Pokemon Shield is not a good game. An unfortunate result of rushed development leading to a mind numbing story experience, poorly implemented new features with great potential (like the wild areas), and a lack of polish that sticks out like a sore thumb in the new generation.
With that being said, I can't deny the fun I had. I grew to really like Hop and Marnie as rivals, and Leon is one of the best champions. Pokemon models and moves in general were well animated and looked crisp (Never cared for the National Dex either). And above all else, the main hook of catching and training Pokemon is as engaging and rewarding as ever.
I hate this chain that Game Freak holds over me: Despite them seemingly entering a new era of mediocre titles with little effort, I'll still garner some enjoyment purely based off of the namesake. I hope Legends ends up being the right step forward we're all hoping it is.
Reviewed on Mar 31, 2021