Review of Pokémon Sword & Shield — Galar Calling

Since its 1996 debut, the international phenomenon in Pokémon has always seemed to cater towards the handheld-gaming crowd.  While there had been plenty of spin-offs and remakes for home consoles ranging from the N64 to the Wii U, having a portable system was a requirement if you wanted a piece of the core Pokémon lineup.  But thanks to the Switch, that prerequisite has been axed.  After three years of development, Pokémon Sword & Shield have arrived as the first main-series Pokémon games for home consoles.  I know these games have been the butt of backlash for several reasons, but it’s a still good duo of games on their own merit.  Let’s whip out our Pokédexes and converse about it.

Jolly ol’ Galar

The eighth generation of this heavily-revered franchise is set in the Galar region, which is based on the United Kingdom.  The plot is mostly the same as previous gens — You receive your starter Pokémon, learn the ropes of being a Trainer, and go on a quest to become the regional Pokémon champion.  Gym Battles are part of your journey again, except the lineup of Gym Leaders you face depends on which of these two versions you decide to play.

With tea or biscuits

Although features like Mega Evolutions and Z-Moves have been tossed and the Pokédex has been trimmed, there are plenty of new things to do in your latest Pokémon adventure.  You can take part in raids similar to those in Pokémon Go, have your Pokémon partake in special tasks, and even spend some time socializing and cooking meals with your Pokémon.  It should also be pointed out that the world now has a dynamic weather system, and the powerful critters can temporarily become larger in appearance thanks to Dynamax and Gigantamax forms.  Lastly, if you have some Pokémon from previous adventures that you’d like to bring along with you for this ride, you’ll be able to transfer them via the upcoming Pokémon Home service.

No Game, No Watch, Just Galar-y

Despite seeming like a very polarizing duo of games in its franchise, Pokémon Sword & Shield do what they can to provide you with more of the great Pokémon fun that’s been had since its late-90’s launch.  The new formula may seem a bit too streamlined to your liking at first; But once your adventure in the Galar region commences, you’ll have nothing to develop gripes about.

A New Pokemon Direct’s Happening Tomorrow!

Today, the Nintendo of America Twitter account announced that a new livestreamed Pokemon Direct will air tomorrow at 6:00 AM PST/9:00 AM EST. It will cover “roughly 7 minutes of new information” concerning the Pokemon franchise.

The official Pokemon Twitter account also posted the announcement minutes later and left a questionable response to go along with the news. To view what they stated, click here. If you’re unsure where it will be aired, click here.

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Image courtesy of the Nintendo of America Twitter account.

Though the post doesn’t clarify what the seven-minutes of new information’s specifically for, I believe there’s a huge chance Nintendo and The Pokemon Company are referring to the Core RPG Pokemon title that was announced during Nintendo’s E3 2017 Spotlight event (footage via the Gamespot YouTube Channel).

However, in that spotlight video, Tsunekazu Ishihara, the CEO and president of The Pokemon Company stated that the game wouldn’t come out for more than a year. Yet, a year later, GameFreak held a video game press conference (footage via The Official Pokemon YouTube channel) on May 29th in which they revealed the 2019 release window for the Core RPG Pokemon game for the Nintendo Switch.

Since we’re currently in 2019, it seemed inevitable for The Pokemon Company to hold a direct presentation that gives their fans new information in regards to their next big title in the franchise. However, there’s a slight chance that this news could be in relation to something other than the Core RPG Pokemon game. I only bring this up because the announcement doesn’t clarify that it’s seven minutes of new information regarding the 2019 Core RPG Pokemon title for the Nintendo Switch.

That’s only a mere guesstimate on my part. Considering that the announcement image features three shiny Poke Balls–representing the starters in Pokemon games like Squirtle, Bulbasaur, and Charmander, and the fact that the Official Pokemon Twitter account’s been uploading short clips featuring Pokemon’s past regions like Kanto, Johto, and Hoenn, it’s safe to assume that they’re referring to that Core RPG Pokemon game slated to come out this year.

