Pokémon is a multi-million dollar series that has so far released eight generations of amazing games across twenty-three years. On Pokémon’s 23rd Birthday, The Pokémon Company International and Game Freak announced two new titles, Generation 8: Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. Not much is known about these games, but what we do know is a few key details that I’m such, much like me, gives old school Pokémon fans high hopes.
Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield take place in the Galar Region, a region filled with forests, industrial areas, snowtops, mineral caves and lush grassy plains. (Little more is known about the Galar Region, however, speculation hints towards the United Kingdom being it’s basis, but so far no confirmation on that other than suspicious clocks and the region’s landmass being close, but not exact, to the U.K.’s.) Another thing that Pokémon fans can rest easy on is the return of Gyms. Gyms were briefly mentioned in passing, confirming their existence in Galar, in fact, we even see at least one Gym (a Grass themed gym) in the teaser trailer. Trials were alright in Alola, but I did miss the old fashioned ‘Boss Rush’ type Gym Battles of the older games, I guess you could call me old-fashioned.
Although we didn’t get a chance to see any new Pokémon in the main trailer, nor the Box Legendaries, we did get to see Starter Pokémon. These three elemental companions will join you on your journey around Galar and, ideally, become your best friends in the region. The three starters also had their personalities revealed through the Official Pokémon Website. Your choices are Grookey – A Grass type chimp who is said to be mischievous and full of boundless curiosity, Scorbunny- A Fire type rabbit bursting with energy and (my favorite of the bunch) Sobble – A Water type lizard who is a shy pacifist that would rather hide than attack.
The currently un-named player characters seem to take on a more modern, dare I say, Hipster vibe, but I can get used to that – better yet if they bring back the clothing customization. (Though that was originally meant to be a Kalos only feature until fan demand had it available in Alola as well, so it’s hard to say if they’ll bring it back a third time.) Either way, It’s something I can look past. Randomly generated wild encounters also make a return, along with standard battles for Wild Pokémon. I’m sure a lot of people will be sad that overworld wild Pokémon aren’t returning, but I’m sure they won’t be gone for good, keep in mind Let’s Go was being developed at the same time as Sword and Shield, so you still have hope.
No matter what, I’m always happy to jump into a new region and play through a new Pokémon game. Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield are set to come out in Late 2019, but most Pokémon main series games come out around the 15th-25th of November, so I’d strongly guess somewhere around there. I can’t wait to jump into the land of Galar and travel the region, collecting Gym Badges with my Sobble – and I hope you’ll have as much fun as I will when the games finally release. You can find out more information on Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield on the Official Pokémon Website. You can also watch the full 7min Pokémon Direct below.