When Pokémon Let’s Go was announced back in May of 2018, many devout fans of the franchise worried that Nintendo had given up on the diehard crowd. The Let’s Go series, which obviously catered to more casual, younger audiences, was like a cross between nostalgia bait and light entertainment. It was not for the serious Pokémon devotees. So when The House of N did a Pokémon Direct on Wednesday morning, the anticipation was high for a return to form for the series. Many were hoping that, at long last, we’d see the first true console Pokémon game—and today, that wish was finally fulfilled, with the announcement of Pokémon Sword and Shield for Nintendo Switch.
As expected, the two new games are the next official entry to the main series of the franchise. That means a brand new region, new Pokémon, and of course, three new friendly critters to choose from for the game’s start. This time around, the grass starter is a green monkey-lookin’ thing named Grookey, the fire starter is called Scorbunny, who looks like a cross between a rabbit and Sonic the Hedgehog, and a little blue tadpole thing named Sobble is the water starter. While Nintendo’s announcement confirmed that we’ll be seeing a bunch of new Pokémon in this game, there was also a short sequence showing Pikachu, which makes sense. Not only is the electric mouse the mascot for the series, but the heavily-anticipated Detective Pikachu movie is out this year.
The visuals in Pokémon Sword and Shield will likely have a lot of people talking. Looking mostly in line with the third person perspective seen in Pokémon Sun and Moon, the game’s visual style seems to blend the 3D console precedent set by the Let’s Go series on the Switch with the lowered camera angle and more stylized graphical world of the aforementioned Generation VII games. The new region, called Galar, appears a bit industrial and old-world in the scenes that were shown in the Direct. It certainly looks like a bold new vision for the series.
With Detective Pikachu in cinemas, Pokémon Go on mobile phones, countless playable Pokémon on Smash Bros Ultimate for the Switch, and now Sword and Shield, it doesn’t seem like we’re going to stop hearing about these fuzzy fighting monsters anytime soon. The new Generation of Pokémon games is set to hit the Switch in late 2019.