Before next week’s E3, Nintendo opted to hold their own Pokémon-focused standalone showcase. Today’s Nintendo Direct had only one thing in mind (well, two if you want to be specific): Pokémon Sword and Shield, the latest additions to the core line of the uber-popular catch-’em-all games. While the game’s starter Pokémon were teased earlier this year, along with the Galar Region they reside in where the game’s action and adventure will take place, this short presentation revealed quite a bit more about the gameplay mechanics, other Pokémon in the region, and the human characters you’ll meet along the way.
The biggest changes to Pokémon Sword and Shield, and I mean that literally, are in the combat mechanics. There’s a new aspect called Dynamax that allows you to embiggen your Poké pal’s size, power, and abilities … but your opponents can wield this power, too. It’s a cool addition to the gameplay and looks to add some really dynamic visuals to the same-old Poké battles, but there’s another aspect we’re looking forward to as well: Multiplayer. You can team up with other trainers, either in the vicinity of your wireless Switch handheld or anywhere in the world if you’ve got the hardware (and presumably subscription service) to connect with them, for a unique opportunity coming to the new games: Raids! You can participate with three other plays in Max Raid Battles to take on super-powerful Dynamax’d wild Pokémon, working together to defeat and capture rare creatures.
There’s a lot teased in the short video, so for starters, check out the Nintendo Direct presentation below:
Nintendo’s landing page for all things Pokémon Sword and Shield are on top of things today with all new info available for your perusal. I’d definitely recommend spending some time here to take it all in, and keep coming back on a regular basis between now and the November 15th release date for more updates. Here are some of the highlights:
Grass-type Grookey the Chimp Pokémon comes with a special stick and sun-powered plant energy, Fire-type Scorbunny the Rabbit Pokémon is a powerful runner and jumper with a literal heart of fire, and Water-type Sobble the Water Lizard Pokémon is a shy guy who possesses innate camouflage and the ability to make others cry on demand. The site has the basics down for this starters, but Nintendo’s social media pages have gone much deeper:
In addition to the starters, we’ve seen a few new Pokémon in the region. We’ve been introduced to the beautiful flower-mon Gossifleur who evolves into Eldegoss, the sheepish Wooloo whose wool is prized by artisans all over Galar, the powerful flying type raven-mon Corviknight who, for reasons unknown, acts as a flying taxi for the player’s character, and the tough-to-tame bite-type Pokémon, Drednaw. That’s just the tip of the iceberg as far as new Pokémon are concerned (no number as to just how many yet), but it’s a great start. (Also, Rotom is here to lend an assist, too!
And let’s not forget the newly revealed Legendaries: Zacian and Zamazenta:
In Pokémon Sword you’ll meet the Legendary Pokémon, Zacian, which holds a shining blade in its mouth that can cut through anything. In Pokémon Shield, Zamazenta turns back any attack with the gleaming shield that covers its body. #PokemonSwordShieldhttps://t.co/qABt8LhNg8 pic.twitter.com/QJGrHsBO55
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) June 5, 2019
In addition to your allies Professor Magnolia and her granddaughter Sonia who will assist you in your travels, you’ll also face off against rival Hop, who trains hard in order to one day best his older brother and reigning, undefeated regional champion, Leon. You’ll face gym leaders on your path to be the very best, like Milo the Grass-type Pokémon enthusiast.
Literally the biggest change coming to the Pokémon games with Sword and Shield is Dynamax, the Pokémon-embiggening mechanic. This unique aspect occurs in certain areas of the Galar Region–it looks like it’s mostly confined to big arena battles and raid zones–and, while it boosts your Pokémons’ size and power set, it’s limited: You can only use it once per battle and the effect only lasts three turns, so use it wisely! However, only trainers who possess a Dynamax Band are able to perform this, so hopefully that item will be available in-game after a presumed tutorial sequence.
Another major fun-factor with the new titles is the multiplayer raid battles. You’ll team up with three trainers to battle a Dynamax wild Pokémon. Their Dynamax size and abilities will remain throughout the entire battle, but only one of the four trainers will be able to Dynamax their Pokémon once per battle, so expect this to be a tougher challenge than usual. The Dynamax’d Pokémon you face (and can ultimately capture) will change depending on which region you’re in and even what the weather is like at that particular time. Pretty cool!
Keep an eye out for more Poké news to come out of E3 next week and in the months ahead!