The first DLC version of Pokémon Sword and Shield, Isle of Armor, wasn’t the most exciting role-playing game in the world. At first, it didn’t look like it would add anything to a less rewarding Pokémon experience. You can do it in a few hours and you’ll never have to worry about it again. This increased my expectations for the second expansion, the crown tundra, even higher. That should work. It was to compensate for the expansion of Bronia Island. And that’s what happened.
It’s not scary at all.
The island of Broni was like a miniature street harvest on a small map several months old. At the end of the game, the tundra of the crown looked like the content, which was so lacking in the sword and shield. It reminds me of the ridiculous campaigns carried out in the HeartGold and SoulSilver post-match since winning the red one. They explore the ruins and solve puzzles to save almost all legends published so far. It also has other new characters, recurring monsters and a little extra plot that seems to fit better with the exaggerated British aesthetics of this generation than the kung fu story of L’île d’Armor.
When you arrive at the station called Crown Tundra, you will meet the old steel Pion and his daughter. Peony is the typical, stupid but cordial speaker who invited you to take part in a series of expeditions because his daughter had no choice but to take an interest in him and his projects. What kind of expeditions are we talking about, you ask? In the royal tundra you have three tasks to perform in any order, and they all revolve around legends.
My Tirantrum Boy is back!
The first search is for Calirex, a legendary new expansion. The once mighty Pokemon, who used to help the local village harvest, has lost much of his power as well as his faithful horse. All he can do is get people to talk to the player briefly, which is a great first for the series. Your job is to get Calirex back on his feet and find the horse’s satellite. It can be ghost or ice, depending on the kind of bait you give it. Although I doubt it was deliberate, Calirex’s design, combined with the architecture of his ruined hideout, gave me the tremendous vibrations of The Witcher 3, which is never a bad thing.
Pokémon version of Kaer Morhen.
The second quest is a nostalgic bomb for those who grew up with Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. It’s time to solve riddles and catch Régis! Registration style, Reggie and Regis can be recorded by solving (simple) puzzles written for their respective temples. There’s nothing more difficult than the Gen III Braille puzzles, but for a change, I enjoyed watching some of the actual puzzles in Pokémon. I also appreciate the fact that I had to work hard to get legendary people with incredibly low catches because Pokémon Sword and Shield have just served up their pathetic number of legendary people with little or no effort on a silver platter.
If you catch three old Regis, you can catch one of the two new Regis in this expansion – Regieleki and Regidrago. I especially didn’t like their stupid, simplified projects. Solving your puzzles and working hard to get them was more fun than having them in your box, that’s for sure.
Max’s hiding place allows him to capture almost every legend ever published. Fuck you, Dexit!
The third research focuses on Articuno, Zapdos and Moltresa, in their entirely new galactic forms. They are now clairvoyants, warbirds or black birds. When you see them on this map, which is Loch Ness (after all, it is based on Scotland), they run away. Artikuno runs in the crown tundra, the zapdos run wild and the moults fly around the island in wagons. Catch them all (they won’t escape if you fight them) and you will complete the third and final main task of this expansion. But don’t you think that’s all the royal tundra has to offer?
You can meet Sonia and unlock a small guide to find the steps of each of the three swords of justice (Terracion, Cobalion, Virtion) and then catch them in the wild. The presence of these three people in your party will also trigger a small event where, for the first time in the history of the franchise system, you can catch the wild Keldeo. Like Regis and the legendary birds, they are extremely difficult to catch and offer a challenge that was not present in the basic game.
What did you do with the zapdos, the lunatic…
Finally, there is the best of the expansion of the crown tundra, but also of the entire Generation VIII: Max Lair’s cave. It’s a small, randomly generated dungeon where you battle three Pokémon Dynamaxes for the legendary fourth (and final) battle. Two things are worth mentioning: After beating these legendary players, you’ll get 100% of their grip, which means that even a simple Pokéball is a guaranteed grip and you can’t use your own Pokémon in battle.
It’s true: At Pokémon Stadium, you can actually only use rental items! Before you enter the new dungeon, you’ll be offered one of four leases, and you can trade the monster if you defeat (and catch) another Pokémon in the dungeon. You can also buy a small health gain and the possibility to get a maintenance item for your friend, depending on the design of the dungeon. Think about that when Pokémon Stadium meets the Darkest Dungeon. It’s a brilliant idea and it works like a charm.
Sir, where the hell did you get that master bullet?
In Max Leira you can literally capture one of the legends previously published by all previous generations. From Mutvtv to Zigard, from Xernei to Latios, they’re all there and they’re all at the end of the race. After completing the three major extended missions, you can also capture the ultra best of Gen VII in the Max Lair Cave. If that isn’t the big honorary finger of people who sign up for Pokémon HOME, I don’t know what is. I’m just thankful I waited to get into the shower with more legends than I can handle.
A wild metagrosa. It’s okay. It’s okay. It’s okay. It’s okay.
Crown Tundra is more than a small extension with a slightly enlarged pokedex and a brand new legend to catch. It’s a hell of a meat campaign with interesting puzzle-solving mechanisms, a labyrinthine map to explore, tons of legends coming back, and a rogue diet much more exciting than it should be. While the Armor Isle looked too short and uncooked, the Crown Tundra is definitely worth buying if you have a sword or shield. Damn, you should have checked in in bagel mode.
Pokémon Sword / Tip : The wreath horn is now available with the switch on.
Displayed when turned on.
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