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Pokemon Sword and Shield: Everything We Know

November 14, 2019
6 min read

At some point, we’ve all dreamed of plodding through the tunnels of Pokemon stadiums where a cheering audience welcomes us. And though we could never really be Pokemon trainers in the actual sense, it was the Pokemon games that made these dreams a vivid reality.

The Pokemon franchise is easily a worldwide sensation now, and for its huge fan following, it offers everything from anime to movies to timeless games. For the most part, these games remain loyal to the basic dynamic which revolves around becoming the best trainer in the world. But with each of these, the creators have been able to successfully add some sort of an appeal which again lures its fanbase into obsessing over it. And now that ‘Pokemon Sword and Shield’ is finally being released, let’s see what this one has to offer.

Pokemon Sword and Shield Plot: What Can It Be About?

‘Pokemon Sword and Shield’ is set in the Galar region which is known to be yet another huge stretch of land in the world of Pokemon. Unlike the previous versions of the game, Galar seems to have modern surroundings that are inspired by several landmarks of Great Britain such as the Houses of Parliament and the Cerne Abbas Giant. Like a typical town, it is surrounded by dense countryside that mostly brims with vintage cottages but the further you head into the southern region of Galar, the more you’re introduced to a lavish Victorian neighborhood. The central hub of the city, which is predominantly taken up by industries, has a “steam-punk-styled” setup.

When it comes to the Pokemon Gyms, they are sporadically spread over the entire geography of Galar and have designed in such a way that they appear to be mini football stadiums. Their inventive design probably reflects upon the football culture of the UK. The extreme north of the world consists of snow-clad mountains and the entire region is surrounded by dense forests where many Pokemon roam freely. This wild area, unlike most other regions, is not confined to linear objectives for the player and can be explored freely. In the Wild Area, abrupt changes in the weather are quite common and this directly affects some Pokemon as well.

The main storyline—pretty much like the other games in the Pokemon franchise—revolves around becoming the strongest trainer in Galar. The player starts his/her adventure with a neighbor named Hop and gets access to three distinct beginner Pokemon. One is the fire-type Grookey, the other is a water-type Pokemon named Sobble and the third one is a fire-type, Scorbunny. The player gets to choose only one of these three and though these may appear cute in the beginning, they don’t really evolve to become extremely powerful Pokemon. But, of course, through the course of your journey, you can acquire other stronger Pokemon as well.

Soon after this, the player receives a letter of endorsement from Champion Leon, which sets them off on a journey to face other renowned Gym Leaders including Alister, Bea, Nessa and Milo, all of whom, aspire to participate in the prestigious Champions Cup. While facing intense competition from the Gym Leaders, two other rivals, Marnie and Bede, also keep competing with the player. Marnie also has a huge army of fans who keep coming in the way just to make sure that the player does not make progress.

Pokemon Sword and Shield Gameplay

Like the previous versions of the game, as a player, you come across several physical and mental challenges when you challenge Gym Leaders. From solving mini-games that mostly come out as puzzles to battling the finest Pokemon trainers in the region, you have to do it all. While the puzzles are usually quite easy, combats can be quite challenging depending on you and your abilities in comparison with your opponent. The format of these combats is again traditionally turn-based and each Pokemon gets four moves, which may or may not be effective in attacking the opponent, depending on the contrast in the elements being used.

While the battles clearly take the decade-old formulaic approach, ‘Sword and Shield’ has some unique features of its own. There is this completely new mechanic called Dynamax which allows you to substantially grow your Pokemon in size. And when I say “grow in size”, I mean tiny Pokemon like Pickachu becoming as huge as Godzilla; imagine battling with something like that. But the Dynamax feature is only permitted during major battles where you’re either facing some really strong gym leaders or you’re in a very crucial battle that holds a lot of significance in the overarching plot.

According to the trailer, the Dynamax feature is also available in the multiplayer mode where you’re expected to join forces with three of your friends to take on other similar mammoth-sized beasts. But only one trainer in your team is allowed to use this mechanic, so you must choose carefully while considering all the Pokemon that you possess. On paper, the Dynamax feature might seem a bit too bizarre, but it actually works quite well as it adds more value and even increases the stakes for the big battles.

The game also promises a vast world where, with every adventure, you get to experience a myriad of cultures, most of which, are inspired by the UK. From the looks of it, it also has some striking resemblance with the depth of the world that is featured in ‘Breath of the Wild.’ Overall, by and large, ‘Sword and Shield’ is quite similar to the previous versions of the franchise but what makes it more interesting is the minor tweaks in its features and its streamlined structure that feature a never-seen-before detailed world.

Pokemon Sword and Shield Developers: Who Are The People Behind It?

‘Pokemon Sword and Shield’ has been developed by Game Freak and its publishers are The Pokemon Company and Nintendo.

Pokemon Sword and Shield Release Date: When And Where Can I Play It?

‘Pokemon Sword and Shield’ will be available for Nintendo Switch users on 15 November, 2019.

Pokemon Sword and Shield Trailer

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