Pokemon Sword and Shield Gameplay - Top 10 Features We're Excited For

Pokemon Sword and Shield Gameplay
New game, here we come!

Where were you when the news dropped about Pokemon Sword and Shield? Did you roll your eyes, or scream in excitement? Maybe you were impartial, and figured you’d wait to give your opinion until the game actually comes out.

While this article may not change your opinion about the game, you can’t deny your curiosity.

That’s probably what made your search for more information about the games.

With the new Pokemon title coming to the Nintendo Switch on November 15, 2019, this article will detail the top ten things to be excited about for Pokemon Sword and Shield. 

#10 Galar Region

New Region to explore

Galar is the newest region in the Pokemon Universe. Nintendo has used real places as inspiration for their games. Sword and Shield is based off of England. It will be exciting to see how they tribute the region to its real world counterpart. It is a combination of various environments. From grassy fields, big cities and countryside to snow covered mountains, this region will provide a plethora of visual beauty. Not only will it be pretty to look at, but it will also be a new experience for novel and veteran players.    

#9 New Characters

Player and Rival Hop

Galar region will also provide new characters to get to know on your adventure. Characters can make or break a Pokemon game. A rival that is “too nice” or not challenging will be viewed as lack luster, and be easily forgotten. A rival who has a strong personality or is a challenge to beat will resonate more with players.  

Trailers for the game have given us a few snippets of knowledge on some of these new characters. Leon is the new Champion of the region. His distinct game design and trademark Charizard make him look like a formidable opponent. Professor Magnolia is the new professor of the region, and has her granddaughter, Sonia, as her assistant. Lastly, Hop is your new rival and the younger brother to Leon. 

The fact that many of the new character have familial ties to one another seems to hint to there being important plot points and character development related to these facts (no pun intended). Previous titles have used these family ties to fuel character motivations as well as major plot points. It wouldn’t be a surprise for this new title to do the same. 

#8 Main Pokemon Game on the Nintendo Switch

Promise of good graphics, sound and new Pokemon

Any veteran Pokemon player will tell you that all Pokemon games have been on handheld consoles. The fact that Pokemon will be able to be broadcast on the big screen is mind blowing. The graphics from Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee already showed how powerful the Switch system is, and how much ability it gives to the game developers. Pokemon Sword and Shield is the first Pokemon game coming to a home console. Previous generations have been on portable consoles that had limited capabilities when it came to graphics and coding. The Nintendo switch offers more power and space as compared to the 3DS or GameBoy consoles. 

The game should be able to provide better graphics and more coding within the game as compared to previous games. This will make the experience that much better when exploring this new region. Not to mention the simple “awe” factor that the graphics will bring to the players of all ages and history with the Pokemon games.  

#7 Character Customization

Individualization makes a return!

Character customization wasn’t introduced until Pokemon X and Y. The feature was a sideline addition to the game that helped players connect with the world. It also is an enjoyable way to make your character distinct and individualized in comparison to the other characters and players in the game. 

Images from various videos and promotions for Pokemon Sword and Shield have shown the main character with different clothes and skin tones. This hints to character customization coming back for Sword and Shield. It is a fun way for players to further immerse themselves into the world.  

#6 Dynamax 

That's a big o' Raichu! 

Nintendo has changed Pokemon’s forms and powered up their moves in previous games. So, what’s left for them to do? Make the Pokemon massive, of course! Dynamaxing is a new feature in the game that makes the Pokemon massive as well as more dynamic in battle. The Nintendo Treehouse video have shown Dynamaxing in action during gameplay, which shows special moves such as Max Flare, during Gym battles as well as Max Raid Battles. 

This feature powers up Pokemon, similar to Mega Evolution and Z-crystals did in previous generations. It will be interesting to see how Dynamaxing will be used in battle in Sword and Shield. 

#5 Legendaries

Woof, woof

When the news hit that wolves would be the new legendary Pokemon, most fans were unsure how to feel. Would they be cool looking? What typings would they be? How would the sword and shield be incorporated? The legendary trailer released by nintendo answered that question by showing us both Pokemon in actions. Zacian and Zamazenta are the two revealed Legendaries for Pokemon Sword and Shield. Zacian is the Pokemon representing Pokemon Sword, and Zamazenta represents Pokemon Shield. 

