Gamefreak Releases More News About Pokémon Sword and Shield
On February 27, 2019, Gamefreak meets fans expectations with the introduction of Pokémon Sword and Shield. In a previous review, I review in detail about what happens in the previous Pokémon Direct. After the last Pokémon Direct, many fans were wanting more information than what Gamefreak was willing to provide. However, on May 27th, 2019, Nintendo of America as well as Gamefreak sent out tweets on Twitter about a new Pokémon direct. The new direct was set for June 5th, 2019. Gamefreak has a lot of pressure on their shoulders to release some well deserve information. This conference sure did deliver on significant information for Pokémon Sword and Shield. In this review, we’re going to discuss the new Pokémon, the new Wild Area, Max Raid Battles, Dynamaxing, the new companions, and the new gyms that the Pokémon Direct released.
New Wild Pokémon Appear in Pokémon Direct
Within this new Pokémon Direct, there are quite a few never before seen Pokémon. This is the most exciting time for fans of the Pokémon series. Being able to see what fans have been speculating for months is incredibly exciting. Gamefreak didn’t disappoint fans when five new Pokémon were released. These Pokémon weren’t the only ones that were announced. Gamefreak also announced the two new legendary Pokémon Zacian and Zamazenta. Each Pokémon is unique and fits well within the Galar Region. The seven Pokémon that Gamefreak did release are Wooloo, Gossifleur, Eldegoss, Drednaw, Corviknight, Zacian, and Zamazenta.
Counting Wooloo, Mareep’s Cousin
The first Pokémon I want to examine closer is the sheep Pokémon, Wooloo. Wooloo is a white, adorable sheep that is the first Pokémon that the direct reveals. I’m interested to see what Wooloo’s evolution is going to be. A possibility to Wooloo’s evolution would be like the sheep Pokémon, Flaaffy. There’s been a lot of similarities between Wooloo and the electric Pokémon, Mareep. On the other hand, having a unique evolution will be important for Wooloo. Perhaps the evolution of Wooloo will be a larger sheep with an abundance of wool. It will be interesting to see what typing this adorable sheep will become. I could see Wooloo’s evolutions becoming a fairy type. It will be exciting in the next months to come to see what Wooloo’s evolution will be. Just as Wooloo has potential, so does our next Pokémon, Gossifleur.
Potential Grass Type Team Member, Gossifleur
The next Pokémon that we see is the flower Pokémon, Gossifleur. From looking at this Pokémon, Gossifleur looks to be either a grass type or a fairy type Pokémon. Within the direct, we see Gossifleur appear in a small town. This Pokémon seems to be standing in front of a flower shop. It’s common for beginning grass Pokémon to appear within the beginning of every game. In previous games, there are Pokémon like Oddish and Sewaddle for instance that would appear. These Pokémon are a steppingstone into people’s eventual team members. For many players, being able to have team members who can disrupt weaknesses of others is important. However, not much information reveals the potential of Gossifleur. With that being said, the direct did reveal the evolution of Gossifleur, Eldegoss.
The Pokémon Direct Reveals the First Evolution Pokémon, Eldegoss
Eldegoss is the evolution of Gossifleur. The design of this Pokémon makes it clear that it’s an evolutionary stage above Gossifleur. It’s currently unknown if this Pokémon is going to evolve. For many grass types, there’s usually two evolutions. However, this isn’t true with all grass type Pokémon. For example, the grass Pokémon Tangela only has one evolution which its name is Tangrowth. Since there’s still not a lot of information about Eldegoss, we don’t exactly know what its typing nor its ability. From speculation, Eldegoss looks like a grass type, possibly a fairy type. Even from the design alone, Eldegoss looks like it might get another evolution. I could see Eldergoss’s evolution being something like the Grass and Fairy type Pokémon, Florges. Being able to see Eldegoss evolve would be exciting. On the other hand, there’s one Pokémon named Drednaw who’s more than likely going to get an evolution.
