During the latest Nintendo Direct presentation, which was entirely dedicated to Pokémon Sword and Shield, Nintendo, Game Freak, and The Pokémon Company showed a lot of footage and shared tons of details about the latest mainline entry in the Pokémon series. Don’t worry if you missed it, the whole presentation is now available on YouTube!
Here’s a YouTube playlist with both the recording of the Nintendo Direct and the latest trailer (if you just want to watch that):
During the presentation, it was announced that the game will be released on November 15th worldwide. It will be available in two editions:
In Europe and North America, pre-orders are now live (and should be within the next few days, depending on the retailers). In Japan, pre-orders will go live on July 12th.
Pokémon Sword and Shield – Pokémon
Several new Pokémon were revealed, including the two Legendary Pokémon featured on the boxart of Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. As usual, they are shrouded in mystery, and even people who live in the Galar region do not know much about them.
Its shining blade can cut through anything. Zacian attacks so gracefully that its movements can even captivate its opponents. It holds what appears to be a sword in its mouth.
Its gleaming shield can turn back any attack. Zamazenta’s regal and majestic movements overwhelm any opponents that dare face it. Its body is covered in what seems to be a shield.
There’s also new “regular” Pokémon:
- Category: Flowering Pokémon
- Type: Grass
- Height: 1′4″
- Weight: 4.9 lbs.
- Ability: Cotton Down / Regenerator
Its pollen has a healing effect. Gossifleur prefers lands with clean water and air, and its pollen has a healing effect. Its pollen works on people, too, and it used to be a common folk medicine remedy for children of the Galar region to be given a tea made from this pollen when they fell ill.
It moves with the wind. Gossifleur travels over long distances by getting blown along by the wind. It controls the direction of its travels by twisting its body and petals.
- Category: Cotton Bloom Pokémon
- Type: Grass
- Height: 1′8″
- Weight: 5.5 lbs.
- Ability: Cotton Down / Regenerator
Its cotton fluff protects it from enemies. When Gossifleur evolves into Eldegoss, its head becomes covered in thick cotton fluff. This cotton fluff serves as a cushion, helping to protect Eldegoss’s head from damage.
Highly nutritious seeds. The tiny seeds attached to the cotton fluff are said to be highly nutritious and beneficial to both people and Pokémon. Eldegoss spreads these seeds throughout the region by sending them on the wind, making the soil of the Galar region rich in nutrients.
- Category: Sheep Pokémon
- Type: Normal
- Height: 2′
- Weight: 13.2 lbs.
- Ability: Fluffy / Run Away
An extremely fluffy body. The white fur that covers their bodies grows throughout their lives, and it will fully grow back in three months even if the Wooloo has been completely shorn. The fur is used for clothing and carpets and the like, and it is very popular as a specialty product of the Galar region.
A friendly Pokémon that craves stability. Wooloo live as a herd and mimic the actions of their Trainer or herd leader. They dislike conflict, and if they need to escape from enemies, they will simply roll away.
- Category: Raven Pokémon
- Type: Flying/Steel
- Height: 7′3″
- Weight: 165.3 lbs.
- Ability: Pressure/Unnerve
The dashing lord of the skies. It is said that Corviknight is the strongest Pokémon living in the skies of the Galar region. It can often be seen fearlessly soaring through the air. Many say that any Pokémon foolish enough to challenge Corviknight are sent running with just a sharp glare and cry from this fearsome Pokémon.
Use a Flying Taxi to travel from town to town. Corviknight possess superb flying skills and high intelligence. Because of this, many of them work for the company called Galar Taxi, helping transport people from town to town.
- Category: Bite Pokémon
- Type: Water/Rock
- Height: 3′3″
- Weight: 254.6 lbs.
- Ability: Strong Jaw / Shell Armor
Powerful jaws and muscles. The sharp, jagged fangs of the Bite Pokémon Drednaw are strong and sharp enough to bite through rock and iron. Though it has an extremely heavy rock shell, its well-developed muscles allow it to move quickly.
Putting a Trainer’s skills and morals to the test. Drednaw is known to be extremely vicious, and it takes a skilled Trainer to tame and handle this Pokémon. It seems that some Trainers will release Drednaw back into the wild once they discover they can’t handle it.
In Pokémon Sword and Shield, Pokémon can be found both in tall grasses or caves, but plenty of them can also be found wandering around the world. Some of them will even pursue you once they spot you, while others will flee. When you’re in tall grass, the ! mark will be displayed to tell you that a wild Pokémon is hiding.
Also, just like in previous entries, Pokémon have Abilities. Those can have certain effects in battle, while exploring, or both. Pokémon Sword and Shield will introduce several new Abilities, such as:
- Cotton Down: When a Pokémon with this Ability is hit by an attack, it will send out cotton fluff that will lower the Speed stat of other Pokémon!