Whether tomorrow’s news is about the Core RPG Pokemon title or not, we’ll be sure to keep you all updated with the ‘new information’ when the February 27th, 2019 Pokemon Direct concludes.

What do you think about this news? What are your predictions/expectations for tomorrow’s Pokemon Direct? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter, and follow us for more Pokemon news, and everything gaming too.

Game Freak’s GIGA WRECKER ALT. Announced For PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch Systems!

Yesterday, publisher Rising Star Games announced on their Twitter account that Pokemon developer Game Freak’s “physics-based action platformer” GIGA WRECKER will release for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch systems this year!

The Rising Star Games YouTube account was courteous enough to upload an announcement trailer on their YouTube channel to go along with their Twitter post. If you want to watch the announcement trailer on YouTube, click here.

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Photo courtesy of the Rising Star Games’s YouTube Channel.

For current and new players, Rising Star Games also published a detailed-summary on their website (RisingStarGames.com) that indicates what consumers can expect from this game. Here’s what Rising Star Games’s Marketing Operator Samuel Elphick shared about GIGA WRECKER Alt.’s game-play, theme, and Game Freak’s development process with it.

GIGA WRECKER Alt. establishes a 2D world for navigating platforms and solving increasingly challenging puzzles as players progress to unearth the mysteries of a sudden invasion that left the world in ruins. As players explore, they’ll use the abilities of Reika – that game’s main protagonist – to destroy and reconstruct their surroundings for solving each puzzle and fighting back against the invaders.”

“GIGA WRECKER Alt. is a mixture of exploration and physics where players can bring down towering walls and then use the rubble as a platform for navigating each level. Reika has a power known as ARCHE (Arms Creating and Handling Effect) that allows her to construct various weapons from rubble and scrap. This ability helps her create and navigate platforms, beat traps, and destroy enemies. Of course, there’s also the ability to crush enemies with falling objects as well.”

“GIGA WRECKER was brought to life through Game Freak’s internal “Gear Project” where its developers are encouraged to come up with intriguing ideas for games outside the company’s normal. The game also features music by video game composer, Shinij Hosoe, known for Ridge Racer and Tekken, among many other titles.”

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Photo courtesy of the Limited Run Games Twitter account.

Samuel Elphick also shared what new content will be implemented into GIGA WRECKER Alt.’s console versions. According to RisingStarGames.comthis is the new content being added to the game’s console versions.

“New Content for Consoles”

  • “Twenty brand-new puzzle stages added to the game’s Campaign mode.”
  • “New non-playable secondary character that assists players with more difficult puzzles/challenges if they become stuck for a period of time.”
  • “A new hardcore ‘Ironman’ mode that increases the damage to 5 times greater impact than normal mode.”
  • “Overhaul of the original localization to enhance the user experience.”
  • “Italian and Traditional Chinese languages added for a total of 11 in-game languages (Japanese, English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese).”

Though the title will be released digitally on all systems, the Limited Run Games Twitter account announced they’re currently working on physical editions for GIGA WRECKER Alt.’s PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch variants. Sadly, the company hasn’t announced if Xbox One consumers will receive a physical edition too, but I’d keep my fingers crossed.

Otherwise, it’s exciting to see more Game Freak titles appear on other platforms that aren’t Nintendo-related. Considering that Game Freak plans to release their new IP Town and a brand-new core RPG Pokemon title this year, it’s really interesting to see different projects from them that isn’t nearly identical to Pokemon. We’ll be sure to update you all when the publishers or developers reveal GIGA WRECKER Alt.’s release date to the public.

What do you think about this news? Does the game’s announcement trailer and this new content update for the system release interest you to purchase it? For those who’ve played the original PC version titled, GIGA WRECKER, what was your take on the game? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter, and follow us for more news on GIGA WRECKER Alt., and everything gaming too.