I'm flip-flopping on this game, I've come across some details (not content like Pokemon included, fear not, just "features") which are making me reconsider my purchase once again.
Apparently, thanks to the exp share being always on, your team is constantly over-leveled, even without grinding, meaning there's little to no challenge to any fight. Sure, you can artificially restrict yourself by only traveling with one or two Pokemon at a time or whatever, but it completely goes against the spirit of the game and players shouldn't have to go out of their way to find some challenge.
Another thing: you can't catch Pokemon if they're a higher level than what your current badges allow. Let's say with my 2 badges I'm allowed to catch Pokemons up to level 25, if I encounter a level 30 Pokemon I can't catch it, at all, zero chance. So those who thought they could explore the Wild Area and through clever strategies and teamwork defeat a high-level beast and capture it, don't even think about it.
I understand why they did it, if you get extra lucky you could capture a level 50 near the start of the game and it would trivialize the entire campaign from that point on. Just like other RPGs may require you to be a certain level to use a certain weapon, they want to ensure you can't cheese your way through.
BUT, this is such an inelegant way to go about solving that issue, and again flies in the face of the entire premise of the Wild Area. Why even bother exploring high-level areas if there's nothing to be gained from it? Sure, I guess you can still defeat enemies for XP, but then... you'll end up with an over-leveled team anyway, which will trivialize the game, the very thing they're seemingly trying to avoid by preventing you from catching them...
As much as I understand their struggle to include 1000 Pokemon in the game and refuse to blame them for it, I can't so easily forgive them for all their archaic design decisions in a post-Breath of the Wild world.
A game that allows you, in theory, to run up to the final boss and beat the game in half an hour if you're skilled enough. I'm not asking every game to be as open as BotW, of course, it requires the entire game to be designed around the idea and it wouldn't necessarily apply to Pokemon. It sure as hell couldn't be done with a 2-year development cycle, so it makes sense that they stick to their proven overall formula (even though I'd love them to shake it up).
A better example, then, would be the Fire Emblem series. Permadeath had always been a deterrent for many people, way too punishing and daunting. So they made it optional! That plus difficulty levels, and you can even mix and match! Hard without permadeath, easy with permadeath, it's up to you, it's your game, play it how you want! Everyone's happy.
And next to those you have Pokemon, which has only one mode: easy, linear, restrictive. Why they refuse to simply add a "veteran" difficulty level is beyond me, it can only be stubbornness at this point. Unlike creating 1000 Pokemon, this wouldn't require crazy manpower or time or budget, just a handful of decent designers.
So there's no excuse, it's a whole design philosophy that I find really hard to agree with. It's too jarring to see such old-school limitations in a game these days, when others have tried and succeeded in being modern.
And if they think they're doing this "for the kids", then they're completely out of touch with what kids like these days. Minecraft, Roblox, and the like are all about self-expression, freedom and creativity. Sure, Pokemon will still sell amazingly well thanks to the sheer power of its IP, but it'll be despite itself.
I'll stay on the fence until reviews come out and validate / invalidate my fears. I want to love this game so bad but I'm really worried I'll end up not having any fun with it at this point.