Much to the surprise of no one, Pokémon Sword and Shield received a great deal of attention at this year’s E3.
Even taking into account the franchise’s global popularity, these latest entries in Game Freak’s core RPG series represent a momentous milestone. From Generation 8 onwards and for the first time ever, Pokémon will no longer make its home on a handheld console. Considering the hybrid nature of Nintendo’s Switch and its superior hardware over the 3Ds, the migration makes more sense than ever, not least for the new gameplay opportunities said hardware provides.
We’ve already seen evidence of that in Sword and Shield‘s new Dynamax system and spacious Wild Area, but with several months still to go until launch and rumors flying around the internet at a dizzying pace, there’s undoubtedly more that the developer isn’t telling us.
Whatever it is that Game Freak has planned, however, it doesn’t involve bringing back beloved features from adventures past. Following Nintendo’s headline Direct Presentation earlier this week, various members of Sword and Shield‘s development team shared further details at a follow-up gameplay session. Among the many topics discussed were Mega Evolution and Z-Moves.
Introduced with Pokémon X&Y and Sun and Moon respectively, both elements allowed Trainers to further tailor and customize their team as an additional layer of strategy, the former of which received particular praise for breathing new life into old and oft-forgotten ‘Mons.
Unfortunately, neither mechanic will see a return in this year’s installment, which is sure to disappoint many. The reason for such wasn’t provided, though I imagine the decision is a result of Game Freak’s desire to focus wholly on Dynamaxing and Max Raid Battles. Should a specific explanation surface though, we’ll be sure to let you know.