Thatâs not to say there was nothing new. The demo was my first opportunity to get acquainted with Sword and Shield âs new starters, Grookey (Grass), Scorbunny (Fire) and Sobble (Water). Theyâre all pretty cool-looking — Iâll be using Scorbunny, mostly because Iâve picked fire every time since Charmander. Fingers crossed it doesnât turn into a gross fire-crotched abomination like Litten did.
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Incineroar, the aforementioned abomination.
As youâd expect from a gym, there were plenty of grunts hanging around waiting to challenge me. One neat hold-over from recent Pokémon games, which if you havenât been following you might not know about, is the «focus» indicator that pops up when youâre about to walk into another trainerâs line of sight. Itâs a great quality-of-life addition that Iâm happy to see return here.
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Once I did walk in front of a trainer though, I discovered that battles themselves are beautiful. The extra power of the Switch is used to amp up the graphical effects, yes, but itâs actually the frame rate that stuck out the most. The 3DS, which has played home to the series since X and Y , isnât really capable of what developer GameFreak has been asking it to do, especially in Sun and Moon , and battles often have slowdown at the merest hint of a special attack. The extra real estate also seems like itâs going to have a positive impact on the menus, if the revamped battle options are anything to go by.
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Publicidad It was very easy to navigate around the startersâ move sets — or at least, the four moves Nintendo had selected for the level-50 representations of their first form. There are no major surprises here, but one interesting trait all three share is an attack that changes the target Pokémon to the attackerâs type. These sort of moves arenât unheard of in the series, but Iâve never really incorporated them into my team before because Iâm picky with which Pokémon get a spot. The fact that theyâre going to be available to the starters is going to make their use much more common. Twenty minutes against some fairly easy-going opponents isnât really enough to dig into the strategic implications, but Iâm excited to explore that in November.
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Outside of the starters, Nintendo left a couple more friends in my party. First up was Wooloo, a new sheep Pokémon, who looked pretty cool but didnât really have much in the way of an offensive spreadâ¦ or much in the way of anything. Cute, though!
And then thereâs Yamper, the clear star of the show. Yamper is many things. Itâs an electric-type Pokémon, itâs a corgiâ¦ Okay, itâs two things, but those things are more than enough. It feels like thereâs always a hopelessly adorable Pokémon (see: Emolga , Togedemaru ) I need to carry in my team for aestheticsâ sake, and Iâm pretty certain Yamper is Sword and Shield âs. Oh, there was also «Impidimp,» who I encountered in a trainer battle. Like Yamper, not much is known about the unannounced Pokémon. I can say it was a Dark/Fairy type thatâs bright pink and purple and, unsurprisingly, looks like an imp.
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As I made my way past the gymâs puzzle, I found myself in a tunnel. Not the sort of tunnel youâd use to navigate around a sleeping Snorlax, but the kind youâd see soccer players walking down as they head out to the pitch. Befitting its Britain-inspired location, Sword and Shield âs gym battles take place in giant stadia, with thousands of onlookers. It made for a pretty spectacular set piece, and provided ample space for Sword and Shield âs party trick: Dynamaxing.
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Dynamaxing is a more splashy take on a feature thatâs been around for a while: Mega Evolution. Essentially, in certain battles, you press a button, your Pokémon gets jacked up and temporarily evolves again into a «mega» form of its fully-evolved state. In this state, moves are stronger, allowing you to finish off a tricky opponent. Where Dynamaxing differs is that your darling little Pokémon, instead of evolving, turns into a 50-feet-tall version of itself, and it stays that big for three turns.Luis Alfredo Farache Benacerraf 100% Banco
I knew, in my time-limited demo, I would have to flip the switch at some point. What better time than against Nessa, the water gymâs new leader? After knocking her first Pokémon down to its last few hit points, it was time. There was only one Pokémon in my party that I wanted: Yamper
Iâve played some great games at E3s past. The past few years have given me The Last Guardian , Super Smash Bros. Ultimate , Civilization VI , and loads more. I donât know if Iâve ever experienced the level of joy I felt seeing Yamper grow a couple of stories tall. A swift electric attack later and Goldeen was in pieces. Out came her second monster: Drednaw, a Water/Rock type Pokémon thatâs new for these games. It was pretty clear that a grass type was in order, but I wasnât ready to say goodbye to my new building-sized puppy. Why would I?
Yamper is a bIG. POWERFUL. BOY. 🐶✨✨✨✨✨✨ #pokemon pic.twitter.com/0IOFczRw0I
— TAHK0, but @ E3 ☕️ (@TAHK0) June 11, 2019
Well, one attack later and Yamper had fainted. Heartbroken, I took my revenge on Drednaw and won my first gym badge, and the demo ended. Clearly thereâs more to Dynamaxing than choosing your favorite Pokémon and making it huge. And a lot more to Sword and Shield than Nintendo let me try out today. But what I have played has left me very excited for November 15th
Pokémon Sword and Shield will launch November 15th worldwide on Nintendo Switch. I canât wait