Nintendo and GameFreak Announce Pokemon Sword and Shield – Our Thoughts
To celebrate the Pokemon franchise on its twenty third birthday, Nintendo held a special Pokemon Direct to announce the highly anticipated eighth generation of games – the first of the RPG series’ entry on the Nintendo Switch.
After the Direct’s announcement yesterday, but before the actual trailer was released, I was worried that this next generation of games would follow in the path of the Let’s Go! series; games which I enjoyed for their nostalgic qualities, but disliked for their casualized Pokemon Go mechanics. It would seem that I had nothing to worry about. Watch the trailer below to see why.
Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield are to be fully 3D entries for Nintendo’s newest console and will feature an entirely new setting, known as Galar. According to the official Pokemon site, Galar is a region filled with forests, snow-covered mountains, cities, and quaint countryside towns. If the trailer is indicative of anything, I think that we’re in for a real treat.
Visually, the games are similar to previous 3DS entries in style, but the models and textures are of a quality to be expected on a modern console like the Switch. Being able to play a new mainline Pokemon game (the first since Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon two years ago) both at home on a television and on the go via the Switch’s handheld mode, is a dream come true for long-time fans of the series, like myself. I fully intend to be one of many thirty-somethings at a coffee shop cursing at a tablet because I lost the chance to catch a shiny variant of a cool new Pokemon and no one can stop me.
The trailer also revealed the new starter Pokemon for Sword and Shield. They are:
- Grookey: a grass-type chimp.
- Scorbunny: a fire-type rabbit.
- Sobble: a water-type tadpole/lizard.
As of today, fan reactions to these new starters has been positive, with people fawning over Sobble’s adorable face while others align with Scorbunny’s likely fierce evolutionary line, which has yet to be revealed. I, however, will protect Grookey at all costs because he is perfect in every way. Keeping with GameFreak’s design expertise, these new starters are unique enough for a new generation of games and their designs are interesting and representative of their typing. I can’t praise the design teams enough for their work on creating unique monsters for each generation of games.
All in all, these new titles seem like a fairly standard entry in the series. I’ve seen some fans express that they are uninterested for that very reason, something that comes up every time a new Pokemon game is announced. On the other hand, die-hard fans like myself are just excited for a refreshingly new region and fun designs for a new set of monsters to capture… even if it means that filling out a Pokedex will be that much harder.There are already eight hundred seven Pokemon. Please, GameFreak, why are you such an unkind master?
Look for Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield to hit shelves later this year. Be sure to check back often for more Pokemon news as we learn more over the coming months!