Pokémon, the 8th Generation: Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield

March 22, 2019

On February 27 2019, a new Pokémon Direct came out of nowhere and surprised many eager fans. The seven-minute video starred many important individuals like Tsunekazu Ishihara, the President, and CEO of the Pokémon company, Junichi Masuda, Producer of Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, and Shigeru Omori, Director of Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. These representatives from the Pokémon Company and Game Freak revealed a plethora of new footage and information for the upcoming 8th Generation Pokémon Games.

What We Know

Just like any new generation of a Pokémon game, Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield will be taking place in an all-new region. Get ready to explore lands inspired by Great Britain in the new “Galar Region”. “The Galar Region is an expansive Region with many environments containing idyllic countryside and contemporary cities. Vast plains and craggy, snow-covered mountains.”

You can explore this vast region with one of three new starters Pokémon you receive in the begging of the game. This Generation you can choose between these new Starter Pokémon:

The Grass Type Chimp Pokémon “Grooky”

The Fire Type Rabbit Pokémon “Scorbunny”

The Water Type Lizard Pokémon “Sobble”

These are the first and only Pokémon of Generation Eight that we have seen so far but looking at the Pokémon from previous generations shown in the trailer, we can expect all Pokémon sprites, as well as trainer sprites, to be textured in HD as well as receiving new cleaner shadow effects.

Speaking of HD, the overworld of Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield is a big improvement from its previous generation. The environments in these games are presented with much more depth and visual beauty, reestablishing one of Pokémon’s themes: connecting to nature. The areas in these games also show major improvement in proportioning the size of buildings relative to the player, something that each new generation has striven to achieve. There also seems to be a lot of attention going towards a special battle mode or a special type of arena that was shown at the end of the trailer. This arena also seems to require trainers to wear what looks like a soccer uniform, paying homage to the most popular sport in Britain currently.

In the gameplay already shown, players can see a wide variety of Pokémon from previous generations during battle and in the overworld. These are the Pokémon confirmed to be in the game (in order of appearance in the trailer)

  • Pikachu (Electric)
  • Minccino (Normal)
  • Wishiwashi (Water)
  • Grubbin (Bug)
  • Hoothoot (Normal/Flying)
  • Zweilous (Dark/Dragon)
  • Flygon (Ground/Dragon)
  • Braviary (Normal/Flying)
  • Wailmer (Water)
  • Meowstic (Female Version)(Psychic)
  • Lucario (Fighting/Steel)
  • Tyranitar (Rock/Dark)
  • Munchlax (Normal)

With this wide variety of  Pokémon already shown, players can expect plenty of representation from their favorite generations prior to Generation Eight.

Speculation

While the new Pokémon Direct may not have shown everything about the new region, If we slow down the video we can infer a lot about the Galar Region we will be playing in later in 2019. 

The first of these speculations might be one of the biggest ones. In the second shot of the new region, we see what looks like an arena next to a Pokémon Center. Later, we get another shot of the arena displaying a grass type insignia with the player walking towards it.

These arenas look to be the Gyms in this region and four of them can be seen from the map of the region. You can actually see three more on the upper half of the map!

First off, there is the gym in a mountainous area just north of the Grass Type Gym. Sculptures of Three Diglet or a Dugtrio can be seen carved into the side of the mountain leading up to the gym. This would certainly suggest that the gym leader specializes in ground type Pokémon.

Even farther north of that area, there is a pink and light blue colored gym in a town surrounded by what looks to be glowing mushrooms. Not only does the area just scream “Fairy Type” but there are already Pokémon like “Morell” and “Shiinotic” who fit the bio-luminescent description, so it would be safe to assume that you will square off against a Fairy Type Gym Leader here.

The last visible gym building on the map is on the mid-east side of the region on the waterfront. The gym is blue, so that’s pretty self-explanatory.

In another segment of the trailer, there were multiple shots of areas within being displayed as a camera panned around the player. The first two are a winter town and some sort of mining area. The mine showed in the trailer deeply resembles one of the cave areas in Pokémon X and Y, so perhaps players will be able to travel to the Kalos Region, given that the countries that both the Galar and Kalos regions are inspired by (Britain and France) are very close to each other in real life. Also, the third shot looks like it could be the laboratory of the new Pokémon Professor. The room contains a desk, a huge wall of books, and some sort of habitat or containment area (presumably where players receive their first Pokémon).

Lastly, in one of the shots of the trailer, we can see a huge picture carved into a hill of some sort, depicting what is assumed to be a very large Pokémon using an attack that creates lightning, surrounded also by what could either be smaller Pokémon or people.

This hill is also visible from the map, right next to the grass gym in the central part of the region. Perhaps this is some sort of depiction of one of the Legendary Pokémon within the game. Maybe one of the Legendary or Mythical Pokémon will be an Electric Type and/or has a new move where they can breathe electricity? Who knows? Maybe regional variants will be making a return, or MAYBE Eevee will get a new evolution? Only time will tell. 

Until more info is released, make sure to check out the other stories on the Scroll, the gallery down below for more pictures of gameplay, and of course the full Pokémon Direct by clicking here!

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