Nintendo shared tons of details for the forthcoming Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield games on Wednesday morning, including first looks at new Pokemon, details on gameplay mechanics and a November release date.
Among the new mechanics is a goofy one called Dynamax, which can be boiled down into two words: Big Pokemon. Once per battle, players can make one of their Pokemon massive, which enhances their stats and turns the cute monsters into terrifying kaiju for three turns. Your opponents will also be able to Dynamax, promising some challenging battles across the player’s journey.
There’s also a new co-op raid mechanic called Max Raid Battles, during which players can join up to three friends in local or online multiplayer play to try and take down a wild Pokemon that will stay big for the duration of the fight. After defeating the massive ‘mon, you’ll be able to catch it.
We also got a glimpse at some of the new Pokemon present in the Galar region. There’s le petit Gossifleur (and its evolution Edlegoss), a flowery little guy with medicinal properties. Drednaw is a tortoise-looking chomper, while Corviknight is Edgar Allen Poe-incarnate, a goth raven that will taxi you across the region and then ignore your texts. Finally, there is perfection embodied, Wooloo, the adorable new sheep Pokemon with pigtails that dislikes conflict and rolls away if needed.
The Galar Region promises a large “Wild Area” between cities. Looks like you’ll see Pokemon free-roaming in the wilds, with new exploration options given to the player, too. Pokemon battles prove to be the chief form of entertainment in the region, turning the gyms of other games into stadiums stuffed with audiences here.
Nintendo also shared details of the two new legendary dogs of Sword and Shield, Zacian (who wields a sword) and Zamazenta (whose mane is a shield). There were scant narrative details in the presentation, but Nintendo introduced Leon, an all-star Pokemon trainer, his younger brother and your rival Hop, Professor Magnolia and her assistant Sonia.
Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield will release on the Nintendo Switch on Nov. 15. Catch the full presentation below, then check out what we had to say about the reveal trailer here.