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The Game Is Out, Time To Discuss

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Scattered things

I think ultimately I like that they retained the decision from Let's Go to merge the Affection and Friendship mechanics. Those concepts really were a bit too similar. Along with all the other odds and ends they tidied up, like adding the Rotom Catalog, giving the Dream Ball a new purpose, adjusting certain Pokémon's egg groups, and giving certain Abilities new (and in terms of flavor, very sensible) buffs. (Of course Rattled should be activated by Intimidate, and Inner Focus/Oblivious/etc. should ignore it!)

I like how maneuverable the bike is - there's been lots of times where I've been biking through the Wild Area and had pretty realistic near-misses with overworld Pokémon.

I like that the Fisher's ball throw animation at the beginning of battle has them cast their line with the Poké Ball on the string. (Their defeat animation, with them just sort of glumly reeling in the line is also great.) I also really like how the water looks in these games.

I like that they play fair with the Team Yell "twist" by not trying to hide the Dark Gym logo on the banners on Motostoke or in the Y-Comm's profile picture options. Neither of those instances are so overt that it's impossible to miss them, but it's a nice little treat for people paying close attention. Certainly it would have been easy enough to just not use the same logo, or to not have type-themed banners on the stadium and to keep the Gym logo options for your Y-Comm picture restricted until you actually beat the respective Gyms. So this feels to me like a deliberate choice, especially since one of the Spikemuth Gym Trainers says "I mean, everybody already knew the true identity of Team Yell, right?" after being defeated.

I think the change to how "chaining" works is good for casual playing. It gives you a motivation to keep catching or knocking out species that you've already obtained and recorded, but you don't have to do it in an actual ongoing chain. Instead, the games just keep a record of how many times you've caught/defeated that species, and the effect is applied passively.

I noticed that an NPC in Wyndon's salon mentions having seen sword- and shield-themed hairstyles, calling forward to Sordward and Shielbert. And, while obviously their hairstyles are catastrophically ridiculous, I... kinda wish you could get them, just for the hell of it?

I find it rather odd that so many of the "20% boost to this type of move" items (Dragon Fang, Poison Barb, etc.) are stuck being handed out through Stow-on-Side's RNG market.

Um, why does this exist, and more importantly, why was it dummied out? Sure, it's functionless, but so have been lots of other key items throughout the series's history, and it would have made fine enough sense to have it appear in your inventory after beating the game, kind of like the Honor of Kalos in XY.
 
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Um, why does this exist, and more importantly, why was it dummied out? Sure, it's functionless, but so have been lots of other key items throughout the series's history, and it would have made fine enough sense to have it appear in your inventory after beating the game, kind of like the Honor of Kalos in XY.
I think it's a little early to be certain its dummied out- maybe we're going to get some story update in a future event where it'll come into play! (Or maybe I'm just overly optimistic)
 
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I think it's a little early to be certain its dummied out- maybe we're going to get some story update in a future event where it'll come into play! (Or maybe I'm just overly optimistic)
Well, considering the amount of dummied out items in this series, I'm not sure if it will be used, like with the Azure Flute, the Magma Stone or the God Stone.
 
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Well, considering the amount of dummied out items in this series, I'm not sure if it will be used, like with the Azure Flute, the Magma Stone or the God Stone.
It's definitely a possibility, but with only two months since the game's release, I don't think it can be totally ruled out that it would be included in something that got added later. (Also, the Magma Stone did get used, and the Azure Flute's usage was still kept in the games)
 
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It's definitely a possibility, but with only two months since the game's release, I don't think it can be totally ruled out that it would be included in something that got added later. (Also, the Magma Stone did get used, and the Azure Flute's usage was still kept in the games)
That's why I said "not sure", leaving a small possibility I'm wrong, and knowing my other guesses, that could happen. Also, while the Magma Stone and Azure Flute are technically used, for the first one I meant about actually getting and using it (instead of reading that NPC did it), and for the second there is no legal way to obtain it, so no, it doesn't count as used.
 
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I got to Piers's Gym again last night, and I realized that what makes his introductory scene even more awkward than him simply not having voice acting is that he doesn't have any voice acting even though his crowd of Yell grunts are making (granted, simulated) vocal noises and cheers. It's such a jarring clash.

