Sword & Shield **Official news only** DLC Crown Tundra 22nd October

Dollainthewoods

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I was right ab the leak! I feel so happy ab sending it out and being right, but feeling so wrong cause armored evos sound awful
 

ScraftyIsTheBest

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"Armored Evolutions", eh?

Granted 4chan is to be taken with a grain of salt at best, since even though that guy got two pieces of info right the others could've been made up on the spot, but of course given the timing and the accuracy of the statement of the game names (Sword and Shield) and the games being UK based (which is obvious based on what we saw of Galar)...there may be some legitimacy to it.

That being said, assuming Armored Evolutions are true...looks like we are seeing a new form of evolution where certain Pokemon will evolve further in a special way. This is truly an even numbered generation after all, it seems, and if Armored Evolutions are indeed a thing, looks like Game Freak is one again continuing the pattern of every even-numbered generation giving new, more powerful forms to older Pokemon in one form or another (Gen 2 and especially Gen 4 added new regular evolutions to old mons, Gen 6 did Mega Evolution, you see the pattern). So if the leak is true, I frankly wouldn't be too surprised, given the patterns with the previous even-numbered generations (Gold/Silver, Diamond/Pearl, X/Y) with giving new evolved forms to previous Pokemon, I was expecting them to give new "upgraded forms" to older Pokemon this generation one way or another.

That being said, "Armored Evolution" sounds pretty odd to say the least. One one hand Armored Mewtwo was shown in one of the recent movies which is one thing...but I'm curious as to what exactly Armored Evolution is if it's real, and how it differs from Mega Evolution and what kind of power boost Armored Pokemon will have. Plus the designs...this should be interesting to say the least...maybe we will learn more about it as time goes on if it is indeed true.
 

AquaticPanic

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I'm gonna do a map Analyzis (Big text so I put it under Hide)

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This is your house. Main thing that catches the eye is the path leading up to a forest. Map doesnt show anything in particular about the forest or what is there to do, but I'm assuming you go there for a plot-related reason and to catch some pokemon, as there seems to be no buildings inside the forest


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I'm assuming the red-roofed house is the Trainer's School while the purple-roofed one next to the lake is Professor's Lab and the one next to the windmill is the first Gym.


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People have been saying the map looks linear, but this train station here intrigues me when it comes to that. There seem to be two exits to it - One leading to an open field and another leading straight to another town. This might mean you can chose where to go to, but it'll likely just be a plot reason why you have to take the field route (Train broke or something, leading to the trailer scene with the character inside a tunnel with rais) and have the straight to city as a shortcut later on

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Don't know what to make of this. Just kinda looks like a very big route. Maybe the destroyed castle has some plot importance.


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This looks like a very industrial and isolated town, and somewhat reminds me of Po Town with how it's got walls around it. Could have some connection with Meltan and Melmetal. Big Tower could be a gym as well, but I doubt it.

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Once again, there seems to be two paths leading to simillar ways, one by rail and one by foot.

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The on-foot path leads to the next town (No idea where the rails go tho). I can't quite tell if the yellow fields are just for detail or if it's like the Flower Meadows in SM where you can catch pokemon. The Stadium is probably a Gym or equivalent (Such as trials), possibly a Flying one, the symbol reminds me of Kahili's chamber in SM (Likely a Grass one, more on this later on). The markings are a reference to Long Man of Wilmington, possibly tied on to the legendary lore

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To the other side of the Big Tower town, there's again two paths. On foot leads you to this rather small city, probably a Water gym judging by location and colours. Train path, however, seems to go beyond this town.

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Generic route, but also connects the two previously discussed towns. The Green-Roof house could be a day care.


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Indirect reveals of new pokemon

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If I were to guess, tower with Golden Dragon on the top could be a Gym, while the bigger building is the Elite 4 and the Crown at the top of the building is where the Champion battle happens. only other noteworthy thing is the tunnel somewhat hidden behind the tower, that is yet another train path

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what

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Another seemingly small town with a Gym, I'm guessing either Ground or Rock.

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Legendary Altar / Shrine?

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I like the asthetic of this town. Morelull confirmed. Given the asthetic, probably a Fairy Gym.

