Pokemon Sword and Shield: What Dynamax Adventures Gets Right, and What Needs to be Fixed (2023)

By Patrick Kirk

Pokemon Sword and Shield's Crown Tundra DLC introduces Dynamax Adventures, a co-op game mode with some great features, but it's not perfect.

(Video) How to join Dynamax Adventures! | Pokemon Sword & Shield Expansion Pass

Pokemon Sword and Shield: What Dynamax Adventures Gets Right, and What Needs to be Fixed (1)

Dynamax Adventure is the brand-new game mode introduced inPokemon SwordandPokemon Shield's latest DLC, The Crown Tundra. This new game mode takes the concept of Raid Battles that players have participated in since the launch of the games, but adds more randomness and strategy to the mix, and brings with it powerful rewards for those who can work together to reach the end.

Dynamax Adventure adds a fresh spin of replayable content toPokemon SwordandPokemon Shieldthat the games desperately needed, but it still needs some changes to make the Adventure as good as it could be.

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What is the Dynamax Adventure?

Pokemon Sword and Shield: What Dynamax Adventures Gets Right, and What Needs to be Fixed (2)
(Video) My Dynamax Adventures TIPS For Getting More Shiny and Legendary Pokemon! Dynamax Adventure Guide!

As stated above, Dynamax Adventures is a co-op game mode introduced in The Crown Tundra where up to four players will work together to navigate through a Raid Den, battling a number of Pokemon before reaching the final boss. While the layout of the dens are the same, the Pokemon encountered in the Adventures are random, meaning that players will have a new experience every run. What makes the Dynamax Adventures unique is that players cannot bring their own Pokemon into the Adventures, and are forced to use rental Pokemon with set abilities and move sets. Players will take turns picking a Pokemon out of a possible 3, and when one player picks, that Pokemon's spot is replaced with another rental Pokemon.

Additionally, after defeating and catching a Dynamax Pokemon, one of the four team members will be able to swap their rental for the Pokemon that was just caught, allowing players to better adapt to the upcoming challenges. NPCs can be found in the Den that can offer to swap a random Pokemon out for the player's current Pokemon (again, only one per team), and another NPC can give every player an item of their choosing off of a list (everyone picks their own item). Players have a total of 4 lives to make it through the Den and beat the boss. If all four lives are lost, then players are evicted from the Den.

All of the Pokemon laid out along the Raid Den's path are shrouded with clouds, though for the regular Pokemon encountered along the way, players can get peeks at what Pokemon is there. The only information players have to go off of is one of the Pokemon's types, which can help inform players of what route to take to get the best types to go against the final boss. For example, players will be shown that the final Pokemon is a Dragon Type, which could mean that it is possibly Rayquaza, Dialga, Palkia, Giratina, Zekrom, Reshiram, Kyurem, Zygarde, or Guzzlord.

This is also true for all of the standard Pokemon encountered along the way. Resting at the very end of the Raid Den is a powerful Legendary Pokemon returning from previous generations. Every (non-Mythical) Legendary Pokemon is back, and can be obtained through the Dynamax Adventures, including Ultra Beasts.Once a players has caught a Legendary Pokemon, that Legendary will no longer be catchable, but will still be in the possible encounters.

What Dynamax Adventures Does Well

Pokemon Sword and Shield: What Dynamax Adventures Gets Right, and What Needs to be Fixed (3)
(Video) How to Join Dynamax Adventures | Pokemon Sword & Shield

On top of being a great and fun way to reintroduce Legendary Pokemon back intoSwordandShield, the Dynamax Adventures has some really great parts that Game Freak really nailed.Clearly, a lot of thought went into the Pokemon selection process for what Pokemon are found in the dens, and what their abilities and movesets are, and it really paid off. There are many pairs of Pokemon with synergistic abilities and moves that are incredibly fun and powerful to use in the right hands.

There are a good number of Pokemon from all generations, some of which feature their rare Hidden Ability, that make for valuable rewards to keep after the run. In addition to finding powerful and rare Pokemon in the Dens, the Shiny Chance in the dens in incredibly high (even for Legendary Pokemon), so it's arguably the best Shiny Farming method for those who aren't picky about which shiny they are getting.

The decision to make players use rental Pokemon was a bold one, and one that should be applauded. While many players are upset that they can't use their own Pokemon, it is absolutely refreshing to go into content without the ability to steamroll with a Level 100 Perfect IV/EV-trained Pokemon. The rental Pokemon (and by extension the ability to swap Pokemon after catching) force players to try new Pokemon and strategies that they would not have otherwise. It forces players to work more as a team as well, which also should be commended. The addition of Pokemon like Comfey, Togetic, and Vileplume to the Adventures roster means that players may need to play support rather than offense, which can save a run entirely if done right.

Blaziken makes a return in the Adventuresand featuresits Hidden Ability: Speed Boost. While players could use this just to outspeed their opponent for fast hits, Blaziken also has Coaching as part of its moveset, meaning that it could set up big Attack/Defense boosts for their team well-before the opponent even has a chance to move. For once, Pokemon isn't about just having the toughest, higher-level Pokemon, but is instead about working as a team and using strategy and cooperation to make it through a gauntlet of Pokemon.

What Needs Fixed in Dynamax Adventures

Pokemon Sword and Shield: What Dynamax Adventures Gets Right, and What Needs to be Fixed (4)
(Video) How to REMATCH Legendary Pokemon in Dynamax Adventures - Pokemon Sword & Shield DLC Crown Tundra

While Dynamax Adventures is perhaps the best thing to happen toPokemon SwordandShieldsince launch, perhaps even more important than the Ability Patch, it is not without some flaws that hopefully Game Freak will fix if it wants players to continue playing Dynamax Adventures for some time. For starters, if players are not matchmaking with other players, they are paired with AI-controlled teammates. The AI is absolutely all over the place. Sometimes, they will make a big-brain play that protrainers would applaud, and sometimes they will do nothing but Acupressure until they die.

As a result, it seems like the AI weighs certain strategies heavily over others. Pelipper will almost always use Wide Guard, for example. Sometimes it comes in handy and blocks a strong move, but 90% of the time, it's a waste and a standard attack would be more effective. But clearly the AI has some powerful strategies built in that it's capable of.

There are also a couple smaller issues that really should be addressed as well: the choice system and the in-game timer. Being able to swap Pokemon mid-run is a great idea; however, there is no way to stop one teammate from just spamming swap by mashing A the entire time, blocking anyone else from switching Pokemon no matter how bad they may need to. There should be some sort of cooldown so other players can choose a Pokemon rather than have one player keep swapping their recently-acquired Pokemon.

Finally, the in-game timer between rounds is far too short. Players have 30 seconds to discuss and plan their route out, which is definitely not enough time. It wouldn't hurt to make it a minute so players can formulate plans. If these are fixed then perhaps Dynamax Adventures really could be the new Battle Frontier that fans have been asking for.

Pokemon SwordandPokemon Shieldare available now for Nintendo Switch.

(Video) A (Speculative) Guide to DYNAMAX ADVENTURES!

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