I think it's a little early to be certain its dummied out- maybe we're going to get some story update in a future event where it'll come into play! (Or maybe I'm just overly optimistic)
True, I'm probably being a bit too quick to assume.
 
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That's why I said "not sure", leaving a small possibility I'm wrong, and knowing my other guesses, that could happen. Also, while the Magma Stone and Azure Flute are technically used, for the first one I meant about actually getting and using it (instead of reading that NPC did it), and for the second there is no legal way to obtain it, so no, it doesn't count as used.
No, the Magma Stone is literally used in BW2, the player obtains and uses it. And I didn't say the Azure Flute counted as used, I just said that it still had its use kept in- the only thing stopping it from actually being used is the lack of a distribution.
 
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Lately I've been going through and charting the use of advertiser logos throughout the game, based on the ones you can send Pokémon to work for through Poké Jobs.

This is an aspect of SwoShi that I'm very fond of; it's a really nice bit of attention to detail. So far I've spotted:

Yoshida's Coffee - has stores in Motostoke, Hammerlocke, and Wyndon
Wyndon Monorail - this one's obvious
Bob's Your Uncle - located in Circhester
Rondo Floral - has sites in Motostoke and Turffield
Galar Taxi - based in Wyndon
The Captain's Table - located in Hulbury
Turffield Orchards - not too explicit, but we do see the rolling crop fields in the far horizon of Turffield
Surf Shipping - based in Motostoke; their warehouse is next to the Budew Drop Inn
Bookmark - has sites in Motostoke
Rose of the Rondelands - obviously located in Wyndon
Budew Drop Inn - obviously located in Motostoke
Hotel Ionia - located in Circhester
Grow Sures - located in Wedgehurst
Hammerlocke University - unfortunately it's not explorable, but it's located above Hammerlocke Station
Galar Fire Station - located in Motostoke
Gramophone Records - has sites in Motostoke
Galar Minerals - no logos are seen, but I think we can assume this covers the operations we see in the Galar Mines

All Macro Cosmos subsidiaries (MC Rail, MCR Freight, MC Air, MCA Cargo, MC Tech, MC Media, MC Television, MC Construction, MC Insurance, MC Brokerage, MC Energy, MC Living, MC Bank, and Macro Net; holy fuck one corporate entity should not have this much control) are presumably based in Rose Tower. The Reporter Trainer class appears to be employed by MC Television.

As far as I can tell, we don't ever see in-game locations for Mach Motors, Dream Dairy, Wailord Aquaculture (one of Nessa's sponsors), Lapras Shipwrights (though this may be related to the Surf Shipping facility in Motostoke; they have similar logos), Huo Guo Hot Pot (Kabu's sponsor), No. 1 Pharmacy, RKS Laboratories, Pelipper Couriers, Cozy Fried Kitchen, Timburr Builders, Nothern Delights, or the Spikemuth Chamber of Commerce. Which is kind of a shame - I think there's a fair number of places into which you could squeeze some of these. There are indiscernible food spots in each of the big cities' train stations; why not replace these with a Huo Guo Hot Pot or a Cozy Fried Kitchen? And why does Motostoke have two each of Rondo Floral, Gramophone Records, and Bookmark along its main street? Surely you could replace one of the duplicates with something else, like No. 1 Pharmacy, Pelipper Couriers, and Northern Delights, or maybe Huo Guo Hot Pot. Why not? That street gets tons of traffic since it leads right up to the stadium. And Spikemuth needs more in general. You could put the Chamber of Commerce in there somewhere.

We don't see the headquarters of the Galar Post Office or the Galar Police Station, but they do have a presence in the form of the Postman and Police Officer classes, respectively. Rail Staff might also be employed by Steelix Railcars; I can't quite get a clear look at the logo on their uniform, but it would certainly make sense. Construction workers have the Timburr Builders logo on their hardhats.

The different clothing brands (DENSOKU, HIJIKI OKA, Porcini, Good Fit, Jetsetter, DEFOG, Daily Discovery, LASS) can all be bought at the boutiques, although I don't think there are any purchasable clothes produced by Celebrity. Maybe in the expansions? There are also a couple of other clothing brands that I can't identity due to their lack of presence on Poké Jobs, but at least one of them (it has a mountain insignia) is a co-sponsor of Gordie's Gym, and makes the hats worn by the Fisher Trainer class.

