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Pokémon Sword and Shield Revealed, Launching Late 2019

by Donald Theriault - February 27, 2019, 6:16 am PST
Total comments: 26 Source: Pokemon Company

It's a whole new world to explore.

The next Pokémon adventure has been revealed, along with its first new Pokémon.

Pokémon Sword and Shield will release in late 2019 for Switch. Sword and Shield take place in the Galar region, an island with a wide variety of climates and environments.

The three starter Pokémon will be the chimp-like Grookey, the fire rabbit Scorbunny, and the water lizard Sobble. Gyms are mentioned as returning after being absent from Sun and Moon.

Images

Talkback

mustbeburtFebruary 27, 2019

From the video it looks like random encounters are back instead of being able to see the Pokemon in the environment like in Let's Go (I'm referring to the part where the player encountered a Pikachu in the tall grass).

Quote from: mustbeburt

From the video it looks like random encounters are back instead of being able to see the Pokemon in the environment like in Let's Go (I'm referring to the part where the player encountered a Pikachu in the tall grass).

If that's the case I'll be really disappointed. That's one of two big changes from Let's Go that I really wanted to see kept going forward (the other being the ability to access all your Pokemon boxes everywhere instead of needing a PC).

MythtendoFebruary 27, 2019

I'm glad they fixed the one thing that made me decide not to get either Let's Go games. I thought it was incredibly dumb to get rid of random Pokemon battles (instead, they only gave you the option to catch them instead of battling them)

ShyGuyFebruary 27, 2019

I want to wield a sword and shield.

pokepal148February 27, 2019

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

Quote from: mustbeburt

From the video it looks like random encounters are back instead of being able to see the Pokemon in the environment like in Let's Go (I'm referring to the part where the player encountered a Pikachu in the tall grass).

If that's the case I'll be really disappointed. That's one of two big changes from Let's Go that I really wanted to see kept going forward (the other being the ability to access all your Pokemon boxes everywhere instead of needing a PC).

The PC thing isn't happening. Based on the gen 7 games they seem to have gone back to giving the mainline games some semblance of difficulty so they don't just bend over backwards for you like ORAS and especially X and Y did.

Mop it upFebruary 27, 2019

Quote from: ShyGuy

I want to wield a sword and shield.

Same here, it's a lot more helpful to have both!

broodwarsFebruary 27, 2019

I'm a little disappointed that the presentation isn't stronger. This looks like a 2012 PS3 game being made in 2019. I was hoping for the 1st real Pokemon console game, we'd be looking at presentation on par with Ratchet & Clank 2016 or the recent Spyro the Dragon remakes. Oh well. The game looks "fine". I just wish it looked "amazing". Hopefully, we're done with the microphone feedback that the devs have been using as Pokemon noises for the past 20+ years, if the few noises you hear as the starters scurry away are any indication.

I'd go with Scorbunny as my starter since I think it is the best-designed of the 3, but I don't like Fire Types as my starter. I guess I'd probably go with Sobble since I usually pick Water types as my starter.

Not a fan of random encounters apparently being back. That's one aspect of RPGs that should have died in a fire 10+ years ago.

pokepal148February 27, 2019

I just want the game to be optimized to run well on the Switch. That really shouldn't be to much to ask.

Yeah, a lot of people like this. That's great, I'm happy for them. I wish I could be on board. It just looks like, another one, ya know? Pick a starter: fire/water/grass, go collect 8 badges, and become champion. I've put my time in with those, and am looking for a new experience.  For a game series so built around evolution, it's taking it's sweet time.

And for a game series that brings so much joy to people of all ages, a series that has built a massive community, a series that makes sooo much money, I think it deserves more. It hasn't reached it's potential. I digress. It was only 7 minutes of a direct, less even of footage. I'll keep my eye on it in the directs and E3, but as of know, I'm not in. Today I saw three guys explain to me their passion. I didn't see it. I hope I will.

Quote from: ShyGuy

I want to wield a sword and shield.

X and Y gotchu, fam

ShyGuyFebruary 27, 2019

PREDICTION! Sword and Shield is getting a late port to the 3DS.
BOOK IT!

NemoFebruary 27, 2019

I thought the point of multiple versions (yellow, blue, red) was that you'd start with the corresponding Pokémon (Pikachu, Charmander, Squirtle). What's the point of having 2 versions (Sword and Shield) if you can pick any of the 3 starters? I feel like I'm missing something.

