Everything you need to know about Pokemon Sword and Shield.
Pokemon Sword and Shield
Nintendo, The Pokémon Company
Release Date:November 15, 2019
Pokemon Sword and Shield are turn-based role playing games developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo and The Pokemon Company. They are the first games in the eighth generation of the mainline Pokemon franchise, making the eighth generation the first in the series to debut on a console instead of a handheld.
Development on Pokemon Sword and Shield began in 2016, after Pokemon Sun and Moon had launched for the 3DS. In 2017, Nintendo confirmed that a mainline Pokemon RPG was in development for the Nintendo Switch, and would be released in 2018. In 2018, however, it was confirmed that remakes of the first generation Pokemon titles, Pokemon Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! would be released on the Switch instead, with generation eight’s launch being pushed back by a year. The developers said that the games would appeal to the core fans of the series, as opposed to the more accessible and newcomer-friendly Let’s Go titles.
Pokemon Sword and Shield were officially unveiled in February 2019. It was later confirmed in June that they would be releasing on November 15 of the year. Shigeru Ohmori – director of Pokemon Sun and Moon – was confirmed to be returning as the director, while Junichi Masuda – longtime custodian of the mainline Pokemon games – would return as producer. While the Pokemon Let’s Go games had placed an emphasis on gameplay in the Switch’s console mode, Nintendo said that Pokemon Sword and Shield would focus on handheld gameplay like traditional Pokemon titles.
It was later confirmed that Pokemon Sword and Shield would not feature support for all Pokemon species from previous games, unlike past games in the core franchise. This announcement was met with backlash from the community, but Game Freak insisted that the development costs and time required to build new assets and models for all Pokemon species did not fit in the schedule for the intended launch date for Pokemon Sword and Shield.
The developers cited wanting to take advantage of the more powerful Switch hardware to have higher fidelity animations and high quality for all Pokemon models. That, coupled with having to balance all Pokemon species with each other proved to be a difficult task. Game Freak had previously considered not including all Pokemon species in Sun and Moon as well, and said that it was an inevitable decision, and chose to do so with Sword and Shield. The developers gave assurances that some Pokemon not being supported in Sword and Shield did not mean they would never be supported again, saying that they would be included in future games of the franchise.
Pokemon Sword and Shield take place in the Galar region, which is based on Great Britain, with Victorian architecture and several landmarks with resemblance to British landmarks. Like with other Pokemon titles, players start out on a journey to become the strongest trainer of the region, setting out with their neighbour Hop. Players travel from city to city, challenging and beating Pokemon Gym Leaders, before ultimately participating in a Champions Cup.
The Galar region’s Pokemon Professor is Professor Magnolia, while Gym Leaders include Milo, Nessa, Bea, and Allister. The Pokemon League’s Chairman is Rose, while the Champion is Leon. Rival characters include Bede and Marnie. Marnie is a popular Pokemon trainer who wishes to become the Champion, and has a hooligan band of followers, who comprise the antagonistic Team Yell. Gyms in the Galar region are situated in dedicated stadia, where crowds gather to witness Pokemon battles.
Pokemon Sword and Shield is, like previous titles in the series, a turn-based role playing game. While the previous games in the series, Sun and Moon, removed Gyms and Gym battles and replaced them with Island Challenges, Gyms make a return in Sword and Shield. Random battle encounters also return, after having been replaced in the Pokemon Let’s Go titles by wild Pokemon that appeared in the overworld itself. The Galar region will also have several new Pokemon species, such as Morpeko, a form-changing Electric/Dark type Pokemon. Its signature move is Aura Wheel, which is an Electric-type when it is in Full Belly Mode, and a Dark-type move in Hangry mode.
Pokemon Sword and Shield introduce several new mechanics. One such mechanic is Dynamaxing, which allows trainers to temporarily grow their Pokemon to gigantic sizes and become more powerful during battles. Dynamaxing is a mechanic that is important in Gym battles- a Pokemon can only be Dynamaxed once per battle. Also including is Gigantamaxing, which is a form of Dynamaxing, which not only sees Pokemon growing in size, but also sees them changing their appearances, and becoming even more powerful. Unlike Dynamaxing, which can be done by all Pokemon, only a select few Pokemon have Gigantamax forms.
Dynamaxing also plays a role in Max Raid battles, which is another new mechanic. These are co-op raid battles playable by up to four players (though they can also be tackled alone) against Dynamaxed wild Pokemon. Scattered throughout the Galar region are portals that take players to Max Raid battles. During Max Raid battles, only one of the four players can Dynamax their Pokemon. Though Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing are new features, features from older games in the series such as Mega Evolutions and Z-Moves are not included in Pokemon Sword and Shield.
The Galar region also has an area called the Wild Area. The Wild Area is an open world are where players can roam about freely. Pokemon appear in the overworld here, while many portals to Max Raid battles can also be found. In the Wild Area, players are also given free moving camera control, which is a first for the series. The Wild Area has dynamic weather patterns, with the current weather conditions affecting what sort of wild Pokemon and Max Raid Pokemon trainers will encounter.
Similar to Pokemon Sun and Moon, which had Alolan variants of several older Pokemon species, certain older Pokemon will have Galar forms in Sword and Shield. These include Weezing (which will be a Poison/Fairy type), Zigzagoon, and its evolved form Linoone (both of which will be Dark/Normal types). The Galarian form of Linoone also has a new evolved form exclusive to Galar, called Obstagoon.
Another new feature in Pokemon Sword and Shield is Poke Jobs. These are activities that players can take on at the request of corporations and universities, who’re looking for help with various jobs and assignments, such as assisting in construction or cooking. Jobs often have different requirements for Pokemon types, and completing these jobs nets players with experience points for the Pokemon taking part, and can also yield rare items.
Note: This wiki will be updated once we have more information about the game.