Pack your bags, trainers! We’re headed to the idyllic Galar region for our next adventure in the ever-expanding world of Pokémon. To celebrate Pokémon Day 2019, fans were treated to a special Direct featuring the reveal of the next games in the franchise, Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. 

With a refreshed, high-definition art style, a new, United Kingdom-inspired region and three adorable Generation VIII, Sobble, Scorbunny and Grookey, the next games in the Pokémon franchise (celebrating 23 years of pocket monsters) have many of the trappings that make a Pokémon game successful.

Galar: Bigger, Better, Grander

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The setting for your journey from Trainer to Pokémon Master is the Galar region. Featuring sweeping countryside vistas, snowy mountain trails, bustling cities and more, it looks like we’ll have a variety of things to do and challenges to accomplish as we train to be the very best. With interesting hillside drawings that look to foreshadow the games’ legendaries (Meltan and Melmetal, perhaps?), we’re hoping we get a deeper, richer story than other games in the franchise. 

Back To Its Roots

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For those who *politely complained for a year* that Pokémon: Let’s Go! Pikachu and Pokémon: Let’s Go! Eevee were too easy or took the strategy out of the series, it looks like The Pokémon Company is sticking to their promise that the next games in the series would be “core” RPG titles. We see the return of wild encounters, standard battles with trainers and an amped-up gym battling system (themed battle outfits!). 

Late 2019 Release Window

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With a reconfirmed release date of “Late 2019,” we are (im)patiently counting down the days to the holiday season. With just seven minutes of footage, we know that there are many surprises in-store for us as we head closer to the release date — especially a focus at E3 this summer. 

Will we see Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield released in November like their Let’s Go counterparts or is the gaming giant going to pull a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and release it right before Christmas? 

What were your thoughts of the reveal trailer? Sound off in the comments below!