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Absolutely no idea of what this one is. Kinda looks like the path close to Po Town.

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What I do notice however, is that along with this icy Water route, it makes for once gain two different ways to approach the next town.

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Doesn't really look like a city from this angle, but could be the cold one from the trailers. The Gym is more hidden away, but it's there. I'd guess Ice, but the "spikes" of the stadium give off a Dark vibe.

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Last area, seems to be quite big as well. The Rose stadium is most certanly a Grass or Bug Gym (Or just a very fancy Pokemon Center). Big Ben and the Observatory are candidates for Gyms as well as the middle structure with big glass walls, but I'm going to put these as unlikely. This gives me high Unova vibes, a mix of Nimbassa, Pokestar Studios and Castelia. Can't think of that much stuff about it


From what I've gathered, there are 3 "main" big cities (Big ben / Observatory one, Castle / Medieval one and the Steampunk / Industrial one) that you'll be going back and forth while you go to the areas around them. Possible Gym types are (unknown), Flying or Grass, Water, Fairy, Grass or Bug, Dragon, Ground or Rock, Ice or Dark.



Unrelated to the map, but I've also done shiny predictions for the starters. Shinies are one of my favourite things to know about new mons, but I'm not sure if that'd derail of the topic of the thread so I'll keep it under Hide as well
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If it hasn't been mentioned yet, fire starter zodiac theory grows stronger.

Charmander: Dragon
Cyndaquil: Mouse
Torchic: Rooster
Chimchar: Monkey
Tepig: Pig
Fennekin: Dog
Litten: Tiger
Scorbunny: Rabbit

Remaining:
Snake
Ox
Horse
Goat

I like all the starters. I don't have a favorite. I'm hoping for a less linear game than usual but otherwise I'm open to whatever. Everything Nintendo-related has really delivered recently so I have high hopes for the new games.

Also, what acronym is best? SS, SnS, SAS, SW/SH, SWISH (last one but using slash as a vowel), or something else?
 
Not gonna lie, it'll be a major disappointment for me if the gimmick this season are armored evolutions. Looks like we also got the usual Kanto Milking too. Hoping that's just fluff they're throwing to discredit and flush out the leakers.

Would be fine with revisiting some of the older gimmicks instead, like Mega Evos.


Also, can we settle on SnS as the abbreviation for these games? It's common lingo for many other genres to refer to sword and shield.
 
Very insightful post. Guess that really debunks the "excessive linearity" fear I had.

Hoping the plot doesn't constrain us too much, going straight to Pastoria in Platinum to get a Dawn Stone and evolve Kirlia to Gallade early was a really fun thing I liked to do before facing Maylene.

Hoping that SnS give us some freedom to explore.

Also, regarding the level curve, they can simply block grass patches/paths with field moves that the player gets elsewhere and raise the levels after that point.
Encourages backtracking for items/grind spots and gives players the option of going another way.
 

Oglemi

Comet Punch
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I'm mostly interested in just how many Pokemon are going to be available. They made a pretty big point in showing off Pokemon from every gen so far, and not just the typical "geodude, abra, machop" ones either, but some interesting choices like minccino, wishiwashi, and flygon. Makes me wonder where exactly they're going to stuff everything, and how they will become available, especially if we get the typical 100-150 new Pokemon on top of it. I think that's what I'm most excited for.

Armored evolutions sounds cool albeit a bit Digimon-y lol. Am interested to see what kind of buffs they give, it'd be interesting if it's solely defensive buffs.
 
Meowstic is in. I'm sold.

... well, not yet somewhat until I know there's 'vees (then again, Hoen and Unova are the only Eevee-less regions, are they?)

Also, this is so British. Gonna love this. Too bad only Scorbunny interests me, although Sobble does have interesting ability, water invisibility, only held by Vaporeon.
This will be the first time I break my starter pattern, where I pick by type changing each generation (that means Blastoise, Meganium, Blaziken, Empoleon, Serperior, Delphox, Primarina), as following it, I'd pick Grass, but the starter is eeeeh. From the back I could also mistake it to Chespin....

The starters give me XY starter vibes, with Grass one probably going to be the hated one while the water one will go Greninja....


