Today marks the 23rd birthday of the Pokémon series in Japan, and we learned just this morning that a Direct would be held tonight as a special birthday gift. There wasn’t a lot of time for speculation, but the three Pokéballs in the promotional image, perhaps representing the traditional starter Pokémon, got us thinking that we were about to see a brand new generation. And we were right! The newest Pokémon adventure, Pokémon Sword and Shield, has been revealed!
Pokémon Sword and Shield is set in the brand new region of Galar, which so far seems to be inspired by England. The trailer showed off a lot of cool environments like grassy hills, urban cities, and a gem-filled mine. Battles look incredibley detailed as well, with explosive animations and more detailed models than we’ve ever seen before.
It’s the first ever main Pokémon game to be available on a home console, the Switch, which means that it’ll need to step its graphics up a notch, but luckily it looks like they’ve already taken care of that! There’s no word on a rival, evil orginisation, or professor yet, but it at least seems like gyms will be making a comeback in some form.
The three starters are Grookey the Grass-type, Scorbunny the Fire-type, and Sobble as the Water-type. Fighting over which new starter is the best or worst is a time-honored tradition, so go nuts! My top pick is Scorbunny, just so long as it doesn’t turn out to be yet another Fire/Fighting type.
Unfortunately we weren’t shown any other new Pokémon, so we’ll just have to be patient about that. The game isn’t coming out until late in 2019, according to the direct, so there’s plenty of waiting time anyway. To check everything out for yourself, watch the full direct here.
We haven’t seen a main line Pokémon title since Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon back in 2017: a game that aparrently didn’t do so hot in Japan. Time will tell if Pokémon Sword and Shield will be able to make up for it, but so far the information on it is still fairly limited. We’re sure to hear more soon though, and Tsunekazu Ishihara, CEO of the Pokémon Company, has assured us that Sword and Sheild won’t be our only Pokémon treat this year. Happy birthday Pokémon, and here’s to another year!