Nintendo Direct continues to offer fans a sneak peak at exciting games to come in the near future. The 2/27/19 Nintendo Direct focused on upcoming material in the Pokemon franchise. Pokemon started back in the mid-90s, and, since then, has entertained fans of all ages. With its continued sequence of RPG titles, spin-offs, and animated projects, Pokemon continues to bring fans new content.
But what did fans learn in today's Nintendo Direct? What should Pokemon fans be looking forward to seeing in the next year? There remains much to unpack in this Nintendo Direct, so let's help unpack all the revelations, all the announcements, and all the minor details that are more important than you might just realize. What did fans learn about Pokemon in February's Nintendo Direct?
10 New Pokemon Game - Pokemon Sword and Shield
Pokemon Sword and Shield are the newest games in the Pokemon franchise. This marks Gen 8, which stands as a true main-series title. This means a lot of new material for fans of the franchise.
Many fans seemed uncertain if Pokemon Let's Go Eevee/Pikachu stood as a main series title (despite Nintendo directly calling it a spin-off). Now, however, it's clear that's Let's Go Eevee/Pikachu was just an appetizer. THIS is the main course.
9 New Region - Galar Region
As with all new Pokemon, there's a whole new world to explore! This time, GameFreak and Nintendo will take us to the Galar Region.
This expansive region is filled with idyllic countryside, cities, plains, and snow-covered mountains. While it isn't uncommon to see Pokemon regions with varied locals, most regions do have reoccurring iconography that distinguishes them from the rest (Johto and Kanto inspired by Japan, Kalos is inspired by France, Unova inspired by America, Alola is Hawaii -- etc). It remains to be seen what real-world location Galar draws from, though, judging from the visuals and buildings that resemble Manchester, it can be assumed this region may draw inspiration from Britain.
8 Appealing to Fans of Old Veteran Fans and Fans of Let's Go Eevee/Pikachu
The Nintendo Direct states that this game is aimed to appeal to fans of both the mainline RPGs and of the Pokemon Let's Go Eevee/Pikachu games. What this means remains to be clear.
As it is still early on, it remains unclear what changes may be carried over from the Let's Go Eevee/Pikachu games, as, beyond the incredible graphics, the game looks much like its handheld counterparts.
7 Gen 8 Starters - Rabbit, Lizard, and Chimp themed?
The Gen 8 Starter Pokemon are Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble, who are grass, fire, and water-themed, respectfully. Most sets of starters follow a set theme. In this, it appears to be animal themed.
This isn't the first time we've seen animals inspired by chimps, rabbits, and lizards. However, judging by the trailer, one can assume Scorbunny is going to be a speedy fire type, Sobble a defensive boy (judging by how the Sobble in the trailer can go invisible), and Grookey seems strong (climbing up that chimney takes strength, after all).
6 It's Coming to the Switch!
Every main series Pokemon game up until this point has been available for a handheld console. Until now, that is. Pokemon Sword and Shield are both coming out for the Nintendo Switch. These are the first console main series titles, following the success of Let's Go Eevee/Pikachu.
No doubt the earlier game's success served as a testing grounds for the Switch hardware. It is unclear how the game will incorporate the Switch's hardware to improve upon the Pokemon gameplay experience.
5 The Industries Show the Interplay of Pokemon and Human Technology
The Galar Region is made distinct by the technology present in the world. According to the Nintendo Direct, the technology used in Galar is a sort of interplay between human technology and Pokemon ingenuity.
While this may just be flavor text for fans more interested in how the game will play, fans of Pokemon's lore will now bear witness to some interesting developments: how people and Pokemon cooperate to build a society. This could potentially be fascinating for long-time fans.
4 It's Coming out World-Wide in Late-2019
All that gameplay footage is nice, but without a release date, fans will be left salivating in the streets, praying to their alters of Arceus for a day they can play the game.
While there is no solid release date, fans have a window: Late-2019. No doubt it will be released in or around November like several previous games in the franchise -- including last year's Let's Go Eevee/Pikachu. Just in time for the holiday season -- so kids can beg their parents to buy it for them.
3 Old-Gen Pokemon Will be Prevalent
While every new main series game brings new Pokemon, many new games hold back on bringing old favorite Pokemon into their games. Pokemon Black and White, for example, featured very few returning Pokemon from prior gens until late in the game, focusing more on their new Pokemon.
But Pokemon Sword and Shield's trailer features many old favorite Pokemon, such as Pikachu and Munchlax. Presumably, old favorites from prior generations will be prevalent in Galar. Though, of course, there will be version-exclusive Pokemon, as is tradition in the franchise by this point.
2 A Return to Old Gameplay
While very little of the gameplay was revealed, the little footage we saw revealed that the gameplay mechanics will be more in line with prior main series Pokemon games. RPG mechanics, traditional capture systems, etc.
One huge issue longtime fans had with Pokemon Let's Go Eevee/Pikachu was how the game incorporated the capture mechanics of Pokemon Go. While there is no confirmation that there will be no Pokemon Go mechanics in the game, the mechanics of this game appear to be more in line with Pokemon Sun and Moon.
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1 There is More Coming Than Just This
This isn't the only Pokemon game content fans can expect this year. While updates about Pokemon Sword and Shield can be expected throughout the year -- and there are the movies -- Nintendo implied that more Pokemon games may be announced over the course of the next year.
Perhaps another spin-off game?
Or, perhaps, at long last, a sequel to Pokemon Snap?
Without any confirmation, we cannot know for sure what the future brings. But the future, as of today, looks pretty bright.