Between the Nintendo Direct and Treehouse Live stream, Nintendo has shared even more information about the upcoming Pokémon Sword and Shield games for the Switch, following their Pokémon Direct back on June 5.
The news that’s received the biggest—and mostly negative—attention online this week is game producer Junichi Masuda’s announcement that players will not be able to transfer every kind of Pokémon species into Sword and Shield from past games. Only Pokémon that are listed in Galar’s regional Pokédex—an in-game encyclopedia of all Pokémon species captured by the player—will be eligible for transferring. Past Pokémon games have challenged players to “catch ’em all”—the official slogan of the franchise—by introducing them to the National Pokédex upon defeating the games’ story modes. The National ‘Dex consists of every Pokémon in existence, so players would have to work and strategize together to obtain past Pokémon who appeared in previous games.
In an interview with USgamer, Masuda revealed that the main reason for this decision was “just the sheer number of Pokémon”, as he mentioned the 800 species that already exist, in addition to all the new species joining the line-up in Sword and Shield. He also mentioned concerns about the game’s battle system, as he wants to maintain balance and give other Pokémon characters “a chance to shine.” As far as the decision-making process to determine which older Pokémon would be reappearing in the Galar region goes, Masuda simply said his team spent “a lot of time discussing which Pokémon would make sense in [the Galar] region.”
That’s not the only news to come out of this week. Sword and Shield will draw upon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee in a couple ways. The new titles apparently won’t have random encounters, as wild Pokémon will walk around the overworld, though the occasional hidden Pokémon may surprise players. Additionally, the Poké Ball Plus from Let’s Go will be compatible with Sword and Shield not as a controller, but for players to transfer their Pokémon into to take with them outside of the game.
Since Sword and Shield are introducing the Dynamax battle feature—in which Pokémon will suddenly turn huge in battle—Z-Moves and Mega Evolutions won’t be making an appearance in Sword and Shield, according to an interview with Masuda by Famitsu (translated by Serebii). As previously reported, there will also be Max Raid Battles in Sword and Shield, which seem similar to Pokémon Go’s raid battles. Game director Shigeru Ohmori revealed that both games’ raid battle systems were in development around the same time.
Lastly, two new Pokémon species were introduced in the Sword and Shield demo at E3.
— PokéJungle (@pokejungle) June 11, 2019
On the left is Yamper, an electric-type corgi-like Pokémon. It has the ability Ball Fetch, which allows it to retrieve any Poké Balls the player loses when trying to catch a Pokémon. On the right is Impidimp, a mischievous-looking dark- and fairy-type Pokémon.
You can find the gameplay footage of Sword and Shield from the Nintendo Treehouse Live stream at E3 below.