During today’s Pokémon focused Nintendo Direct, a plethora of new information was revealed about the upcoming Generation VIII duo Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. In the fifteen minute presentation, new Pokémon, game mechanics, and more were shown off.
The first new thing showcased was the introduction of a few new Pokémon. Five new Generation VIII Pokémon debuted including: the sheep Pokémon Wooloo, the flowering Pokémon Gossifleur and its evolution, the cotton bloom Pokémon, Eldegoss, the bite Pokémon Drednaw, and the raven Pokémon Corviknight. Coriviknight is the most interesting of this bunch as it can be used as a “flying taxi” and takes players to previous visited areas. The Direct ended with introducing the mascot legendary Pokémon Zacian, for Pokémon Sword, and Zamazenta, for Pokémon Shield.
Next, the Wild Area was introduced. The Wild Area is a wide open area between cities of the Galar region brimming with Pokémon. Different Pokémon will appear in the Wild Area depending on where players are in the Wild Area and the current weather in the game. The Wild Area also features roaming Pokémon like the Pokémon Let’s Go games. However, it does appear the traditional random encounters will still happen elsewhere in the game. The Wild Area also features a brand new mechanic longtime fans have been begging for: Full Camera Control. That’s right! The Wild Area will allow for players to have full camera control to “better search for items and Pokémon.”
The biggest reveal of the Direct was the new mechanic for Generation VIII, Dynamax. Dynamaxing allows for Pokémon to become massive in size and increases their battle strength by turning regular moves into “MAX moves.” Much like previous mechanics in Mega Evolutions and Z-moves, Dynamaxing can only be used once per battle. Unlike Mega Evolutions, a dynamaxed Pokémon will only stay that way for three turns. Thus, players will have to decide when to strategically use the Dynamax mechanic.
Another new feature involving Dynamaxing was discussed as well. Max Raid Battles. Max Raid Battles are events that occur in the Wild Area where four different trainers can team up to take on a Dynamaxed Pokémon. The Dynamaxed Pokémon will stay in its Dynamaxed state the entire battle and has special powers that make the battles tougher. However, only one Pokémon on the player side can Dynamax during the battle, and that’s for the players to decide. Some of these Max Raid Pokémon will only be able to be caught after they are defeated here and cannot be found elsewhere.
The Direct also featured characters that players will meet along their journey. Leon, the undefeated Champion of Galar, seems to meet the player at various points throughout their journey. Leon’s younger brother, Hop, will be a rival to the player, and also wants to be champion. The Galar region’s professor was also shown. Professor Magnolia “specializes in the Dynamax phenomenon,” and she is joined by her assistant and granddaughter Sonia. Finally, a gym leader named Milo was shown, who appears to specialize in grass-type Pokémon. As battles are a huge form of entertainment in Galar, gym battles appear to take place in large stadiums where trainers can battle with Dynamaxed Pokémon in front of huge crowds.
Finally, the release date for the games were announced. Pokémon Sword and Shield will be releasing this fall on November 15. Eager fans can buy the games separately or in a combo pack.
You can check out the full Pokémon Direct below: