Pokémon Sword and Shield release date, features, and Dexit controversy

Pokémon Sword and Shield release date, features, and Dexit controversy

The first mainline Pokémon games on a home console are out this month, so what do we know about them?

Pokémon Sword and Shield are the latest entries in Nintendo and Game Freak’s world famous role-playing game series about catching ‘em all.

This set of new games marks the first time a mainline entry in the series has appeared on a home console (not counting Pokémon: Let’s Go, which were remakes) and sees you explore the new Galar region, which is inspired by the UK, capturing brand new and fan-favourite pokémon so you can form a team strong enough to defeat the region’s gym leaders and become the new champion.

Here is everything you need to know about Pokémon Sword and Shield.

Why is Pokémon Sword and Shield two games?

At this point, it’s a tradition to have two new Pokémon games release side-by-side. Nintendo has done this since the beginning with Pokémon Red and Blue, to encourage players to trade and battle with each other. Only super hardcore fans will ever buy both versions, and there’s no reason for normal players to do so.

Each version comes with a small number of exclusive pokémon, so the only way to get them is to find someone else with the other version and trade. For example, the Dragon-type Deino and its evolutions are only available in Sword, whereas Shield has Goomy and its evolutions instead. Trading is also needed to evolve some special pokémon, so you’ll never get the full experience if you play alone.

What is new in Pokémon Sword and Shield?

Naturally, fans can look forward to encountering familiar and brand-new pokémon throughout their adventure, such as the grass monkey Grookey, fire rabbit Scorbunny, and water lizard Sobble – the three starter pokémon you must pick from at the start of your journey.

One big draw though is the inclusion of the Wild Area – a large open world portion of the game where you can freely move about and see wild pokémon roam in their natural habitat, as opposed to randomly encountering them everywhere else. What pokémon you can find changes with the weather and it’s entirely possible to encounter pokémon that far exceed your team’s current level.

There are a number of other new features as well, such as the Pokémon Camp, where you can play with your team and cook curry with them – which can even boost your pokémon’s stats. There’s also Poké Jobs, where any pokémon you’re not using can be sent to perform tasks to get stronger and earn you special rewards.

Arguably the game’s biggest feature, however, is the introduction of Dynamax.

What is Dynamax in Pokémon Sword and Shield?

In Pokémon Sword and Shield, during specific battles, you can make one pokémon on your team Dynamax, transforming them into a giant. While Dynamaxed, a Pokémon’s moves change into Max Moves and become more powerful.

Some Pokémon can even Gigantamax, where they take on a new form entirely and can gain access to a unique G-Max Move that only they can use. Both features can only be used once per battle and the Pokémon will revert to normal size after three turns.

In the Wild Area, permanently Dynamaxed Pokémon can be fought and captured, but these can only be encountered in Max Raid Battles, where you team up with three other players either online or locally. If there are no human players available, you can team up with computer-controlled trainers instead.

What are the new legendaries for Pokémon Sword and Shield?

The wolf-like creatures you see on the games’ box art are the new legendary Pokémon. Legendaries are incredibly powerful and one-of-a-kind pokémon that you can only catch at the end of the game’s story.

Sword has Zacian, a large wolf-like pokémon that wields a giant sword. Shield has Zamazenta, which instead wears a shield over most of its body.

It’s not known whether they’re the only legendaries in the game but they are the two main story-based ones.

What’s the Dexit controversy in Pokémon Sword and Shield?

It was announced earlier this year that, unlike previous games, Pokémon Sword and Shield won’t feature every pokémon that’s ever been made. As a result, any pokémon that isn’t included in the Galar Pokédex can’t be transferred from a previous game.

Multiple reasons have been given as to why this decision was made, such as maintaining game balance and other assets and aspects of the game needing to be worked on, like the Dynamax feature.

Game Freak’s handling of the situation, however, has resulted in a major backlash from some fans, who refer to the situation as Dexit and are angry that their favourite pokémon won’t be included and that Game Freak’s reasoning isn’t enough of a justification.

When GameCentral spoke to Game Freak about the situation though they hinted that other pokémon not included at launch may be added into the game at a later date.

Pokémon Sword and Shield release date

We don’t have much longer to wait until release. Both games will release next week on Friday, November 15th exclusively for Nintendo Switch.

Unlike some previous Pokémon releases the games will be out at exactly the same time worldwide, so there’s no need to wait or contemplate importing.

Are there any Pokémon Sword and Shield special editions?

There’s several, include a special edition Switch Lite with a copy of the game, that’s a limited edition and won’t be around for long.

Pokémon Sword SteelBook

Pokémon Shield SteelBook

Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield Double Pack

Nintendo Switch Lite Zacian and Zamazenta Edition with Pokémon Sword and Shield Dual Edition

  • Cost: £294.99
  • Where to pre-order: GAME
  • Pre-order bonus: Tracksuit Digital Pre-Order Bonus

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