Disclaimer: The Gloom is a satire piece. All names are made up and situations described are not real. Please enjoy this piece with levity.*
Last week, the Pokemon Company called a press conference to announce many things coming to Pokemon fans in the coming year. Here is a link to their official announcement, in case you missed it: https://www.pokemon.com/us/pokemon-news/big-pokemon-news-from-tokyo/ The projects have the community all a bug-buzz with excitement so let’s take a closer look at some of these things.
With the summer box office hit, “Detective Pikachu” fresh on everyone’s mind, the executives at The Pokemon Company have announce the conclusion to their… 3-part… (wait… is this really supposed to be 3 parts… checks notes… yeah, I guess 3 -part video game series of the same name, originally released on the 3ds. This game will be coming to Switch some time in the future. They are quite excited for people to experience all 3 parts of this game while playing it across multiple systems.
In a move targeted at players who have let their Pokemon Go play diminish, due to the necessity of sleep, The Pokemon Company has come up with the perfect solution: Pokemon Sleep. With this app, we are one step closer to realizing our dream of snuggling up to Gardevoir or Lopunny (or your Pokemon of choice) as you drift off to sleep. Oh! And it also tracks your movement and sleep patterns. How exactly this is going be gamified, I’m not quite sure, but this author will be downloading it at release.
To accompany Pokemon Sleep, they also announced a device, the Pokemon Go Plus-Plus, to aid in use of the “game”. This ineffective tap light works like a regular Pokemon Go Plus, but will lack the convenience of fitting on your wrist or pocket. After the release of the Go Plus-Plus, they will also release the Go Plus-Minus, targeting weight loss, the Go Plus-Times, a watch (not smart watch, it’s just a watch), and the Go Plus-Divide, a divorce service.
Pokemon Masters, a mobile game created with assistance from DeNA, appears to be another game that will dip into the nostalgia well again (nope, it’s not dry yet). Drawing upon the success they saw in Generation V and VI games, Masters appears to feature triple battles with gym leaders, champions, and protagonists from the past. Many people are expecting this to be a gashapon game, so you will either be dwelling the lower tiers of the game by stubbornly playing without paying money or dwelling the lower tiers of bank accounts.
In an attempt to pander to the manchildren that have grown up with the series, they announced Pokemon Shirts will now be available in Europe and North America. The shirts are customizable, stylish, and a slightly more practical way to dedicate your life to the Pokemon Company.
Also, Pokemon Home, the successor to Pokemon bank, was announced. (I have nothing snarky to say about this, I think it is legitimately cool to access and manage your entire bank on the go.)
Roughly a week later after the press conference, Nintendo released a Pokemon Direct giving more details on the upcoming games, Sword & Shield. In this Direct, we were shown several new Pokemon, and an area where you can find lots of wild Pokemon. It’s call the Wild Area. In this place, trainers will be able to interact with a variety of Pokemon and environments depending on the day and time they are visiting.
Another big surprise came in the announcement of the battle mechanic, Dynamx. Have you ever been watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and said, “I wish I could have a Pikachu that big, and for it to battle other Kaiju sized monster”? Well, now is your chance! With Dynamax, your Pokemon grows to the size of a two-story building, laying waste to the ground beneath it just by attaining this power, and gets powered up moves. Forget Z-moves! Move like 3-moves with a Dynamax boost, because for 3 turns, your Pokemon will enjoy not only a size increase, but also maxed out moves. The competitive scene is really looking forward to how this huge new mechanic will be implemented!
The next new feature that I will discuss was Max Raid Battles. With Max Raid Battles, you can take the best parts of Pokemon Go (such as waiting in a lobby for players to join, then starting a battle, just to back out because someone dropped) home with you. Max Raid Battles match up to 4 players against a Dynamaxed wild Pokemon, but with only one of these players being able to Dynamax their own Pokemon. Teams will have to work together to defeat these challenging raid bosses, or, as a wise man once said, “LEEROOOOOOY JENKINS!!!”
Finally, the last bit of news that was shared was the cover legendaries. Game Freak understands that some fans, this writer included, are still disappointed that a Z-version never came to fruition. They attempted to soften this blow in Gen 7 by naming their new mechanic Z-moves, name using Z in the names of Pokemon such as Necrozma and Zeraora, and now in Gen 8 are trying to take one more step to righting this wrong. The new legendaries are sword-wielding pupper Zacian and shield-face doggo Zamazenta. These over-designed marvels will be a great addition to the game, until you are forced to capture them and then stick them in your box.
Pokemon Sword & Shield will release worldwide November 15th, 2019.