Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield are here! The new Pokémon games are the first of the series to be offered on a console, albeit, the Switch is also a handheld.
The new Pokémon games are set in the Galar region, which is based on the United Kingdom. A new game and region not only brings new Pokémon to the ever-growing roster, but it also brings with it new mechanics and features that make it unique from previous iterations.
Here are just five of the new features that the long-awaited game brings.
The first is the Wild Area which, takes inspiration from Pokémon Let’s Go: Pikachu/Eevee. The Wild Area is a massive area where you’ll find all the Pokémon for catching. Along with Pokémon, it also has items, TMs, berry trees, and so much more.
Like the previous Pokémon games, the Pokémon will be seen roaming around the Wild Area. This makes it so much easier to pick which Pokémon to battle and when you want to do it. The tall grass will also include encounters with random Pokémon in the tall grass, these will be alerted and can be avoided.
It also introduces a personality type to the Pokémon. Some will be aggressively approaching while some will be more timid, shy, and run. For the latter, you’ll have to approach more slowly to start a battle. Flying Pokémon can also be whistled to for them to fly lower for battles.
The Wild Area is a dynamic place that can either be sunny or rainy. The type of Pokémon that appear will depend on the weather type.
The Wild Area also includes raid dens which when activate start Max Raid battles. Think of these like raids in Pokémon GO where you fight massive versions of Pokémon that are tougher than your average Pokémon.
Max Raid Battles can be completed with other players or NPCs and will require some strategy. You’ll have to beat the Pokémon in a certain number of turns or else you’ll be kicked out of it. These Pokémons are Dynamaxed or Gigantamaxed and will remain in that state throughout the battle.
After beating the Pokémon you will get the option to catch the Pokémon, whether you do or not, doing them will be pretty good as you’ll get rewards for beating these raids.
Dynamax and Gigantamax are two different phenomenon but are quite similar that they make the Pokémon grow large and gives them new moves.
The difference between the two is that all Pokémon in the two games can Dynamax while only certain Pokémon species can Gigantamax. In addition, Dynamax just makes the Pokémon larger while Gigantamax makes the Pokémon much cooler than they are. Some of these changes include Pikachu with a slimmer glowing tail that looks like it was from the heavens or Charizard with fiery wings, eyes, nose, and horns.
Pokémon Camp is a new feature that lets you interact with your Pokémon at a campsite. Interacting includes playing with them with a Poké Toy or by playing catch with Pokéballs.
At Camp, you can also cook Curry using various ingredients for your Pokémon. These can be similar to Pokéblocks and Poffins in Generation III and IV.
You can also connect, cook with friends, and of course, hang out with their Pokémon via local communications or the paid Nintendo Switch Online service.
Nature Mints are a new addition item for Pokémon that boosts one stat while also lowers another. According to guides, the Mints can only be purchased in the late game. These will be familiar as they’re the same as the nature type that Pokémons have.
Purchasing these will require you to accumulate Battle Points and they cost 50 BP per Mint. Battling trainers in the tower will win you 3 BP each time you successfully complete them. This means you’ll be here grinding them up a while but it is an interesting way to get your Pokémon to their optimal state aside from breeding and training.
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