The first expansion pass is finally here, and so, even the ones who used to complain about Pokémon Sword and Shield are now dusting off their pokéballs and giving the Isle of Armor a chance. There's a new rival, a new dojo, and a lot of new pokémon to discover... oh, but there's also this guy who wants you to find all his rogue Alolan Diglett.
Welcome to the Isle of Armor
DLC is something new to this franchise. Of course, we're used to remakes, special editions, and direct sequels, but this is the first time we get to pay for more content in a Pokémon game, and yet it feels so natural when we think about it. Being the first time, nonetheless, we need to be more critical when judging both the price and the content we get in return, more so when there's another DLC (The Crown Tundra) already on the way, coming out in a few months. So, what's new?
The Isle of Armor is not our typical third game, so you can't camouflage its features; if it's bad, or short, people will notice, and this time, there's no main plotline to save you. Once you get to Wedgehurst Station, an NPC will talk to you about this new island, and soon you'll see 2 new faces: in our case, playing Pokémon Shield, a Galarian Slowpoke and our rival Avery—although Klara looks way cooler!
We won't be spoiling it, but although fun at some parts, the new storyline is rather short, especially because you probably have over-trained Pokémon in your team, with type advantages are on your side. However, it's nice to see all these new creatures and a whole region ready to be explored, giving you even more resources for your online battles. You have new customization options, new stickers, and several new monsters to add to your team. Other than the dojo and its linear story, you could also try some of the side-adventures, especially if you like free competitive pokémon. Or, you know, you could just run around next to your best pokémon friend. Now any monster can follow you!
At Least One Hundred and Fifty or More to See
As soon as you set foot on the island, and after beating Avery/Klara for the first time, you'll find this adventurer who needs some help with such a delicate task: finding all his missing Alolan Diglett. 151 of them!
From that moment, you'll find yourself looking for 3 blond hairs wiggling out of the grass in every biome you visit. We know it can be tempting to ignore this poor man and never caring about these weird-looking creatures that have been meme'd and bullied to death, but trust us when we say the rewards are worth it! Well, kind of...
By finding the 151 Diglett, you get to keep one of them, with perfect IV's and its Hidden Ability. But the Alolan parade doesn't end there; in the process, you also get Alolan Meowth, Slowpoke, Alolan Vulpix, Alolan Sandshrew, Alolan Raichu, Alolan Marowak, Alolan Exeggutor, and an Alolan starter (Litten, Rowlet, or Popplio, depending on your own starter).
The Isle of Armor is nothing but a small dose of the good old Pokémon formula, with enough content to keep you hooked for a couple of days if you're a casual player and enough new things to try and change the competitive scene. For what it's worth, it proves that Pokémon DLC can become a thing, and imagination is the only limit to the Galar Region.
Will the next expansion end up being more of the same, or will they try to shake things up a little bit more? Only time will tell!