The Tons of Potential Pokémon, Drednaw
One of the Pokémon that Gamefreak reveals is Drednaw. Drednaw is a turtle like Pokémon with rocks jabbing out of its body. This Pokémon reminds me of a combination of the Pokémon Grotle, Tyrantrum, and Croconaw. From design alone, Drednaw is more than likely a rock type Pokémon. This Pokémon has a ton of potential to become many things. Unfortunately, not a lot of information has been released about this Pokémon. There could be a possibility of Drednaw being a new fossil Pokémon. Unless, Gamefreak completely turns a curve ball and doesn’t make Drednaw evolve. This is one of the reasons why theorizing is intense within the Pokémon community. Fans get to come together and discuss the potential of a well design Pokémon. Similarly, a new Pokémon name Corviknight has sparked speculation with the possible discontinuation of HMs.
Corviknight Reveals the Discontinuation of HMs
During the Pokémon Direct, one new bird type Pokémon reveals itself. This new Pokémon’s name is Corviknight. Corviknight is an armor raven type bird. Personally, this Pokémon is my favorite with the five Pokémon that the direct reveals. I feel like the art team put a lot of effort into this Pokémon. Throughout the Pokémon community, Corviknight has become a popular Pokémon for several reasons. Within the Pokémon Direct, the Art Director James Turner discusses that “the player has the ability to use Corviknight to return to towns” (5:57 – 6:07). Being able to use Corviknight to return to towns reveals the discontinuation of HMs. Since not much information has been revealed about HMs, fans are only given the option to speculate. Speculation rise highly after the reveal of the two legendary Pokémon Zacian and Zamazenta.
Pokémon Sword’s Mascot Zacian is Here
Gamefreak releases the Legendary Pokémon Zacian and Zamazenta during the Pokémon Direct. Zamazenta is going to be examined later within this review. Instead of combining the two Legendary Pokémon, I want to talk about each one individually to examine them both. Zacian is a wolf like Pokémon. There’s a crown like figure on its head. This head piece can be a symbol of a solider. I say solider because Zacian has long red strands following him with long blue fur. Also, Zacian has a long sword in its mouth. More importantly, Gamefreak reveals Zacian as the mascot of Pokémon Sword. We see Zacian lunge at Zamazenta with its massive sword during the direct. This action gives the audience the impression that this Pokémon is incredibly fast. With that being said, Zacian is a clear counterpart to the Pokémon Shield mascot, Zamazenta.
Zamazenta, Pokémon Shield’s Mascot and Counterpart to Zacian
Zamazenta is the mascot of Pokémon Shield. From my opinion, Zamazenta is my favorite out of the two Legendary Pokémon. Zamazenta is build like a knight. As discussed before, the Galar Region is built inspire by the United Kingdom. As a result, Zamazenta is built to reflect this region inspiration. Zamazenta is a blue wolf with an enormous shield covering its body. The shield is gold with traces of red and blue. There’s also a helmet like figure on its head with a blue hairpiece from the helmet. When Zacian lunges in the trailer, Zamazenta protects itself by its shield. In other words, this Pokémon has potential to have massive defense. Unfortunately, not a lot of information has been revealed about both Zamazenta and Zacian. However, one area name The Wild Area reveals a lot of information about the Galar Region.
The Wild Area Replacing Routes
Within Pokémon Sword and Shield, there’s a new area whose name is The Wild Area. From what we see, these areas are between different towns like routes. However, The Wild Areas are much different than routes. These areas are massive almost to the style of The Legend of Zelda: Breathe of the Wild. The Wild Areas go farther than any route is which raises the excitement of a possible open world. This has never been done before in a Pokémon game. Another reason why The Wild Area is so exciting is due to Pokémon appearing in the over world. Like in the game Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee and Pikachu, these games were the first to introduce this mechanic. Fans including myself, find this mechanic very useful. Within The Wild Areas, there are light pillars that appear introducing another new mechanic whose name is Max Raid Battles.
Max Raid Battles Introduces Pokémon to the World of Multiplayer
The Max Raid Battles reveals as a new mechanic in the Wild Areas. More importantly, the reveal of the Max Raid Battles shows multiplayer. During the Pokémon Direct, we see other players moving towards the red-light pillars. Once four players are around the pillar, a giant Pokémon appears. This Pokémon is random, and it can appear depending on what area the player is in. These large Pokémon are in a new form name Dynamaxing. Dynamaxing is a new form that we will discuss in the next section. Essentially, these Pokémon are more powerful that their usual form. This battling is identical to the battling that is done in Pokémon GO. In Raid Battles, a large Pokémon appears that you must take down. This type of battling introduces Pokémon to the world of Online Multiplayer. This type of playing creates teamwork and the players to work together. This style of gameplay will be exciting to see players working together. Another exciting thing about these Pokémon is the fact one player gets to do there own Dynamaxing.
