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It’s time to pack your pokéballs and prepare your wallets, as Nintendo has revealed more details about the incredibly anticipated new Pokémon games, Sword and Shield, during a Direct livestream on YouTube today.
The Japanese company wowed us with more pocket monster details including release dates, a new trailer and a price.
You would have thought that Nintendo would wait until its big stage-show at E3 next week to reveal more details, but it threw a curveball at us and did it a week early – wait… does this mean they have even more, bigger game announcements for E3?! We digress…
During the 15-minute broadcast, Nintendo teased us all with two sprawling, colourful classic Pokémon adventures and we’re already getting our wallet out to pre-order.
Sword and Shield will come out on November 15 of this year, which is super exciting, and will be available on Nintendo Switch.
First impressions – this game is so bright and punchy, we are just in love with it already.
The trailer shows us a massive, diverse map to explore – all of it seemingly, and rather conveniently, covered in tall grass for Pokémon to hide in.
This reveal really showed off the scale of the map, as we travel from deserts and scorching wastelands to lush countrysides and towns.
The thing we’re super excited for is that it appears to tease mega Pokémon battles that look like they could be co-op.
We see a giant, red Gyarados taking on four trainers, before one surprises us all with a huge Pikachu out of nowhere.
These giant kaiju-esque Pokémon could be bosses, or a special new mechanic to make battles more interesting – and are ominously called the Dynamax phenomenon. More on that later.
Game Freaks, the game devs, told us more about the story and what we will be doing in the title.
Once we have picked our starter Pokémon – out of Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble – we will be out and about growing our collection and taking them to arenas to battle it out for glory across the Gala Region.
We got a glimpse of a few new monsters in the next-gen, and some of them seem a bit different to what we’re used to.
Gossifleur is a plant-based Pokémon that cleanses the air. Eldegoss is the evolution and it all looks pretty standard.
Drednaw is a crocodile looking Pokémon that looks frighteningly vicious, but we want one already.
Corviknight is basically a fast-travel Pokémon that acts as a taxi… apparently. These are just some of the new Pokémon you will be collecting, as well as all previous generations of Pokémon.
(Glad to see Growlithe is still there for us to give belly rubs to.)
We were also showed the creatively named ‘Wild Area’, which appears to be an open area that changes depending on time of day or weather. Different Pokémon will roam the region each day, giving you the opportunity to hunt down new monsters to collect.
We also saw Dynamaxing. Pokémon from the Gala region can Dynamax after a while, increasing their size and power, transforming their moves into powerful new attacks.
You can use Dynamax once per battle, but the affected Pokémon will revert to its regular cute, fluffy size after three turns, adding more tactical decision-making to the mix.
And, as mentioned, Max Raid Battles – or co-op battling – let you fight with friends and other players to take on a bigger Dynamax Pokémon. If you beat the big, bad Pokémon, you can catch it with a special new capture animation and add it to your collection.
Finally, we were also shown exactly why this new game is called Sword and Shield.
Two dog-like Pokémon, called Zacian and Zamazenta, are the inspiration for everything you do in the new game, and are this year’s Legendary Pokémon.
They, unsurprisingly, wield either a sword or a shield as a weapon, which is cool. Sif from Dark Souls, anyone?
Pokémon Sword and Shield will have a global release on Nintendo Switch on November 15.