Oh, and what's with the "bandage" over Scorbunny? I... have bad feeling about this, although....
 
Okay, time for my long-winded "First impressions" post, mostly concerning the region as that's the info we have. I'm going to start with the not-so-good, mostly so I can end the post with the positive stuff. Thanks to Yveltal for the trailer screencaps I will use to illustrate.

First of all, it has to be acknowledged that no game exists in a vacuum (okay, my brother's copy of Pearl briefly did, but my mother got it out again after scolding him about leaving his games lying on the floor). My reaction to the announcement is influenced by some experience and expectations, based on other recent games released on a comparable scale. With that in mind, there's no way around the elephant in the room: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (BotW for short). This masterpiece of a game was developed for the WiiU, a weaker console than the Switch, and released some two and a half years before Sword & Shield-

Okay, sidenote, we need an abbreviation for these games. "SS" is already taken by SoulSilver, so we need something new. After asking the OI Discord channel, I like Altissimo's suggestion "Swish" the best. So Swish it is.

...and BotW is another flagship release for Nintendo with massive amounts of work behind it. The two also have a pretty overlapping target market, it's a pretty fair assumption that many of the Swish players will have played BotW. This includes myself, so there will be comparisons.

Breath of the Wild proved that the hardware is capable of rendering a very big region. In that game, Hyrule clocks in at almost 70 square kilometers. It's a vast continuous expanse, a square more than eight kilometers on each edge. The overworld is completely seamless, you can walk from one end to the other (it'll take an hour or so) without any loading screens. The game also brilliantly incorporates sight lines. The location of the final boss - Hyrule Castle - is one of the first thing you see when you begin the game, and the map is vaguely bowl-shaped with it in the middle, meaning it is visible from almost every elevated point on the map. If you climb a mountain, you can look down on Hyrule Castle, you can walk there at any time you want (mostly to receive one heck of a beating unless you're very well prepared), and you can see mountains behind it that you can also travel to at any time without any loading (not in a way you will notice during play, at least). The point being, the Switch can render very large and detailed environments, and transport you across them seamlessly.

Literally every square meter of land you see in this picture can be visited. Every natural feature has a name on the map. The picture shows less than half the overworld, at my best guess.

Source


Compared to this, the trailer for Swish had me a little wary. Let's start with the Galar region map:


Immediately, we notice that roads and towns are very clearly marked. There are areas you are meant to go, and areas that will remain inaccessible. For instance, there are no areas interacting with the coasts apart from that little bit in the east. The mountains in the very north, or the woods in the south, all show no indication of being areas you can visit. Fair enough, though, Pokémon games have some restriction, with Routes clearly defining your path, but there was always a little spark of hope in me that the region would be fairly open to roam given the right tools to master difficult terrain. Alas, it seems like we are limited to routes and towns again - not that that is a problem if done correctly.

Another point to note is that the opening area exists in relative isolation. As seen in the first few seconds of the opening trailer, and pictures such as the one below, the map is very 1-to-1 in this particular area. It displays a town of six buildings, and those same six buildings are seen in the gameplay cutscene.


The town. All of the town.



Note how close the town is to the main character's house.



House by the lake, seen in its entirety.


But the background irks me a little. Those are naked, rolling hills, isolating the starting town from the rest of the region. You can't see anything beyond them. Neither the map nor the screenshots indicate that you can reach those hills in any way, they're just there to serve as background. It already makes the first little area seem limited and isolated, not so much a part of the region as a world in its own right. There was some potential here to make the central landmark of the city visible in the distance. However, I don't think it's that important for the starting area in particular, you're meant to hail from a far-away small town after all, it's a staple of Pokémon games apart from BW2. The games tend to let you start out in the most isolated backwater the region has to offer.

However, the trailer seems to indicate that other locations are "boxed in" as well. Let's have a look at the town with the hill painting, northwest of the southernmost big city. As we can see here, this place looks strangely isolated too:


I use the word "strangely", because the overworld map seems to indicate something does exist in the background here. Namely, a mountain range with a pretty distinctive cliff city:




By all indications, there should have been something more in the background than those samey, naked, rolling hills. It makes it feel like this town too exists in its own little "box" like the starting town, and that worries me since it's supposed to be right in the middle of the region. They could at least provide a view of the next area, even if only low-poly and inaccessible. Super Mario Sunshine did that admirably, on the GameCube, in 2002.