Pokémon Becoming Powerful in Dynamaxing
Within the last section, we review briefly about Dynamaxing. Unlike the previous games, there’s no Mega Evolutions or Z-Crystals. However, only Dynamaxing has been release for this region. There’s not a confirmation yet from Gamefreak that there will be Mega Evolutions or Z-Crystals. Pokémon Sword and Shield has its own powerful power-up in the form of Dynamaxing. This new form is only effective for three turns in a battle. The player only having the ability to use Dynamaxing in three turns is incredibly smart. In other words, the player must be strategic to when is the right time to activate this new form. In addition, gym leaders can also use Dynamaxing within their gym battles. Gym leaders will be discussing fully in another section later in this review. Just as Dynamaxing changes the potential of the story, so does the new companions that the direct reveals.
New Companions in Pokémon Sword and Shield
Within Pokémon games, new companions are made to improve the player’s experience. Generally, within any Pokémon game, the companions are the region’s professor, the player’s rival, and the champion of that region’s Pokémon League. These individuals not only help the player along, but they try to build a relationship with the player. In the most recent games however, the companions have been less than ideal. As a result, many players have become less excited about the release of new companions. This Pokémon Direct has change my opinion on what the companions could become. Within the Galar Region, the characters that are announce are Leon, Hop, Professor Magnolia, and Sonia.
Pokémon Direct Reveals the Champion of the Galar Region, Leon
Within the Pokémon Direct, the champion of the Galar region is announce. The champion’s name is Leon. This is always an exciting time to see the most powerful Pokémon trainer within any region. Leon might have taken some fashion lessons from the Dragon type champion, Lance. A large woolly cape flies behind this champion. The other distinctive characteristic about this champion is his ace Pokémon. The Pokémon we see following Leon around is a Charizard. More than likely, the player will have to face Leon with his Dynamaxing Charizard. Unfortunately, not a lot of information is revealed about Leon. With more news that gets released, hopefully players will get some news about Leon. Leon isn’t the only companion reveal as the player’s rival is too.
Here’s Hoping Hop is a Good Rival
The player’s rival name Hop is revealed during the Pokémon Direct. Within every Pokémon game, there’s a rival that pushes the player to be better than. Within the early years of Pokémon, the rivals were a lot more ruthless. However, the most recent games make the rival into nothing more than a joke. This is especially true with the rival from Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. Within the Pokémon Direct, the Director of Pokémon Sword and Shield Shigeru Ohmori explains that “Hop is related to Leon” (12:02 – 12:05). There could be a possibility of Hop trying to get out of Leon’s shadow to prove he can be the best. In other words, Hop has a lot of potential to be a well, define character. Another character with a ton of potential is the new Pokémon Professor, Professor Magnolia.
The First Female Professor in Pokémon Games, Professor Magnolia
Professor Magnolia is the infamous Professor of the region. In every new region, there’s a Pokémon Professor that is an expert into that region. This is also the person who gives the player their starter Pokémon. It should be noted that Professor Magnolia is the first female professor Pokémon has within the Pokémon games. Granted in the Pokémon anime, there is a female professor in the name of Professor Ivy. However, Professor Ivy never makes an appearance within the games of Pokémon. There’s so much potential for Professor Magnolia. The reason why I say the potential for Professor Magnolia is huge is because she looks like the Queen of England. Since this region is based on the United Kingdom, it’s entirely possible that her inspiration came from her. There can be some potential for some hilarious moments for Professor Magnolia. Professor Magnolia has a companion that has a lot of potential name Sonia.
Pokémon Sword and Shield Reveals Sonia, Professor Magnolia’s Assistant
Gamefreak reveals Sonia who is Professor Magnolia’s assistant. Similarly, she must play a significant role within the story. Within Pokémon games, each one of them has a character that explains certain things within the story. Not so much like a tutorial, but more like to assist the player along with the main story. I could see Sonia being more of a role in the game. As the game progresses, Professor Magnolia sends Sonia to talk to the player about Dynamaxing. Like most of the other characters, not much information is release about Sonia. However, this can’t stop fans like myself to speculate what role she’s going to play. While the character hasn’t change significantly, the gyms in the Galar Region have significantly changed.
