Nintendo and Pokémon Company Releases New Information on Sword and Shield Expansion Passes

Today Nintendo and the Pokémon Company released a video and website update giving further details on the upcoming expansion pass for Pokémon Sword Version, and Pokémon Shield Version.

The Ilse of Armor will take the player on an adventure through new environments never before seen in the Galar region. These environments are full of Pokémon that were previously unavailable in the base Sword and Shield games.

The story sees the player travel to a dojo where they and their partner with the the new Pokémon, Kubfu, will train under the guidance of Mustard, the master of the dojo.

New Adventure Features in Ilse of Armor

Cram-o-matic

Inside the dojo on the Ilse of Armor there is a machine that players can use to recycle items. If the player feeds it four items, they will be combined into a variety of new items, some item combinations have the possibility of getting rare items in return.
 
Tutor Moves

A new Move Tutor on Isle of Armor. This tutor will teach the player’s Pokémon brand new moves in exhange for Armorite Ore, a substance that can be found on the Isle of Armor through Max Raid Battles and other means.
 


Burning Jealousy is a new Fire-type move that can be taught starting with these expansions. When it hits, it deals damage to all opposing Pokémon and burns all opposing Pokémon that have had their stats boosted during the turn.
 


Grassy Glide is a new Grass-type move that can be taught starting with these expansions. This move has high priority when used on Grassy Terrain.


Max Soup
Max Soup is a special dish made from rare ingredients you can gather on the Isle of Armor. If a Pokémon with great hidden potential drinks Max Soup, it will become a special Pokémon capable of Gigantamaxing.
Some Pokémon that Trainers are already traveling with may also gain the ability to Gigantamax.

Crown Tundra Details

In the Crown Tundra the player is recruited by the explorer Peony to lead an expedition into the frozen mountainous new environment where there are ancient temples holding secrets related to Certain Pokémon. The player will also explore the depths of the mysterious dens where dynamax and gigantamax Pokémon can be found, and discover more legendary Pokémon previously unseen in the Galar region.

These expansions will being new Galarian forms and Gigantamax forms, as well as a few brand new Pokémon.

New Pokémon in Ilse of Armor

Galarian Slowbro
Category: Hermit Crab Pokémon
Type: Poison/Psychic
Height: 5ʹ3″
Weight: 155.4 lbs.
Ability: Quick Draw

Gigantamax Venusaur
Type: Grass/Poison
Height: 78ʹ9″+
Weight: ????.? lbs.
Ability: Overgrow

Gigantamax Blastoise
Type: Water
Height: 82ʹ+
Weight: ????.? lbs.
Ability: Torrent

New Pokémon in Crown Tundra

The Crown Tundra will also introduce some new Pokémon along with new Galerian forms of Pokémon.

Regieleki
Category: Electron Pokémon
Type: Electric
Height: 3ʹ11″
Weight: 319.7 lbs.
Ability: Transistor

Regieleki absorbs electrons to live. Regieleki’s signature Electric-type special move, Thunder Cage, fires furious bolts of electricity from its lower half, trapping opponents directly below it in a cage of lightning. Thunder Cage doesn’t only deal damage to opponents when it lands—the electrified cage will also cause damage every turn for four to five turns and prevent opponents from fleeing or being swapped out.

Regidrago
Category: Dragon Orb Pokémon
Type: Dragon
Height: 6ʹ11″
Weight: 440.9 lbs.
Ability: Dragon’s Maw

Regidrago’s body is composed of crystallized dragon energy. With Regidrago’s signature move, Dragon Energy, the Pokémon assumes a shape similar to a dragon’s head, then fires intense dragon energy from its mouth. The more HP the user has remaining, the higher the move’s power.


Galarian Articuno
Category: Cruel Pokémon  
Type: Psychic/Flying
Height: 5ʹ7″
Weight: 112.2 lbs.
Ability: Competitive

Galarian Articuno’s signature move, Freezing Glare, is a Psychic-type special move in which the Pokémon attacks by firing psychic power from both eyes. This move may also leave the target frozen.


