So with the launch of Pokemon Sword and Shield on the Switch, fans of the franchise will be looking for the best competitive edge they can get, just like in the scene surrounding any other mainline Pokemon title. Trouble is, the Switch iteration of the long-running JRPG property is really shaking things up, and these changes will force new and old players to develop entirely new approaches for how to to deal with their opponents in-battle.
Specifically, there’s a few new developments that have fans either fuming or furiously trying to formulate new strategies. One major change concerns the Pokemon House, that’s the new transfer and storage system that will allow players to move Pokes from previous Generations to the new Gen 8 Switch titles. Game Freak announced that only the Pokemon actually included with Pokemon Sword and Shield on the Switch would be able to move over, and no special moves or other Pokemon would be able to be brought over.
The newest announcement is even more bewildering for fans though. It turns out that Pokemon Sword and Shield will not feature Mega Evolutions or Z-Moves. The Gen 6 and Gen 7 features respectively were added to address growing power creep in the competitive scene, and it looks like a similar approach is being taken with the newest games. The removal of older Pokemon from other games that could shatter game balance is also a time-saving measure as well, as it’s pretty arduous to pack in hundreds of Pokemon with full 3D models, animations and move sets.
If you want to learn what’s actually in the roster for Gen 8, check out our confirmed roster list.
Mega Evolution allows players to transform certain Pokemon into new forms, completely altering both their appearance and stats. This feature was present in the two previous Generations ahead of Pokemon Sword and Shield, and its removal has caused some stir. The phasing out of Z-Moves, which were single use attacks with a lot of power, means that the developers probably felt the system could be done in a more balanced and fun way.
And with those removals, we now have the Dynamax system. This allows a trainer to essentially use both the Mega Evolutions and Z-Moves in a combined way. This limited-time mode turns one Pokemon in a battle into a super-powerful version of itself, offering increased HP and damage potential.
This new system should offer a much more nuanced approach to PvP in the Pokemon series, but we’ll have to wait until release to see how players really respond to it.
Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield release on November 15 exclusively on the Nintendo Switch.