The other overworld shots we've seen don't fill me with confidence either. Here are two pictures from other locations, one in the southern city where you can't see beyond its limits, and one from the snowy town, where the player is confined to a town square with no view of the outside world:



In general, there seems to be hills, mountains, or city walls blocking the view wherever it seems like you should have been able to see outside the area you're in. The cities have high walls, or are surrounded by cliffs or forests. The routes appear to follow valleys. The designers appear to have purposefully avoided panoramas, places where you can stand and say "I went over there, and through there, but I haven't seen that place up close yet, wonder what that is like?".

But this feeling of being boxed in extends beyond the backgrounds too. Not to exhaust Yveltal's picture database, but have a look at these last few pictures:







Note all the fences limiting where you can go and where you can only look. Not only are you moving within environments that seem to exist as their own little bubbles, you're moving within bordered spaces in those environments. In other words, there seems to be a lot of Galar that just exists as "only background" while you're effectively moving through tunnels. After the ultimate freedom of Breath of the Wild, it feels like a step back.

Note that all these criticisms are valid for all Pokémon games up until now - heck, before Gen V there weren't even backgrounds. Graphically, Swish is a pretty big step up from what we've seen before, obviously a huge improvement. But this is the Switch, the console succeeding the one BotW was designed for, it's 2019 and eight years since Skyrim. I believe it is fair to expect a little more from the world design in this day and age.

...


Okay, that was the bad stuff. Onto the good! Because I think there are good things here too.

Take for instance the shadows. See the tree's shadows on the roof of the protagonist's house. The player character, buildings, other objects, Pokémon... it looks nice! Or the textures, they're really making the world come to life. Personally, I'm the most happy to see the brief clip of the female player character running through the mine, because you can clearly see the orange glow of its lamps on her skin. It proves that model textures are dynamically affected by light changes, so we won't have situations like this any more, where a Pokémon cast into utter darkness glows like it's standing in sunshine:

(picture from Bulbapedia)

And the region, well, it looks pretty great if seen on its own! While it's no Breath of the Wild, it's very definitely Pokémon. Rolling hills in the background isn't exactly new to the series. Have a look at this, for instance:

(From Bulbapedia)

I actually think the games are starting to look better than the TV series has done for most of its run. That's no small feat.
Pokémon would make an amazing open game. Galar would be an amazing region to explore: So many mountains and an open sea! You could put so many Pokémon in these locations to fill it up as well as trainers. And there’s no reason why they couldn’t make an open world game. Pokémon is the world’s biggest media franchise so I don’t think money is an issue. The issue is that GF thinks that children would quit the game if they weren’t given direct construction, hence why games are so linear; and why there’s no open world even though it would be a good idea conceptually.

The other reason, “ If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. “ To GF Pokémon already makes a lot of money, so why change the traditional formula when it makes so much money? The problem with that mindset is that eventually goes dry. Pokémon is quite lucky that its games manges to survive this long. But eventually, this formula will run dry. And then GF may be in trouble if they can’t think of a way to change things up.

On a similar note, I’m disappointed Ohmori is directing these games. I was really looking forward to the work of the young staff and see what they could create in contrast to older staff of GF did, but with Ohmori directing, what was even the point? Someone who’s an older staff of GF is still directing the games, so he’ll probably push old ideas while rejecting new ideas. I wanted to see an original work of GF with the younger staff ( Don’t count USM because they were based on SM) with little to no influence from old staff.

But I am looking forward to these games. They look beautiful, and thank god they don’t use Chibi Graphics. As long as they aren’t bland and incomplete as XY I’ll be fine. On a similar note, has anyone noticed that Logos are Blue and Red, same colors as XY as well? Maybe it’s a sign of Kalos, not to mention that the colors are in the same order as in XY’s logos as well.
 
