Expanding The Galar Region

Yesterday we saw the first Pokemon Direct of the year and I was somewhat unsure what to expect. There were so many potential ideas as to what it could be about popping up on Twitter beforehand ranging from remakes of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl to Let’s Go Pikachu/Let’s Go Eevee 2 to the reveal of the third game in the Pokemon Sword and Shield era of the game. I didn’t want to get myself to hooked on one possible idea that could be shown. Instead, I went into the Direct open-minded.

First up was the reveal of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX. The remake of the highly successful 2006 Red and Blue Rescue Team Mystery Dungeon games from Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS. I never really got into the Mystery Dungeon Games myself but along with Pokemon Yellow, these are the games that got my younger brother into the Pokemon franchise. While I was surprised to see this as the first announcement, as soon as it was shown on screen I knew immediately that it was a Mystery Dungeon game of some description. I’m not sure if I will be purchasing this game at the moment but I will give the demo and try and see how I get on with the game before I make any kind of decision. The remake is due for release on 6th March 2020.

 

Next up was what I guess you could call the main event, new information regarding Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield. This new information came in the form of the Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield Expansion Pass. Now I’ll admit I was a little bit surprised when I heard the words expansion pass as it’s not really something that has ever been explored in the Pokemon franchise as such. With being accustomed to seeing a third/fourth game added to each era of the games this felt strange seeing and hearing the expansion pass being discussed. However, as the Pokemon Direct continued, the more everything began to make sense.

If you haven’t seen or read about yesterday’s Pokemon Direct, the expansion pass features the Isle of Armor (June 2020) and The Crown Tundra (Fall 2020). The Expansion Pass is available for pre-purchase now on the Nintendo Store and costs £26.99. Depending on which version of the game you have, you will need to make sure you purchase the Expansion Pass that goes with your game.

The Isle of Armor

The Isle of Armor which is released in June 2020 focuses on Growth. You can explore a new island full of incredible landscapes, beautiful beaches, caves, sand dunes and more. There is also a dojo where you can enlist yourself to become an apprentice and learn new training styles. The Master of this Dojo is a gentleman called Mustard who also trained the Champion Leon and was also a Champion once or twice himself. You will also discover new more new Pokemon along the way too.

The Crown Tundra

The Crown Tundra which is to be released in Fall 2020 focuses more on Exploration. It adds a new area similar to the current Wild Area but on a much bigger scale. There is also the addition of larger dens and discover a variety of Legendary Pokemon from past, present and even some possible new variants. You will be the leader of an exploration team and will get a chance to explore this new snow cover island in more depth and visit the communities who live in the world.

Of course, there are over two hundred new Pokemon being added into the game (note: you won’t need the expansion pass to obtain them as they will be available via trading), new Gigantamx Pokemon, numerous new clothing items and more. The Crown Tundra also adds a new co-op mode feature as well. Plus there will be more information coming from Game Freak in the run-up to the release of both parts of the Expansion Pass.

After seeing what Game Freak has been working on since the release of Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield and seeing it shown and explained during the Direct, I actually like the approach they have taken for the latest game. It is a different approach to previous Pokemon games but looking at other Nintendo Switch games, this isn’t the first time we have seen an Expansion Pass revealed to add more content to an existing game.

Personally, I don’t feel that this rules out any additional games for the Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield era like we have seen in past. If there are any new additions I think it will be within the next couple of years. I do think we may see a Part Three to the expansion pass in early twenty-twenty one but for now, that will remain a mystery.

I’m excited to be able to experience these two new pieces of content when they are released later this year as well as finding out more about them.

Towards the end of the Pokemon Direct, we were given a rough idea that Pokemon Home will be released at some point during February 2020. Pokemon Home is a cloud-based service which will allow players to connect to a variety of Pokemon games via Nintendo Switch, Nintendo DS and Mobile Devices. It is similar to the current Pokemon Bank app that we have now.

The final reveal was a little bit to do with Pokemon Sword and Shield and an update that was released yesterday. As well as fixing some current issues it meant we would see the addition of a new Galarian Slowpoke, new Gigantamax Pokemon and one of the two new trainers that you will meet properly in The Isle of Armor depending on which version of the game you have.

Overall yesterday’s Pokemon Direct was brilliant. I’m excited for both the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX and the Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield Expansion Pass.  If you didn’t get a chance to catch the direct you can re-watch it here.

Let me know what you thought of yesterday’s Pokemon Direct and what you are most excited for below!

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