They're difficulty settings. Depending on the game, they're "easy", "piss easy", and "easy like Sunday morning".

SteefosaurusFebruary 28, 2019

Quote from: Nemo

I thought the point of multiple versions (yellow, blue, red) was that you'd start with the corresponding Pokémon (Pikachu, Charmander, Squirtle). What's the point of having 2 versions (Sword and Shield) if you can pick any of the 3 starters? I feel like I'm missing something.

In Blue and Red you could pick between Squirtle/Bulbasaur/Charmander too; only Yellow really forced you to start with Pikachu. Usually the version differences result in different Pokémon being obtainable, but the starters are shared across both versions.
In Ruby/Sapphire, for instance, you would only be able to catch the Legendary Pokémon on the cover (Kyogre if you had Sapphire, Groudoun if you had Ruby), but in both versions you could still pick between Treecko/Mudkip/Torchic to begin the adventure with.

Ian SaneFebruary 28, 2019

Quote from: ShyGuy

PREDICTION! Sword and Shield is getting a late port to the 3DS.
BOOK IT!

That would be so nice for someone that doesn't own a Switch like me.  Though the last Pokémon game I bought was X so the series isn't a must play for me.

This looks ever closer to the 3D Pokémon I envisioned as an N64 title (with better visuals of course).  Still I think they can go much further with it.  I imagined something more like 3D Zelda with full 3D cameras and everything.  This still looks like it uses a fixed camera angle so really they're still using the Red/Blue template but with polygons instead of sprites.  Imagine Pokémon meets Breath of the Wild for the type of Pokémon game I think we should be at by now.

I'm fine with random battles.  I used to dislike them in RPGs but I find too often games with non-random battles tend to feel like every battle is scripted and I feel like I'm being guided through a fixed path.  What's the point of leveling up if my level at each point in the game is essentially predetermined?  Needing to excessively grind is a pain but having the option to do so is nice if I feel the need to tweak my stats or earn a new spell/skill.  Something like Super Mario RPG is pretty good though since there are visible enemies but it doesn't feel like a series of fixed battles.

I really dug how Bravely Default gave you a slider to set the frequency of random battles and you can turn them off completely.  While in story terms that makes no sense it's very user-friendly for if you want to go back to find some chest you missed or you're retrying against a boss and don't like having enemies chip away at your HP on your way to him.  So maybe Pokémon could have a permanent repel in your Pokegear or whatever to work like that.  "Turn it on to keep wild Pokémon away!"

Pokémon actually has kind of a hybrid of sorts for battles in that the trainer battles aren't random.  You can see them on the screen.  Plus the grass makes it very obvious where random battles can or can't occur.  Caves are the exception as they play like a Dragon Quest game and it would be nice if they changed it so there were muddy sections or shadows in the cave to have grass style areas.  I haven't played Let's Go so I don't know how it does things but if the battles aren't random how does the game "hide" rare or shiny Pokémon?

CaterkillerMatthew Osborne, Contributing WriterFebruary 28, 2019

I love Pokemon, I'm going to get this for the monsters but man oh man am I super underwhelmed. I expected a little more but I should have known. When X&Y were revealed I wasn't fooled by that lame 3D. I knew instantly there would be no controllable camera and the environment would remain tiny little corridors connecting towns.

For a second I thought maybe I could explore those hills with the ancient depiction of the giant but after looking it over I see all the natural barriers and fences that will keep the game boxed in. I don't need Breath of the Wild Pokemon(all though i'd love that amount of freedom), I just want to explore big open areas with Pokemon running around and living their lives.

Having the Pokemon follow you in Heart/Soul/Lets Go was wonderful. You get a sense of scale with how large the Pokemon are and you have a nice little connection with your companion. Seeing Pokemon running around gives the game a sense of scale as if the world is living. This trailer looked barren as anything I've ever seen. I don't mind a combination of random battles and Pokemon in the over world I just want to humans and Pokemon to look like they have lives. Instead we are back to ghost world where the Pokemon don't really exist outside their balls and  battles.

I want to ride my pokemon, use them to sniff out items, dig holes, push rocks, climb walls, etc. All of which will probably happen as they have in previous games but I want to do it as if I were playing a Zelda game. More control and more freedom. The battles are as fun as ever I'm sure and I absolutely love the designs of these starters I just want more freedom in the over world gameplay. I want to get up on those hills and mountains and get lost in discovery.

