My son and I have enjoyed playing the game, but – as someone who started playing Red/Blue on Gameboy 20+ years ago – the formula of the games haven't changed a heck of a lot in that time. The graphics are prettier, the battles have been tweaked, but at it's core they are really the same kinda story, the same aim (catch em all, beat gyms, become the very best etc), it's fun for a bit and what a lot of people keep coming back for… But to me it's just a tad stale.
We waited such a long time for this release that I had hoped for a big change up in what the game was going to bring, but it didn't happen – instead we got a lot of small-moderate changes that are hit and miss. Camping and cooking are simple things to gain XP, they're just monotonous – what's fun about waving a feather at your Pokemon over and over to play with them- Why not put some mini games in instead-
Sending your Pokemon on jobs is a nice change, but it's pretty tiresome to do for 20× different jobs where you need to scroll through 100s of Pokemon in boxes. Gigantamax is visually cool, but it seems to have been chucked in just for the sake of it – I don't really understand (beyond a bit of story filler) what the point is. Megas were ok as-is, why not continue to develop that-
Changes that I really have enjoyed though is the open world, and seeing the Pokemon roaming around – as well as super strong ones that you can't catch early on, but you can still battle and try to beat them. Getting a bike and being able to fast travel early is great. The removal of HMs is awesome! Not having a valuable move slot taken up by something critical (Fly, Cut, Dig, Strength) to get around the map was well overdue. And it's easier to level lesser-used Pokemon up with the Dynamax raids spitting out XP/Rare candies, so the grind is lessened a bunch when you're trying to get a Pokemon to catch up to the rest of your party.
So I enjoyed playing these games for the most part, but hopefully the next installment does something a bit braver with the formula.