E3 2019: Pokémon Sword and Shield PreviewA solid showing for these hotly anticipated titles!06.21.19 - 6:26 PM
From the moment players step foot into the Galar Region's water gym in Pokémon Sword and Shield, the changes and new additions are apparent. Forgoing the Trial System of the previous generation, Pokémon Sword and Shield further switches up the formula by asking players to undertake unique challenges prior to facing the gym leader. Spoiling for a gym battle? First, you must overcome a water puzzle full of feisty trainers looking to stand in your way of Nessa, the water gym's stylish and sporty leader.
Trainers in gym battles can harness the massive power of Dynamaxing, the recently revealed mechanic which unleashes a humongous Pokémon with souped-up attacks on their opponent. Dynamax is limited to one use per trainer, per battle, and each Dynamaxed Pokémon will remain powered up for three turns. Gyms in the Galar Region closely resemble enormous stadiums, perfect for the new large-scale battle format, and come complete with roaring crowds belting out chants which wouldn't be out of place at a real-world sporting event.
Hidden just beyond the more noticeable additions, subtle changes which should prove useful for players in a variety of situations have been added to the upcoming pair of titles. One such feature available in Sword and Shield includes the ability to use the Y button to gain information on opponent Pokémon, check move effectiveness, and see remaining PP for party members' moves, offering a competitive edge for more casual Trainers.
While our hands-on experience was limited to the gym, including its accompanying puzzle, it's safe to say that Trainers everywhere won't want to miss these titles! They may not reinvent the entire franchise from the ground up, but based on what we have seen so far, Pokémon Sword and Shield are a pair of slightly tweaked entries in a familiar series which should appeal to longtime fans and newcomers alike.
Pokémon Sword and Shield will release on November 15th, exclusively on the Nintendo Switch!