I've seen many people disappointed over the graphics of these games, and while I do understand where the frustration is coming from (trust me, I would love to get games with tons of work put in their graphics), I'm honestly less worried about that and more about the actual features and/or lack thereof. So far, the only things confirmed to be gone seem to be:

No wild pokémon in the overworld + following partners: I saw this one coming a mile away the moment the CEO mentioned last year these games would see no influence from Let's Go. Expected, yet still a bummer for me since it kinda ruins the inmersion aspect.

No island trials and totem pokémon: The presence of traditional gyms kinda makes the former already redundant as far in-game bosses go, so I don't see these ones coming back. They stat boosts might show up if they fell like making catching legendaries even more of a challenge though.

No competitive move tutors: Unless Game Freak is feeling generous, the absence of these is pretty much granted, and while I would love Sword/Shield go for the Gen 2/Let's Go route of making some of these moves TMs, the whole "Gen 8 won't be influenced by Let's Go" argument is a huge hope-killer for me.

Despite all this, there's still some stuff unaccounted for I can't really say with confidence it won't show up:

Poképelago: It relies a ton on gen 7's settings to make sense, and Gamefreak's habit of dropping useful features doesn't really inspire me confindence. On the other hand, the feature fits perfectly with Masuda's "kids ain't got time to play games anymore" talk, since it's pretty useful for grinding for items/EV training when you don't feel like doing it yourself.

Triple/Rotation/Inverse Battles: Since these were missing in gen 7 because of framerate they might come back? Maybe?? The Switch is far stronger than the 3DS so only a deliberate design choice can render these deader than dead.

Festival Plaza: No idea if they will keep it the same like it was in Sun/Moon, fuse them with XY's online interface or just flat out replace it with something else. At this point anything can happen honestly.
 
Eh given XY and SUMO I'd expect more around 60-100 mons, but more than that would definitely be cool
I'm thinking that they're slowing down as reaching 1000 mons would be a massive hassle, even if that's quite an achivement too. The side effect of introducing Mega Pokemon and Region forms are that they can ease themselves on designing and not go overboard with it, reducing the need to go with new species. Yeah, I for one would love to see more regional formes, particularly from those generations Alola didn't give love to.

... Also well... looks like this is yet another region where Glaceon won't be loved, assuming Eevee exists there. Alola was bad enough that they at least fixed Crabrawler evolution problem, but not Eevee's. At this point they should just relegate Glaceon and Leafeon into using the Ice/Leaf Stones.
 
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I've seen many people disappointed over the graphics of these games, and while I do understand where the frustration is coming from (trust me, I would love to get games with tons of work put in their graphics), I'm honestly less worried about that and more about the actual features and/or lack thereof. So far, the only things confirmed to be gone seem to be:

No wild pokémon in the overworld + following partners: I saw this one coming a mile away the moment the CEO mentioned last year these games would see no influence from Let's Go. Expected, yet still a bummer for me since it kinda ruins the inmersion aspect.

No island trials and totem pokémon: The presence of traditional gyms kinda makes the former already redundant as far in-game bosses go, so I don't see these ones coming back. They stat boosts might show up if they fell like making catching legendaries even more of a challenge though.

No competitive move tutors: Unless Game Freak is feeling generous, the absence of these is pretty much granted, and while I would love Sword/Shield go for the Gen 2/Let's Go route of making some of these moves TMs, the whole "Gen 8 won't be influenced by Let's Go" argument is a huge hope-killer for me.

Despite all this, there's still some stuff unaccounted for I can't really say with confidence it won't show up:

Poképelago: It relies a ton on gen 7's settings to make sense, and Gamefreak's habit of dropping useful features doesn't really inspire me confindence. On the other hand, the feature fits perfectly with Masuda's "kids ain't got time to play games anymore" talk, since it's pretty useful for grinding for items/EV training when you don't feel like doing it yourself.

Triple/Rotation/Inverse Battles: Since these were missing in gen 7 because of framerate they might come back? Maybe?? The Switch is far stronger than the 3DS so only a deliberate design choice can render these deader than dead.

Festival Plaza: No idea if they will keep it the same like it was in Sun/Moon, fuse them with XY's online interface or just flat out replace it with something else. At this point anything can happen honestly.
What do you mean with no competitive move tutors? We got move tutors since Crystal.