Galarian Zapdos
Category: Strong Legs Pokémon  
Type: Fighting/Flying
Height: 5ʹ3″
Weight: 128.3 lbs.
Ability: Defiant


Galarian Zapdos’s signature move, Thunderous Kick, is a Fighting-type physical move that overwhelms the target with lightning-like movement before delivering a kick. This also lowers the target’s Defense stat.

Galarian Moltres
Category: Malevolent Pokémon  
Type: Dark/Flying
Height: 6ʹ7″
Weight: 145.5 lbs.
Ability: Berserk 

Galarian Moltres’s signature move, Fiery Wrath, is a Dark-type special move in which the Pokémon transforms its wrath into a fire-like aura to attack. It may also make opposing Pokémon flinch.

More features in Crown Tundra

DYNAMAX ADVENTURE
Trainers can team up with three other players to go on a Dynamax Adventure, where they will be able to venture into Pokémon Dens and even encounter Dynamax Pokémon. If Trainers do encounter a Dynamax Pokémon during their exploration, they’ll need to work together in a Max Raid Battle. Trainers will get a chance to catch the Dynamax Pokémon for their team if they triumph in the battle, but they’ll be kicked out of the den should they lose.

GALARIAN STAR TOURNAMENT
Once Trainers progress far enough in their adventure in the Crown Tundra, they’ll be able to participate in the Galarian Star Tournament, held in the city of Wyndon. In this tournament, Trainers will battle with various characters they met in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield—but not just as opponents. They can also pick a teammate and tackle the tournament together.

The Isle of Armor expansion will release on June 17th and the Crown Tundra expansion is scheduled to release in the fall of 2020.

New Pokémon Anime Announced!

Today during the Japanese broadcast of the latest episode of the Pokémon Sun and Moon anime a trailer teaser trailer was revealed for the upcoming new Pokémon anime series. The trailer confirms the promotional images that were leaked earlier this week were in fact real.

The new series will star Satoshi (Ash Ketchum) continuing his journey to become a Pokémon Master. In addition, the trailer also introduces a new boy named Gou whose partner is Scorebunny. Gou’s dream is to capture every Pokémon after having an encounter with Mew in his youth that inspired him.

In a series first, the adventure is set to take place in the many regions all over the Pokémon world. It is unknown at this time if Satoshi will be challenging the Galar League. However, as the anime will feature the Galar region, it is likely he will.

This new anime is scheduled to air on November 17th at 5:30PM JST to coincide with the release of the Pokémon Sword and Shield video games which release on November 15th. As of yet there has been no announcement for the English dub of this series.

New Details on Pokémon Sword and Shield

Today The Pokémon Company released new information on Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield.

A 2-minute YouTube video showed off some new Galarian regional variations for Zigzagoon, Lineoon, and Weezing. The brand new Pokémon, Morepeko, was also revealed. The video also detailed two new Rivals, and the new regional evil team, Team Yell.

The official website was updated with more information on the reveals from the trailer as well as revealing a brand new feature, Poké Jobs.

New Pokémon and Regional Variations

The harsh conditions in the Galar region have produced their own brand of regional variation in some of the species that inhabit it.

Galarian Zigzagoon

Galarian Zigzagoon

Galarian Zigzagoon
Type: Dark/Normal
Abilities: Pick-up/Gluttony

Galarian Zigzagoon is actually said to be the oldest form of the species. The zig-zagging movements of the other variations of Zigzagoon is said to originate from this Pokémon’s restless nature. Galarian Zigzagoon love battle, and will try to provoke humans and Pokémon to attack it. Humans often misinterpret this behavior as playfulness, much to its frustration.

