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Pokémon Sword & Shield (Expansion Pass Part 1 Releases June 2020)

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Gigantmax Meowth loves shiny objects, and when it sees skyscrapers lined with glass, it won’t be able to resist the urge to sharpen its claws on them. This behavior can cause considerable damage, such as wearing down the exterior walls and breaking windows.

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That would explain why there's not a lot of tall glass buildings in the Galar Region...

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A while back, I was mulling over ideas (entirely hypothetical, of course) for a sort of Pokemon-based disaster emergency game; something that would lean on all the edgy Pokedex fluff to create scenarios where you'd have to deal with Magcargo setting everything in their vicinity aflame, Tyranitar destroying mountains, and so on.  But something like that could be imported into the canon, too, as a way of showcasing a region's Pokemon and having the Pokedex lore mean something.  "Suddenly, Dyna Portals appear across Galar, and ordinary Pokemon are growing enormous and causing havoc!"  That would work.  Of course, for all we know, that could literally be the plot.

I'm not at all opposed to humans having a place in the plot, because I think ultimately the plots of Pokemon games have to be about how humans and Pokemon relate to one another; but I think XY was a demonstration of how exhausted the standard model of the series had become.  Sun/Moon was a welcome breath of fresh air, but was definitely a story about humans rather than about Pokemon.  The difficulty is in actually telling a story about a partnership between you and a specific Pokemon whilst still giving you absolute choice over your entire team at any time; although Nebby, I think, was an attempt to circumvent that problem...

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33 minutes ago, FFWF said:

A while back, I was mulling over ideas (entirely hypothetical, of course) for a sort of Pokemon-based disaster emergency game; something that would lean on all the edgy Pokedex fluff to create scenarios where you'd have to deal with Magcargo setting everything in their vicinity aflame, Tyranitar destroying mountains, and so on.  But something like that could be imported into the canon, too, as a way of showcasing a region's Pokemon and having the Pokedex lore mean something.  "Suddenly, Dyna Portals appear across Galar, and ordinary Pokemon are growing enormous and causing havoc!"  That would work.  Of course, for all we know, that could literally be the plot.

This weirdly makes me think of the Pokémon Ranger stuff. I haven't played those games, so I only have some cursory knowledge of them, but the idea of having to calm down rampaging Pokémon or whatever sounds like it'd be pretty fun and scale back on the the evergrowing stable of corny evil bosses that spell out how evil they are (though I thought Aether/Skull were better about this).

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Previews are rolling out:

Eurogamer

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Not more than an hour or so into Sword and Shield you'll visit the Wild Area, and for that spot at least Pokémon's world finally opens up...

It's also just generally a surprising move away from the spoon-fed simplicity of more recent Pokémon games. It's clear the team at Game Freak have a real thing for making Pokémon as widely accessible as possible, with developers alluding to younger players not quite knowing where to go or what to do next in the past, and yet the Wild Area is one large, slightly disorientating mass of land, encountered surprisingly early in the game, that lets you take one wrong turn into a swathe of powerful enemies.

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A Pokémon with a (barely noticeable) yellow glow will appear on very, very rare occasions in the wild (I only saw two of them, and only in the Wild Area, myself) and you'll get a bit of flavour text when the battle starts noting their apparent strength. Rather than size, though, these have much more useful aspects: yellow-glowing 'mon have at least a couple of maximum IVs - the hidden gene-like stats that dictate how good one Machop is, say, compared to another - and they have Egg Moves rather than regular ones, too.

VG247

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It might be because I am myself British and recognise the elements more clearly, but I’d go so far as to say that this is the most regionally-conscious Pokemon game yet. There are some Pokemon names that are great references to British slang, and several new species that are directly inspired by the sort of wildlife I see scuttling around my local park. It’s brilliant. I will say, also, that the number of new Pokemon and Galarian forms I saw in just 90 minutes gives me hope that this game will add quite a few newcomers...

I’ve written in the past in vague support of the ‘bring back the national dex’ crowd – my argument has always been that if Pokemon need to be cut, the game should feel a bigger step forwards, battles should look more dynamic and exciting. I have to admit that as I began playing Sword and Shield, those worries melted away.

Game Informer

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On the way to Magnolia’s location, I encounter seven different Pokémon in the wild. While I can’t say any of the creatures aside from Yamper, I love how different Pokémon appear in the tall grass through random encounters than do as creatures that roam in the environment. This not only gives you a sense of a living world, but also the mystique of being surprised when an encounter starts without you having initiated it.