It may not be in SnS if they're getting followups like a 3rd version/Expansions like USUM/Sequels like BW2, but regardless of that, Tutors aren't that related to Let's Go at all. It's a long-established element in the series.
 
My initial thoughts/hopes/random-speculation-bullshit:
  • First off, #TeamSobble. We already have a Grass-type monkey and knowing Game Freak, Scorbunny's final evolution will be Fire/Fighting. At least we had a couple years of lesser-used types for the Fire starters.

  • I hope I'm not the only one who's tired of seeing microscopic new Pokemon rosters. Sure, if you count Mega Evolutions and Alola Forms to their respective generations, you have at least 100 newly-introduced Pokemon, but I want at least that many all-new Pokemon. I seriously think at least half of the "I can't keep up with all these new Pokemon" excuses are just empty projections people use to bitch about newer games.

  • Seeing as the game trailer mentions Gyms, I guess I can forget about the possibility of bringing back Island Trials. Damn.

  • Looking at the titles of "Sword" and "Shield", I can only imagine what kinds of ways Game Freak will incorporate them; the mascot legendaries will most certainly be based around them, but I could see this theme being used in other ways as well. I have a hunch the villainous team will be centered around them too; maybe they'll have a sort of "Knights of the Round Table" theme. Then again, Team Plasma in BW1 already had a medieval Knights Templar theme, so who knows? The things that look like wolf heads on top of the logos also intrigue me.

  • Knowing Game Freak, they'll probably come up with some sort of new way to rejuvenate older Pokemon (i.e. new Pokemon with similar design attributes to older ones in Gen 5, Megas in Gen 6, and Alola Forms in Gen 7). I could almost see the possibility of having "Sword forms" or "Shield forms" of older Pokemon that have their states altered to be either offense or defense-based according to their form. Their types could also potentially change as well.

  • Some new type combinations I would like to see (to name a few): Grass/Fire, Dark/Electric, Fighting/Fairy, Bug/Psychic, Ground/Fighting, Normal/Ghost, Ice/Poison, Dark/Electric, Bug/Dragon, Ice/Fire, and Dark/Fairy. Some otherwise-exclusive type combinations I'd like to see done again after Game Freak butchered them the first time: Ice/Psychic, Electric/Ground, Grass/Rock, Fire/Steel, Electric/Ice, and Bug/Ghost.
I'll probably have more to say some other time, but those are my initial thoughts for now.
 
What do you mean with no competitive move tutors? We got move tutors since Crystal.
Yeah but the move tutors which don't involve starters, legendaries or Draco Meteor always happen to end up skipped in the first games of a generation, so if patterns are any indication we shouldn't be getting those until the Diamond/Pearl remakes or the enhanced Sword/Shield versions.
 

Pikachu315111

JAPE Judge!
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Man, so much to comment on, so little time. For right now just going to post some quick thoughts and hopefully be able to catch up with everything at least by Sunday:

TITLES: Ooh, don't know if anyone was on the Discord last night but I quickly stopped in and, when discussing potential titles, I actually mentioned Sword & Shield! Now granted, I think I saw it somewhere else (and not from that 4chan post everyone is posting, thought who I got it from may have gotten it from them), but at the very least I can tell what would be a good guess when I see it. :)
Anyway, I like the titles, interested in how they'll play into the theme of the game. One thing though that really interest me is that both of them have a head of a wolf. Could this mean that the Legendaries are both wolves? Certainly an interesting choice if so. I looked up for wolf duos in mythology and the only ones I could really find are from Norse Mythology: Odin has two wolves named Geri & Freki and then there's a pair of wolves associated with Ragnnarok who may be more familiar with people, Skoll & Hati Hroovitnisson (they are said to eat the sun and moon, respectively). Now we've already had used Norse mythology as a basis for a region's Legendary: Kalos. Which is based on France. Who are neighbors to the United Kingdom. So, maybe doesn't seem implausible.
And loving all the third version "suggestions", or rather the singular one: Gun. Though to be fair, if they were going to make a third version, that probably would be too far off from the one I'd suggest: Arrow. Unless of course they once again for a second pair of games...
MY PICK: Sword for now, but we'll see how the Legendaries turn out.

