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Pokémon: 5 Features We Want in Sword & Shield (& 5 We Don't)

After getting a ton of new information, Pokémon fans everywhere are getting hyped up for Sword & Shield. The games will mark the series’ first mainline entries on the Switch and already look like they’re going to be pretty memorable. With so many new features and details being revealed, it may be tough to keep track of everything going on.

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Some new features will certainly be welcomed additions while others may not go over so well with veteran fans. Regardless, there’s a ton to dissect and speculate about. With five more months until the games actually release, there will most definitely be new information made available between now and then. For now, here are 5 features we want in Sword & Shield and 5 we don’t.

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10 Want: Locations That Feel Alive

One thing that was promised in the recent announcement was that players would get to experience a more vibrant and interactive world in Galar. It certainly seemed that way in the trailer as well.

The game looks stunning from what’s been shown so far and a big part of that is how alive Galar feels, at least from what the trailers have portrayed. Pokémon games have always been about exploration and immersing the player within a given region. It’s looking like this new generation will be able to do that in ways older games haven’t been able to.

9 Don’t: Too Much Of The Same Thing

One thing that these new games have promised is change. There are a lot of new features and additions, while the Galar region feels like a breath of fresh air. It really feels like a lot of thought was put into making the inaugural Switch games as distinct from their portable counterparts as possible.

But then again, this is a series that has been around for over two decades and for the most part, stuck with a tried and true formula. Like it or not, there probably won’t ever be drastic change in the Pokémon games. But that’s fine so long as they don’t play it too safe with these new titles.

8 Want: New Ways To Explore

The Galar region looks beautiful and is just begging to be explored. Players may very well spend hours just getting around and trying to discover every inch of the place.

As shown in the trailer, it seems as though some new methods of exploration have been added in as well. From what the trailer shows, players will be able to traverse bodies of water with a kind of amphibian bicycle. This looks like a really enjoyable way to get around and hopefully signifies more things to come.

7 Don’t: Underwhelming Legendary Pokémon

With every generation, new regional Legendary Pokémon are revealed. It isn’t the most important aspect to many fans, but it’s a part of the experience all the same. One thing that Sword & Shield seem to be lacking is memorable Legendary Pokémon.

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Both Zacian and Zamazenta look decent enough, but their designs ultimately come off as lazy and uninspired. It’s not a knock against Art Director James Turner’s work, but when it comes to legendaries fans have fairly high expectations.

6 Want: Tons Of Exploration Potential

One thing that came across strong in the trailer is that Galar will offer the player tons of exploration potential. Whether it’s catching, Pokémon, training or simply having a look around the area, there seems like no shortage of things to see.

While the later 3DS titles did try and make their environments more versatile, the Switch seems to be able to do what they never could manage. Everything seems accessible and should help in making this a memorable journey.

5 Don’t: No Random Encounters

While the Let’s Go games allowed players to see Pokémon in the overworld – a feature many had wanted for a while – those weren’t mainline entries. It seems as though that feature is making a return, though hopefully not at the expense of random encounters.

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The new trailer did show what seemed to be some sort of random encounter, so while it’s still possible that the feature is in the games it could be in some sort of altered state. For series veterans, that wouldn’t be the most popular feature.

4 Want: The Wild Area

The newly introduced Wild Area seems like it’ll be an immediate fan favorite and will make a huge impact on how people enjoy the new games. The Wild Area is said to connect several towns in the region and will be fantastic for catching new types of Pokémon.

Pokémon in the area are seen in the overworld and what you encounter varies depending on the weather conditions of the Wild Area at that time. It should be a fresh new way to catch and collect Pokémon.

3 Don’t: Max Raid Battles

It seems that the new games are taking some features from Pokémon Go and tweaking them a little. Max Raid Battles look to be one of those features, and it’s something that doesn’t seem all that promising.

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Players will face off against wild Dynamax Pokémon with the option to connect with other players as well. Connectivity has always been a prominent point of the Pokémon games, but this new feature just doesn’t feel like it belongs.

2 Want: Monumentally Massive Gym Battles

One thing that was immediately noticeable in the new footage was the absolute spectacle that Gym Battles in Galar seem to be. It seems like a real-life sporting event, with massive stadiums and cheering crowds to go along with it.

This will certainly create a unique atmosphere that fans have never gotten to experience in any mainline entry. There are still details surrounding Gym battles that will undoubtedly be revealed in the coming months. But so far this looks like one of the most interesting features.

1 Don’t: Dynamax Pokémon

New transformations are nothing new to Pokémon fans, but this new Dynamax system just seems ridiculous. Unlike Mega Evolutions and Z-Moves, Dynamax feels like too much.

New details will undoubtedly be revealed soon enough. But for now, this feature just seems unnecessary. It doesn’t bring anything necessary or interesting to the table. But who knows, it can end up being a fan favorite once everyone gets their hands on the games come November.

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