Gyms Change Significantly in the Galar Region
Throughout the Pokémon games, the gyms are challenges to test a player’s Pokémon. In the most recent games, the trial runs have caused some trainers to be extra strategic. Within Pokémon Sword and Shield, the gyms are giant. The shape of them symbolize a football stadium. The football I’m referring to is soccer in the United States. Within the United Kingdom, soccer’s name is football. From what we see in the Direct, the gyms in the Galar Region have several differences from the previous gyms. For instance, the gym leaders having access to Dynamaxing, they introduce a new Camera Rotom, and possibly have crowd energy to play a factor in the gyms.
Gym Leaders Having Access to Dynamaxing
The gyms in the Galar Region allow Dynamaxing. As a result, these battles are going to have a lot more of a challenge to them. This isn’t to say that gyms in previous games weren’t a challenge. In fact, the trials and captains in Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon were incredibly challenging. However, having a gym leader having the ability to Dynamax builds a strategy over which time is the best to use this ability. The smart idea is to use the Dynamaxing ability until the gym’s ace Pokémon appears. However, what happens if there’s a Pokémon on the gym leader’s team that is giving you problems? Do you use your power card on that Pokémon in order to make it to the ace Pokémon? The strategy for gym leaders is coming in full swing. The gyms in the Galar Region also include a new Pokémon, Camera Rotom.
Pokémon Sword and Shield Introduce Camera Rotom
Within the Pokémon Direct, there’s an introduction to a new Rotom form. This form looks to be a Camera Rotom. From the symbol that we see in the video, the new Rotom looks like Rotom Fan. This isn’t the first time Rotom has a new form. In the most recent games Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon, a new Rotom form was formed with the Poked. Since it seems like a lot of people in the Galar Region love Pokémon battles, it makes sense for a new form of Rotom to be used. However, we don’t know what the form looks like. Perhaps, this new form of Rotom will help with the Nintendo Switch’s Media Capturing. That would be an interesting mechanic to have access too. This can be the equivalent to the camera usage in Super Smash Brothers Ultimate. Another change done to gyms is the spectators of the stadium.
Crowd Energy Playing a Factor in Pokémon Sword and Shield
Within the new gyms in the Galar Region, there’s a crowd of spectators. Whereas in previous Pokémon games, there was no one watching the player. These spectators honestly remind me from the game Pokémon Stadium. In all seriousness, having the crowd affect the battle would be very interesting. This is like what is done in the Hoenn Region with Pokémon Contests. With Pokémon Contests, your score was affected by how your moves were. Thus, if you did a correct move at the perfect moment, the player would get a significant amount of points. This type of energy affecting the battle might bring some more strategy into the gym battles. Being able to keep the crowd entertained to possibly get a critical hit. Another scenario is you’ll have to do the match over again if you don’t keep the energy up in the crowd. This can be another contributor to an extremely difficult gym battle.
More Pokémon Directs in the Future
Within this review, we’ve dove deeper in the significant information that Gamefreak release about Pokémon Sword and Shield. First, we discuss the seven different Pokémon that Gamefreak announce. During the review, we discover the massive potential of the new Wild Area. In addition, this open the discussion for the Max Raid Battles. The new companions were examined as to there potential. Especially with the story we were given about our rival Hop. Strategy will become a factor when it comes to the gym leaders. Since both the player and the gym leaders will have access to Dynamaxing. Gamefreak did announce the release date for Pokémon Sword and Shield which is November 15, 2019. With five more months to go, Gamefreak will release more information in the months to come. As more information gets revealed, the more Pokémon Sword and Shield will grow as defining Pokémon games.
I greatly appreciate you reading this article. If you would like to read my last review on the last Pokémon Direct, please follow this link.
If you want to review this direct more, please click this link to Nintendo’s Official YouTube page. This link contains the entire Pokémon Direct.
Also, here’s the link that was posted after the direct on the official Pokémon website. Be sure to follow this link to read more about what’s happening with Pokémon Sword and Shield.
Nintendo. “Pokémon Direct 6.5.2019” YouTube. YouTube, 5 June 2019. Web. 5 June 2019.
The Official Pokémon YouTube Channel. “UK: Get Ready for Dynamaxing in Pokémon Sword and Shield!” YouTube. YouTube. 5 June 2019. Web. 5 June 2019.