The Verge

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Most Pokémon games start off slow and predictable, with the standard tutorials and a lot of time spent wandering around tall grass so you can catch backup pokémon (or train your starter enough) to take on the first gym leader. None of that really happened.

3D Juegos - Translation of interesting points by ResetEra:

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  • He found a level 26 Onix when entering the Wild Area for the first time, so this indicates the level of the Wild Pokémon may not be tied to your level but instead be completely random (Maybe based on species, time of day, etc.?) He thinks this is a step forward towards the freedom some people have been asking for.
  • The games will skip tutorials if you're a veteran user. He says instead of having someone telling you how to catch a Pokémon, someone tells you that you did a good job if you catch a Pokémon for the first time or use a super-effective attack.
  • The game has a weather forecast on the Wild Area so you can learn how weather will be like in a few hours from now, allowing you to plan accordingly to explore the Wild Area.
  • Even if the game is not technically great (He mentions some low-resolution textures), artistically is a great game.
  • The guy that really likes technology in the first town is back.

I love the location names. So far we have:

Wedgehurst – the first small town home to Professor Magnolia’s lab

Slumbering Weald - the neighbouring forest

Motostoke - the red brick city

 

EDIT: This made me laugh

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"Ahem. Don't mind me"

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I really like some of these changes. I remember around the time the game was announced GameFreak said they wanted to break traditions with this game and these previews finally show some of what they were talking about.

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The previews sound good. Yes, Game Freak aren't the most competent with technical stuff, but these games do seem to include things that people have been wanting - even if not to the standard they would want them. I think people will be pleasently surprised if they play the games, as while they do seem to be a generation behind in game tech, there's no denying that they do try with the best effort they can give.

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And here is Nintendo Life's preview which I'm watching at the moment:

Reading those snippets in @Pawn's post above too also sounds very positive.

EDIT: Confirmed that your mother is called "Mum" and not "Mom". Thank fuck. This is Pokémon Britain/England. 

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25 minutes ago, Blue Blood said:

I appreciate the accuracy in the train station's appearance right down to the barriers, but unless the trains are overpriced and frequently they aren't going feel truly British.

What we don't see is Wooloo's super pissed expression after it's waited an hour for its train to come.

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55 minutes ago, Kuzu the Boloedge said:

Maybe you guys love the game because its giving the authentic UK experience lol.

To be real for like, two seconds, I'd really appreciate it if games were authentic in a particularly subtle way; character names, skin colour and attire. We've got a variety of skin colours for major NPCs, which is great. But the UK has such a huge population of people from Asian/Middle Eastern and African. I'm talking India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Kenya, the Caribbean, and huge swathes of the world all over. The UK (or England at the very least because I'm not seeing so much Scottish/Welsh influence) is very much a melting pot of cultures. They already picked "curry and rice" as the regional dish, so it would be a really nice if they casually continued that influence with character names coming from a wide pool as well. I think Alola had a handful of Hawaiian names in addition to "generic" ones heard all over in English-speaking countries, so it would be cool if they were casually more inclusive here. 

I would love it if that's the case, but I won't hold out hope really. It's just that touch of casually including racial and cultural diversity that I'd love to see, very much in part because I'm British and Pokémon is always set in a somewhere idealised reflection of our world. They didn't manage this with Kalos, but they did get more quite into it with Alola. I don't expect that the games will reach the level of casual, normalised representation that they possibly could, and I won't hold that against them. I'm kind of just thinking out loud here. It really bugs me that there was that whole supposed "white washing" controversy regarding fanart of Nessa, because there are so few other black characters, or anyone who's not white really.

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I don't know diddly about Hawaiian culture but I honestly did feel like they tried really hard to capture the essence of it with Alola  rather then just what you'd see on the surface as a tourist. 

Kalos really did feel superficially French to me. Besides the one obvious town based on Paris everywhere else felt just kinda generic with no real identity beyond the city with the fairy gym.

Unova kinda had that problem as well but it was probably due to it being just...all of America in one region rather than a specific place.

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4 minutes ago, Soniman said:

Unova kinda had that problem as well but it was probably due to it being just...all of America in one region rather than a specific place.

My favourite part of America is the ancient Egyptian ruins.

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1 hour ago, Petrifying Panda said:

They sound like they could be actual British towns/cities. Motostoke reminds me of Basingstoke. Love it!

If Motostoke is the one based on Manchester, I'd sooner headcanon Stoke-on-Trent to be an influence since its way closer (and they're both linked by the Pennines), even though the name more likely is a portmanteau of Motor and Stoke (as in stoking a fire). 

If Polteageist are found there, that would make it somewhat canon. :P

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