Nintendo gave players a chance to try out Pokemon Sword and Shield at E3 with 20 minutes to try a demo. Here are my thoughts.
The demo consisted of traversing one of the gyms in the game, specifically the Water type one. At least, we’re assuming that from the fact that Nessa is a Water-type trainer and the gym is full of plumbing and waterfalls that you have to turn on or off to progress.
Nessa is an expert on Water-type Pokémon and one of the Gym Leaders you must face on your adventure. Her calm and collected attitude hides a competitive spirit and indomitable will. She will overwhelm any opponent in battle by blasting them with powerful Water-type moves.
As for the Pokemon and the battles, you enter the gym with a full party. This consists of the three Galar starters(Scorbunny, Grooky, and Sobble), Wooloo, Corviknight, and Yamper. The last Pokemon was a complete surprise since Nintendo hadn’t announced it at all. It’s a cute Electric-type dog. And this wasn’t the only surprise.
One of the trainers in the gym had another unseen Pokemon. This was Impidimp. A Fairy/Dark-type Pokemon that looked a bit like a devil. It was definitely exciting to see new Pokemon revealed in the Demo which got me excited to discover even more Pokemon in the region.
Battles function as usual with some of the quality of life features returning to the battle UI such as checking to see how effective moves will be against an opponent depending on the type. The style definitely feels like a modern Pokemon game that takes advantage of the big screen to show off the Pokemon in battle and keep the overlay of health bars and available Pokemon in the corner.
And after completing a series of switches that turned water on and off to open the pathway I was able to exit the gym. I found myself at the stadium entrance seen in the last two trailers.
After spinning in place by moving the left stick in a circle a few times, I charged onto the field and faced my opponent. The gym leader Nessa.
There was a cool visual however when stepping into the arena. My Dynamax bracelet glowed to indicate that the feature would be available in the battle.
She only had two Pokemon, a Goldeen and a Drednaw. I took out Goldeen easily but then she brought our her star Pokemon. Drednaw came onto the field and she Dynamaxed it first turn.
And of course I wanted to try out how Yamper appeared when Dynamaxed but Drednaw was having none of that. I switched to Yamper and it got wrecked by the giant Drednaw but I did make a new discovery.
Dynamaxing doesn’t get priority in battle the way that Mega Evolving does. Since Yamper was slower than Drednaw, it moved last and didn’t even get a chance to Dynamax.
So I sent out Grooky but the Demo timed out.
Overall, the game looked great and the battles felt cleaner than ever. But the Demo was clearly only showing that the Pokemon Company wanted you to see. I couldn’t even open the menu to see my party so it was just in battles that I could look at my party. Even the trainers in the gym were only using Pokemon that we had seen already beside Impidimp.
I walked out with three pins of the starters which look awesome and I will definitely be keeping secure. There was definitely much more content to be seen in the Nintendo Treehouse livestream where they showed the Wild Area.
But the demo really established that the game was going back to its roots with gym battles that were absent in Generation 7 and making them much more of a spectacle by hosting them in huge stadiums with a big crowd.
What do you think about this upcoming game? Let us know in the comments.