Since I did a look over the Isle of Armour expansion it seems only sensible with how much I’ve been playing the second expansion to Sword and Shield to look into that one. Plus need a gentle lead in to get my mind round what to do for November and decide what to look into for December.
The second part of the Paid DLC extension for Gen 8. The Crown Tundra has us head south below the starting area of SwSh (which surprised me as I didn’t actually know where it was going to be set and thought it was on some island like Armour was).
Unlike Armour you get the feeling this place is much more intended to be gone to after completing the main story as the first guy you encounter throws level 70 Pokémon at you. You are set into a cold icy mountainous area that some people say draws much more of its inspiration from Scotland than the rest of Galar did so I assume it is their equivalent of the Cairngorms.
The region itself has a lot more paths and side areas than the more open Isle of Armour was, which made finding the max dens that had beams of light coming out of them rather more tricky. This does however give the place more of an exploratory feel. Once you get into the stories of the expansion you are given 3 different legendary stories to seek out and not forced to do in any order. There’s a greater sense of freedom of choice this time round as opposed to Armour that focused on the leveling of Kubfu. While yes there is the main story involving Calyrex there’s also the ones involving the new Galarian variants of the original legendary birds. As well as this there is the regi’s shrines, and even another set of legendaries they slipped into having a sort of plot, and even then a few others hidden including one that was previously a event only Pokémon(good hate event only Pokémon, as someone living on this island I hate seeing a special Pokémon being distributed ONLY in shops that I would have to get on a boat to receive).
A new feature to the game is the Dynamax adventures. These have you and 3 other people choose rental Pokémon and fight your way through 4 dynamax Pokémon. (thankfully none of whom have shields, being able to catch and swap out as you do, choosing a path till you get to the final one which is a legendary giving you a chance of getting one. Thanks to this and the ones in the main story of the expansion all legendaries (not mythics) are now available in gen 8. I find these a nice little time burner though I’ve mainly been running them in hopes of finding shiny legendaries (which will appear through this) as well as a trio not in the new dex but a welcome return. Yes much like Armour this expansion brings back a bunch of Pokémon previously not obtainable, like all the fossil Pokémon… which seems like something that should have been explained in story.
The second new feature is one you unlock once you finish all the legendary stories in the expansions story line. This is a new version of the end of game tournament where you get to be paired with NPCs like your rivals and gym leaders as double battles. Given they were lacking for the most part in the main game it’s nice to see this option plus the banter between the characters is great to see.
Finally this expansion continued to bring in some very welcome quality of life improvements to the game (sadly not to the online, that’s still the same and still annoying finding it not updating and when it does all the max raid battle slots are already taken) Namely with an item to give a Pokémon its hidden ability, though they make you work for that.
Overall the Crown Tundra is a very welcome inclusion to SwSh with some great additions to give you reasons to come back for more or just burn a few minutes with some fun content, though wish they had fixed the actual problems with gen 8. But for those that didn’t get the game yet wait a little longer as they are bringing out a version of the game that has the DLC included (go to the Isle of Armour and give you starter its G max form as soon as possible if you do)