Pokemon Sword & Shield: New Trailer, Gameplay Details, and Release Date Revealed

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This morning’s special Nintendo Direct brought a wealth of new details on Pokémon Sword & Shield, including gameplay changes and a release date! Come inside to check it all out!

Pokémon fans have been blessed with information over the last couple weeks. Last week gave us a press conference bringing word on Pokémon Home and Sleep and this morning a Nintendo Direct focused entirely on the next generation games coming to the Nintendo Switch. Let me tell you folks…this Direct definitely brought the goods.

The video kicked off with a brand new trailer that shows off the sprawling, and impressive looking, Galar region. The sheer size of the areas you’ll be exploring has me eager for more and look vastly expanded from the previous generation games. Fans will be excited to know that when walking around, we’ll actually have CONTROL OF THE CAMERA. It will be easier to find items and Pokémon hiding in the bushes way easier.

Not only that, but the region will feature wild areas that has changing weather and other dynamics that will alter which Pokémon you can find depending on when you check it out. That means, potentially, you can find different creatures to capture every day.

These are far from the only gameplay changes coming to Sword and Shield, however. The turn-based battle system is once again intact (I know some were worried after Let’s Go changed things), and walking around to battle trainers and Gym Leaders is still a primary focus of the game. This time around, they’re introducing a new DYNAMAX battle mechanic. Using a Dynamax will increase your Pokémon into massive kaiju sized monsters to duke it out.

It works in something similar to the previous Mega-Evolution system, but will only last for three turns. So you’ll have to use it more strategy in how you use it. These will pop up during Gym Battles (obviously), which now look like they’ll take place in public stadiums (similar to how the anime has done it). More so, the Dynamax system extends to the rest of the Galar region with special Dynamax Raids.

These raids will allow you to work cooperatively with friends (via local connection) to battle special Dynamax Pokémon, who won’t shrink down after a few turns. You’ll have to work together to beat these tough monsters for the chance to capture them. Some of the creatures will only be available in these raids, or won’t show up in the wild until you’ve beat the Dynamax Raid. It’s a neat way to bring in multiplayer functionality without drastically changing the format.

Of course, new Pokémon, aside from the previously announced Starters, will be arriving and those were showcased throughout the Direct presentation. The most important ones, however, are the new Legendaries, Zacian and Zamazenta. These wolf like creatures are the basis for the “Sword and Shield” moniker…and that’s about all we know about them at this point!

I love the idea and how it these minor changes are doing a lot to bring the franchise more into line with modern RPGs without losing the core that makes it so appealing. I was already looking forward to this game, but after all of today’s reveals on the gameplay changes, my hype has gone off the charts. As a long time Pokémon game fan, this looks to bring about many of the changes I’d been wanting, while including new stuff to keep me on my toes…

Thankfully we don’t have to guess at a release date anymore. Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield will hit the Nintendo Switch on November 15, 2019. What do you think of today’s new info?