I'm not sure what Sonoqui is in the business of. Their Poké Job offer is for "customer acquisition," but that's the only one that ever comes up.

The Telescreen logo is seen when you first start up the game, in the upper-left corner of the Not-YouTube page.
 
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so i got this game earlier this month and pretty much blazed through it. i completed my pokedex as of yesterday evening and am currently shining hunting (breeding, more specifically) for a shiny rookidee. feel free to read on for my overall impressions of the games, but if you don't want to read a giant essay, the tl;dr is that these are, imo, the most enjoyable pokemon games i've played since... b2w2 roughly? if you want the full explanation, feel free to read the spoiler. i'll be separating it into two parts for easier reading:

regarding Hop as a rival:


it's no secret that the story is slow to build. Hop is one of those typical annoyingly friendly rivals that stops you on every turn because he wants to one day be champion and beat his brother Leon. to be clear: personally i don't find this annoying in and of itself. im one of those people who actually don't really care for the jerk rivals as much as they used to, but i also think that too much friendliness is overkill. at least there's ambition in Hop to become better than the player and that's what i can appreciate in a rival, but that's what a rivalry is, right?

anyway, Hop is essentially the same for up until half the game until he loses to Bede. this part in particular is very important because this marks the start of his character development. now before this, he's more or less okay with losing only to the player, but losing to Bede and having the latter basically run over his optimism and drive at 100 miles/hour put a serious damp in his spirit, enough that he loses a whole gym battle because of it and not only that, it's clear that he's not 100% over his issues because he loses to Swordward/Shieldbert because his mind is basically too scattered to focus properly. as Sonia put it: now that the player is the champion, this eliminates basically two of the biggest stepping stones that Hop had from the beginning: beating his brother and being the champion. it's basically not until the very end of the post-game that we find out that finds his true goal and purpose: he wants to help as many Pokemon and Trainers as possible, therefore settling on his dream of one day being a Pokemon Professor.

i honestly gotta say... i remember when people were saying left and right initially that he's just Galarian Hau, but i can't disagree more. Hau is far too carefree in his attitude about Pokemon battles, and while there is a certain element of taking them seriously because he is pretty frustrated for losing to you when you defend your champion title, overall he doesn't... really take Pokemon battling as seriously or as personally as Hop does. for Hop, he sees Pokemon battling as a stepping stone of reaching his eventual goal of surpassing his brother and becoming the new champion of the Galar region. everything he has worked for has been for that one moment of seeing himself in the stadium facing his brother on the opposing side. as far as Hau goes, iirc he wants to emulate Hala and be just like him, but i don't know if there's an element of outright surpassing him and being the new Kahuna or anything like that. maybe im wrong and i'm just not remembering. point being, later on in the game, Hop really does come into this own and, imo, i easily managed to piece together why it makes so much sense that he was so eager and excitable in the beginning. he idolizes his brother and wants to not only be a strong Trainer like him, but to eventually beat him one day and cement his own place in Galar history, too. that's an impressive enough goal in its own right, if i'm gonna be honest.

that, and im impressed enough that Hop has his own freaking legendary, now. we haven't seen our own rival get their hands on a legendary Pokemon since... N, I think? if you count him as a rival, anyway. even then, this is the first time that i'm aware of that our rival actually uses the legendary Pokemon in battle, so that's pretty fun to see! it's honestly a breath of fresh air seeing Hop really come into his own and although he didn't manage to achieve his dream as Pokemon champion, he nonetheless secured himself a place in the history books as one of the most formidable trainers and and even earned the trust of one of the legendaries which is more than impressive, imo.


regarding overall gameplay:

this is more or less of a mixed bag for me, with questionable decisions at the beginning and leaving positive impressions at the end parts.

