Although E3 has ended, and I am grateful to have less traffic to bitterly drive through on my way to and from work (since I pass by the convention center every day), it has left much for me to think about. I will be talking about some of the games that were announced during the convention, but todays post will focus on the one and only Pokémon! As a long-time Pokéfan, there are no words that can capture just how excited I was to see more details about my next adventure in the wonderful world of Pokémon. Aside from the announcement of the lovable Wooloo and the good pup Yampers, I was blown away by just how much of the gameplay has evolved.
One of the most noticeable, and exciting, updates is that the player will be able to see the Pokémon wandering around the terrain in areas called the “Wild Area”. Initially, it seemed like they had removed the familiar rustle of grass and sudden exclamation mark (!) appearing when the player encounters a Pokémon. However, after watching the Nintendo Treehouse Live gameplay that explored a section of the wild area, it seems like both the traditional and new experience of encountering Pokémon are present!
This is one of the new features I’m most excited to explore because it just seems like it will be wicked cool to be able to see and interact with the Pokémon wandering around as they do their own thing. I also have to say that I’m happy that this new encounter experience is exclusive to certain areas of the region. I personally feel that removing that familiar element all together would have been much too odd and sudden for it to have gone over very well with fans.
One of the, if not THE, most talked about new features is the Dynamax battles. After watching a bit of the gameplay and seeing how a Dynamax battle goes down, I’m left feeling a bit conflicted about it. I can’t deny that seeing the giant Pokémon tower over the battle field isn’t pretty cool, and seeing the animations of their moves play out in this form is impressive. But….it’s seems like a bit of a downgrade from the past region-exclusive power boosts. With mega evolution and the Z-move you gained some kind of power move and the Pokémon’s form changed, but with Dynamax they don’t seem to gain much advantage aside from, of course, being huge. Not that it isn’t a pretty big advantage (literally) but it isn’t as interesting as seeing what kind of moves the power boost brings for individual Pokémon. Maybe seeing it in action in the arena setting will make it more interesting? For now, I think I’m still excited about it but also wondering what more it possibly has to offer.
And finally, something that did kind of surprised me about this game, we learned that Pokémon Sword and Shield will only feature the Gala region Pokémon in the Pokédex – this means that you can only transfer Pokémon using the new “Pokémon Home” system (basically an extensive Pokébank) if they appear in the Gala region dex. Usually, the games feature a National dex because once the extended areas open up you start to see all of these familiar pokémon from past regions.
It’s also surprising that there won’t be a National dex because in the gameplay Nintendo Treehouse Live did you can see Pokémon from past regions roaming around. So why not just include them all? Is it because they’ve gotten to such a huge amount of Pokémon that they just didn’t think the region would give them the necessary space to showcase them all? Not sure what the thought process on this decision was but from the comments of the video it seems like it’s been a pretty big deal for fans.