So far this is just the same old lame old. 

Luigi DudeFebruary 28, 2019

It seems some people have completely forgotten just who makes the Pokemon games.  Seriously, Game Freaks where still making primary 2D sprite based games until 2012.  Expecting anything close to a Zelda style world in Pokemon is just not feasible for this company especially when they pump out a new gen every 3 years and they've only just stared HD development.

We're still a generation away from Game Freak even having the experience to come close to what Nintendo's other 3D studio's have been making.  And even then, I doubt much will change since I'm not sure the audience for Pokemon would really care for a larger world with more exploration.  Most of the appeal to Pokemon is still catching cute monsters to then train to fight other cute monsters.  With the sales of the games still really strong there's not much incentive to change. 

Lets be real here, if Skyward Sword and Mario 3D World had went on to sell over 10 million copies, we wouldn't have gotten Breath of the Wild and Mario Odyssey.  Until we get a mainline Pokemon games that underperforms, Nintendo and The Pokemon Company aren't going to do anything to cause a major shakeup to the franchise.

Ian SaneFebruary 28, 2019

Pokémon is stuck in a funny kind of rut where it's a very successful series and the games are always great... but they COULD be better.  As Luigi Dude mentioned there isn't really a reason to do more than they have.

I think a big part of Pokémon's success is that new generations of kids keep getting into it.  So maybe the series not evolving has turned off some of the fanbase but those people always get replaced with new kids.  Also Pokémon's main series has always been on the Nintendo handhelds, all of which have been successful.  Unlike Mario or Zelda there was never a mainline Pokémon game that was critically acclaimed stuck on a console like the Gamecube or Wii U that no one was buying.

I think what makes the most sense to happen is another company to make a shameless Pokémon clone but makes the gameplay more advanced to try to top it.  Most of the Pokémon clones came out during the Gameboy years.  What if Square Enix made a Dragon Quest Monsters game that used the Dragon Quest XI engine?

nickmitchFebruary 28, 2019

Quote from: Nemo

I thought the point of multiple versions (yellow, blue, red) was that you'd start with the corresponding Pokémon (Pikachu, Charmander, Squirtle). What's the point of having 2 versions (Sword and Shield) if you can pick any of the 3 starters? I feel like I'm missing something.

This Bulbasaur erasure will not stand!

broodwarsFebruary 28, 2019

Quote from: Luigi

It seems some people have completely forgotten just who makes the Pokemon games.  Seriously, Game Freaks where still making primary 2D sprite based games until 2012.  Expecting anything close to a Zelda style world in Pokemon is just not feasible for this company especially when they pump out a new gen every 3 years and they've only just stared HD development.

We're still a generation away from Game Freak even having the experience to come close to what Nintendo's other 3D studio's have been making.  And even then, I doubt much will change since I'm not sure the audience for Pokemon would really care for a larger world with more exploration.  Most of the appeal to Pokemon is still catching cute monsters to then train to fight other cute monsters.  With the sales of the games still really strong there's not much incentive to change.

Look, I don't entirely disagree with you, but even you have to admit that argument is weak. "Judge them by a lower standard because they've been repeatedly making cheap cash grabs & doing just enough to get away with it for 20 years" wouldn't be accepted for any other game developer. It shouldn't be accepted for a major developer of one of the biggest game publishers in the world.

It's 2019, and the Switch is a big success. Nintendo has the cash to throw at this thing. They didn't "need" to put more effort into this game's presentation, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be criticized for putting out a 2019 game that looks like it could have been run on consoles several generations old. It's the first real console Pokemon game, and it doesn't look like a big step up from the cheap GameCube cash-in games.  I don't think it's unreasonable to want more after the decades of waiting for a real console Pokemon game.

nickmitchFebruary 28, 2019

Quote from: Ian

Pokémon actually has kind of a hybrid of sorts for battles in that the trainer battles aren't random.  You can see them on the screen.  Plus the grass makes it very obvious where random battles can or can't occur.  Caves are the exception as they play like a Dragon Quest game and it would be nice if they changed it so there were muddy sections or shadows in the cave to have grass style areas.  I haven't played Let's Go so I don't know how it does things but if the battles aren't random how does the game "hide" rare or shiny Pokémon?

In a way, it doesn't.  Shiny Pokémon are shiny on the map, and you can see Chansey and the starters walking around.  However, the spawn rates are influenced by catch combos, in which you catch multiple Pokémon of the same species in a row.

