The Lonely Island of Armor: the review of the first DLC of Pokémon Sword and Shield

The Lonely Isle of Armor is the first DLC in the history of Pokémon. The last chapter of the beloved saga - divided as always into two variants, Sword and Shield - embraces a strategy now tested in the videogame world but decidedly unusual for the world of Japanese monsters. We are thus faced with a Expansion Pass which guarantees access to additional content. The first takes us to the Isle of Armor and allows us to add the legendary Pokémon Urshifu to our collection. A good reason to spend some money? Yes and no. Let's try to tell you about the strengths and weaknesses of this expansion.

Read the Pokémon Sword and Shield review

The Lonely Isle of Armor

Mustard inside his Dojo Master

We tackled the DLC at the end of the main story, fresh off the victory over super champion Dandel, but you don't really have to finish the game before venturing into the game.Isle of Armor. Once in possession of the expansion, just go to Brassbury station to reach the new play area. Before leaving, however, you will get to know what will quickly become your rival: Savory if, like us, you have Pokémon Shield, or Sofora if you have purchased Pokémon Sword.

Once at your destination you will discover that your destination is the Dojo Master, run by the peculiar master Mustard and his wife Tania. The dojo owner will put you in front of a series of challenges and tasks that will allow you to get a very special gift.

The pros

The Lonely Isle of Armor is full of interesting ideas, starting fromextreme freedom of movement offered by the new map. Just like in the wilds of the main game, the new area also allows you to move anywhere and control the room, meeting or avoiding the creatures that populate the island. There is no shortage of secondary paths and ravines where you can find Technical Discs, berries, Poké Balls and tools of all kinds. All this not only on land but also in the middle of the sea. In fact, you can explore the waters surrounding the island and the islets that populate them. However, do not expect anything complex: the small patches of land that you will find are often very similar and devoid of appeal, only useful for finding a few more objects.

Scattered throughout the area - including the sea - you will find the tane Dynamax but this time they won't be your only source of Watt, the alternative currency of the game. The DLC area is home to new non-playable characters who can generate currency in exchange for Roccearmatura. But be careful: this precious resource will also serve you to convince theHe taught moves to train your Pokémon. So try not to waste your small Roccearmatura assets in the purchase of Watts alone, which Watts will be vital for expanding the dojo.

The news, however, does not end there. In fact, you will also have the Cramobot, that transforms almost useless tools into extremely rare and precious objects, and the machines they distribute supplements, so you will save some Pokédollars.

The picture is completed by the new pokémon, scattered throughout the game map, and a greater attention to detail, with the landscape enriched with small elements that make the island even more characteristic.

The Lonely Isle of Armor Limited Trials

Once you have completed the main story you will be able to experience Trials Limitate. AInside the Dojo Master you can in fact challenge the artificial intelligence for five consecutive games.

I know, it doesn't seem very tempting but there are some rules that will give the right spice to this activity: you will be able to count on a team of only three pokémon, all of a single type, and you will have only two heals available per session.
The opponents will not always have the same power but you will see very strong pokémon alternating with weaker monsters. The unpredictability will make the challenge even more intriguing and it will prevent you from falling into the tunnel of boredom.

The Limited Trials proved to be one of the most captivating additions of this DLC, albeit not sufficient to make up for the most striking defect of The Lonely Island of Armor.

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The most important flaw

As anticipated initially, you are not forced to finish the main Pokémon Sword and Shield adventure before catapulting yourself into the new game map. However, you will have to consider one aspect: i Pokémon that you will find on the island start at level 60.

In my opinion it is the biggest limitation of the whole expansion and I will explain immediately why.

Imagine you want to change scenery a few hours into the main story. You take your train, arrive on the island and find that the team in your possession can do nothing against the creatures of the place.

Now think about reaching the new area after finishing the Pokémon Sword and Shield adventure, just like we did. Our starter, now evolved into Cinderace and arrived in this small paradise at level 62, can easily compete and often tear up the pokèmon of the island. A situation that will gradually worsen as the team will become stronger and stronger, while the local monsters will not.

At this point you can decide to raise a new team, made up of local creatures or pokémon that you have previously captured but have never trained. In the first case you will still have the previous problem: the team improves but the level of challenge offered by the competition is the same. The second hypothesis instead brings us back to the first problem: still weak pokémon that clash with more powerful and incisive opponents.

Personally I would have liked a little more variety in terms of levels, thus offering players a more challenging challenge.

The other little ones against

Finally, we point out two further flaws that will not ruin the gaming experience. On the one hand we have the areas that, as written above, offer great freedom and offer a more complex level design than what is seen in the Wild Lands. Too bad that not all areas are treated in the same way. The desert, for example, is reduced to a circular plot, with a perennial sandstorm that tries to hide the simplicity of the place.

The Lonely Isle of Armor then proposes a feature seen in Pokémon Let's Go: the first pokèmon of your team now stays by your side. Too bad that not everyone is animated in the same way, with creatures that will keep up perfectly and others that will continue to teleport because they are unable to reach you. And no, we're not talking about notoriously slow monsters.

What do I do, do I buy the Expansion Pass?

The Lonely Isle of Armor is the first DLC of Pokémon Sword and Shield and brings with it a series of interesting innovations alternating with some questionable choices. We liked the game area very much, the Move Teacher is very useful if you love PvP battles, the Pokémon to capture are many and the story, albeit short, will allow you to add another legendary Pokémon to the team.

But know that compared to the main adventure the narrative stimuli are almost non-existent and the level of difficulty is even lower.

We remind you, however, that the Expansion Pass includes a second DLC, arriving at the end of the year, which could give us some surprises.

Game Freak The Lonely Island of Armor nintendo Nintendo Switch pokemon Pokémon Sword and Shield The Lonely Island of Armor: the review of the first DLC of Pokémon Sword and Shield
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