Galarian Lineoon

Galarian Linoone

Galarian Linoone
Type: Dark/Normal
Abilities: Pick-up/Gluttony

Galarian Linoone uses tackles and headbutts that are powerful enough to send cars flying. They often loose balance if they miss attacks. These Pokémon are fearless and will challenge opponents that are stronger than itself. This headstrong and direct nature has made this Pokémon popular with the disaffected youths in the Galar region, who have nowhere to vent their anger.

Obstagoon – The new evolution to Galarian Linoone

Obstagoon
Type: Dark/Normal
Abilities: Reckless/Guts

Due to the uniquely harsh conditions in the Galar region the Zigzagoon line has honed their survival instincts and developed a new evolution, that is exclusive to Galarian Linoone. Obstagoon is extremely combative, however, it never initiates attack. It prefers to goad opponents into an attack which ti will block by crossing it’s arms and using the new move Obstruct, then it launches a devastating counter-attack using its sharp claws.

Galarian Weezing

Galarian Weezing

Galarian Weezing
Type: Poison/Fairy
Abilities: Levitate/???

Galarian Weezing consumes poison gasses and pollutants in the air. The toxic gasses it eats are purified inside of it and the cleaned gas comes out of the spout on its heads. The gasses inside of its body leak out and form clouds around it faces.

Morpeko

Morpeko
Type: Electric/Dark
Abilities: Hunger Switch

Morpeko is always hungry due to the processing of electricity in its cheeks. If Morpeko is hungry for too long it changes forms to Hangry Mode. In Hangry mode the energy in its cheeks changes from electricity to dark. Morpeko’s signature attack, Aura Wheel changes from Electric-type to Dark-type depending on which form Morpeko is in.

New Rivals and Evil Team

Bede

Bede

Bede is one of your rivals in the game. This confident, and talented trainer was invited to compete in the Galar League by Chairman Rose. His goal is to become champion, but he seem to have some other motivation.

Marnie

Marnie

Marnie is another competitor in the Galar League. With her partner Morpeko, she is aiming to become the champion. Her battling style is cool and calculated. This has gained her a strong following among fans, most notably the rowdy Team Yell.

Team Yell

Team Yell are die-hard fans of Marnie. They take their fandom to extremes as they do what they can to sabotage the other competitors in the Galar League. These hooligans are known for being especially rowdy in the crowd during matches.

Poké Jobs

Various companies and organizations throughout the Galar region will post jobs that players can send their Pokémon to complete. The rewards for completing these jobs include experience points, and EV points in various stats. The player can access Poké Jobs through the Rotomi machine inside Pokémon Centers.

The future…

This information reveal brought news of new rivals, the revealing of the evil team, the introduction of Galarian forms, and the first new evolution to an existing Pokémon line since Pokémon Diamond and Pearl versions. With the games now a little more than three months away, there is certain to be more news forthcoming in the following weeks.

More Details on Pokémon Sword and Shield Revealed During E3

During Day 1 of Nintendo’s Treehouse Live stream gameplay of Pokémon Sword and Shield was shown off. Masuda and Ohmori of Game Freak were there to provide more details on the games.

– During the E3 Nintendo Direct presentation it was announced that the Poké Ball Plus accessory from Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee is compatible with Sword and Shield. However, the compatibility is only for storing Pokémon in the device and walking with them. It can’t be used as a controller for the new games. Also if you connect a brand new Poké Ball Plus, that still has Mew on it, Mew can be transferred to Sword and Shield.

– The second Gym Leader was also revealed. The Water-Type leader Nessa, who uses Dreadnaw.

– Screens from the demo on the show floor reveal that one of Grookey’s moves is called “Branch Poke”.

-The names of some of the locations in the Wild Area were revealed: Lake Miloch, Rolling Hills, and Lake Axewell.

– While in the Wild Area there is a feature called Y-Comm, that displays notifications on the status of other players, such as if they catch a Pokémon, or want to trade or battle.

– Max Rain Battles have a 10-turn limit, and each player can only bring a single Pokémon, selected from their party or PC, to the battle.

– Every turn the ability to Dynamax shifts between players.

– Dynamaxed Pokémon can sometimes use multiple moves.

