the currently revealed lore of the game has peaked your interest.