Some people grew up with Pokemon, myself included. Today, in a special Pokemon Direct, developer Game Freak demonstrated how some Pokemon can, quite literally, grow up to ridiculous size.

A brand new Pokemon Sword and Shield trailer reveals new game mechanics, new Pokemon and the Legendary Pokemon mascots that will accompany each of its two-game versions, and Dynamax Pokemon.

Make My Pocket Monster Grow

Pokemon Sword and Shield will introduce a new game mechanic called Dynamaxing. This new mechanic allows the player character wearing a special bracelet (similar to the Mega Bracelet and the Z Ring) to Dynamax one of their Pokemon into a gigantic, building-sized monster, and give them an edge in battle.

Dynamaxing your Pokemon will make them grow for three battle turns, during which your Pokemon’s attacks are significantly enhanced, similar to how Z moves worked in Pokemon Sun and Moon.

Having a colossal Pokemon won’t necessarily make your battles any easier, and rival gym leaders will also be able to Dynamax their own Pokemon, leading to explosive battles. These gym battles will take place in large soccer (or rather football, since the region is based on the UK) stadiums, with a crowd cheering for you as you battle.

New Trainers to Meet and Battle

Pokemon Sword and Shield will introduce many new characters and Pokemon, the first of which is a gym leader named Milo. Milo uses grass type Pokemon and appears to be the leader of the first gym in the game. This seems to point at Scorbunny, the fire-type starter Pokemon being the best choice for beginners, while Sobble, the water-type starter Pokemon being the toughest one to start wih.

Alongside Milo, Sword and Shield introduces Professor Magnolia, the Pokemon professor of the region that researches the Dynamax phenomenon, and her granddaughter Sonia who will guide the player and give them advice.

The region’s champion Leon was also introduced, donning a majestic cape and a vest with a symbol of a sword on top of a shield, which is presumably the Galar region’s emblem. Leon’s partner Pokemon is a Charizard, which makes me suspect that Charizard and the other starter Pokemon will be part of Galar’s regional Pokedex. It’s worth noting that in previous games we never knew the champion’s identity this early in the marketing cycle, and I believe that Leon hides more secrets than we might think.

Leon’s little brother Hop will be starting his journey alongside the player, and act as the rival. From the trailer, it appears that much like the previous games Pokemon Sun and Moon (and Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon), your rival will be picking the starter Pokemon that is weak against your starter Pokemon, giving you an edge in the early parts of the game.

Who’s That Pokemon?

The new Galar region introduces new Pokemon to catch, train and collect. The trailer shows only a handful of the new critters, but it gives me high hopes for the game’s roster.

This time we got to meet Gossifleur and its evolution Eldegoss, two cute grass Pokemon that are based on the cotton bud and flower, respectively. The first gym leader Milo will be using a Dynamax Eldegoss, and this seems to indicate that it can evolve early in the game, and might even have an additional evolution stage. Joining them is Wooloo, a normal type sheep Pokemon, and possibly one of the cutest Pokemon ever.

But the Galar region is also home to edgy-looking Pokemon as well, with the water and rock type Dreadnaw, which looks like an angry turtle. We also got to meet the menacing flying and steel type Corviknight – a dark and evil-looking raven Pokemon, which also carries around the Galar Taxi.

Finally, we got to meet the new legendary Pokemon: Zacian, a majestic wolf with a sword in his mouth, and Zamazenta, a second majestic wolf with a shield-shaped armor covering the front of its body. Both legendaries look like they pack a punch, and their typing is a mystery at the moment.

A lot of Pokemon from other regions are returning in Pokemon Sword and Shield. Luckily, I’ve watched the reveal direct frame by frame to give you a list of all the Pokemon that have been confirmed so far: Bounsweet, Steenee, Sawk, Wynaut, Wobbuffet, Stufful, Bewear, Hippopotas, Snover, Rhydon, Duskull, Golurk, Gastly, Gyarados, Frillish, Butterfree, Mudsdale, Seismitoad, Tyranitar, Avalugg, Hawlucha, Milotic, Mantyke, Mantine, Pikachu, Raichu, Meowstic, Flygon, Charizard, Budew, Pancham, Pangoro, Grubbin, Gigalith, Growlithe, Inkay, Axew, Snorlax, Wingull, Steelix, Braviary, Bunnelby, Weavile, Clefable, Dugtrio, Quagsire, Bronzor and Lanturn.

Joining them are Pokemon that were shown in the previous trailer: Minccino, Hoothoot, Zweilous, Wailmer, and Lucario. Including evolutions that we know of and the new Pokemon, this brings us to a total of at least 139 Pokemon. We can expect to see around 400 to 600 different Pokemon available in the final game, and there are plenty more Pokemon that remain to be unveiled.

You’re My Best Friend in a World We Must Defend

The latest Pokemon Sword and Shield trailer shows a new area where players can encounter Pokemon in the overworld, unlike the wild Pokemon battles which the larger part of the game will feature.

This special area is called the Wild Area and will be located in the middle of the Galar region map, connecting several towns and cities. Players will be able to roam around the Wild Area with full control over the game’s camera and find rare Pokemon. Your encounters depend on weather and location.

While roaming the Wild Area, players will be able to team up with other players and engage in co-op Max Raid Battles. These raids are a new battle format in which four players cooperatively battle one massive Dynamax Pokemon for a chance to catch it. The Max Raid Battles are reminiscent of Pokemon Go’s raid battles, with one major difference – one of the four players’ Pokemon will get the chance to Dynamax as well, allowing it to grow into a gargantuan size and battle the foe Pokemon head-on.

Pokemon Sword and Shield is set to release on November 15 for the Nintendo Switch, with a double-pack already available for pre-order.

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