The first Pokémon Direct that focused solely on “Pokémon Sword” and “Pokémon Shield” premiered on June 5th (2019), and after watching it figured I would give some thoughts on it.
Starting off with new features I would like to say I’m already sold on the Dynamax mechanic.
Within specific locations in the Galar Region you can Dynamax any Pokémon for three turns. Not only does your Pokémon become a giant but their moveset turns into powerful Max Moves.
This is a once per battle deal, so you’ll need to choose wisely or Dynamax a cute Pokémon for adorable terror. Turning any Pokémon into a little kaiju is the most ridiculously awesome thing I could love out of the series now.
To make things even more ridiculously awesome we now have co-op multiplayer in the form of Max Raid Battles. In Max Raid Battles you fight against wild Dynamaxed Pokémon that stays Dynamaxed throughout the entire raid.
Four Trainers can participate but only one will be able to Dynamax their Pokémon.
Not only that but they can catch this wild Pokémon with a Dynamaxed Poké Ball. That’s right, you catch bigger than normal Pokémon with even bigger Poké Balls.
This mode can be played via local or online (a Nintendo Switch Online subscription is required).
However, if you can’t find enough Trainers near you or don’t have a Nintendo Online subscription the game will give you support Trainers for the raid, so you’re covered when it’s time to fight a Dynamaxed Bewear (no one is ready to battle a Dynamaxed Bewear).
This takes place in the next feature mentioned from the Direct, the Wild Area. The Wild Area is a natural expanse of land in the Galar Region which covers everything between the towns and is the place to find wild Pokémon along with Max Raid Battle spots.
Each part of the Wild Area will have different Pokémon, of course, with different ones showing up depending on the weather (even in Max Raid Battles).
I mean, sure. We have seen weather variable Pokémon before in the past, but it looks like they’re making this a major mechanic throughout the entire Wild Area.
This has a good “Breath of the Wild” vibe and honestly, I think this makes up for a lack of a proper safari zone we haven’t seen for some generations.
With that said, now I think we should cover the Pokémon showcased in this Direct. “Wooloo”, the Sheep Pokémon, is a cute and fluffy Normal Type Pokémon that is known in the region for its wool, which special clothing and other products are made from.
I don’t think this one is much of a battler considering, according to the website, that it’s a timid creature but that’s not going to stop me from turning it into a Dynamax terror.
Next, we have “Gossifleur”, the Flowering Pokémon, and its evolution “Edlegoos”, the Cotton Bloom Pokémon. Gossifleur is known for its pollen, which has healing effects on both humans and Pokémon.
This Pokémon could be fixed with healing moves as well as Safegaurd as part of its move pool, making a good Grass Pokémon to work with early on.
Then we got “Drednaw”, the Bite Pokémon, which is a monster that could bite a Trainer’s legs off if they’re not skilled to handle it.
This Water/Rock Type Pokémon may have good Attack and Defense stats so I think it’s a good Pokémon for a Dynamaxed Gym Battle that calls for water damage.
Moving on with “Corviknight”, the Raven Pokémon, this a Flying/Steel Type that has a fierce appearance of a black knight, which seems to be ideal for Galar’s taxi service.
It’s silly to think this bird is suitable to keep HMs away from this game, but when you have a Pokémon that looks metal enough to cause others to flee from it you know you’ll have a safe ride.
Finally, there are the legendaries for the covers, “Zacian” (“Pokémon Sword”) and “Zamazenta” (“Pokémon Shield”). I’ve already seen some hits and miss on Twitter about these two’s designs but personally, I think they’re alright.
They most likely are from the same species as “Solgaleo” and “Lunala” are to the Cosmog evolution line but not as drastically different in form.
We may learn more significance about them before the game hits (knowing that even Game Freak’s history of spoiling content in the past), but I think it’s worth noting that in the promotional video they looked at each other as though this was their first meeting ever or since ages.
And now let’s wrap it up with some human characters, starting with rival “Hop”. I know he has that friendly rival vibe that doesn’t settle with some people.
Nevertheless, I think you’d have to be a good sportsman in order to become a champion in a region where Pokémon battling is the biggest sport.
Hop hopes to make it to the top like his brother Leon, the current champion of the Galar Region. He looks kind of weird with a royal cape over his sportswear but he seems to have the swagger to pull it off, as his celebrity status helps to suggest.
Our professor for this region is Professor Magnolia, a leading researcher in the Dynamax phenomenon. Since she’s a fairly older lady we won’t see much of her on our travel, but thankfully she has a granddaughter she puts to work as an assistant.
Sonia is the Professor’s granddaughter and Leon’s childhood friend. She’ll be the cutie that will help us during our new journey and most likely the person who will teach us how to Dynamax our Wooloo.
And finally let’s end with Milo, the first Gym Leader mentioned for the series. This kindhearted buff dude is the region’s Grass Type Pokémon pro, but what caught my attention the most are the six Poké Balls he carries on his sides (three on each hip).
So does this mean that Milo’s got five more Pokémon that he could use? Or is it just for show? We shall find out for sure once “Pokémon Sword” and “Pokémon Shield” comes out.
On a closing note it sure didn’t take long for this Pokémon Direct to blow me away as they had sold me on the Dynamax mechanic.
Personally, I wish Dynamax will be the only special feature in the game and leave Mega Evolutions and Z Moves, as much as I had enjoyed those, with the 3DS installments, but we know they’re going to add them in the post game.
What I hope they do is that they have us quest for them separately instead of giving both at the same time.
However, with E3 2019 around the corner, I think Nintendo will just show the trailer to “Pokémon Sword” and “Pokémon Shield” with a reminder of the November 15th release date, maybe with some highlighted paraphrasing from this Direct.
So now we wait to see what they’ll bring back and what will be new in our journey across the Galar Region. Until next time, train on!
Robin Ek – Editor
This is a personal opinion of the writer, and it doesn’t necessarily represent the other writers (nor The Gaming Ground´s) opinions.
The Gaming Ground
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