Pokémon has been a worldwide phenomenon that revolutionized the RPG world in 1996 with the first release of Pokémon Red and Blue. Since then, people across different age groups have come to love this series as well as it’s now 800+ species of different Pokémon.
And now, it’s finally time once again for that number to increase. Nintendo has announced a new Pokémon game for Nintendo Switch coming out in late 2019. The titles for these new games are “Pokémon Sword” and “Pokémon Shield.” Not a lot of information has been released yet, but the small trailer featured what looks like to be a brand new setting with beautifully detailed yet toony graphics, and the promise of both old and new Pokémon to appear.
Junichi Masuda, the producer of Pokémon Sword and Shield, has promised that this new adventure in the Pokémon universe will be for veterans and new players alike. The hype surrounding the newest entry in the Pokémon series has been infectious.
“I am very excited for this game, especially the Galar region,” said Alex Koch, PLNU’s resident slayer of dragons, master of dungeons, and Pokémon Go-expert. “I wonder if they will tie it in with the Kalos region and its story,” he said.
Each of the Pokémon games are set in a “region” in the Pokémon world. Pokémon regions are like Pokémon countries. Every region is loosely based off of a real-world country or area. The Kalos region that was introduced when Pokémon X and Pokémon Y were released in 2013 featured many cities and areas that were similar to France. The central city had an Eiffel Tower look-a-like building in the middle of it, and many of the characters in that region had French-style clothing.
The Galar region that Alex talked about is the new region Pokémon Sword and Shield are set in. And from the small glimpses of the setting fans have seen so far, the new region’s shape and setting at first glance look like it is going to be heavily based on the British Isles. A shot of a giant clock tower in the trailer looked like London’s Big Ben and even the names Sword and Shield have a medieval Europe ring to them.
The story uncovered in the Kalos region alludes to a Pokémon war with another region that happened many, many years ago. Alex speculates that perhaps now that there is a British Isles-based region, there might be some connection between this new region and Kalos.
The vast world of Pokémon that their developing company Game Freak has built over years of work and dedication is something truly special because each adventure within the Pokémon world nurtures the creativity and imagination of adults and kids alike. Now there is a whole new land coming soon for Pokémon fans young and old to explore and adventure in.
“The Galar region has the potential to really open up gameplay and create a bigger experience than what we’ve had before,” says Jacob Stubbs, president of the video game club on campus.
But of course, besides the just the setting, Pokémon fans are truly waiting for what new Pokémon will be discovered in the Galar region too. The trailer introduced the new three starter Pokémon of Pokémon Sword and Shield: Grookey the Chimp Pokémon, Scorbunny the Rabbit Pokémon, and Sobble the Water Lizard Pokémon.
In the game, the player will get to choose one of these as their very first Pokémon to start off their journey. Many Pokémon fans are already hotly discussing what these starter Pokémon’s evolutions may look like and what other new Pokémon might be in store for this game.
Shigeru Ohmori, the director of Pokémon Sword and Shield said, “As we work on the development of these games, our goal has been to create the greatest Pokémon experience yet. We’re challenging ourselves in trying new things while still treasuring what makes Pokémon special.”
For 23 years, the Pokémon series has grown exponentially and will continue to grow. And still, Pokémon is inspiring imagination and wonder at what will come next.
Written by PLNU student Caleb Yu.