The Nintendo Direct contained a lot of information for the Pokemon franchise, both mainline and spin-off.
The Direct opened with the reveal that a remake of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, titled Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX, is being made for the Nintendo Switch. It will feature a brand-new artstyle, and added features like Z-Moved Pokemon, whilst maintaining the original’s charm. The title is due for release in March, 2020, but there’s a demo out right now – and progress made in that will carry over.
After that, attention turned back to the main series. The team behind Pokemon Sword and Shield revealed that they wanted to expand upon the land of Galar, similar to how previous titles have their own settings (eg. Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon). But instead of making a brand new game, they want players to carry their progress over, and so decided to make their vision into expansion packs instead. That’s right – packs.
The first expansion, The Isle of Armor, takes place in on a warm and sunny island off of Galar’s coast. The player – now Galar’s Champion – seeks to expand their understanding of Pokemon under Leon’s mentor, Mustard. Mustard runs a dojo on Armor, and you’ll be training alongside the gym leaders of tomorrow – including some that will declare you their rival.
During your training, you will come into the care of Mustard’s Pokemon, Kubfu – a new Fighting-type Pokemon. You can evolve it into Urshifu, who can learn two different fighting styles: Single Strike, which utilising Dark power, and Rapid Strike, which utilises Water power.
This expansion is due June, 2020.
The second expansion, The Crown Tundra, will have players travel the the frosty tip of the island of Galar as part of an exploration team. Commissioned to explore the region, players will find themselves drawn into the mystery of a mysterious legendary Pokemon, Calyrex.
Players will finally be able to explore the insides of Pokemon Dens here, and will be able to come across a variety of catchable legendary Pokemon, both new and from previous titles. This exploration will also be available for multiplayer.
The Crown Tundra is due in Autumn of 2020.
Both expansions will feature an additional 200 Pokemon – a mix of new Pokemon, and returning ones that didn’t make the initial cut. All players, regardless if they own the expansions, will be able to obtain these Pokemon via trade.
One of the returning Pokemon, Slowpoke, comes with a Galarian form that all players can access right now – a new cutscene has been patched into the game, taking place at Hulberry Station. There, the player will encounter their rival from the Island of Armor, meeting them before the expansion – a Galarian Slowpoke will have stowed away with them, and you’re able to catch it if you wish.
Other returning features include Apricorns, and new Tutor moves.
And both worlds of the expansion are designed to be mostly like the Wild Area – open world.
The Expansion Pass is available for pre-order now. Doing so will make a few clothing items from the Isle of Armor available. It doesn’t seem like a large amount of progress has been made on the creation of the expansions, so hopefully we’ll learn even more as the release dates approach.
The Nintendo Direct is available, embedded below.