Pokemon Sword Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Pokemon Sword RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network New Trailer Shows Off More Galar Pokemon, Gym Leaders, and Gigantamaxing https://www.gameskinny.com/3ievw/new-trailer-shows-off-more-galar-pokemon-gym-leaders-and-gigantamaxing https://www.gameskinny.com/3ievw/new-trailer-shows-off-more-galar-pokemon-gym-leaders-and-gigantamaxing Mon, 08 Jul 2019 10:10:27 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

The Pokemon Company quietly released a new Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield trailer packed with details about new Pokemon, an additional form of Dynamaxing, and what looks like another first for the series: Gym Leaders that differ depending on the version of the game.

First up is Alcremie, a pure Fairy-type that looks like a variation of Kalos's Slurpuff — not too surprising given how close Galar and Kalos might be. Its ability is Sweet Veil.

Next is the official reveal of Yamper, the Electric-type Corgi who's a very good boy indeed and sports the Ball Fetch ability.

A new Pokemon game wouldn't be complete without a new Rock-type 'mon, and Galar's contribution is Rolycoly. It's pure Rock, unlike many similar monsters, and it has two possible abilities: Steam Engine and Heat Proof.

Galar has a new Dragon type as well, the Steel/Dragon hybrid Duraludon. It's two possible abilities are Light Metal and Heavy Metal. It's worth noting this particular type combination is the first of its kind — and finally ends Ice types' reign of terror over the majestic dragon Pokemon.

Another first of its kind was shown off as well: branching Gym Leaders. The trailer showed Milo and Nessa, which we already know about, and then it showed Bea, a Fighting-type Gym Leader.

What's different about Bea's introduction, though, is that there's a "Pokemon Sword" logo on the screen; the next leader is Allister, a Ghost-type leader, and a Pokemon Shield logo is on screen for the duration of the clip.

What towns have which Gyms will differ depending on whether the player is playing Pokemon Sword or Pokemon Shield. During the Gym Challenge, players' clothing changes to a special uniform, and they can choose the three numbers that will appear on it.

We also get a glimpse of two more characters, Chairman Rose and the rather suspicious looking Oleana. They're the brains behind turning the Gym Challenge into a national phenomenon, but what their function is remains a mystery for now.

Finally, there's Gigantamaxing. No, Dynamaxing hasn't already been replaced. Gigantamaxing is exactly what it sounds like and is quite similar to Mega Evolutions.

It's not completely certain from the trailer whether Dynamaxing is required before a trainer can Gigantamax, but either way, once it happens, the Pokemon changes appearance and, naturally, power, gaining a new G-Max move.

Unlike Dynamaxing, though, Gigantamaxing is limited to "select Pokemon," which is also like Mega Evolution.

As a reminder, Pokemon Sword and Shield launch worldwide November 15 for Nintendo Switch.

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Pokemon Sword & Shield E3 2019 Preview: The Biggest Gym Battles Ever Deserve Bigger Features https://www.gameskinny.com/8jnkh/pokemon-sword-shield-e3-2019-preview-the-biggest-gym-battles-ever-deserve-bigger-features https://www.gameskinny.com/8jnkh/pokemon-sword-shield-e3-2019-preview-the-biggest-gym-battles-ever-deserve-bigger-features Mon, 17 Jun 2019 11:54:14 -0400 Erroll Maas

Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield, the eighth generation of mainline Pokemon titles and the second pair to launch on Nintendo Switch after Pokemon Let's Go, Pikachu and Pokemon Let's Go, Eevee, have fans both excited and skeptical for their release.

From the E3 demo I played, this is understandable, although the playable build only featured battling a few gym trainers, solving a gym puzzle, and battling the gym leader at the end. So in the end, it didn't give the best idea of what the full experience will ultimately be like.

The team in the demo consisted of the three starter Pokemon of the new Galar region, Scorbunny, Grookey, and Sobble, the recently revealed Corviknight and Wooloo, and the newly-introduced electric corgi Yamper.

While trying to solve the Gym Mission and gain access to the Gym Leader's arena by pressing different colored buttons to turn corresponding waterfalls on and off, several trainers were encountered, each having only one Pokemon of their own. These trainers seemed to be only for demo purposes, as their Pokemon did not seem to match with the Water-type theme of the gym at all.

