Wednesday 5 June 2019

Supersizing the Action With Pokémon Sword and Shield

 That Pokémon Direct has recently finished, giving a fresh look at the Galar region – including a Wild Area that is a vast, open land filled with lakes, trees, ruins… and Pokémon visible on the overworld. The main series is including overworld appearances – even if just in this one area, and this is also looking to be a push to that thing many people have wanted – a true open-world online Pokémon experience.

Away from the Wild Area, we got to see some more new creatures of Galar, as well as a few of the people. Wooloo looks like a real cute sheep, while Corviknight is a very fine-looking raven. Drednaw looks like a turtle, while Gossifleur is another flower-based ‘mon – which got an evolution shown in the form of Eldegoss. The legendaries of the region were also revealed. Zacian and Zamazenta representing the sword and shield respectively.

 As for the characters, we got Professor Magnolia and her assistant and granddaughter – Sonia. We got the Galar Region Champion Leon and his younger brother Hop – who just so happens to be one of your rivals throughout the adventure. One of the gym leaders also featured – Milo, the grass-type expert. Along with those were plenty of people just filling up the streets and within crowds.

The connections and crowds are already telling me we might just be seeing a story putting focus into the interactions more than ever before, with Pokémon also being a greater presence within those towns and cities. I’m certainly hoping that will come to be. There were a few pieces of footage within the Direct that felt as though they had such a vibe.

Back onto the Wild Area, this place introduces the concept of Dynamaxing within the trailer. This is the new battle gimmick, though it seems it will see less use than previous ones, as it is only allowed in certain areas – such as the gyms. As for what Dynamaxing is – huge Pokémon alert. Dynamaxing allows a trainer to take advantage of a special energy which can supersize a Pokémon, though it can only hold such a size for three turns.

Using such a feature should help very much when it comes to the raid battles. This is where you can team-up with other trainers to take on a Dynamaxed ‘mon in the hopes of catching it. Some Pokémon are exclusive to the raids, which is where that open-world online experience I mentioned comes into play. Teaming up with three other trainers to tackle such supersized ‘mon should be a great challenge, and in the third version or sequel [perhaps even in the post-game of these two] might even offer previous generation legendaries in the post-game.

The visuals and sounds have seen a boost in quality since the last trailer, and I’m happy to see them being touched up, which will hopefully continue until release. The designs are looking great, seeing more of Galar was a lovely sight, and while we didn’t see much more in terms of battles, there’s a lot that seems to have gone into making them look more expressive.

A great Direct then. Pretty much helped with a trailer that had a beautiful, if somewhat cheesy, vocal theme that feels as though it’s giving the vibe of the music we can expect to hear – and I’m pretty sure at points, actual parts of the soundtrack had been worked into it. It’s looking like it’ll be a grand adventure to run through once they release 15/November. I look forward to seeing more in the future.

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