Pokemon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass Announced, Brand New Pokemon Coming + More Revealed in Latest Pokemon Direct

Earlier this week it was revealed there would be a Pokemon Direct to announce the upcoming plans TPCi has for 2020. For us Australians, in the wee hours of the night, the Direct aired, giving us a look at what's to come, including an expansion to Sword and Shield, an update on Pokemon HOME, and a new Mystery Dungeon game!

A new Pokemon Mystery Dungeon game was announced, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX, which will be a remaster of the original PMD games, Red/Blue Rescue Team. The games will launch on March 6th and include new content, as a Mega Charizard is shown off in the trailer. The art style is incredibly charming, and we'd recommend you pick this one up. Even though the past few PMD games have been less than stellar, the first set of games were much more endearing. If you're still unsure about the game, a demo is now available on the eShop for you to decide for yourself!
Now for the big news, the expansion to Sword and Shield. Instead of the usual third/alternate versions, GameFreak has decided to scrap that and instead provide some paid DLC to their latest titles. The expansion pass will be broken up into two parts, The Isle of Armor, releasing in June 2020, and The Crown Tundra, releasing in Fall 2020 (or Spring 2020 for those in the south).

The pass will introduce new areas, Pokemon, and characters. As always, there are certain Pokemon that will be exclusive to each version. There will be 200 Pokemon included, some being those that were initially cut from the game, but some will be brand new, including Galarian Forms, Gigantamax Forms, and entirely new Gen VIII Pokemon!

The Isle of Armor expansion pass focuses on the theme of growth, and is a large island located off the coast of the Galar region. There is a newly added Pokemon Dojo, run by a new character named Mustard, and will introduce two new rivals, the Poison type trainer Clara, who you'll find in Sword, and Avery, the Psychic type trainer in Shield.

The first new Pokemon revealed is Kubfu, who is said to be important to the new story. mustard will gift you this Fighting type Pokemon, and will evolve into Urshifu, that can either be Fighting/Dark, or Fighting/Water. Each form will have a new ability, as well as a new move, but unannounced. Urshifu can then Gigantamax, which will have an exclusive unannounced G-Max move. Though it wan't outright stated, their use of red/blue background seems to imply that each form will be version exclusive.

The three starters final evolutions will finally be able to Gigantamax. Not much was shown other than their appearance, but it was confirmed they will each be getting their own exclusive move. New mechanics will also be included, such as new attacks, an EXP charm, and Apricorns will be making a return, so you no longer have to rely on The Ball Guy for those fabled PokeBalls. As expected, new clothing will also be introduced, as will a customizable bike. Additionally, a very brief glimpse of Giga Venusaur and Blastoise was shown off... It seems there's still a few more surprises yet to be announced with the first expansion.

The second expansion, The Crown Tundra, will focus on exploration, and will be set in a previously unexplored tundra region. A mysterious looking tree, and a temple that has the same markings at the Regi trio were shown off, and it was revealed you'll be appointed as an explorer to help uncover these mysteries, and will even let you explore inside of Max Raid Dens!

Calyrex, a new Legendary Pokemon, was also revealed, and will be a Psychic/Grass type. The expansion is said to help in revealing the mystery of this new Pokemon.

As already mentioned, players will be able to explore Max Raid Dens, which will be included in an all new co-op mode, which is where you'll be able to catch Legendary Pokemon. A tonne of Legendary Pokemon were shown off, but we also got a glimpse of two new Regi-looking Pokemon, and what we assume to be Galarian Forms of the Kanto Bird Trio. Whatever they are, The Crown Tundra is sure to include a lot!

More than 200 old Pokemon that were culled will be returning in these updates, and if you wish to purchase the pass, it will set you back $45AUD, but we think it's well worth it. For those worried they are locking new Pokemon behind a paywall, don't worry, you'll still be able to obtain these Pokemon through trades or Pokemon HOME, you just wont be able to find them natively in your game. The long awaited Pokemon HOME was announced to be coming in February, with details coming at a later date.

A plethora of new events were announced for the already released Sword and Shield. The Wild Area will be most likely to hold Max Raid Battles of G. Max Coalossal, Lapras, Flapple, and Appletun. A software update is also available to give you a taste of what's to come. If you head to Wedgehurst Train Station, you'll encounter your aforementioned rival Clara/Avery, who will grant you a Galarian Slowpoke. Galarian Slowbro and Slowking were also confirmed, but their evolution items will be locked to The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra, so we'll have to wait a little longer before we see what Slowpoke evolves into!

If you pre-purchase the expansion pass you'll be granted some exclusive new clothing items, and if you want to see everything that was announced first hand, be sure to check out the full presentation. As always, be sure to follow BidoofCrossing on Twitter and Tumblr to stay up to date with the latest Animal Crossing and Nintendo news.


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