Pokemon Sword & Shield: Isle of Armor DLC - Review (Nintendo Switch)

It's been about a month since the first DLC for a mainline Pokemon game dropped, and we were very much looking forward to it to break up the monotony of Animal Crossing, but does the wait live up to the hype? Check out a short review on our thoughts of the first half of the Pokemon Sword & Shield DLC!

Being the first piece of DLC for a main series Pokemon game, there were sure to be some growing pains here and there, but I didn't expect there to be this many. The story is very short, and could probably be complete in less than 5 hours (and that's being generous), which seems like a shame. There's little to no lore expansion, and honestly just kind of feels like a short and optional side quest. By the looks of it, the Crown Tundra DLC pack looks to be a lot meatier with it's content, but we'll have to wait and see.
Playing Sword, my new rival this time around was Klara, and she was annoying, but was an alright character. To my understanding, Avery in Shield is similar. Maybe it was because the story was so short, but I feel her character did a 180 way too quick. One minute she's all trying to scam you, next she's all asking for forgiveness...

I was very excited to see more Galaraian formes in the DLC, but all we got was Slowpoke and Slowbro, and new Pokemon wise, we only say Kubfu and Urshifu. Of course, we got G-Max formes of Venusaur, Blastoise, and the Galarian starters, but the inclusion of them all is so minimal it's hardly a selling point. Why do the Galarian Slowpoke only live on the Isle of Armor? Why do all these Pokemon only receive G-Max formes now, and only after drinking Max Soup? There's all these questions that haven't been answered that really would've added a lot more lore to the games.

The new Wild Area is impressive, however. It has so many different biomes that seamlessly blend into each other. Coastland, wetlands, caves, a desert, it really feels like a connected world, instead of having different environments slapped on. The one thing I feel is missing would be a snow area.... but that's coming. My only gripe with the new Wild Area is that there's are a lot more water areas this time around, and it would've been nice to see another bike upgrade to speed things up, but alas.

There are a couple of little extras here and there. There's trades and a Diglett quest for regional variants, the Cram-o-matic for rare items and Apricorn Balls, and move tutors with new attacks.There's a new Battle facility behind the Dojo that holds Restricted Sparring battles, forcing you to battle with Pokemon of the same type, which can be challenging, and probably the only feature that has a decent amount of replayability that was added into the DLC.

If you're a competitive player, I can really see this DLC appeasing to you much more than the more casual fans like myself. For me personally, it feels very lack lustre, but here's hoping the Crown Tundra adds a lot more content for fans to get their moneys worth! Outside of a few QOL improvements, I don't think the first DLC pack adds all that much to the game.

Here in Australia, the DLC costs $30 for both packs. Is the Isle of Armor worth $15? Short answer, no; but we're going to have to wait until the Crown Tundra releases to get a final verdict. The Crown Tundra DLC is set to release in November, and from what we've seen, it looks like it'll add a tonne more content.

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