Pokémon Sword and Shield – Galar region and characters
The Galar region is home to many unique locations: huge grassy plains, towns and cities where Pokémon and people work and live together, and more. In that region, Pokémon battles are the most popular form of entertainment, with Challengers facing off against Gym Leaders in Pokémon battles held in the various stadium throughout the region. Huge crowds of fans and spectators come cheering for trainers.
Quite interestingly, Pokémon are pretty often hired as actual workers by many companies: that’s how important they are in that region!
Here’s some of the key characters you will get to meet in the Galar region:
- Protagonist (male and female): you can choose your appearance at the beginning of the game, but it’s not clear how many options there will be.
Leon is the current Champion of the Galar region and has never been defeated in an official Pokémon battle. His personality, together with his peerless skill, has made him extremely popular. He truly deserves the title of “the greatest Trainer in all of Galar”.
Hop is Leon’s younger brother and will become one of your rivals. He and you are neighbors, and you’ll begin your journeys on the same day. He aims to become Champion, just like his older brother did.
- Professor Magnolia
Professor Magnolia is the preeminent Pokémon Professor of the Galar region. Her main focus of research has been the Dynamax phenomenon. She shares her home with Sonia and has given her a certain research task…
Sonia is the granddaughter of Professor Magnolia, and she’s Leon’s childhood friend. She’s also a young researcher, who serves as assistant to Professor Magnolia. She’s very knowledgeable and will offer helpful advice to aid you on your adventure!
Of course, the Galar region has its own Pokémon League, where trainers from all over the region compete and hone their skills. As usual, you will need to take on all the Pokémon Gyms if you want to become Champion!
Each stadium focuses on specific types of Pokémon, such as Grass type for example. They all have their own Gym Leader, that you have to defeat in intense battles often involving Dynamax Pokémon. Since Pokémon battles are extremely popular in the region, it’s no big surprise that the matches are broadcast on television!
Here’s one of the Gym Leaders:
Milo is one of the Gym Leaders of the Galar region. He has a kind heart and is well liked by the Trainers of his Gym. His credo is to always enjoy battles, and he specializes in endurance matches using Grass-type Pokémon.
Pokémon Sword and Shield – Gameplay
The Rotom Pokédex is back, though as a Rotom Phone this time around. As a regular Pokédex, it automatically registers information on the Pokémon found and caught during your adventure.
Rotom can enter various electric appliances, and do a lot more than just serve as a Pokédex. For example, you can attach it to your bicycle to go faster, or even travel over water!
A key new feature of the game is Dynmax: a unique phenomenon that only occurs in specific locations in the Galar region (such as Pokémon Gyms). It causes Pokémon to take on gigantic appearances, and become tremendously strong. However, there’s two catches:
- Pokémon revert back to normal after 3 turns, which means you need to think carefully about when to trigger it
- you can only use Dynmax once per battle
A Dynamax Pokémon can use special Max Moves, which are powered-up versions of regular moves. Those can even trigger powerful additional effects: for example, Max Strike (Normal-type) lowers the Speed stats of your opponent. The Max Moves that a given Pokémon can use are determined by the kind and types of moves they knew before Dynamaxing.
Dynamax is an integral part of Pokémon battles in the Galar region, and require an item known as Dynmax Band. It’s also the topic of much research, and the band is actually the product of such research.
Wild Dynamax Pokémon battles are known as Max Raid Battles: a new battle format where up to 4 players can team up in order to take down wild Dynamax Pokémon. You will even get a chance to catch it, if you manage to defeat it that is…
There’s key differences with regular Dynamax battles is that during a Max Raid Battle, the wild Dynamax Pokémon stay in their Dynamax form during the entire battle, and they get various unique powers too. Don’t expect an easy fight!
There’s some things to keep in mind:
- only one member of the group can Dynamax a Pokémon during battle, and only once
- if you do not have 3 others players to play with, support Trainers (controlled by the AI) will assist you
Unsurprisingly, the wild Dynamax Pokémon you will face vary based on where you are in the Wild Area (see below for more details about that), but also the weather (which changes every day). For example, Steenee shows up when it’s sunny, and Lanturn when it’s raining.
You can take part in Max Raid Battles with any players via local wireless, but also via the internet (requires Nintendo Switch Online subscription).
Pokémon Sword and Shield also introduces a major change: the Wild Area, which seemingly replaces the usual Routes from previous Pokémon games.
The Galar region features a vaste expanse of land, known as the Wild Area, which is full of nature, and connects the various towns and cities. There’s a lot of Pokémon living there, with some appearing only in specific locations or in specific weather.
Also, while exploring the Wild Area, you have full control of the camera, which is a first for the Pokémon series. This will allow you to search for Pokémon and items freely!
Pokémon Sword and Shield (Switch) comes out on November 15th worldwide. The Upcoming Games page has been updated!