Pokemon fans have patiently been waiting for the first look of a new game ever since E3 2017, when the CEO of The Pokemon Company, Tsunekazu Ishihara, announced that the next mainline game in the series was in development for the Nintendo Switch. On Pokemon Day, Feb. 27, Game Freak and Nintendo held a seven-minute direct, introducing the eighth generation of the new Pokemon games, “Pokemon Sword” and “Pokemon Shield.”
The first look at these two new RPGs showcased that these games are set to take place in the beautiful Galar Region where you can explore snow-covered mountains, steampunk cities, vast open fields, gem-filled mines, battle in different stadiums and gyms in order to reach the Pokemon League and become the next champion. The Galar Region seems to be inspired by the United Kingdom because of the structure of the map and similarities.
Montclair State University junior communication and media arts major Kirk Coronacion may not be the biggest fan when it comes to Pokemon, but these new games convinced him to pick up a copy once they are released.
“As [a] Nintendo fan, but not quite the biggest Pokemon [fan] out there, I for one, am extremely hyped for ‘Sword and Shield,’” Coronacion said. “I love the new region that seems to be comparable to a post-Brexit U.K. feel, and [the game] looks to be open world. I’m curious to see what kind of new Pokemon await in this new journey.”
This new region features a set of beloved Pokemon from past games, such as Pikachu, Minccino, Flygon and even includes some from “Pokemon Sun” and “Pokemon Moon.” However, with a set of new games also comes a set of never-before-seen Pokemon starters. Fans fell in love with their design instantly.
In order to start your Pokemon adventure and explore the Galar Region, you need to choose one of the three new starters that were announced: The energetic fire-type rabbit Scorbunny, the timid water-type lizard Sobble or the curious grass-type chimp Grookey. Who would you choose as your partner to set off into the breathtaking world of Pokemon?
Derrick Bitner, writer and editor for GameXplain, a very popular YouTube channel with over one million subscribers, shared that he is looking forward to choosing one of the new starters and playing the game with stunning graphics on his television and on the go since it’s the very first mainline Pokemon game with high definition graphics.
“Right now I’m leaning toward Scorbunny, though that might change when the evolutions are revealed,” Bitner said. “I like the graphical jump forward and it’s not huge, but I never expected that from Game Freak. I’m looking forward to seeing more of the new Pokemon and what the new stadiums will offer.”
With the release of the spinoff games “Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!” and “Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee!” back in November 2018, this showed fans what the Nintendo Switch is capable of. They were so excited to see and finally learn about the new mainline Pokemon game titles.
However, many were disappointed to see the new mechanics that were introduced in “Pokemon: Let’s Go,” such as Pokemon following you around and seeing the Pokemon in the over world instead of random wild encounters that were removed for “Pokemon Sword” and “Pokemon Shield.”
The removal of old mechanics gives these games a chance to introduce new mechanics. This is still the very first look at these games. The game footage is not final, as stated in the direct. There are still many new features waiting to be announced as the developers are still trying out new ideas.
“As we work on the development of these games, our goal is to create the greatest Pokemon experience yet,” said Director of “Pokemon Sword” and “Pokemon Shield” Shigeru Ohmori. “We’re challenging ourselves to try new things while still treasuring what makes Pokemon special, so we hope you’ll all be looking forward to the adventures awaiting you in the Galar Region.”
“Pokemon Sword” and “Pokemon Shield” are both available for pre-order and are set to be released worldwide in late 2019. More information on the story of the game, new characters and never-before-seen Pokemon, including the legendaries of these games, are expected to be released in the near future.