At this point, we know a lot of things about Pokémon Sword and Shield, the latest mainline entries to the Pokémon series that are hyping up for a holiday release. We know that the games will be set in the Galar Region, a region of the Pokémon universe that goes for a more modern and industrial take on the usual setting. We know there will be new gameplay mechanics, such as Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing. But one thing that hasn't gotten much shown yet are our adversaries: the villains and rivals of Sword and Shield. That all changes with the newest trailer, put out just the other day by the Pokémon Company on their official YouTube channel. Clocking in at just over two minutes, the trailer is keen to show us just who we'll be facing off against in our journey across Galar.


Before we get into that, though, brand new Pokémon were shown off first thing. In a neat twist, the Galar Region will be home to various "Galarian Form" Pokémon. These are basically Pokémon from past entries that have adapted and changed to the Galar Region as a whole. Some of these shown off were a Galarian Weezing, which comes out sporting giant smokestacks on its body, for example. Others include a Galarian Zigzagoon and Galarian Linoone. Last but not least, a mysterious form-changing Pokémon was shown off, one that's also unique to the Galar Region. Going by the name of "Morpeko", this Pokémon can change between a happy "full belly mode" and intense "hangry" mode depending on what it's been eating. Also, it curiously looks A LOT like Pikachu. This begs the question if there will be any other form changing Pokémon that we can expect.

But now, onto the adversaries. All of the Pokémon games feature some sort of Team as an antagonist, and Sword and Shield will be no different. Team Yell is the group this time around, and as it turns out, they're passionate fanatics of one of your rivals: a mysterious goth trainer named Marnie. Alongside her, you'll be faced with another rival to put your skills to the test: the mysterious Bede, a man who appears to have ulterior motives behind his training. All in all, this new group of adversaries is quite diverse, and it looks like they'll provide quite a challenge for everyone who plays. Sword and Shield marks a lot of big steps for the Pokémon series. It's one of the few mainline games to hit home consoles and will see the return of gyms after their brief absence in the Sun and Moon games. It will also feature a much more expansive open world, with sprawling areas teeming with wild Pokémon between towns.


Pokémon Sword and Shield are both set to release exclusively for Nintendo Switch on November 15th later this year. The games kick off Gen 8 for the series as a whole, and will also see themed Switch Lite releases around the same time. Make sure to catch (pun very intended) the new trailer down below. It's brief, but very info-packed. Pokémon Sword and Shield recently ran into a bit of controversy for doing away with the "National Dex" that was present in the other games, allowing players to transfer Pokémon across the entire series. As Game Freak recently explained, their reasoning for this is the huge undertaking it would be. The total Pokémon count at this point is staggeringly high and would involve a lot of work creating new 3D models and animations for every single one. That's not to rule it out as a future update, though, which is what some fans are hoping for. Even so, Game Freak is hopeful the community will enjoy Sword and Shield as much as any other entry.


Tanner is a freelance writer. He enjoys all things video games, particularly the weirder ones, and can often be found drinking coffee and trying to get through his backlog.

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