– At half health a barrier spawns that protects the Dynamaxed Pokémon, and players must take turns attacking the barrier to shatter it.

– During the stream Masuda announced that Pokémon Home can only be transferred to Sword and Shield if they appear in the Galar Region Pokédex. Meaning that some Pokémon will be completely unobtainable in Sword and Shield.

– Two new Pokemon have been seen in the E3 Demo. The Electric-type Corgie Pokémon Yamper, and the Dark/Fairy-type imp Pokémon, Impdimp. Yamper has a new ability called Ball Fetch, that activates when it is not holding an item and allows it to fetch back the first Poke Ball thrown if it fails to catch a wild Pokémon.

– There is a meter every Pokémon has for their “Dynamax Level” it isn’t known at this time what that means.

Pokémon Press Conference and Pokémon Direct Announced

The Pokémon Company has announced that it is hosting a Pokémon Press Conference on May 28, 2019 at 6 p.m. PDT.  There is no word on how long the conference will last. The conference is stated to cover a number of topics of interest for Pokémon fans.

A similar event was held last year at the same time.  During that event Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee, and Pokémon Quest were revealed for the Nintendo Switch. It is notable that the press conference this year doesn’t mention video games specifically. This indicates that the information revealed at this conference may cover more aspects of the franchise than just the video games.

Nintendo and The Pokémon Company have also announced a Pokémon Sword and Shield Nintendo Direct. The Direct is scheduled for June 5, 2019 at 6 a.m. PTD. The Direct will be 15 roughly 15 minutes long and reveal a lot of new information on Pokémon Sword and Shield.

With this direct coming days before E3 2019 it is likely that Pokémon will not be a huge part of the Nintendo E3 Direct broadcast.  It is also possible that Pokémon Sword and Shield will be one of the games Nintendo will have a demo of on the E3 show floor.

New Trailer for Mewtwo Strikes Back: Evolution

Today on the Japanese program Oha Suta a new trailer for the Pokémon movie Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution, the 22nd Pokémon movie, and a scene-for-scene remake of the first Pokémon movie, Mewtwo Strikes Back. was revealed. The trailer gives us a first look at Mewtwo in the power-restraining armor that Giovanni uses. This trailer also gives a better look at the models for Ash Misty, and Brock. The movie website has updated to show these renders, and to confirm that the actors who voices Mewtwo and Mew in the original Mewtwo Strikes Back are reprising their roles.

The film’s art style has faced some criticism for the designs being more toy-like compared to the grittier, more monstrous, designs in Detective Pikachu, the American-produced movie based on the game of the same name. Responses to these critics have noted that the art style is loyal to the 2D anime style of the original movie.

Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution releases July 12, 2019 in Japanese theatres. As of yet there is no release scheduled for outside of Japan; however, following previous movie releases it is likely the movie will release during this Winter in the North American markets.

Five Things That Would Make Pokémon Sword and Shield the Best Games In the Series.

Now that the generation VIII Pokémon Games have been revealed, we have gotten a taste of what the games are about.  And speculation is booming among fans. Here is a list of realistic features that would make Pokémon Sword and Shield an experience like never before. These ideas are based on the information from the February 27, 2019 reveal trailer. Game Freak, as a developer, has become fairly notorious for introducing new features in games only to remove them in the following games. So many of these features are based on concepts that Game Freak has already touched on or implemented in previous games that were liked by fans.

Battle_Frontier_Map

1.      A Battle Frontier

It’s no secret that the Pokémon games have been suffering from a lack of solid single-player post-game content. In the third generations Game Freak introduced the Battle Frontier, a post-game area where the player would face off in facilities dedicated a myriad of unique battle challenges with A.I. trainers of a much higher skill level than the trainers in the main story. This served as a way to introduce players to the deeper competitive elements of Pokémon and essentially provided a second gym quest with a challenge to players after breezing through the story with little difficulty. For the past few generations the Battle Frontiers have been absent from the games, replaced by single facilities more akin to the old Battle Tower. If Sword and Shield introduced a full Battle Frontier as post-game content alongside a story quest like Gold and Silver’s Kanto or Ultra Sun and Moon’s Team Rainbow Rocket, that would be a wealth of post-game content that has never been seen before in the series and, I think, would be a real read for players.

