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Battle Gigantic Pokemon in ‘Pokemon Sword’ and ‘Pokemon Shield’

The phrase “escalation of scale” immediately jumps to mind.

This morning, Game Freak hosted a brief Direct presentation dropping a few tidbits about the upcoming eighth generation of Pokemon, Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield for the Switch.

The new Galar region loves Pokemon battles as a spectator sport, to the point where Gym Leader battles are held in enormous stadiums (not unlike soccer stadiums) and broadcast on TV. Though, in addition to its battling infrastructure, the region also features lots of lush, nature-filled areas where Pokemon roam free. These areas are called “Wild Zones.” Pokemon can be encountered and caught in these areas in a similar manner to the Let’s Go games.

The Direct also revealed a few entries into the new PokeDex, including Normal-type Wooloo, Grass-type Gossifleur, and my personal favorite, Flying/Steel-type Corviknight. As an aside, Corviknights can apparently be used as a flying taxi service, which should be helpful for early-game exploration before you have a flying Pokemon of your own. We also got a brief look at the two new mascot legendaries, Zacian and Zamazenta, representing Sword and Shield, respectively.

The big reveal, however, if you’ll pardon the pun, was the introduction of Sword and Shield’s special feature: Dynamaxing. In a similar vein to Mega Evolution and Z-Moves, players can use Dynamaxing to grow their Pokemon to titanic size for three turns, granting them a massive stat boost and special attacks. Gym Leader arenas are built to allow Dynamaxing, and there will even be special Dynamax raids wherein teams of players (either locally or over the internet) can team up against a wild Dynamax Pokemon.

The presentation concluded with the game’s official release date: November 15th, 2019. For you collectors out there, there will also be a special double bundle of the game with both versions that will receive details at a later date.