While the trainer battles were ordinary except for one of them featuring the new Dark and Fairy dual-type Pokemon, Impidimp, the battle against the Gym Leader is where the demo really got exciting.

Going against Gym Leader Nessa, I thought it would be best to send Yamper out first, but to my surprise, the demo featured no menu outside of battle. Consequently, my initial lineup could not be changed, meaning Pokemon could only be switched while in battle.

Nessa sent out Goldeen while I swapped out for Yamper, but to my surprise, it was taken out in just two turns from Goldeen's waterfall attack, which seemed to have a bigger and much flashier animation than the other attacks I had seen.

After Yamper was taken down, I sent out Grookey to make quick work of Nessa's horned fish and it did exactly that.

After this, Nessa sent out her dual water and rock type turtle Dreadnaw and immediately used Dynamax, making it grow to Gamera size. Of course, I followed suit and activated Dynamax with Grookey to level the playing field.

While information for attacks and types were shown when highlighted, stats were not, so it's unknown if or how Dynamax affects them. It's also unknown just how strong Dreadnaw is, as it was able to knock out Dynamax Grookey with little trouble.

Having a much tougher time than I expected, my options were Wooloo, which couldn't do much, Sobble, which was resistant but likely wouldn't do much damage, Scorbunny, which might have been able to deal a decent amount of damage with double kick but was weak to water, and Corviknight, whose Steel Wing attack might be able to help.

I decided to try out Corviknight, and his Steel Wing did not prove useful in these trying times. After Dreadnaw had returned to normal size — Dynamax has a three-turn limit —  taking out a few slivers of health, I decided to experiment a little bit and switch to Sobble.

As it turned out, Sobble's liquidation attack dealt a decent amount of damage, and I was able to finally get Dreadnaw to faint in two turns. I had finally beat Gym Leader Nessa.

Despite being fun for most longtime Pokemon fans, the Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield demo lacked new features to showcase. While Dynamax is a neat new battle mechanic, not being able to see how or if it changes Pokmon stats makes it feel less significant.

A demo of wild areas and max raids may have been a more preferable way to showcase Dynamax in addition to other new features.

Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield will launch for Nintendo Switch on November 15. A steelbook bundle featuring both versions is also available for pre-order.

Ready to catch em' all in the new Galar region? Here are a few reasons you should be excited for the upcoming Pokemon games

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Nintendo E3 2019 Recap: Surprises, Sequels, and Remakes https://www.gameskinny.com/p2w4z/nintendo-e3-2019-recap-surprises-sequels-and-remakes https://www.gameskinny.com/p2w4z/nintendo-e3-2019-recap-surprises-sequels-and-remakes Tue, 11 Jun 2019 14:35:48 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Nintendo got in on the name pub fun introducing new NOA president Doug Bowser after a slight mixup where the other Bowser tried to take the stage first. Poor big guy.

Order was restored, and things really kicked off from there. The company's E3 2019 Direct wasn't as long as some others, but there was a lot of information to be had. 

Smash Ultimate Fighter Pass DLC Characters

The E3 2019 Nintendo Direct opened with a look at the next Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC fighter: the Luminary, aka Hero, from Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age. Not quite Erdrick, but not too far off. The Hero will use a sword for melee attacks, but they also have access to magic spells like Zoom for recover and Zap for ranged attacks.

But they're not alone. The heroes from Dragon Quest IV and Dragon Quest VIII, plus Erdrick himself, are making their way to Smash Bros Ultimate as well. Each has access to a similar skill set, including Zap, Kamikaze, and Zoom. While we didn't get a firm release date, fans can expect them in the game this summer sometime.

Speaking of Dragon Quest XI, the Definitive Edition coming to Switch got a new trailer, showing off a special speed-up feature, previous worlds from the Dragon Quest universe, and that lovely 2D sprite-work as well. Look for it on September 27.

Luigi's Mansion 3

Luigi's Mansion 3 was up next, with a brand-new trailer showcasing some of the game's overarching story. Luigi, Mario, Toad, and Peach are invited to a luxurious hotel, but things soon go awry when Luigi finds himself alone, at night, in a storm.

Luigi's new Poltergust G-00 sports lots of new features, like the Slam. While Luigi attacks a ghost, he can use Slam to inflict extra damage, including on other ghosts.