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2.      No Less Than 100 New Pokémon (not including Mega Evolutions/Regional Variants)

As the total number of Pokémon approaches 1000 Game Freak seems have become more timid in the number of new Pokémon they introduce. Pokémon X and Y stand at a mere 72 new Pokémon, a series low, and Sun and Moon is not much better at 81 new Pokémon. Game Freak instead seems to be falling back on revisiting and re-conceptualizing already existing Pokémon as a method of adding “new” Pokémon without actually creating a brand-new Pokémon. They did this through Mega Evolutions in X and Y, and Alolan variants in Sun and Moon. While I am not wholly against these ideas on face value, I fell they should not be used as replacements for proper brand-new Pokémon. Part of the lasting appeal of Pokémon compared to most other monster catching series was that every monster was an individual, there were no simple reskins. I feel like this has contributed to why X and Y and Sun and Moon felt lacking compared to other games. If Sword and Shield adds a minimum of 100 brand new original concept Pokémon, regardless of any new megas or regional variants, the games will have a lot more of the excitement that comes from discovering and learning all about new Pokémon, which is one of the core elements of Pokémon games in my mind.

PokemonSwordShield Presskit 1 (7)

3.      Stop Being so Hesitant to Challenge the Player In-game

It’s no question that Pokémon games have gotten progressively more hand-holding as time has gone on. From extended tutorial segments, enemy trainers with no more than 4 Pokémon throughout the entire game, A.I. that is dumbed down, a world map that is blocked off, and story beats that railroad the player from point to point.  They have tried to address the difficulty a little with the Totem battles in Sun and Moon, the Ultra Necrozma Battle in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, and with the Coach Trainers in Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee, however these moments of increased challenge are all too brief and infrequent to truly test the player’s mettle.

Sword and Shield should do away with much of the handholding and challenge the player with more trainers that aren’t pushovers. The games should bring back NPCs that have full teams of 6 Pokémon, include more in-game double battles, and perhaps even bring back triples and rotation battles. Let the rival sometimes corner the player fresh out of a grueling dungeon and challenge them to a battle without healing them beforehand.

If the player can get through the whole game without blacking out a single time, the game is probably far too easy for the average player. Also, bringing back the hard mode from Black 2 would be most welcome addition.

PokemonSwordShield Presskit 1 (9)

4.      Expand Pokémon Interaction with the

Player, and the Environment

People love interacting with Pokémon. A feature that seems to be universally agreed on from Sun and Moon and Let’s Go was the increased focus on interacting with Pokémon.

From playing with Pokémon, to riding Pokémon, to exploring the world with them. The more ways methods of interacting, the better. Sword and Shield should take this concept and expand on it as much as possible.

The Pokéathlon, and Pokémon Contests should return alongside a new Pokémon minigame that fits the British theme. The idea of Pokémon soccer has been floating around due to the soccer-inspired uniform the player is seen wearing in the trailer. Something else that could be interesting would be a medieval-themed Pokémon mini game.

The Ride Pokémon system from Sun and Moon should be changed so that incorporates whatever Pokémon the player has in their party, so that the player travels and overcomes obstacles together with their chosen team, no HM Slaves of old, or rental Pokémon where the player has no connection.

Expanding the concept even further, the player could have to train whichever Pokémon they want to use whatever world exploration ability. For example, if the player has a Flygon and they want to use it to Fly, there would be a training process to teach it how to carry people and fly. And, rather than just the RNG-based survivals and cures the player receives in-game for interacting with their Pokémon, the rewards for interacting with your Pokémon in-game could lead to positive or negative stat chances that can be applied in competitive battles. This would add a bit more incentive to interacting with Pokémon.

