Against my better judgment I bought Pokémon Sword. It's Pokémon, so if you've played one in the past 20 years, you know how it is. It's not a bad game and I am currently enjoying my time with it, although the new arbitrary rule making so I can't catch over a certain level is dumb. What was wrong with the rule before? You could catch anything but if they were too high of a level they wouldn't listen to you. Can't steamroll a game if your fighter doesn't respond. I like that a majority of the Pokémon are visible and might even chase after you if seen, so you can avoid most random encounters if you want. The new Wild Area with the Gigamax battles in Pokémon Dens is pretty fun. In lieu of straight experience for winning a gigamax (or whatever it's called) battle, you get various items like TMs(attacks) and items that boost experience. So my usual tactic is to take a collection of Pokémon whose type beats the current gym type and grind their levels so that they'll just massacre every battle in the gym. But instead of walking around the same patch of grass to get the most available exp per fight, I just pop some exp items and call it good. I know I'm trading one grind for another, but the Wild Area is just a tad more attractive and distracting than walking back and forth one or two patches of grass hoping for fight. So this game might keep my attention enough for me to actually beat the elite 4, or equivalent, for the first time in since... maybe the DS game? Definitely the GBA, but I really only played FireRed and LeafGreen, which almost shouldn't count.
I haven't played a Gigmax battle (or raid as it's been called) with any other real players yet, as it seems like most are using some sort of reset exploit to find the specific pokemon they're after, so they keep dropping and I just get booted to a solo match with AI trainers. Which is mostly fine to me. The battles have various difficulty levels, shown by the star rating. And as far as I can tell, it just means the pokemon is at a higher level and the AI "partners" chose less effective pokemon. And honestly, if they're still alive when you shrink back to normal size, you probably lost the fight. The nice thing is that even if you lose, they don't "run away" so you can try again, or pop more exp items and then try again.
It's not perfect and a lot of the criticism it gets is warranted. It hasn't evolved it's fighting mechanics. Aside from each generation's gimmick (Mega Evolutions, Z-moves, Gigamax battles etc) that rarely last beyond that generation, it's the same slow turn-based mechanics since the late 90's. As long as you have the type advantage, it's basically tap A to win. At least when it comes to the campaign anyway, I know there's some stuff about IVs and EVs, whatever they are, for post-game/competitive battling (which they made more manageable according to others on the internet). And it's not a power house when it comes to graphics. It doesn't look bad per se but for being the first home console Pokémon game, it's underwhelming. I would not be surprised if it was supposed to be the last hurrah of the 3DS but was tossed onto the Switch mid-development. And excuse for the last delay being for improving the animations is a joke. I'm sorry but the main fighting move my fire/fighting rabbit has is animated by slightly moving the model up and down. And you don't get any new fighting moves for quite some time, unless you use a TM (but all the good ones I have they can't learn, so I'm stuck with it).
I'd say something about missing 400 or so pokemon from near 1000 that have been created but I haven't really missed them. And I do honestly expect them to come back in at some point. If not as a DLC pack then when they make the next edition. Gamefreak used to just make one extra game (Yellow for Red and Blue, Platinum for Gold and Silver etc) but I think they might do what they did last generation (Ultra Sun/Moon). So instead of Pokémon [Another weapon name], it's be Pokémon [Adjective] Sword/Shield. And that would include the rest of the Pokémon, probably mostly appearing in a newly discovered Wild Area so that there wouldn't be much to change in the main game.