PokéJungle Reviews: Pokémon Sword and Shield DLC 1 – Isle of Armor

With the best selling Pokémon games of all time, Pokémon Sword and Shield have recently dropped their first paid DLC in place of a third game which costs $30 USD. However, was this the best move by The Pokémon Company? Let’s find out in this in-depth review. STORY SPOILERS WILL NOT BE REVEALED!

In early January, The Pokémon Company revealed their first paid DLC in place of a third game, which is a smart move, in my opinion. Reducing the costs for players instead of having to pay for a whole new $60 USD game. The video below showcases both, Isle of Armor and Crown Tundra:

We have to talk about the missing Pokémon that can’t be transferred to Pokémon Sword & Shield’s Galar region. With less Pokémon, it does make it easier for newer players to complete the Pokédex, but the missing monsters have left fans feeling bitter. Pokémon Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, and Ultra Moon had a similar take on this, however, all Pokémon were able to be transferred to the games.

The Isle of Armor DLC partially solves this by introducing more Pokémon to the region. These returning Pokémon can now be transferred by all players, even if they don’t buy the Expansion Pass. Unfortunately, there are still many Pokémon that can’t be brought over, and even the second DLC release will not fix this.

In the Isle of Armor, it’s a literal Wild Area, but with the returning Pokémon. The map below showcases the areas players can explore:

Although the map is somewhat small, there is more to do than meets the eye. The fan-favorite feature of following Pokémon becomes available shortly into the story! Diglett hunting, similar to the Zygarde Cores and stickers of Generation VII. The ability to upgrade the bike is also something many people will appreciate. Plus, Pokémon who didn’t have access to their Gigantamax Form can now drink special Max Soup to be able to use it in battle. This includes:

  • Venusaur, Charizard, Blastoise Rillaboom, Cinderace, Inteleon, Butterfree, Pikachu, Meowth, Machamp, Gengar, Lapras, Eevee, Snorlax, Garbodor, Drednaw, Corviknight, Toxtricity, Alcremie, Duraludon, Orbeetle, Coalossal, Sandaconda, Grimmsnarl, Flapple, Appletun, Hatterene, Copperajah, Kingler, and Centiskorch

So many features, but the questions arises, is this worth $30 USD? If you love this game, the DLC will surely be worth it. If you don’t, you still have access to the 140+ Pokémon that were added.

The Good

  • Players can explore the island immediately without participating in the story
  • Tons of new Pokémon are now available to catch with their Hidden Abilities
  • Pokémon can follow you!
  • Isle of Armor has many well-realized and varied environments
  • New ways to battle with friends

The Meh

  • No other new Pokémon than Kubfu and its evolution
  • No other new Galarian forms besides Slowpoke and Slowbro
  • Story is rather short
  • Pokémon only follow you on the island
  • Y-Comm is still as awful to use as ever

Overall, the Isle of Armor is full of exciting features. I would have to rate this 4 out of 5 stars. So many features (the following Pokémon was a surprise) justify the nominal cost of half the Expansion Pass ($15). It delivers on adding the new Pokémon we’d see added to a region in a third installment, along with new game additions, but at a fraction of the cost of a new Switch game. I hope you’re also enjoying the journey!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments or join us on Discord for raids and more!

  1. Massive steps in the right direction. At the end of the DLC Mustard seems to hint that some real stuff is going to go down in the Crown Tundra, but as far as the Isle of Armor goes it was $15 very well spent.

    I really think the Isle of Armor shows that GameFreak is gaining a lot of necessary experience developing for the Switch and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the series. I haven’t felt this optimistic in a long time.

  2. I was pleasently surprised by the Isle of Armor. It was a good journey.
    Negative:
    Avery was a weakish rival, nothing really exciting about him.
    The story was indeed to short. Considering how big the area is they could‘ve invented more tasks to do.
    The Tower of Darkness was pathetic. Not a challenge at all. Worse than Avery.

    Positive:
    The Digglet search and the Alola versions. Queen Ninatales rocks.
    The different locations and visuals.
    The Pokemon following despite the glitches and low quality ( Pokemon Go was way better)
    I like a lot of the returning Pokes.

  3. I’ll be honest, still havent gotten it, but this seems like something that would be way more enjoyable to do during a playthrough and not after I’ve left the game and come back to it after 3 months.

  4. It was worth the money. I really don’t feel like traveling back to Galar other than to buy and sell Luxury balls for money grinding. The location looks really pretty and fun, and having Scizor following around is awesome. The map is really fun, lots of connecting routes and secrets to find and after beting the story it’s fun to randomly find the Gym leaders hanging around, and Bea even confirms what I said when her episode of Twlight Wings came out, that it looked more like it was taking place in The Isle of Armor rather than the wild area.

    Urshifu at first was a Pokemon I was ambivalent about, but after using it is one of my new favorites, specially the Water forme. Klara is hilarious, just wish she had more than 4 Pokemon. I hope the stuff Crown Tundra adds to the League Tournament allows her to participate with a stronger team.

    The way they used the big continuous map in this DLC makes me actually more excited for Gen 9, to see what they do with it on a new game.

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