As much as we love the Pokemon games, the series has been fairly criticized for its repetitive formula over the years. It’s latest installment, Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield, fall into that same formula of eight gyms and then the champion. However, these titles marked a massive change for the Pokemon franchise, as they opted to go for DLC expansions post-launch, rather than having a third, all-inclusive game.
Pokemon Sword and Shield received two expansions in 2020 - The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra. The second expansion, The Crown Tundra, is the one that really elevated the game. This expansion adds new locations, with more trainers to battle and Pokemon to capture. What’s more, it adds every single Legendary Pokemon from previous generations.
Found inside of Pokemon Dens, these newly added legendaries are some of the most difficult Max Raid battles in the game, many of which create a serious challenge. This also addresses one of the other major issues with recent entries in the Pokemon franchise - a lack of real challenge or difficulty in the post game. Running through the Pokemon Den made the game almost feel like a roguelite, and was some of the most fun I’ve had with Sword and Shield. We spoke more to this in our impressions of the expansion
The excellent work done in Pokemon Sword and Shield: The Crown Tundra is enough to make it Shacknews’ best expansion of 2020.
Check out the other winners from The Shacknews Awards 2020 in our Year of the Games: 2020 article.