New Features to Look Forward to in “Pokémon Sword” and "Pokémon Shield” on Nintendo Switch
"Pokémon Sword and Shield" Release Date
Nintendo revealed some more information about the upcoming Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield games for Nintendo Switch, which will be released worldwide in time for the holidays on November 15th, 2019. Both games are currently available to preorder individually, as well as in a special two-pack.
Aside from the long-awaited release date, Nintendo has also revealed some new information about the latest generation of main-series Pokémon games, including new features never before seen in the world of Pokémon, including co-op raids and a feature that allows any Pokémon to become giant for a limited time in battle. New Pokémon characters have also been revealed.
The Dynamax Phenomenon
Dynamax is a phenomenon unique to specific locations in the Galar region, where Pokémon can become gigantic for a limited time during battle (the effect lasts for only three turns, so use this power carefully). Dynamax Pokémon become tremendously strong in addition to increasing in size, and are able to use special abilities, called Max Moves, while Dynamaxing. A Pokémon’s Max Moves are determined by the moves they knew before Dynamaxing. A special item called the Dynamax Band allows trainers to take advantage of this powerful phenomenon.
Max Raid Battles
For the first time in a main-series Pokémon game, trainers can team up with up to three other trainers in a special type of co-op raid battle called Max Raids. In Max Raid battles, up to four trainers team up to take on wild Dynamax Pokémon. Trainers get a chance to capture the wild Dynamax Pokémon if they can manage to defeat it in battle. Some Pokémon native to the Galar region can only be obtained through this type of battle.
The Wild Area
The main overworld area is called the Wild Area. Explore the Wild Area to find new towns and cities in the Galar region. This natural expanse is home to a wide variety of Pokémon, and the types of Pokémon you encounter here will depend on weather and the specific environment you are exploring.
Unlike the preset paths connecting towns and cities in previous generations of Pokémon games, the Wild Area is a vast, untamed natural wilderness. You have full control over the camera while exploring this area, allowing you to fully explore everything the landscape has to offer while searching for wild Pokémon.
The Legendary Pokémon Zacian and Zamazenta
The newly revealed legendary Pokémon, and box art mascots for Sword and Shield, respectably, are Zacian and Zamazenta. These two Pokémon feature a similar wolf-like appearance and blue, red, and yellow color scheme and armored appearance. Zacian holds a sword in its mouth, while Zamazenta features a shield-like motif in its design.
According to the official Pokémon website:
- Zacian attacks so gracefully that its movements can even captivate its opponents. It holds what appears to be a sword in its mouth.
- Zamazenta’s regal and majestic movements overwhelm any opponents that dare face it. Its body is covered in what seems to be a shield.
Other New Pokémon Discovered in the Galar Region
We have already seen the three new starter Pokémon, Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble, available at the beginning of your journey in the Galar region. Now Nintendo has revealed five more Pokémon that were first discovered in the Galar region and will be available to catch for the first time in Pokémon Sword and Shield.
- Gossifleur is a Grass-type Pokémon that resembles a flower. According to the official Pokemon website, it:
"...prefers lands with clean water and air, and its pollen has a healing effect. Its pollen works on people, too, and it used to be a common folk medicine remedy for children of the Galar region to be given a tea made from this pollen when they fell ill. Gossifleur travels over long distances by getting blown along by the wind. It controls the direction of its travels by twisting its body and petals."
Gossifleur’s evolution, Eldegoss, has also been revealed. Like Gossifleur, Eldegoss is a small grass-type Pokémon possessing healing properties. Upon evolving, Eldegoss becomes covered in thick, cottony fluff, which protects its head from damage like a cushion. Within this cotton fluff is a multitude of nutritious seeds that are said to be beneficial to Pokémon and humans alike.
- Wooloo is a sheep-like normal-type Pokémon native to the Galar region. This Pokémon is covered with a luxurious wool material that is very valuable to artisans in the region. According to the Pokémon website:
"Wooloo live as a herd and mimic the actions of their Trainer or herd leader. They dislike conflict, and if they need to escape from enemies, they will simply roll away. The white fur that covers their bodies grows throughout their lives, and it will fully grow back in three months even if the Wooloo has been completely shorn. The fur is used for clothing and carpets and the like, and it is very popular as a specialty product of the Galar region."
- Corviknight is a large bird-like Pokémon, based on the real-world raven, that can be found flying high in the skies of the Galar region. Corviknight is a flying/steel type Pokémon. It is extremely strong and can carry people and Pokémon long distances through the sky. Because of its high-intelligence and amazing flying abilities, Corviknight is often employed by the Galar Taxi company to transport people across the region.
- Drednaw is a large and powerful water/rock type Pokémon that resembles a snapping turtle. It is also referred to as the “bite Pokémon,” in reference to its powerful jaw and sharp, jagged fangs, which allow it to bite through rock and iron. Though it has a very heavy rocky shell, Drednaw’s well-developed muscles allow it to move surprisingly quickly. This Pokémon is said to be extremely vicious, and it requires a skilled trainer to take on the challenge of raising it.
© 2019 Jennifer Wilber