Pokémon’s long awaited eighth generation adventures, Pokémon Sword and Shield are bound to be one of the biggest gaming releases of the year when they hit the Nintendo Switch on November 15th.
The famous franchise was first introduced to Nintendo’s latest console last year with Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee and while they were widely received, many fans still expressed initial disappointment that they wouldn’t be exploring a new region and catching all new creatures. Let’s Go, however, did give us a firsthand look at of what Pokémon on the Switch was capable of which only heightened the anticipation for the next main series entry. Finally, on June 5th a special Nintendo direct was held where Pokémon Sword and Shield were officially announced, a trailer was released and some of the games new features were revealed.
Since the initial direct, fans have slowly been fed gameplay snippets and updates. Now, with just over three months to go until we can rejoice and dive back into the Pokémon world, so here’s a breakdown of all the exciting things we’ve learnt so far about Pokémon Sword and Shield.
A new adventure of course means a new Pokémon partner will be joining you and in Sword and Shield you’ll be able to choose from the energetic rabbit fire-type: Scorbunny, the curious grass-type: Grooky, and, the skittish water-type: Sobble, who appears considerable less cheery than the others.
The Galar Region
Sword and Shield are set in the brand new Galar region where Pokémon battles are the most popular form of entertainment, so much so that your gym battles will take place in stadiums in-front of eager audience members.
The region’s environment appears to have taken a lot of inspiration from Great Britain, containing Victorian architecture, stretches of countryside, snow covered mountains and a vast industrial city. A large portion of the Galar region is encompassed by the Wild Area, an open world area situated between the region’s primary cities that features a wide variety of wild Pokémon to encounter.
One feature that’s unique to the Galor region is the dynamax phenomenon. Dynamaxing is a new battling technique in which trainers can command their Pokémon to increase in size and power, resulting in a Pokémon’s moves becoming much more powerful. A dynamax can be used once in battle and lasts for three turns so deciding when to use this special technique will be the key to victory.
Max Raid Battles
In the wild area, you’ll have the opportunity to join forces with up to three other players to undergo various activities and challenges. One of these new multiplayer features are max raid battles where you’ll be able to challenge powerful wild Pokémon that will remain dynamax’d for the entire battle, so you’ll need your allies help to take on these powerful creatures. Once the battle is won you’ll then have to opportunity to catch the powerful Pokémon and add it to your team.
Rival and Guides
Speaking of allies, you’ll be receiving support from the Galar region’s Pokémon expert Professor Magnolia and her granddaughter and assistant Sonia. Your new rival will also be starting his journey on the same day as you. Hop is the younger brother of the region’s greatest trainer and current champion, Leon and dreams of one day becoming the champion too.
As well as Hop, you’ll also meet two more rivals, Bede and Marine during your journey. A new force of trainers, deemed Team Yell (or ‘Marine’s wild fans’) are also set to join the story and are sure to throw some curveballs your way.
It wouldn’t be a Pokémon story if there weren’t some legendary creatures to encounter and Sword and Shield has two enticing wolf like creatures that are featured on each games respective artwork. There’s Zacian who bears a sword between its teeth, and, Zamazenta that possess a strong shield covering its body. As well as these legendaries and the three new starter Pokémon, there will of course be an array of new Pokémon to discover in the Galar region. Nintendo’s latest trailer in particular has highlighted a Galarian Zigzagoon (first featured in the third generation’s Hoenn region), and, a new form changing electric Pokémon called Morpeko.
With an exciting environment, new gameplay features, wonderful graphics and a lot of Pokémon to meet, Pokémon Sword and Shield are shaping up to be brilliant. Are you ready to catch em’ all and experience the Galar Region?