Game Freak has decided to bring back a beloved feature for Pokémon Sword and Shield.
The Gym Challenge, an iconic cornerstone of the franchise since the Red & Blue days, took a vacation with 2016’s Sun & Moon in favor of so-called Island Challenges. Despite receiving praise for a genuine attempt to innovate, the developer, it seems, has decided to reintroduce its tried and true progression system for Trainers’ upcoming visit to the Galar region. Once more, players will need to defeat a series of eight increasingly difficult opponents in order to secure their ticket to the Pokémon League, culminating in a climactic face-off with the region’s reigning champion.
That being the case, it comes as little surprise that Sword and Shield‘s main adventure will be comparable in length to its predecessors. Game director Shigeru Ohmori confirmed as much during a recent interview with Game Informer. Referencing an earlier exchange where Ohmori described his desire to make Pokémon’s debut on home consoles the “ultimate” iteration, the site goes on to query whether that strong intent will have any impact on the overall length of Sword and Shield‘s primary story.
“I think it’s hard to go into details of that, but in terms of the volume or the amount of content in the main adventure, it’s comparable to other Pokémon generations that we’ve played,” confirms Ohmori, though he does continue to imply that a lot of resources and effort have gone into crafting a more in-depth endgame.
“I think there’s a lot of interesting activities that, for example, completing the Pokédex or really going out into the Wild Area and engaging with those mechanics, that’ll add a lot of replay value for players who are looking to get really hardcore into that.”
Max Raid Battles are confirmed to be one core component of the endgame experience, though Ohmori signs off by teasing even more, saying:
“I can’t really go into details, but I can say that there’s other content for players to engage with over the long term and more deeply after you finish the main story.”
Excited? Of course you are. Fortunately, the wait is almost over. Pokémon Sword and Shield are out November 15th for Nintendo Switch.