Early Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield reviews hint that the games have weathered the leaks and the Pokédex Dexit storm
Early reviews of both Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield should please expectant fans possibly concerned by revelations about the diminished Pokédex in particular. Due to the Galar region in the games being inspired by Britain, the issue of the much-reduced Pokédex became known as "Dexit". Many fans were upset by the plans by Game Freak and The Pokémon Company to slash the number of collectible characters in the latest games. However, regardless of the swathing cuts and the incessant flow of leaks, it seems the games have satisfied most, if not all, reviewers so far.
Metacritic is currently displaying a score of 81 for both Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, which is a reasonably healthy result. It may not be troubling Pokémon Y on 88 (X has 87) or Pokémon Black and White on 87, but at least Pokémon Sword and Shield should deliver what fans want from them: A new and worthwhile Pokémon adventure on the Nintendo Switch.
IGN, which was particularly effusive about the new titles, called Pokémon Sword and Shield "the best games in the series". GameSpot also felt positively about the 8th Gen games, calling their introduction an "incredibly strong showing". Additions to the traditional Pokémon-style gameplay were well-received, and the exploration ability of the Galar region has been highlighted as a pro. Game Informer stated that "this new generation proves the Pokémon franchise is still great more than two decades after its debut".
However, Pokémon Sword and Shield have also been criticized for lacking innovation. Nintendo Life commented about this perceived failing of the latest games in the series: "What's done right is done right, but what's done wrong feels like it's come from a decade-old design document". VG247 was less enthusiastic than most, opining "Pokémon Sword and Shield is all too often a bit disappointing" - but the reviewer at least admitted that the games were difficult to put down.
So "Dexit" apparently hasn't destroyed the games completely, although there will be many that are sorely disappointed by the Pokémon cuts that have affected Pokémon Sword and Shield. It's unlikely recent leaks will adversely affect sales either when the two games are officially released on November 15. Game Freak's development team members may not entirely be able to rest on their laurels, but they do seem to have at least guided the latest generation of Pokémon games into a safe harbor.