Pokémon Sword and Shield: Release Date, Gameplay and Legendaries

Nintendo's latest Pokemon RPG, Sword and Shield, has been detailed, revealing its three 8th Gen starter Pokemon (they are just adorable), the two new legendaries and the rest of the Galar region. Here's what we know so far:

Pokémon Sword and Shield Release Date: When is it coming out?

Pokemon Sword and Shield will be dropping in your Nintendo Switch on November 15, 2019. Of course, each game will be available for $60, and while there will be a bundled pack, we're unsure if you'll actually save any money from it.

What new Pokémon and Legendaries will be in Sword and Shield?

The starter Pokemon are made up of Scorbunny, which is described as an energetic fire-type bunny, Sobble, a timid water-type reptile, and Grookey, which is a mischievous grass-type chimp Pokemon that's already a plushie somewhere in my future home.

Some new Pokemon that were introduced are Wooloo (a sheep Pokemon), Drednaw (a bite Pokemon that looks like an angry turtle) and Corviknight (a raven Pokemon that acts as a flying taxi for the player). There's also Gossifleur, which is a flowering Pokemon that eventually evolves into Eldegoss, a cotton bloom Pokemon.

Nintendo also revealed the identities of the Legendary Pokemon that the games get their namesake from. There's Zacian (Sword) and Zamazenta (Shield), which literally look like dogs dressed up in Sword and Shield cosplay.

Pokémon Sword and Shield Trailer: How does it look?

In the snippets that the company revealed of Sword and Shield, the graphics are reminiscent of Pokemon Let's Go.

Game Freak dubs the newest region Galar. It has a somewhat modern, Industrial-esque aesthetic, as the video took us through a factory town and a mine. Yet, the games also feature lush open fields and snowy-capped mountains. The Galar region isn't scattered like Alola, but rather everything sits on a narrow island.

Despite that, the giant open area in the center, dubbed the Wild Area, is basically an open word space that features Pokemon roaming around in the wild, which is similar to the Let's Go series, but the Pokemon look much more natural and less cramped.

Pokémon Sword and Shield Gameplay: New and returning features

The player now has full 360 degree control over the camera, and the series' patented turn-based combat returns, but with new and better animations. Catching Pokemon will work as it did in classic titles, as opposed to the motion-based Pokemon Go mechanics from Let's Go.

The newest feature is called Dynamax, which is reminiscent of Mega Evolutions in that it is a temporary transformation that boosts a Pokemon's stats. However, Dynamax specifically makes the Pokemon gigantic in size. Dynamaxing your Pokemon can only be done once per battle and it'll last just three turns. To accommodate for this literally huge feature, all of the gyms in the Galar region are giant stadiums that are packed with hundreds of onlookers.

A new mode was introduced as well, called Max Raid Battle, which involves a four player cooperative battle against a Dynamaxed Pokemon. Game Freak stated that you'll be able to play Max Raid Battles via local wireless play as well as online. But, it wasn't stated whether or not you could create a lobby for your friends to join. After you win the Max Raid Battle, you can capture the Pokemon, and in fact, participating in Max Raid Battles is the only to get some of the Pokemon to appear in the Wild Area.

Galarian Forms and More

First there were Alolan forms, now the Galar region introduces Galarian forms. There's Galarian Weezing, which is a Poison/Fairy type with a Levitate ability.

And there's everyone's least favorite tradable Pokemon: Galarian Zigzagoon, which is a Dark/Normal type with a Pickup/Gluttony ability, and that evolves into Galarian Linoone, which inherits the same types and abilities. Pokemon Sword and Shield is actually adding a third evolution: Obstagoon, which is also the same type but has the abilities Reckless/Guts.

On top of that there's a form-changing Pokemon called Morpeko (Type: Electric/Dark -- Ability: Hunger Switch) which has two modes: Full Belly and Hangry (literally me).

The new trailer also introduced a few new rivals, such has Bede and Marnie. Marnie is backed up by Team Yell -- a group exclusively filled with Marnie's wild fans.

New Pokémon Moves

In the latest trailer for Pokémon Sword and Shield, Game Freak showcased several new abilities and items.

The trailer showed off Galarian Weezing's Neutralizing Gas. Its move neutralizes all other abilities in the field. 

There's two new held items. One is Room Service, which lowers the Pokémon's speed during Trick Room, and the other is Eject Pack, which switches out the Pokémon if its stats are lowered. 

There's also what looks to be a new TM, called Breaking Swipe, which can hit at least two targets at a time and lowers the attack of all targets hit.

Corviknight's hidden ability, Mirror Armor, was shown in action as well, which can reflect any stat-lowering effects.

It was revealed that Dynmaxed Pokémon can shrug off moves that cause flinching, and that max moves have powerful secondary effects.

Pokémon Sword and Shield Story: What's it about?

There hasn't been much revealed about the story of Sword and Shield. All we know is that this Dynamax phenomenon has spread across the Galar region and that Professor Magnolia and her assistant Sonya are studying the matter. Of course, your goal is to simply adventure in order to become the champion and defeat Leon, the current champion who is also the older brother of your rival, Hop.

Game Freak did reveal the Grass-type gym leader, Milo, who looks like a jacked up monster with the face of a four year old.

We still haven't seen the evolutions of the starter Pokemon, so maybe that will be unveiled closer to launch, which isn't too far away. I'm also personally thrilled to virtually snuggle that Grookey.

Credit: Nintendo