The upcoming Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield bring along several new features and exciting traits that many fans may not know about. Aside from being on the Nintendo Switch, Gen 8 (as it's called) is likely to have plenty of surprises along the way that will delight both long-time and incoming fans.
There's likely a ton of new things that have not even been talked about in marketing materials, press releases, special reveals, and leaks. But, as it stands right now, here's 10 Things We're Excited About In Pokémon Sword And Shield.
10 Autosave & Skippable Tutorial
You're playing a game for hours on end and something happens. Maybe the battery died or the game freezes. In any case, you lose your spot and you haven't saved in literal hours. It has happened to everyone. In Pokémon games of the past, this is incredibly common from many of the players, but no more. Players can now set autosave to be on or off and can manually save as well. This means that if you're going on a shiny hunt or needing soft resets, you can work around the new feature too.
Another extra thing to be excited about is being able to skip the tutorial. It's a small touch, but this isn't your first rodeo. You don't need an old man to teach you something like that.
9 Wild Area
The Wild Area in Pokémon Sword and Shield is a new feature that allows players to find new Pokémon in the wild or take on raid battles with other players. Think of it as a vast part of the journey over the region, not unlike traveling between areas in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The world of Pokémon isn't small and this game is meant to show off that fact.
If players are looking for a fight, they can be aware that vastly overpowered Pokémon will be available in the Wild Area as well and sometimes Pokémon will chase you down to do battle.
8 Dynamax & Gigantamax
Say what you will about the gimmicks in Pokémon like Z-Moves and Mega Evolution. But, Dynamax is the newest of a long line of temporary features introduced to the series. In this case, a projection of the Pokémon makes it kaiju-level sizes to battle it out in the giant soccer field arena.
But that's not everything. Some Pokémon have the ability to not only grow to ridiculous sizes, but they also gain new features, a process called Gigantamaxing. Your slim Pikachu goes for 1998 chunky-chu. Eevee gets fluffier. Alcremie, the new cream Pokémon, turns into a full wedding cake. It'll be interesting to see all of the new ones also coming on top of those.
7 Character Customization
In the much older Pokémon games, you'd be lucky if you could choose your own gender for your playable character. As of Pokémon X and Y, minor customization was brought in like skin color, clothing, and even eye color with contacts. It wasn't a lot, though.
That changes in Pokémon Sword and Shield, which offer some really detailed customization. Similar to Pokémon Sun and Moon, customization gets down to individual pieces of clothing but goes deeper on changing more features of the character themselves and the ability to make your own trainer card for the game.
6 Regional Pokémon
Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon offered a new twist on the usual Kanto Pokémon by introducing Alolan forms of Pokémon like Raichu or Diglett. Assuming evolution is anything at all like real-world evolution, it would be safe to assume that there could be different variations of the same Pokémon.
Different forms of Pokémon date back to the earliest games with Unown and Nidoran's male and female differentiation, it makes sense that if a Pokémon exists in a different region, it could adapt. Galar will do the same thing and it's not only Kanto Pokémon this time around!
5 The Story
Not a ton of the story has come out pre-launch; however, what has been revealed is pretty unique. This time around, the Pokémon League is called the Champion Cup and is treated more like a tournament instead of utilizing the conventional Elite Four, where the badges just qualify you for it. In addition, Professor Magnolia and her granddaughter, Sonia, will likely play a big part in the story.
As with Sun and Moon. there's an edgy character that is treated as one of your three rivals, Marnie in the new games. The evil team as we know it is called Team Yell and they're just super-fans of Marnie. As of pre-launch, it's unsure if they're the main villains or if the games will have something bigger as a surprise. Hop is simply a nice kid, it seems. Then we could talk about one of the new rivals, Bede, but this is an article about things we're excited about, so we won't.
4 Curry Dex
Ok, look. You can complain all you want, but the Curry Dex is fantastic and you'll want to unlock every curry in the game for it. Every game has its regional treats and foods, even if they're retroactively added.
In fact, making Poffins, Pokéblocks, and Aprijuice are just some of the ways that trainers can make foods in the games in the past. The interesting part is that the curry seems to possibly include meat, which means some of the Pokémon out there are likely pretty tasty. Care to try a nibble of (what is likely a cream-based soup) Alcremie curry?
3 Pokémon Home & Pokémon Sleep
Pokémon Sleep is going to be an upcoming mobile app that will tie into Pokémon Sword and Shield that utilizes your sleep patterns for various modes and games. Not a ton of details have come out about Pokémon Sleep yet, other than the Pokémon GO Plus + (yea, that's the name) accessory.
Pokémon Home, on the other hand, is the modern replacement for Pokémon Bank (and the much older Pokémon Box). Bank was a premium service for the Nintendo 3DS that allowed players to manage tons of Pokémon, transfer in from older games, rearrange them as they see fit, or anything they needed to do. Home should make it easier to transfer Pokémon from GO to Sword and Shield.
2 The Graphics & Scenery
The towns and areas in Pokémon Sword and Shield just look beautiful. Since the game is set in the Galar Region, based on Great Britain, the rolling hills and landscapes capture the iconic feel of the United Kingdom wholeheartedly.
The towns feel much larger and alive than many of the older games that had many more limitations, and they're utilizing the engine and capabilities to its fullest. Is it perfect? Maybe not, but their marketing has shown off the best the game can offer. Plus, the Wild Area is vast and really shows off the scope of the adventure.
1 Gym Leaders & Champion Cup
The marketing for Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield hasn't shown off a ton of the gym leaders just yet, but Milo was an early stand-out trainer, bringing in a grass type gym and the new Eldegoss. Nessa is the water type trainer with a Drednaw. Depending on your game, either you'll face off against Bea and her Hitmontop in Sword or Allister and Mimikyu in Shield. That's all that is currently known as of writing this.
The Champion Cup, as mentioned earlier, is treated more as a tournament that is held for those that beat eight gyms. As the undefeated champion of the prior competition, Leon is likely to play a big part in the story and will probably be the champion to face off against during the Cup.