so, you get access to the Wild Area pretty early in the game. the thing about this is that as soon as you get access to the Wild Area, you're free to farm as many raid dens as you want, therefore farming EXP candies and leveling up your Pokemon as much as possible. to the game's own credit, it does try and limit what kind of raids you do for two reasons: a) it assumes that your Pokemon (early on, at least) wouldn't be strong enough to tackle higher difficulty raids and b) to not give you TOO much of an advantage early on in the game, so you're limited on what kind of difficulty you can do based on how many badges you earn. this is fine on paper, but for power levelers with a lot of patience (admittedly, i am one of them), you can grind a LOT of EXP candies early in the game and EXP S candies don't start to become totally ineffective until...mid or high 30s (maybe low 40s?) at that point, you can steamroll half the game and pretty much repeat this strategy ad nauseum until you're facing Leon with a level 100 team (personally mind was high 70s/low 80s) pretty much making quick work out of him.

i say this is a mixed bag because i don't feel like the plot really scratches the itch that some might be looking for when it comes to harder difficulties. personally i found it rather odd that we can get away with doing this, but whatever. as someone who plays JRPGs other than Pokemon, i like the feeling of being overpowered and steamrolling my opponents so of course i took advantage of it. this had the bonus effect of exposing me more and more to raid battles and getting some pretty neat TRs out of it, so multiple birds knocked out with one stone, i suppose.

raiding itself is actually one of the better, if not the best part of the game. it's clear where Game Freak put the majority of their efforts on considering this is pretty much front and center. as mentioned, there's lots of benefits to doing raids, most notably getting pretty decent TRs out of them most of the time depending on the raid difficulty, and there's also getting pretty useful EXP candies as well which is nice for cutting down on leveling up 'mons that i've EV recently EV trained. on top of all of that though, raids themselves are just... fun. i can honestly do a ton of them without really getting bored. it's fun seeing so many people so invested in doing higher difficulty raids and trying to catch them! it's also for the sake of having HAs and good IVs, so this really keeps people hunting for more and more.

i've already clocked in well over a hundred hours into this game, and i can foresee myself playing even longer considering the expansion pass as well as all of the shiny breeding i have to do. i gotta admit, i was skeptical of this game at first because of all of the hate, but this is genuinely a good game imo lol.
 
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Super-duper late to point out something so relatively innocuous but I love how brief the evolution sequence is now. (Although, I still think it would be a nice bit of qol if they had a little message in the corner saying "press B to cancel" - instead of just having an NPC (whom you might not even talk to) mention that option in dialogue and giving you no sense of the timing window for pressing it. It's not something I've ever personally had an issue with, but more clarity in general couldn't hurt, could it?)
 
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Super-duper late to point out something so relatively innocuous but I love how brief the evolution sequence is now. (Although, I still think it would be a nice bit of qol if they had a little message in the corner saying "press B to cancel" - instead of just having an NPC (whom you might not even talk to) mention that option in dialogue and giving you no sense of the timing window for pressing it. It's not something I've ever personally had an issue with, but more clarity in general couldn't hurt, could it?)
by now the whole thing is so ingrained in me that I didn't pay attention to the scene at all. No 'B to cancel' prompt? never noticed? Shorter scene? News to me. I dunno if new players would press it instinctively or not though, as B is the designated back/cancel button
 
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My only problem with the short evolution sequence is that the music track is much longer than the sequence so you only hear a part of it.
 
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Something I actually do find annoying in regards to evolution is having to press B every time a Pokémon that I don’t want evolved levels up. Like, if I’m trying to use an Eviolite G-Corsola in-game. It’d be nice if they adjusted the Eviolite to also work as an Everstone (if you ever didn’t want the defense boosts for some reason, then you could still use the regular Everstone).

Alternatively, the idea of having to waste a held item slot in order to prevent evolution feels kind of outdated anyway. Maybe it would be even simpler if they just nicked from Pokémon Quest and added an Everstone “toggle” to each Pokémon in your party. Leave it off if you want them to evolve naturally, or switch it on if you want them to stay in their current form and not have to think about it.
 
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So the games have sold 16.06 million copies, which in my opinion, is pretty incredible.
 
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okay, so i haven't touched shield version in a few days or so. this is mostly because i feel like i did... pretty much everything that i cared to do. i shiny bred and ev trained certain pokemon for wifi battles, and most of the dmax raids are pretty much the same cycle of gmax lapras, gmax appletun, and some other dmax pokemon that i don't really care for battling much.

i might just pick it up again just to farm EXP candies and watts. at least that way i can have enough for other pokemon i decide to ev train.
 
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I got a question.

Is Bede's name pronounced like Bead or Bayday? I pronounce it the latter way.
 
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