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5.      At Least One Event-exclusive Pokémon as Free DLC

Piracy and cracking happen, it’s an inescapable fact that whenever a game is released the game data will be broken into and scoured for any and all secrets which will be published to the public.

In this world all hidden event Pokémon are found right away in the game data, which makes their reveal down the road a surprise to no one at all. The excitement of a secret character can only come from post-launch DLC a la Super Smash Bros.

Taking into consideration that currently many events are distributed in-person at GameStop or visiting events like the World Championships, it is understandable that the data has to be on the games prior to the transfer in those cases. However, it would be amazing to see at least one event Pokémon that is free post-launch DLC that is just added to the game one day without any prior announcement.

The name of the Pokémon could be left in some mysterious lore within the main game story so that the fans can speculate as to whether this Pokémon exists. And if Game Freak really want to go all out they could add an entire quest centered around this Pokémon as the DLC rather than just a simple patch adding it to the game. The surprise of it alone would make Sword and Shield something special the likes of which hasn’t been seen since Red and Blue and would make the strongest case possible for the introduction of actual DLC to the Pokémon series. After all, a surprise like that just wouldn’t be possible without DLC.

PokemonSwordShield Presskit 1 (8)

These are a sample of some ideas that could really add to the experience of Sword and Shield and cement them as possibly the greatest Pokémon games yet. Some fans want an overhaul in which Game Freak upends the tea table and does something completely different with Pokémon. However, there are many aspects that are essential to a Pokémon game, and changing them drastically could create a game that’s “Pokémon” in name only.

Such unchecked radical changes could lead results like a bloated MMO with no single-player experience that forces users to pay a subscription fee on top of paying for Nintendo Nintendo Switch Online service to even play the game, or a washed-out Monster Hunter clone that ends up feeling neither like Pokémon or like Monster Hunter. Developers that lose touch with their roots end up chasing trends or upheaving for upheaval’s sake.  Game Freak stated during the reveal that they plan to innovate in Sworn and Shield while still staying true to what makes Pokémon special. This is a hopeful comment that suggests they may be more open to experimenting, but they will keep true to Pokémon’s core.

Pokémon Sword and Shield Versions Revealed

Nintendo just held Pokémon Direct today, and the 7-minute broadcast revealed lots of new information. The long-awaited main Pokemon games for Nintendo Switch were finally revealed as Pokémon Sword Version and Pokémon Shield Version this is the first time in the series that the games have been named after man-made objects. Thematically it fits the industrialized, almost steampunk aesthetic within the games. Traditionally the game logos incorporate design elements from the Legendary Pokémon in the games, so the Sword and Shield emblems on these game logos could point to  the story-central Legendary Pokemon being based on knights, and or wolves.

The game play trailer reveals several details, it shows the player entering a random wild Pokémon battle, this confirms the return of random encounters and wild Pokémon battles. It can be assumed that the rest of the core mechanics, natures, abilities, held items, will be returning as well. The models for the Pokemon and the attacks appear to be updated from the previous games. The trailer also shows a Pokémon Gym, and Ohmori, the director of the games, confirmed that there is a gym quest in the games. There is a shot of the player in a uniform resembling a soccer uniform as he walks into a stadium, this indicates that perhaps the Pokémon League will be treated more like a professional sport, I.E., Soccer, in these games.

The three starter Pokemon were also revealed, the Grass-Type Chimpanzee Pokémon: Grookey, The Fire-Type Rabbit Pokémon: Scorbunny, and the Water-Type Lizard Pokémon: Sobble. These were the only new Pokemon introduced in the trailer.

The games take place in the Galar Region, which is very industrialized, having lots of gears and large machinery.  The region appears to be based on the England as indicated by the climate and European-inspired architecture, this is something that many fans had speculated.

The games were reconfirmed for a late 2019 release date. No specific date was given, but following the typical release dates of previous games, it is likely the games will see release sometime in October or November.