Back in February, we got a glimpse into the new Galar region for Pokémon Sword and Shield. The reveal trailer only gave us the name of the new region and an introduction to the new starter Pokémon: Scorbunny (fire), Sobble (water), and Grookey (grass), but I was a little disappointed because it didn’t seem like they were doing anything new with the series.
The June 5th Pokémon Direct video gave us a bit more insight into the game and the region. They revealed some new features, a couple of new Pokémon, and a November 15 release date on the Switch.
Sword and Shield brings back Pokémon gyms (where Sun and Moon had trials instead of gyms) which are held in stadiums. Pokémon gym battles are huge televised events and a big source of entertainment for people in the region.
Some of the new Pokémon include the sheep Pokémon Wooloo, the flowering Pokémon Gossifleur who evolves into Eldegoss, the bite Pokémon Drednaw, and the raven Pokémon Corviknight (who is also your taxi and will fly you to previous cities). They also introduced us to the legendary Pokémon mascots of the game, and both are wolf type. Zacian carries a large sword in its mouth, and Zamazenta has a large shield on its face.
The other features of Sword and Shield they seem to borrow from Pokémon Go. There is a Wild Area located between cities where wild Pokémon will appear. The type of Pokémon you will encounter will depend on your physical location and the weather. You’ll also able to adjust the camera in this game to better look for Pokémon, items or just enjoy the scenic view!
The last feature that borrows from Pokémon Go a bit is the new Dynamax system. Pokémon can use the Dynamax system to become massive in size and boost their powers (feels similar, but slightly different, to the mega evolution from previous games), turning all their moves into powerful max moves.
If you use Dynamax, the Pokémon will return to normal after three turns, so it will need to be used strategically. In the wild, you can connect with other players and meet up at a max raid battle (similar in Pokémon Go where up to 20 people can battle a raid Pokémon). Four trainers can meet up to challenge Dynamax Pokémon, where the Pokémon stays in Dynamax mode the entire time.
The Pokémon Sword and Shield direct showed off a couple new features and some interesting looking Pokémon. I’m excited to see what other developments they have in the works.