Reflecting upon… Pokemon Sword and Shield

Now, I might sound like I’m having a bit of a whinge here, because in a way I am. I’ve been playing online on Shield and I’ve repeatedly had my ass handed to me. It isn’t even a case of having narrowly lost – virtually every defeat to a human player has been a trouncing. In fact, at the last battle, I grew so annoyed that I didn’t even resign, I just shut the game down, which I’m sure isn’t noble, but I was getting increasingly wound up.

Is it a petty thing, to get aggravated by a video game? Perhaps. Then again, gaming is one of my indulgences. It’s one of the few activities I devote my free time to. It is a part of my identity, in the way a sports team or TV show is to other people. I pour my heart and soul into it, so when I’m not enjoying it, or I perceive that it isn’t giving me the right result, I get annoyed. In the case of competition against other human beings, I accept there are variables outside of my control. Intellectually, I know this. Emotionally, it’s a bit more of a struggle, especially when I’ve tried mixing things up and keep ending up with the same frustrating result.

Case in point, in Pokemon the moves of the various creatures are ranked according to effectiveness, which is influenced by type advantage/disadvantage. A grass-type Pokemon is weak to a fire-type, which is weak to water-types, which are weak to grass-types. Electric-types are effective against water but weak against rock. Rock is weak to grass, and so on. Tben you get the more exotic types – fairy, dark, ghost, psychic, dragon. You get combinations now, just to make things more confusing. Fire/ghost types exist. Ice/dark types. Electric/water types (which is a strange mix, considering it’s vulnerable to both).

Next come items that pokemon can hold to affect their stats. You have traits too, all of which turn online battling into a complicated juggling act. Then there’s the stuff that really irritates me…

Super effective moves generally do a lot of damage right? Not so for me. My super effective attacks don’t even reduce my opponent’s health by half. Theirs seem to consistently wipe my pokemon out.

Perhaps I have a lot to learn. In fact I’m sure I do. That being said, there definitely feels like there’s an imbalance that is affecting my enjoyment of the game. Obvious stuff isn’t working for me in the way it should work, if the game is being consistent. Needless to say, this is driving my opinion of the latest Pokemon down.

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