GALAR REGION: Woot, Pokemon UK! Just in time for them being in the news for leaving the United Nations, not sure if that's good or unfortunate timing. Well, at the very least the region looks beautiful from what I can tell from the trailer. On Sunday I'll give a closer look at the trailer and map, though everyone pretty much pointed out all the obvious stuff so probably won't have that much to add.
Though, going back to something I mentioned above, France and United Kingdom are close to each other. Now I'm not usually one who constantly tries to find justification to connect regions to one another so we could have another region to explore post game... but that's usually because up till now the reasons have been pretty unconvincing. But for once I could sort of buy maybe having a double region by connecting Galar with Kalos due to the closeness of their real world location which was why Kanto and Johto were connected. Yes, still a long shot, probably won't happen, but for once I don't find the idea too ludicrous.

STARTERS: Shh, keep it secret, but this Sunday there MIGHT be a new JAPE and they might be judging the Starters and I might be one of the panelists. ;) So, yeah, for now I'll just say the one I'm going to pick:
MY PICK: Scorbunny. Surprise, the person who always picks the Fire Starter (at least for the initial paired games) picked the Fire Starter again! Though I do actually like Scorbunny so that helps. :)

BTW, before I forget:

Happy 23rd Birthday Pokemon! February 27th, 1996 was when the first Pokemon games were released in Japan: Pokemon Red & Pokemon Green. And with Gen 8 looking on the right track here's for another 23 years!
 

vzxt

Bad guys never look back.
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Grookey has some music design elements as seen in its all different names and the instrument it has. You could even say the english name combination of words can be groove monkey

That small wooden bar it is seen using in the reveal and later put on its head is a clave, a wooden instrument used to mark tempo and make other noises. So far i think Grookey has the most clear theme going on for it's design.
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https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claves
 
gorochu or i riot

It's becoming a tradition to reveal the starters first, isn't it. I actually think these three are pretty strong so far design-wise; the one complaint I have is that Scorbunny's name (both in English and Japanese) feel like something I would have come up with at 10/11yo. Right now I'm leaning for Sobble, though I'm gonna hold off on a final decision until we see evos.

On that note:<br />
Scorbunny: Id
Grookey: Ego
Sobble: Superego
 
I'm seriously hoping there will be some elements tying the starters together. Kalos did it the best with the Fighter-Mage-Thief combination. Alola didn't do too much, but there's still fantasy elements particularly on Decidueye and Primarina. Considering this is even named Sword and Shield, they better have this theme tying the starters too.

Honestly this generation's starter didn't impress me to my expectation, so it'll take me a long time until they grow on me. Scorbunny's unusual white colour for fire starters is at least offset by its cuteness (but not that English name ugh), but feels like I still love Fennekin and seapuppy Popplio more, and the other two seem to fall to "oh wait who again" category for me (Sobble fared better with its water invisibility like Vaporeon). Of course, opinion. I'll see if they grow quickly, as I instantly loved the Kalosians and it didn't take me long to have the Alolans grow on me....

Of course, evolution reveal could change things. Alola during pre-SM did it best with extra notes on them not even written in the dex, such as Brionne's actual personality, making them very personable compared to the past starters. Kalos didn't do much, but they're already personable enough with Braixen's witchy attitude, Frogadier's self-reservation, and Quilladin's... erm, armor.


EDIT: Crud, I just realised Sobble may as well be Froakie mk2. Being chameleon, not implausible for it to get Protean as HA and go Greninja again. Unless they opt for an entirely new HA like Alolans (except Litten).
Also, the reason I had XY vibes was apparently because official art Scorbunny's pose is the same as one of Chespin's official art.
 
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Grookey has some music design elements as seen in its all different names and the instrument it has. You could even say the english name combination of words can be groove monkey

That small wooden bar it is seen using in the reveal and later put on its head is a clave, a wooden instrument used to mark tempo and make other noises. So far i think Grookey has the most clear theme going on for it's design.
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https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claves
Good eye! That actually hyped me up a bit for Grookey.

There's definitely some potential for percussion instruments, though that may doom it competitively if the final form is related to drums and becomes slow and bulky as a result.

Also, Pikachu may be on to something here. The clouds on the map could be hiding a connection to Kalos. I wonder where they could connect them...
 

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