Nintendo released a video for this year’s Pokémon Direct discussing the new features in the upcoming games Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield.
After a brief introduction from The Pokémon Company’s President and CEO, Tsunekazu Ishihara, a video was shown of the games’ beta footage. In the short video more of the landscape of the new, England inspired region, Galar is shown along with some of the new people and Pokémon players will meet on their journey to become the Pokémon champion of this bold new game. Producer Junichi Masuda and Director Shigeru Ohmori then went into depth explaining the new features players will encounter in the first mainstream Pokémon game on the Nintendo Switch.
Players will get to choose from three previously announced starters those being the grass type Pokémon Grookey, the fire type Pokémon Scorbunny, and the water type Pokémon Sobble. After selecting the starter of their choice, players will meet the regions resident Pokémon Professor, Professor Magnolia along with her assistant and granddaughter Sonia. Along with these characters, players will encounter their rival for this journey, a young man named Hop who is also the little brother of the region’s current Champion, Leon. These characters will help the player along their journey in the Galar region and motivate them to experience new things in this newly revealed land.
In between their travels between towns in the region, players can explore areas called Wild Areas where they and freely move around and encounter all kinds of Pokémon without having to run through grass like in previous Pokémon games. Similar to the way people can catch Pokémon in Pokémon Let’s Go, Eevee/Pikachu, players will be able to see wild Pokémon in game and simply walk up to them to battle or attempt to catch them. Some of these Pokémon players and catch are one’s players have encountered in prior games, notably those from Generations 5, 6, and 7 but players can also encounter newly discovered Pokémon. While the full list of the Galar region’s exclusive Pokémon hasn’t been released yet, this video did show off a few new Pokémon players can find in this region. James Turner, the Art Director of Pokémon Sword and Shield, discussed a few of these new Pokémon. There’s the Sheep Pokémon Wooloo which is a normal type Pokémon. Gossifleur, the Flowering Pokémon which is a grass type and can evolve into Eldegoss, the Cotton Bloom Pokémon which is also a grass type. Drednaw, the Bite Pokémon which is a water/rock type and there’s Corviknight, the Raven Pokémon which is a flying/steel type. The video also revealed the region’s two mascot legendary Pokémon; there’s Zacian which is a dog-like Pokémon that will be the main legendary for Pokémon Sword and there’s Zamazenta which is also a dog-like Pokémon that will be the main legendary for Pokémon Shield.
In terms of gameplay, the two new games appear to play very similarly to Pokémon Sun/Moon but there are a couple of new features that were revealed in this announcement. Kazumasa Iwao, the Planning Director of Pokémon Sword and Shield, went in depth explaining the new battle feature known as Dynamax. Similar to Mega Evolution and Z-Moves, Dynamax will allow players’ Pokémon to become giant and boost the strength of their moves into Max Moves. Players can only Dynamax one member of their team once per battle and the Dynamaxed Pokémon will revert to normal after three turns. Within Galar’s Wild Areas, players can team up to take on Max Raid Battles where four players can team up to either defeat or catch a Dynamaxed wild Pokémon. Unlike in PvP battles, this wild Pokémon will remain in it’s Dynamaxed state for the entire battle but one member of the trainer group can Dynamax one of their own Pokémon to even out the playing field. Once the wild Pokémon is in critical condition, one player in the trainer group can choose to catch the Pokémon by throwing a giant Pokeball at the creature! Players can unite to conquer these raids through either local wireless connections or by connecting with other players around the world through the internet on the Nintendo Switch. Gym battles also return since their absence in Pokémon Sun/Moon but this time around these battles will take place in gigantic stadiums filled with an electrifying audience. Here players will have to defeat these gym leaders in order to continue progressing in the game but this time around gym leaders can also Dynamax their own Pokémon making these battles even tougher than ever before!
With all of this exciting new information, fans won’t have to wait too long to get their hands on the next generation of Pokémon games.
At Nintendo’s panel at E3 this year, players can be able to try out the game’s demos for themselves but if players can’t make it to E3 this year, they won’t have to wait too long to play the next Pokémon experience.
Pokémon Sword and PokémonShield will release for the Nintendo Switch worldwide this year on November 15th. These games will surely be dynamic!