The internet has been set blaze! The newest Pokemon games have been revealed. These are extra special for many reasons. It is the first pair of mainline installments on a console, the Nintendo Switch. They will be introducing an entirely new regions and starters. They are also the first entirely new installments since 2016. Not to mention, they will get a worldwide release in 2019. While details from the first trailer were scant, they still offered an interesting and promising view of things to come.
First, the Pokemon Sword and Shield starters all seem like they have a lot of potential. Game Freak is going traditional on this one, with the standard fire, grass, and water options. Two of them even call to mind past starters, as Grookey is a monkey like Chimchar and Sobble is a lizard like Treecko. However, Scorbunny takes things in a new direction by being another new rabbit, a kind of animal we haven’t seen inspire too many Pokemon so far. It also looks like we may have a fire starter that has a sport theme to it, rather than a wrestling one, which could be fun. Not to mention Grookey starts off by playing a rock like a drum, suggesting a possible evolutionary line that could be musical in nature.
The new Pokemon Sword and Shield avatars looked great in the preview trailer too. The characters have clothing that seems appropriate for a little chillier climate, which is a nice change after the tropical Alola region in Pokemon Sun and Moon . They also look a little older than the regular avatars. They seem a bit taller than usual, especially when standing near other characters. We get to see both the male and female options, both in the world and heading into an arena that seems like a Pokemon League. Especially interesting is that the avatar dons a special uniform when heading onto one field, perhaps suggesting a new way to compete.
The environments look incredibly detailed. The Galar region’s map and initial towns were teased during the 2019 Pokemon Direct. We saw industrial areas. One town has a clock like Big Ben. There is a coastal town. We even have more rural areas represented. All of them are incredibly detailed and call to mind European areas. It’s not quite certain which region, but it could be based on somewhere in the UK or a Nordic country. While the Kalos region did seem rather French, it will provide an opportunity to incorporate a new culture to the series.
It also seems like things could get a bit mystical. During the locations that flew by in the brief, first Pokemon Sword and Shield trailer. At one point, we see the avatar running through some mines. There are all kinds of gems embedded in the walls, with different colors shown. Could these somehow be tied to evolutionary gems? At the center of the Galar region’s map, there is a town with a central building that has the same sort of silhouette as the mystical Sigilyph. Maybe there is a connection? When the avatar is running on a viewing deck ahead of a field, we can see some sort of primitive artwork showing a large central figure, maybe a dragon, breathing out fire while smaller Pokemon stand beneath it. Could this be an artistic rendering of a new legendary?
Clearly, Pokemon Sword and Shield have potential. New characters, a new location, and a new platform could all make for great opportunities. We might even be on the cusp of one of the best Pokemon experiences ever, due to the power this console will pack, the ability to include so many past characters, and the things we saw work in Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Eevee! . We are on the cusp of a new adventure. So far, the initial signs are looking good. Now all that’s left is to hope for the best and a chance to see how much Game Freak has learned over the year as it breaks new ground on this system.