This morning, Nintendo released a Nintendo Direct detailing more information on the new mainline games for the Pokemon series. The direct was only about 17 minutes long, but it was chock full of new information for the series. Grab your pokeballs and join me as we go into a journey to catch all of the new information from this Direct.
When the new entries were first introduced to us, apparently there was concern at Game Freak which decided to disregard the visible pokemon from Let’s Go. This, however, has been put to rest. While random encounters still seem to be a possibility, as we see the trainer being pulled into a random battle in the tall grass, you will be able to see the pokemon roaming around in a new zone type called, the Wild Area.
It is unclear as to what impact this will have on navigation. Will Gala be open world? Will it have the Legend of Zelda approach where it is open but areas are locked off until you get the appropriate HM? Thus feeling like it is an open world but really being linear? I don’t know, but I am excited to finally fulfill my fantasy of exploring and seeing pokemon in the world.
Some changes that they announced and hinted at were also made in the Direct. The biggest (pun intended) is Dynamax transformations. Once a battle, you can have your pokemon get larger and more powerful, even upgrading some of their moves. They showed Lightning becoming Max Lightning in the direct. However, it only lasts three turns.
You will also be able to fight Pokemon Go style raids against Dynamax pokemon in the Wild Area with friends and strangers. Some of these pokemon will not become available to catch in the wild until you defeat them in these raids. They will have special criteria for their battles and be in Dynamax form for the whole battle. This is probably a way for them to get the game out earlier to us, and then slowly release some of the earlier pokemon to us throughout the lifespan of the game.
Much to the joy of the fans, Gyms are coming back. Missed in Sun and Moon, the gyms are bigger and better then ever, being broadcasted and having sold out stadiums for the battles. Gym leaders will also be using pokemon that can become Dynamax. Bringing a new strategy to the game, determining when you should Dynamax your own.
There was one comment in the Direct that made me start to theorize on a possibility. A new pokemon, Corviknight, can be found in each city and will bring you back to a city you have previously visited. This, to long time fans, is the Fly HM. But, if it is readily available at the beginning, what good is the HM? Could it be that HM slaves are a thing of the past?
Further evidence is the open world nature of the wild lands. Could we be free to explore Gala in whatever order we desire? Limited only by the strength of our pokemon as we further our journey? As some youtubers pointed out when Gala was first revealed, it is a very narrow and vertical land mass. This verticality might be our only limitation and help to make a linear path, but the idea of an open world Pokemon is fascinating.
Sword and Shield
We were also introduced to the new legendaries for the series, Zacian and Zamazenta, as well as a release date, November 15th of this year. Before closing, we were told that a bundle pack would be made available for pre-order soon, but the contents, other then the obvious duel games, and the price, are as yet unknown. Here’s to a new adventure in November.