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Game Freak on Pokemon Sword/Shield – UK inspiration, making new Pokemon, new features, music, more

Posted on June 14, 2019 by (@NE_Brian) in News, Switch

Dynamax Pokémon and Max Raid Battles Speaking of Dynamax Pokémon, what was the inspiration behind this new feature?

Ohmori: One of the big reasons for us wanting to implement Dynamax Pokémon was that the Nintendo Switch has a high resolution, and you can play it on big TVs, and we could better express the difference in size between Pokémon. Before, on the smaller-screen, handheld-only systems, there just weren’t enough pixels to really convey that well in a lot of situations. It was something that we wanted to challenge ourselves to do this time. How do you feel Dynamaxing differs from Mega Evolution or Z-Moves?

Ohmori: We wanted to try a new take on that “power up” gameplay that we had with Mega Evolution and Z-Moves. We kind of combined the two of those in a way with Dynamax—your Pokémon are powering up and growing much stronger, but also their moves change to be much stronger, as well. Of course, we also wanted to make it more strategic with the players choosing exactly when to use Dynamax, which is why we limited the power to just three turns. When introducing a new element to Pokémon battles such as Dynamaxing, how do you maintain a balance to keep the battles interesting?

Ohmori: That’s a tough question, but one of the goals that we tried to set out with was making it so that any Pokémon could be viable in battle. Virtually all the Pokémon can Dynamax in the game. Even Pokémon that may not have had a chance to be in the spotlight until now will have a chance to use that ability. That was one of the main things we considered from a balance perspective. Will you be able to use Dynamax Pokémon in player vs. player battles?

Ohmori: Yes, you will. What was the inspiration behind Max Raid Battles?

Ohmori: We started out with the idea of having these giant Pokémon with the Dynamax feature. And then when we saw them in action in the game, we thought that it would be a lot of fun if you could team up with friends to take on these giant Pokémon like a big, challenging boss.

The Nintendo Switch gives us a lot in terms of performance, so we were able to have four players and their Pokémon and this huge Pokémon all on the screen at once. We played around with it, and it seemed like a cool feature.

Another one of the goals for it was to give the opportunity for players to engage in multiplayer battles who like battling but might be too intimidated to get into player vs. player battles. So having this option where anyone can invite their friends to come join them in a cool cooperative battle is something we wanted to do. So, can Max Raid Battles be completed by yourself, or are they designed solely for multiplayer?

Ohmori: Even if you don’t have anyone else to play with, you can challenge a Max Raid Battle on your own. If you do this, the other player slots, which would normally be filled by human players, will be filled with support Trainers. These are computer-controlled NPC players who will come help you out.

Exploring the Wild Area Tell us about the Wild Area. How does it differ from the traditional routes in previous Pokémon RPGs?

Ohmori: Our thinking behind the Wild Area and how it’s different from the typical routes is that we wanted to create a place where it would be interesting to come back every day and see what has changed—something that would feel different each time you play. We needed a really wide-open space where you would be able to do that.

We also wanted to have some place that would support other players that you could play with—a big place that provides a sense of adventure where you can encounter other people, a place that has a sense of discovery. Tying into the Wild Area, we wanted to get your thoughts on the evolution of wild Pokémon encounters throughout the series. Of course, we used to randomly encounter Pokémon in tall grass, and eventually there would be an exclamation point and a wild Pokémon would charge you. And you can now sometimes see the Pokémon wandering around on the screen. What place do each of these methods of encountering wild Pokémon have in the world of Pokémon?

Ohmori: These different methods represent two different ways of playing, really. With the Pokémon roaming around the field, you can see the Pokémon all behaving a bit differently. It feels like a lively environment with all the Pokémon around you, and you can see which Pokémon are out there. You can choose if you want to go catch them. You have a goal in mind when you go to encounter that Pokémon—you want to catch that specific one.

But at the same time, I think there’s a lot of enjoyment to be had in not knowing what you’re going to get. It’s kind of a different thought process when you’re engaging with both systems. I wanted to have both in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield to preserve the discovery of going into a random encounter.

The Music of the Galar Region Who is composing the music for Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield?

Ohmori: The primary composers are Mr. Go Ichinose and Ms. Minako Adachi. How do the music themes in the game reflect the Galar region setting?

Ohmori: There are definitely a lot of things we challenged ourselves to do with the music this time around. Although I didn’t compose any of the music, I was very involved with the direction of the music and what I wanted to convey with it. With the UK being the inspiration for the Galar region, I was inspired by my enjoyment of UK rock music, so I wanted to bring a sense of that to the soundtrack.

Also, with the Wild Area specifically, most of the typical Pokémon route music has been fairly short tunes that are about a minute or so that would loop. But since you’re going to be in the Wild Area for such long amounts of time, I wanted to have longer songs filled with ups and downs. So there’s some of that in the game.


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