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Pokemon Sword and Shield (Switch) Preview

by Bryan Rose - June 11, 2019, 3:35 pm PDT
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So much larger than life.

There’s nothing particularly revolutionary about the Pokemon Sword/Shield demo that is being shown this week at E3. It treads on the familiar, with highlights being new Pokemon and battle techniques.

The demo throws you into a water gym with a puzzle where you have to flip switches on and off in order to stop rushing water so you can continue on your path. A gym guide was nearby that helped heal Pokemon if necessary. This area actually seemed like a throwback to early era Pokemon gym puzzles, as it was simple and not as elaborate as puzzles found in more recent games. The three starter Pokemon (Grookey, Scorbunny and Sobble), Wooloo and Corviknight, a steel/flying type, were available to use. There were also two new Pokemon that haven’t appeared in the recent Directs: Yamper, an adorable electric Corgi that will certainly threaten Wooloo as everyone’s favorite new Pokemon and Impidimp, a dark/fairy creature which, as the name suggests, is an imp. The former was playable while the latter was not.

After facing three trainers and clearing the water puzzle, it was time to enter a stadium filled with fans. The final battle in the demo has you pitted against Nessa, the gym leader. She had two Pokemon: a rather uninteresting Goldeen and the much more intriguing Dreadnaw, a new rock/water Pokemon.

Dreadnaw had the ability to use Dynamax, the new battling mechanic that causes your Pokemon to grow exceptionally tall, giving them new moves in the process. I chose Yamper to use the Dynamax technique and quickly took out Goldeen with its new Thunder Max attack. Dreadnaw was a tougher battle, but with Yamper and grass starter Grookey I managed to make short work of the newest turtle Pokemon.

The demo ends after some encouraging words from Nessa. You’re given a nondescript water badge, which is placed in a circular keeper that seems to complete a puzzle once you collect all of the badges.

From what the demo showcased, Pokemon Sword and Shield is nothing new, as anyone who has played Pokemon should get a feel for it instantly. But that isn’t a bad thing, as the new Pokemon, the Dynamax mechanic and sleek HD visuals are intriguing enough for any fan who’s waiting to chomp at the bit to play. More of the newer features, such as open world routes and raid battles will likely come to light as we near the November 15 release date.

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Game Profile

Pokémon Sword and Shield Box Art

Genre RPG
Developer Game Freak
Players1 - 4

Worldwide Releases

na: Pokémon Sword and Shield
Release Nov 15, 2019
jpn: Pocket Monsters Sword and Shield
Release Nov 15, 2019
PublisherThe Pokémon Company
eu: Pokémon Sword and Shield
Release Nov 15, 2019
aus: Pokémon Sword and Shield
Release Nov 15, 2019
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