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Pokemon Sword and Shield Nintendo Direct 06.05.19 Recap

Less than a week away from E3, Nintendo and Game Freak have released a 16ish minute direct detailing quite a bit of what to expect in the upcoming Pokémon Sword and Shield.

Pokémon Sword and Shield Field

The games will take place the the Galar region–a new region inspired by the United Kingdom. As we’ve already seen before, the player character will be able to choose between Grokey, the grass chimp, Scorbunny, the fire rabbit, and Sobble, the water lizard. Pokémon battles are very popular in the region with gyms becoming massive stadiums. Similarly to soccer stadiums in Europe. These stadiums have massive crowds unlike previous gyms that were often just filled with the Gym Leader, their underlings, and occasionally a few puzzles.

PoKémon Sword and Shield - Gym Battles

As with every new Pokémon generation, there will be a whole host of new creatures to collect and train. Though only a handful of them were shown off during the Direct. Of the Pokémon shown off is Wooloo, and adorably fluffy sheep Pokémon. Next up is a brand new flower inspired Pokémon, Gossifleur. Who then evolves into Eldegoss who looks very similarly to a cotten plant. Adding to the already large selection of turtle, and tortoise themed Pokémon is Drednaw; the bit Pokémon. The dark, raven Pokémon is called Corviknight. Corviknight will be able to transport player characters to previously visited towns, a la the HM Fly. And of course, the game will have several returning Pokémon such as Growlithe, Inkay, Axew, and many others.

Pokémon Sword and Shield - Wooloo

New to Pokémon Sword and Shield is the Wild Area. Wild Areas are large areas of land where Pokémon roam. These areas will be between cities and towns, much like routes of previous games. Trainers will be able to see the Pokémon actually in the overworld and will be a lot like Pokémon Let’s Go and let the players initiate combat with specific Pokémon.  They will also vary depending on the location, time of day, and weather. Wild Areas will allow a free camera instead of limiting players to specific views. However towns and cities will still have the same camera control as previous games, which is to say none. Also, Wild Areas will have red beacons that players can travel to to start a battle with a Dynamaxed Pokémon.

Pokémon Sword and Shield - Dynamax Grokey

Dynamax is a new mechanic being introduced in Pokémon Sword and Shield. While under the effects of Dynamax, Pokémon will grow several times larger than their normal size and have considerably more power. Wild Pokémon found while Dynamaxed will remain in that state until captured. Thus a new four-player “raid” will happen. These “raids” can be done locally or using other players online. No word yet on how capturing the Pokémon works and who will get to take home their new creature. Players will also be able to activate Dynamax on their Pokémon while in battle. Though this version will limit the form change to just three turns and can only be used once.  While fighting wild Dynamax Pokémon, the four-player team will only have one use of the Dynamax form change. So it will require strategy to figure out who will make the best use of it.

Pokémon Sword and Shield - Dynamax Gyarados

What would a Pokémon game be with out characters to inhabit the world? First up is Leon, the region’s champion. Between his undefeated record and his sparkling personality, he is the regions most popular fighter. And the first rival for the player is Hop, Leon’s younger brother. His dreams are of becoming a champion much like his older brother. Professor Magnolia will be the player, and rival’s, mentor in this entry. She is joined by her granddaughter and assistant, Sonia.

Pokémon Sword and Shield - Characters

The player will have to face several gyms before they are able to take on the champion, and it looks like each gym has a specific type like before. In addition to that, gyms will allow the use of Dynamax Pokémon and Gym Leaders will have their own at the ready. For example, the first gym leader is Milo, a Grass-type Gym Leader.

Pokémon Sword and Shield - Gym Leader Milo

And finally, the were as pre-rendered footage of the two “box legendaries,” Zacian and Zamazenta. Zacian will be representing the boxart for Pokémon Sword while Zamazenta will be taking over duties for Pokémon Shield. While the video showed the two starting to engage in a battle, they seemed to respect each other, but it did look as though they are teaming up to fight an unseen foe.

Pokémon Sword and Shield - Legendaries

Pokémon Sword and Shield will be released for the Nintendo Switch on November 15th, 2019. Individually, or as a dual pack. Though the information on what is included in the dual pack is not available. Presumably the two titles, but previous dual packs had extras such as a steelbook, or a special code for 20 potions in the game.

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Rob Hernandez

Rob Hernandez

Rob's been gaming since he was a wee lad. It all started with a NES, and a Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt combo cart one Christmas morning. Since then, he's been an avid lover of all things video. He also likes comics, manga, movies, long walks on the beach, candlelit dinners and dogs. Rob is also quite adept at speaking in the third person.