Pokémon Sword and Shield direct: All I wanna do is see you turn into a giant Pokémon

Nintendo, The Pokemon Company
Nintendo, The Pokemon Company /

Today’s Pokémon Sword and Shield direct didn’t actually reveal a ton of info about the game, but we did see some first-ever features and some new Pokémon along with a release date for the games.

It’s been a big week of news if you are a Pokémon fan. Earlier in the week, there were several new projects in the franchise announced. This morning, a 15-minute presentation all about the first new original mainline Pokémon games for the Nintendo Switch console, Sword and Shield.

Though we had an entire 15 minutes, they didn’t actually manage to fit in a whole lot of information about what might entice people who aren’t already hardcore players to the series but might be interested in checking it out for the first time.

The two biggest (no pun intended) new features of Pokémon Sword and Shield are arguably giant Pokémon and multi-player raid battles.

Essentially, through certain circumstances during a battle, your Pokémon can grow to a huge size, massively increasing their power. It’s called “Dynamixing” and can be done once per battle for three turns, so it must be used very wisely.

The multiplayer raid battles are things that are in Pokémon Go and will be a feature of Sword and Shield. You and up to three other trainers can team up to take on giant Pokémon. Only one trainer can have a Pokémon that can “Dynamix” in this kind of battle, however.

Those are really the biggest details that were given. There were some new Pokémon shown off, and another look at the game (the battles do seem more dynamic than previous entries, and gym leader battles take place in stadiums with crowds), but that’s about it. You can watch the full 15-minute direct presentation below:

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In all honesty, I was really hoping for a lot more.  There are obviously things that were held back for either next week during E3 2019 or more likely a future dedicated direct closer to the actual release date (for example nothing in multi-player as mentioned besides the raids).

From all appearances, however, Sword and Shield appear to be another set of Pokémon games that really don’t do anything that really shakes up the same formula they have been following for over twenty years now. I’m sure that will please longtime fans of the series, but putting a new entry on the most powerful hardware the series has ever been on by quite a large margin should really have encouraged Game Freak to go all out; but, they seem to be taking a very safe route instead. Pokémon Sword and Shield will release on the Nintendo Switch November 15.