Updated: Sep 17, 2019
This is the first main-line Pokemon game to be on a home console; even though the Switch is somewhat of a hybrid home console and a handheld, this Pokemon game is still the first of its kind to be released on this kind of platform. This is something that I think compelled Game Freak (the developer) to make these games for the Switch. Watching all the news that has come out for these games has me really excited and nervous about some things in the game.
Number of Pokemon
Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield will not feature every Pokemon from the franchise. The reason, according to Game Freak producer Junichi Masuda, is that including a large number of Pokemon would make it "extremely difficult to make Pokemon with a new personality play an active part and to balance their compatibility". Not only that, it would be too difficult to have so many in-game models. He said that it's a decision he "had to make some day" and that he's opting to "choose the quality".
More new Pokemon
They introduced the starters for this game awhile back, but they have also announced some other Pokemon from this new generation. See below for all the new released Pokemon.
These three are the starters in Sword and Shield. They haven't shown any more evolutions for the starters yet, but I expect the them to be announced sometime after the summer.
Below are all the Pokemon they have announced so far and there are probably more to come!
Here are the Legionaries in these games as well. Note: the right image, "Zacian" only available in Shield and left image, "Zamazenta" only in Sword.
The map has an area that is called the Wild Area in which you can track down Pokemon in random battles as well as see them wandering around inside the Wild Area. For more info on this you can see the gameplay video below:
Gyms are now sports arenas and are treated as such in this region. There are huge crowds when you are battling these Gym leaders. Also, these games will bring something never seen before in Pokemon games - certain towns will have different Gyms that you can challenge depending on whether you’re playing Pokemon Sword or Pokemon Shield. For example, in Sword you will face Bae, the fighting-type Gym Leader; in Shield, however, you will face Allister, the ghost-type Gym leader.
The Pokemon Ball Plus accessory can be used to take your in-game Pokemon with you. However, the ball cannot be used as a controller. It can also help you build a connection to Pokemon; something they said is that "good things" will happen with one Pokemon in particular.
This is the multiplayer aspect of this Pokemon game. There are spots in the Wild Area that are marked with beams of red light. When you walk up to these spots you are able to join a raid with 3 other players to take on more powerful Pokemon - this is like the raid system in Pokemon Go.
The new Dynamax mode allows trainers to make their Pokemon giant and super-powered, which reminds me of Mega Evolutions and Z Moves from past Pokemon games, all combined into this new mode. Dynamax can only be activated once during a battle and lasts three turns before a Pokemon reverts to normal size. Gigantamax is similar, but the moves have added bonuses and are stronger and the Pokemon forms change (See example below). Only certain individuals of certain Pokemon species can Gigantamax. So while all Drednaw can Dynamax, only certain, special individuals can Gigantamax.
Here is an example of Drednaw's Gigantamax form:
Pokemon Special Addition Switch Lite:
Videos of Pokemon Sword and Shield below:
Pokemon Direct 2019:
This game has a lot going for it and I'm sure there will be more announced in the future. I am really excited to see this game unfold and see all the new surprises it has in store. This is a day-one purchase for me as I have been dying to have a main line Pokemon game on a home console. Even with the backlash the game has received because some Pokemon won't be included, I feel this game will be great and will bring many new mechanics into play. Be on the lookout for the review of this game around the November 15th release date.
This game can be pre-ordered at GameStop here