Pokemon Sword and Shield, for all of the controversy leading up to release, turned out to be a pretty damn good game. It’s certainly not a perfect one though.
For long-time fans that have been around for a while, there are certainly some head-scratching omissions that would have made Sword and Shield better games.
Staying away from the obvious like the lack of a full National Dex, and moving on from previous generation features like Mega Evolutions, let’s dive into five ways that Pokemon Sword and Shield could have been even better.
Dynamax-Free Ranked Mode
Pokemon Sword and Shield is a big step towards a more organized competitive battle mode. There are now ranked matchmaking for both singles and doubles battles, very nice!
The problem that this generation has though is that the new Dynamax feature is not only meta-defining, but it might be completely unbalanced for competitive play.
All battles now revolve around this singular gameplay mechanic. Without proper preparation, a skilled Pokemon battler can easily run through half of your team with a single Dynamax Pokemon and throw any strategy you had planned out the window.
Some Pokemon benefit from Dynamax more than others and anyone that wants to take winning seriously will either need to use these Pokemon, or base their entire team around countering them which stifles creativity.
Dynamax is neat and it has something cool to offer, but what would have been even better is a separate ladder for Dynamax disabled. That way veteran competitive battlers could still get the traditional experience without having to build entirely around Dynamax.