It has been years since among the fans of the Pokémon a ferment similar to that matured over the past few hours did not mean. To be honest, it was a long time that a new title theme Pocket Monster could not arouse so much curiosity even in those who, for the games in the series, has always had a moderate interest. It could not be otherwise: after all, we are talking about a historical franchise that, once the parenthesis Let's GO, Pikachu! / Eevee! Was removed, was just waiting for the right moment to reveal to the world what its next move would be; not a step anyway, but a big jump ready to project its most important line of products – that of hard and pure RPGs – towards the "new" shores of the home console.
During the annual Pokémon Day Nintendo and The Pokémon Company have finally raised the curtain on what for months has been an armored project. They did it with seven minutes of presentation: seven, like the generations that preceded the birth of this eighth, eagerly awaited wave of pocket creatures. A very condensed duration, yet sufficient to reveal at least the name of the new diptych for Switch – Pokémon Spada and Scudo – and some more or less explicit information on what the products could reserve us for the end of this 2019.
Welcome to Galar
Starting with the obvious, it should come as no surprise that Pokémon Sword and Shield Pokémon are focused on discovering a totally new region. After Alola it will be the turn of Galar a continent with a very wide and surprisingly stratified continent in terms of internal composition. The very rich geographic reproduction proposed by Shigeru Ohmori Game Director of Game Freak, speaks for itself about the wide variety of areas that will await our new coach (male or female) once you have taken the backpack to leave home behind. If this were not enough, the first trailer allowed us to closely observe a glimpse of a world of rather promising design, pot-pourri that mixes lake landscapes, mountain areas and industrial centers – clearly inspired by English – with a naturalness at first sight convincing. It is here, sifting this world from top to bottom, that we will meet many Pocket Monster never before seen. Still all is silent on the number of new entry that will actually be to replenish the new version of the Pokédex, where instead it was shown something about the starters of the coming generation. The lucky three respond to the name of Scorbunny, Sobble and Grookey and are respectively fire, water and grass.
From their cut introductory scene we learn that the first is a sort of rabbit with a flaming step, the second a "aqualucertola" with the power of invisibility, while the third, similar to a chimpanzee, is still not well clear the real talents, except the fact of being a creature " by the boundless curiosity ". A trio of characterizations as always boyish, which will not struggle to capture the appreciation of younger trainers. It is less obvious that the trio has the cards in order to meet the taste of veteran players, to whom the future bestiary, perhaps, would do well to reserve some little monster with a look more 'captivating.
The premises of Pokémon Spada and Scudo reassure especially on the aesthetic front. Nintendo and Game Freak have extracted from the cylinder a style that mixes the cartoon graphics of the two previous spin-offs for Switch to a more detailed and "mature" artistic style that, at first sight, seems pleasant and satisfying. Even the duels between Pokémon, suggested only by some fleeting frames, appear enhanced by new animations, certainly more accurate and realistic than seen in the past.
On the other hand, the demonstration videos were stingy with confirmations about the game system that could distinguish the future production. In general, the hypothesis of a RPG Pokémon in "open world" sauce seems to have been disavowed: the streets of Galar seem to have been realized according to a corridor logic, although to date it is not possible to exclude the existence of wider and more open spaces within the map.
Something else, however, has already guessed and could turn up its nose to the fringe of fans who in the two Let's GO had seen the good, if only in purely structural terms. Apparently, in fact, the new ruolistic couple will do without the Pokémon directly visible in the tall grass in favor of an "old-fashioned" hunt, based on classic casual encounters. A decision that at first leaves perplexing: Joy-Con in hand, the addition of the animals in polygonal form had shown qualities from which it is dangerous, to date, to take a step back.
Values that flowed into a slimmed pace of play, in a freer grinding and in an approach to experience less conditioned by purely competitive criteria, which in short may end up with no plausible motivation, at least in appearance.
In the absence of certain information on the combat system, the impression – absolutely preliminary – is that Pokémon Spada and Pokémon Shield aim to be more traditional than how many poké-fans believed before the reveal. If this is good or bad, it will only be time to confirm it.