During today's Pokémon Direct, Nintendo announced that Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, the newest additions to the main series of the Pokémon video game franchise, will launch worldwide on the 15th of November. Along with the release date, Nintendo also provided new details on new game features, Pokémon native to the Galar region, and more.
Dynamax is a phenomenon unique to specific locations in the Galar region, where Pokémon can take on gigantic appearances during battle, and it’s an integral part of Pokémon battles in the region. Pokémon from the Galar region are able to Dynamax, and when they do, they become tremendously strong and receive a boost to their power. Trainers can only Dynamax their Pokémon once during battle and the Dynamaxed Pokémon will return to its regular form after three turns. Only Trainers who possess a Dynamax Band can Dynamax their Pokémon.
All the moves of a Dynamax Pokémon will turn into special Max Moves. Max Moves are powerful, and some can even trigger additional effects. For example, the Normal-type Max Move, Max Strike, has the additional effect of lowering the Speed stat of an opponent it hits. The Max Moves the player’s Pokémon can use are determined by the kind and types of moves they knew before Dynamaxing.
Pokémon Gyms are found in stadiums throughout the Galar region and attract Trainers that are experts in specific types of Pokémon. To become Champion, players will need to defeat the top Trainer in each Pokémon Gym, also known as the Gym Leader. Spectators flock to the Gym Stadium to view these battles with Gym Leaders, which often involve intense clashes between Dynamax Pokémon. The matches are also broadcast on television throughout the Galar region. Milo is the Grass Gym Leader and is well liked by the Trainers of his Gym. His credo is to always enjoy battles and he specializes in endurance matches using Grass-type Pokémon.
The Wild Area is a vast expanse of land in the Galar region with untamed wilderness. It is full of nature and connects several different towns and cities. Trainers will find a greater variety of Pokémon living in the Wild Area than anywhere else in the Galar region. The Pokémon encountered in the Wild Area will change depending on factors like weather or location, so Trainers might see something new each time they visit. While in the Wild Area, players can control the camera to explore the vast areas around them and search for Pokémon and items.
Max Raid Battles are a new battle format that takes place in the Wild Area, in which the player will team up with three other Trainers to take on a wild Dynamax Pokémon. Trainers will then get a chance to catch the wild Dynamax Pokémon if they manage to defeat it—but it won’t go down easily. The wild Dynamax Pokémon remain in their giant form the entire battle and have other unique powers. Close teamwork is the key to success, because only one Trainer involved in the battle can Dynamax their Pokémon. Some Pokémon can only be caught in Max Raid Battles. Max Raid Battles can become even more fun when the player connects with friends to battle together via Nintendo Switch Online. If three other Trainers aren’t available to participate in Max Raid Battles, support Trainers will automatically be added to the player’s team to help battle the wild Dynamax Pokémon.
In Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, players will be traveling through the Galar region, where they will find many unique locations, such as cities where Pokémon and people work and live together. Pokémon play an important role in the Galar region where many companies are eager to include Pokémon as part of their workforce. In Galarian culture, Pokémon battles are regarded as the most popular form of entertainment. Pokémon battles are held in stadiums, where challengers and Gym Leaders face off to the passionate cheers of fans and spectators. The Pokémon League is where Trainers gather to compete in Pokémon battles and hone their skills. Players will have to battle the Pokémon Gyms found around the region as they try to reach the pinnacle of the Pokémon League and earn the title of Champion.
The Legendary Pokémon Zacian and Zamazenta are shrouded in mystery and are unknown even to those who live in the Galar region. Zacian’s attacks are so graceful that its movements captivate opponents. Holding what appears to be a sword in its mouth, Zacian’s shining blade can cut through anything. With majestic movements and what appears to be a shield covering its body, Zamazenta can turn back any attack and overwhelm any opponents that dare face it.
Battles with wild Pokémon in tall grass or caves will occur when players run into Pokémon that they can see wandering around. Some Pokémon will pursue the player once they see them while others will run away. The “!” mark that will appear above tall grass also seems to be an indicator of wild Pokémon hiding there!
Each Pokémon has an Ability, which can have certain effects during battle, while out exploring, or both. In Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, Gossifleur and Eldegoss can possess the new Cotton Down Ability. When a Pokémon with this Ability is hit by an attack, it will send out cotton fluff that will lower the Speed stat of other Pokémon.
Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield will be available for Nintendo Switch.