Forge a Path to Greatness in Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield!

On the 27th of February 2019, Nintendo held their 7-minute long Pokemon Direct presentation about the new Generation 8 Pokemon games releasing in Late 2019. Pokemon Sword and Shield, or as I like to dub it The Rising Of The Pokemon Trainer, with Naofumi as our protagonist for Pokemon Shield. If you don’t get the reference, it’s from the Isekai anime called The Rising Of The Shield Hero which is amazing and currently airing. Give it a watch.

You can visit the Pokemon Sword and Shield website here.

Finally, Nintendo and The Pokemon Company have given fans their first take a gander at Pokemon Sword and Shield, the forthcoming main Pokemon RPGs for the Nintendo Switch. The games are slated to release in late 2019 and take place in a completely new region called Galar, which is by all accounts inspired by Britain.

Like other regions in the Pokemon series, Galar is a vast and varied backdrop, spanning beautiful countryside and snowy mountains. It’s also home to an array of new and familiar Pokemon, including a new starter trio: the Grass-type chimp Grookey, the Fire-type rabbit Scorbunny, and the Water-type lizard Sobble.

Grookey

Pokemon Sword and Shield

Behind door #1 we have Grookey, a mischievous Chimp Pokemon full of boundless curiosity. It comes fully accessorized, using a stick that it keeps tucked away behind the adorable leaf on the top of its head to playfully hit rocks or, let’s be real, other Pokemon. It will be joining the illustrious ranks of grass starters that came before it, like Bulbasaur, Treecko and Rowlet, making a play for your heart and posing a serious threat to water, rock and ground types.

Scorbunny

Pokemon Sword and Shield

Next up is Scorbunny, a Rabbit Pokemon that’s bursting with energy and is always running about. It has mad hops, leaving behind trails of fire in the wake of wherever its adorable feet take it. With what look to be bandages across its nose and feet, you know this one’s scrappy and ready for a Pokemon battle. Scorbunny has got some big shoes to fill, following fire starters like Charmander, Cyndaquil and Torchic, lighting a dangerous fire under grass, ice, bug and steel type Pokemon.

Sobble

Pokemon Sword and Shield

Last but certainly not least is Sobble, a timid and (some would say) anxious little Water Lizard Pokemon that shoots out its attacks while hiding away in the water. He’s environmentally conscious, making sure to douse the reckless fire Scorbunny leaves behind and is capable of becoming invisible – an ability any introvert would pay top dollar to possess. Sobble is the latest in a long line of notable water starters, including Squirtle, Piplup and Froakie, all of which can take down fire, ground and rock types with ease.

Random Encounters And Wild Pokemon Battles Return!

Pokemon Sword and Shield

The latest Pokemon games, Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee, caused some ripples among fans for eschewing wild Pokemon battles in favor of Pokemon Go-like capture mechanics. As we see early on in the new trailer, however, it seems wild Pokemon battles are once again a central component of Sword and Shield. In the video, the player trainer encounters a Pikachu while exploring a patch of grass, and she sends out a Minccino to battle it.

Moreover, it appears the upcoming games will revert back to random encounters, much like older titles. In Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee, players were able to spot wild Pokemon on the overworld before engaging them, but the trailer for Sword and Shield suggests that Pokemon will once again randomly beset you when you walk through tall grass, caves, and other environments. What would be awesome is if in the Safari Zone the game allowed you to play with the Let’s Go capturing system, and see the wild Pokemon roaming around.

Gyms Are Returning

Pokemon Sword and Shield

One of the ways Pokemon Sun and Moon shook up the series’ formula was by replacing Gyms, a staple of the franchise since the days of Pokemon Red and Blue, with a new type of challenge called trials. As we see in the trailer, Game Freak is bringing Gyms back for Sword and Shield. In keeping with tradition, each is themed around a specific Pokemon type, and players will need to conquer all of them as they journey across the Galar region in order to become a Pokemon Champion, something I am personally glad to see.

Sword And Shield Are Still Very Traditional Pokemon Games

Pokemon Sword and Shield

Prior to Sword and Shield’s reveal, there was much speculation over whether the upcoming Switch games would be a dramatic departure for the series. Every new Pokemon generation carries with it certain expectations, and that was especially true of Sword and Shield, which are the first new generation to debut on a home console. As such, many fans expected it to be a Breath of the Wild-type leap forward for the franchise.

As was evident in the trailer, however, Sword and Shield are at their heart still very much traditional Pokemon games. While the titles are indisputably vaster and more beautiful than any previous entries, they stick closely to established Pokemon conventions. That certainly isn’t to say they won’t introduce new elements to the series. The Pokemon Company has only given us a cursory glimpse at the games, so it’s much too early to tell whether or not there will be other notable differences. Based on what we’ve seen, however, longtime fans should know what to expect from the adventure.

You Can Wear Different Outfits

Pokemon Sword and Shield

Since Pokemon X and Y, each successive Pokemon RPG has placed a greater emphasis on character customization, and it appears that trend will continue in Sword and Shield. While we don’t yet know if you will again be able to customize your trainer’s physical appearance, it at least appears you’ll be able to don different outfits. Throughout the announcement trailer, you can see the male player character wearing a red shirt and beanie, but toward the end of the video, he can be seen wearing a soccer-like outfit.

Pokemon Sword and Shield launch for Nintendo Switch in late 2019. We don’t yet know how many new monsters the pair will introduce, but the announcement video did show off a number of returning Pokemon; you can see every Pokemon from the trailer here and be sure to check out our reviews of Pokemon Let’s Go, Pokemon The Movie: I Choose You, and our Ranking Of All The Main Pokemon RPG’s!

I have high hopes for this game and have been waiting for something like this, or the Gen IV Sinnoh remake, since the release of Pokemon Sun and Moon back in 2016. The game’s trailer does not show much, but the customization, Pokemon, returns of gyms and wild encounters as well as a small look into what could be a very fun minigame in the Pokemon Stadium have made me very intrigued into this game. As we get closer to the release and Nintendo announces a demo, I will write again to announce what we know then. I feel like it is a bit early to give this game a score, so I’ll give the trailer a score.

Trailer Score: Heart-Pounding (9.2/10)

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