Quote from: Morningshark

Yeah, a lot of people like this. That's great, I'm happy for them. I wish I could be on board. It just looks like, another one, ya know? Pick a starter: fire/water/grass, go collect 8 badges, and become champion. I've put my time in with those, and am looking for a new experience.  For a game series so built around evolution, it's taking it's sweet time.

They made the game without the badges in it and it was called Sun and Moon.

CaterkillerMatthew Osborne, Contributing WriterFebruary 28, 2019

I don't know who or what made Pokemon Snap, I don't know who or what made Pokepark Wii 1/2 but when I look at those games they give me a sense of what Pokemon do in their lives. I don't care what Slowpoke baby steps GameFreak manage to churn out each generation until now but there is no excuse. You get new people with the experience needed and you go for it.

Pokemon Snap is what I envisioned the mythical Pokemon 64 to be like just with battles. They started that ship and I've been dreaming about it ever since.

Catching Pokemon is fun but half of that fun comes from finding an area that houses the creature. Deep in a certain cave there is like 9 squares of space where you can actually catch a Bagon in one of the games. It's neat and fun when there are places to go off the beaten path. It's just in these games those paths are super few and far in-between and the makeup of the paths themselves are so tiny and linear.

Doesn't have to be open world or is as wide open as Xenoblade(both would be nice) but just make it look like the environments would allow for all these magical creatures and let us really explore. They can continue to recycle all the human and pokemon animations they want for the 39th generation in a row just let me do something meaningful in the world.




Ian SaneMarch 01, 2019

Quote from: nickmitch

Quote from: Ian

Pokémon actually has kind of a hybrid of sorts for battles in that the trainer battles aren't random.  You can see them on the screen.  Plus the grass makes it very obvious where random battles can or can't occur.  Caves are the exception as they play like a Dragon Quest game and it would be nice if they changed it so there were muddy sections or shadows in the cave to have grass style areas.  I haven't played Let's Go so I don't know how it does things but if the battles aren't random how does the game "hide" rare or shiny Pokémon?

In a way, it doesn't.  Shiny Pokémon are shiny on the map, and you can see Chansey and the starters walking around.  However, the spawn rates are influenced by catch combos, in which you catch multiple Pokémon of the same species in a row.

Multiple Pokémon of the same species?  Why the hell would I want that?  Unless I encounter a shiny variation I only collect one of each to fill up the Pokedex.  Is my play style atypical?

nickmitchMarch 01, 2019

Quote from: Ian

Quote from: nickmitch

Quote from: Ian

Pokémon actually has kind of a hybrid of sorts for battles in that the trainer battles aren't random.  You can see them on the screen.  Plus the grass makes it very obvious where random battles can or can't occur.  Caves are the exception as they play like a Dragon Quest game and it would be nice if they changed it so there were muddy sections or shadows in the cave to have grass style areas.  I haven't played Let's Go so I don't know how it does things but if the battles aren't random how does the game "hide" rare or shiny Pokémon?

In a way, it doesn't.  Shiny Pokémon are shiny on the map, and you can see Chansey and the starters walking around.  However, the spawn rates are influenced by catch combos, in which you catch multiple Pokémon of the same species in a row.

Multiple Pokémon of the same species?  Why the hell would I want that?  Unless I encounter a shiny variation I only collect one of each to fill up the Pokedex.  Is my play style atypical?

No. But without random battles, the main way to get exp is trainer battles and catching the wild ones.  Also, the game shows you the IVs of the Pokemon after a certain point, so if you want one with high IVs, you'll need to catch a couple.  There's also other catch bonuses for having a long combo.

nickmitchMarch 01, 2019

Quote from: Caterkiller

I don't know who or what made Pokemon Snap, I don't know who or what made Pokepark Wii 1/2 but when I look at those games they give me a sense of what Pokemon do in their lives. I don't care what Slowpoke baby steps GameFreak manage to churn out each generation until now but there is no excuse. You get new people with the experience needed and you go for it.

Pokemon Snap is what I envisioned the mythical Pokemon 64 to be like just with battles. They started that ship and I've been dreaming about it ever since.

Catching Pokemon is fun but half of that fun comes from finding an area that houses the creature. Deep in a certain cave there is like 9 squares of space where you can actually catch a Bagon in one of the games. It's neat and fun when there are places to go off the beaten path. It's just in these games those paths are super few and far in-between and the makeup of the paths themselves are so tiny and linear.