Both are wolf-like in appearance, and even have similar color schemes. The trailer above hints to there being a rivalry between the two, but then they seem to come to an understanding before turning away from one anotherother. This hints to there possibly being an even stronger threat yet to come.

Both of their designs have strong hints to the Medieval theme of the Galar region as well as tie into the title of both games. More information will hopefully be provided soon on their storylines. 

#4 Wild Area

Raid Battles, Weather, and Pokemon Overworld sprites, oh my!

Perhaps not the most originally named, but The Wild Area is a new mechanic in the Pokemon game that provides an open world feel to the game. All kidding aside, the area does look like it will be an important part of the game that players will utilize again and again. The player will be able to move the camera 360 degrees while exploring the area to find items and Pokemon. The Wild Area weather will change daily and a day/night system will be in place. 

The Pokemon will vary based on the time of day and weather within it. It will be a mix of new Pokemon as well as Pokemon from previous generations. Nintendo did release a statement that only groups of Pokemon from every game will be included in Sword and Shield. The game developers stated that this was to entice the player come back daily for a new experience every time when playing the game. The player will also be able to interact with others in the Wild Area. They can trade Pokemon, battle, and participate in Raid Battles together.

#3 Raid Battles

Isn't Gyrados big enough as it is?

Possibly taken from or inspired by Pokemon Go, Wild Raid battles are another new mechanic in Pokemon Sword and Shield. Four players can team up to take down a Dynamax Pokemon in these battles. They are stronger than regular Pokemon, and players will need to work together to win against it. The Pokemon will be in Dynamax mode throughout the battle instead of just 3 turns. 

One of the players can Dynamax their own Pokemon to fight against the Raid Pokemon. Players will need to plan and strategize together to win. After they defeat the Pokemon, they have the chance to catch the Pokemon. This new addition to the game will promote more people to play and work together more than other Pokemon games. 

The battle mechanic appears to be a perfect blend of Raid battles from Pokemon Go and traditional battles from the mainstream games. Raid battles in Pokemon Go have brought players together to take down powerful Pokemon, so it’s no surprise that Nintendo is banking on players doing the same for Pokemon Sword and Shield. 

#2 Starters

Monkey, Bunny, or Salamander? Which will you pick?

Every Pokemon game has incorporated 3 starter Pokemon to choose from when the player starts their adventure. Whichever starter you choose can alter the difficulty of the adventure ahead. Players have even sworn loyalty to one starter, and shunned the other two simply for not being their favorite. Similarly, Pokemon Sword and Shield has followed this trend. The three starts are Grookey, Sobble, and Scorbunny. A grass, water and fire type, respectively. 

Not much has been revealed about the Galar region for players to know which typetyping will be the best and/or easiest choice for their adventure. Many players decidehave decided which typetyping they prefer based on looks alone. The game trailer has also revealed some personality behind each starter, which has helped players decide which starter they want based on which Pokemon resonated with them. 

#1 New Pokemon

Trying to guess the typings is half the fun! 

New Pokemon are always an exciting addition to the Pokemon universe. New designs can reach more novel players as well as ignite interest in veteran players. There is also a newness to these Pokemon that motivate players to train and evolve them to see what their evolutions will look and battle like. 

It also provides a new challenge to veteran players who need to learn new Pokemon typings, and strategize how to battle with them. The addition of new Pokemon to a new region adds another level of novelty that can attract novel and veteran players alike. 

This top 10 list provided just a few reasons why players should be excited for Pokemon Sword and Shield. There will be more as Nintendo reveals more about the game in the upcoming months. Stay tuned for more news, and get hyped for the next generation of Pokemon! 

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Traveling from the Kanto region to Hyrule, Michelle has experienced various worlds and gameplay. There is no world she wouldn't like to explore!
Gamer Since: 2006
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Pokemon Black
Top 3 Favorite Games:The Walking Dead, BioShock, Alice: Madness Returns