The dust hasn’t quite settled from the announcement of Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield during February’s Pokémon Day celebration. After almost two years since the pair’s teased announcement that the Nintendo Switch would be getting “core RPG” entries into the franchise, fans were treated with a proper reveal; stating that the games are set to release in “late 2019.”
As the countdown continues — and with fans hoping for more glimpses of what’s to come — TGON rounded up the four things we want to see in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield; and twothings we hope they skip!
We Want: Open-Ish World
Though the reveal trailer showed very little in terms of traversing the Galar region, we’re hoping we get some amount of non-linearity in where we can go and how. Similarly to how Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey took our conventions of the respective franchises and flipped them — with new traversal mechanics and physics engines — it would be great to see your Pokémon trainer climbing up/swimming/jumping through part of the game to reach secret areas, solve puzzles and more, without being shoehorned into a set next path in the game.
We Want: Character Customization
I said the same thing last year when speculating what pre-announced Let’s GO! entries needed, and that’s deeper customization of your Pokémon trainer. With a United Kingdom-vibe, Game Freak could really create some exciting options for fans to create a unique sprite as they head through the newest region.
We Want: Deeper, Interconnected Story
Now entering it’s eighth generation, the Pokémon franchise has a lot of history and lore to pull from in creating a deeper, richer story for Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. Whether it’s bringing familiar characters from older games into the fray or treating these games as a prequel in the Pokémon timeline (creating domino effects leading to events in other games in the franchise), there’s a lot of wiggle room to dive deeper and create a console-worthy storyline.
We Want: Pokémon in the Overworld, Just Not How You Think
The Galar region will play host to a slew of new Pokémon throughout its varied cities and hubs. With a promise that the Galar region was built for and by humans and Pokémon alike, we’d love to see that play into the overall feel of the game. Maybe it’s doing some side quests for a fire type Pokémon needing to keep the industrial town’s main plant heated so the power stays on, or seeing the synergetic human and Pokémon work together to operate gyms, trains and more.
We Don’t Want: Hand-Holding
As we said above, we’re nearing double digits in terms of Pokémon generations. Though many new fans of the series will be playing Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield for the first time, as a first-time Pokémon gamer, there needs to be less hand holding at the start. The first gym or two always feels the slowest, because you’re greeted with the same tutorial-esque storyline as you begin your journey. Game Freak has a chance to be smart with how they introduce gameplay mechanics, and should take a page from Breath of the Wild’s book on how to teach players to play the game.
We Don’t Want: A Choppy, Online Experience
We know that the Nintendo Switch has had its faults within the online space (faulty, over-complicated voice chatting and a bare-bones rollout of a paid online subscription). We also know that many fans hope to have some level of online hubs where players can interact with each other. Though this would be a neat addition to the franchise, we worry how Nintendo will handle it and if we’ll end up getting a Platoon 2-type hub-world experience that doesn’t live up to the hype.
From the initial reveal trailer, we have high hopes that Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield will take the franchise to new heights while continuing to feature tried-and-true staples of games before it. As we await more information from these upcoming games, do you have anything you’re hoping to see? Let us know below!