Pokémon Sword and Shield: Three reasons to be excited

Dang, it wasn’t called Pokémon Crown after all 😛 I can’t help but chortle though… The internet was surprisingly close!

Yesterday, Nintendo announced two brand new titles for the Pokémon franchise, coming to the Switch in late 2019. Titled Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, these new games have been hotly anticipated ever since Nintendo launched its nifty handheld console. And judging by the first snippets of footage we’ve seen – courtesy of a special seven minute Direct – the latest instalments are looking very pretty.

But, if for some reason you are struggling to summon excitement for these upcoming ‘pocket monster’ adventures, here are three reasons to put aside some hard-earned cash and clear some space in your backpack…

1) It’s not a remake

Some Pokémon fans were a tiiiiny bit disappointed that the franchise’s last entries on the Switch – Pokémon Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Eevee! were not brand new ‘pillar’ titles. Rather, the Let’s Go instalment was something of a souped-up ‘re-imagining’ of the original Pokémon Yellow from the Gameboy. As such, the gameplay was a little more bare bones (relative to the titles that followed) and didn’t include any of the brand new Pokémon that had emerged in the subsequent generations. (That being said, I’m only a casual trainer, so I actually found Let’s Go, Pikachu! to be top notch…)

“This never happened in Pokémon Red…”

In this latest iteration, though, the game director Junichi Masuda has intimated that there will be many new creatures to battle and capture, so presumably this means that the entire Pokémon family will be out there in the wild – some 800+ plus, if Bulbapedia informs me correctly. In which case, Pokémon Sword and Shield certainly won’t be lacking in variety, or indeed longevity.

I think we’re gonna need a bigger Pokédex…

2) A brand new region

And if, for some reason, the 800-and-something strong family of Pokémon fails to grab your attention, you can bask in the glorious scenery of the all-new Galar region. Now, there had been rumours that this new area would be inspired by the United Kingdom, and whilst this hasn’t been said specifically, there are undoubted similarities to Old Blighty. In the trailer, the Pokémon hunters are seen leaving their rustic cottages in an area not unlike Tolkein’s The Shire, which we all know was based on Yorkshire, right? God’s own country. (Actually fun fact – I live on the same street once occupied by Mr J.R.R… #ooh)

Looks just like my house, that.

On top of that, there’s plenty of rolling countryside and Victorian industry, with no end of swirling cogs and steam vents. Moreover, there’s one city that looks not-unlike Edinburgh, nestled between some mountainous, snow-covered peaks. Hmmm.

Either way, it all looks gorgeous 🙂

3) New starter Pokémon

Of course, no Pokémon adventure would be complete without having to make the agonising choice of a main companion. And to excite and thrill you on this occasion, the developer Game Freak is offering you three brand new creatures: the chimp Pokémon Grookey, the rabbit Pokémon Scorbunny, and the water lizard Pokémon Sobble. The latter, incidentally, is supposedly quite timid, launching liquidy attacks whilst hiding itself beneath the surface of the water. Scorbunny, meanwhile, is “always running about, bursting with energy” and is seen in the trailer leaving a pair of fiery footprints. Finally, Grookey has the appearance of a grass-like Pokémon, and is described as being both mischievous and curious.

New Pokémon! From left to right: Grookey, Scorbunny and Sobble.

But which to choose?! They all sound great, although I must admit I’m currently leaning towards Grookey. That being said, historically I’ve always preferred my fire-based Pokémon (Cyndaquil was my first love) so there’s every possibility that me and Scorbunny could get on like a house on fire…

So it will be a tough choice!

Damn – writing this stuff down really makes me want to play! I hope this game comes out in the autumn, although I have a feeling that this will probably be a Christmas release. Place your bets now?

Anyway, how do you feel about this latest Pokémon announcement? Are you stoked to play Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield? Does it look too mainstream for the hardcore trainer? Or is this exactly the kind of game you were hoping for? Let me know in the comments below.

In the meantime, catch up with the latest iteration(s) in the Pokémon series and help to support this site by purchasing the new games via the links below…

  • Click here to order Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!
  • Click here to order Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! 

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