Doesn't have to be open world or is as wide open as Xenoblade(both would be nice) but just make it look like the environments would allow for all these magical creatures and let us really explore. They can continue to recycle all the human and pokemon animations they want for the 39th generation in a row just let me do something meaningful in the world.

I feel like Sun/Moon was almost exactly what you're talking about.  There's a good couple of nooks and crannies for you to find some rare Pokemon.  If you wanna see what they do in their lives, well to catch a Sableye you have to find a Carbink and hope it calls for help. The Sableye then shows up to eat the Carbink.

And Pokemon Snap was just an on-rails series of scripted events.  You do almost no actual exploring.

CaterkillerMatthew Osborne, Contributing WriterMarch 06, 2019

Quote from: nickmitch

Quote from: Caterkiller

I don't know who or what made Pokemon Snap, I don't know who or what made Pokepark Wii 1/2 but when I look at those games they give me a sense of what Pokemon do in their lives. I don't care what Slowpoke baby steps GameFreak manage to churn out each generation until now but there is no excuse. You get new people with the experience needed and you go for it.

Pokemon Snap is what I envisioned the mythical Pokemon 64 to be like just with battles. They started that ship and I've been dreaming about it ever since.

Catching Pokemon is fun but half of that fun comes from finding an area that houses the creature. Deep in a certain cave there is like 9 squares of space where you can actually catch a Bagon in one of the games. It's neat and fun when there are places to go off the beaten path. It's just in these games those paths are super few and far in-between and the makeup of the paths themselves are so tiny and linear.

Doesn't have to be open world or is as wide open as Xenoblade(both would be nice) but just make it look like the environments would allow for all these magical creatures and let us really explore. They can continue to recycle all the human and pokemon animations they want for the 39th generation in a row just let me do something meaningful in the world.

I feel like Sun/Moon was almost exactly what you're talking about.  There's a good couple of nooks and crannies for you to find some rare Pokemon.  If you wanna see what they do in their lives, well to catch a Sableye you have to find a Carbink and hope it calls for help. The Sableye then shows up to eat the Carbink.

And Pokemon Snap was just an on-rails series of scripted events. You do almost no actual exploring.

Every Pokemon game has the hidden path here and there to discover something new. How these paths are presented is the problem. So many of Sun and Moon routes are as narrow and linear as any pokemon game gets. Ever so often the camera shifts and everything looks so big and wide open but it's all an illusion.

I bring up Pokemon snap not for the exploration factor but obviously for the immersion that it brings. That world looks lived in.

Now I do I like that with each new main line game Pokemon in the over world are more frequent. Wingle, Pidgey, and Murkrow fly around going about their business. In towns you might see the odd Hypno here or there just doing its stalker thing. On the farm the Touros and Mitank are living their lives and in everyone's home something is out and about just living. I want more of that but everywhere.

Pokemon Snap, scripted events or not, is what I want a Pokemon over world to look like more or less. When I look at Xenoblade I see horse like creatures running together across a field or drinking together at a water hole. Pokemon doesn't need to be any more complex than that AI wise in the over world. Granted there will eventually be over 1000 of them but that doesn't mean anything. Make a regional pokedex with say 500 or so and if you consider evolutions that may not exist in the wild you probably only need about half of that actually existing in the over world. With far less actually doing something meaningful for the odd event or side quest.

Certain rodents, horses, canines, felines, snakes, amorphous blobs, snails, birds, etc can be rigged very similarly in the over world to cut down on the animations needed. There is already walking and running over world animations for EVERY SINGLE POKEMON up to ultra sun and ultra moon. I mean how different do Ponyta/Rapidash have to move in the over world in comparison to Stantler, Sawsbuck, Blitzle and Zebstrika? On the same note perching birds flap, hop and peck all pretty similarly. Don't get me started on floaters like almost all the ghosts, Koffing, Magnemite, Vanilluxe, and so on.

I don't know nothing about the animation process but considering what is already available internally the man power to have the Pokemon roaming around the over world is not unreasonable.

You know those little picture modes in Sun and Moon? Look over a bridge and see the Pokemon up and about living? That but on a full game scale. It can be done.

Thats what I want. Not some barren waste land where every Pokemon is an invisible ghost. I want wide open areas and I want to be able to climb over a knee high railing to stand up on a hill.

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