The Suction Shot lets Luigi destroy furniture, take on specific ghost types, and deal extra damage.

When Luigi faces a swarm of ghosts, he can use Burst, a powerful, well, burst of air that evens the field a bit.

Then there's Prof. E Gadd's new Gooigi. Gooigi can slip through metal fences, walk on spikes, and overcome many other obstacles regular Luigi can't handle. He can also be controlled by another character in co-op mode.

The ScareScraper makes its return as well, challenging players to defeat as many ghosts as possible in a set time in local and online multiplayer.

No firm release date for this one either, but it is set for a 2019 release still, with plenty of gameplay coming up during Treehouse Live.

Dark Crystal Tactics

The next game shown off was The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics, a tactical RPG featuring medieval style combat and lots of Jim Henson style. It's based on the Netflix show of the same name, only the game will delve further into the world's lore and the Gelfling clans. Players can choose from 15 different job classes, each with customizable equipment and abilities that lend themselves to high replay value.

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening Switch

Link's Awakening's remake got a lot of love in a new trailer showing off the game's gorgeous visual upgrades and an excellent soundtrack to boot. From the looks of it, there are going to be new areas players can explore on Koholint Island and some new puzzles to tackle as well.

Players can earn special chambers over the course of the game and arrange them to create their own Chamber Dungeons for near-endless exploration — and lots of rewards. All this and more is coming September 20.

Collection of Mana and Trials of Mana

Square Enix's recent trademark filing for the Mana Collection is paying off in form of Trials of Mana and the release of the Collection of Mana. The first game is getting a global release on Nintendo Switch and is a remake of Seiken Densetsu 3. It'll be shown off more this week, but it's expected to launch in early 2020.

The Collection, featuring the Game Boy Adventure of ManaSecret of Mana, and Secret of Mana 2 will be available in the Nintendo eShop starting...now. And yes, this is the original Trails of Mana, aka Seiken Densetsu 2, which means we're getting it twice now. When it rains and all...

The Witcher III: Wild Hunt Switch

Rumors of The Witcher III making its way to the Switch turned out to be true as well, with Wild Hunt: Complete Edition coming sometime later this year. It will bring all of the game's currently-released content. It's worth noting all of this content is on one game card too, and the visuals don't seem to be taking much of a direct hit from the required compression.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Fire Emblem: Three Houses got a meaty new trailer giving players a glimpse at the game's story. It's one of truly epic proportions and emphasizes the three main heroes' missions to bring order and justice to their lands. And voice acting — lots of voice acting.

Byleth's role in all this still isn't completely clear, but it seems like it's going to be a tragic one. The possibility of time travel is there too, with the three heroes looking back on their school days before engaging in a new battle. Expect more soon, and don't forget the game launches July 26.

Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6

Those who forgot Resident Evil, Resident Evil 0, and Resident Evil 4 are on the Switch now got a friendly, creepy reminder in a new trailer that really served as a way to lead into this announcement: Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6 are coming this fall to Nintendo Switch.

No More Heroes III

Next up was an irreverent pop-culture based game with plenty of mech action, a smooth anime style, and lots of self-referential humor. Yep, it's Travis Touchdown, in No More Heroes III. The latest entry in the franchise is set for a 2020 release date.

Contra: Rogue Corps

The storied Contra franchise is getting a new release too: Contra: Rogue Corps, coming September 29. It's a hectic, mad mix of third-person action, destruction, aliens, bugs, and more destruction.

The Contra Collection is available today in the eShop for those who can't wait for more alien-shooting action.

Daemon X Machina

After a long silence, we got to see more of Daemon X Machina today. A short cinematic trailer showed off some of the game's characters and vast environments, along with on-foot combat, huge enemy ships, and lots of cel-shaded explosions. Expect it on the Switch September 13.

Panzer Dragoon

Missing Panzer Dragoon? Nintendo was, too. That's why it's getting a reboot on the Switch this winter, plus this new trailer.

Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield

As promised, Pokemon Sword and Shield got a short update as well, following on from the big June 5 Pokemon Direct.

There wasn't really anything new except showing off the water Gym and leader Nessa, as well as the announcement that the Pokemon Plus accessory is compatible with Sword and Shield. It's like the Pokewalker and lets players take their favorite 'mon out for a walk. It doesn't work as a controller, though.

Astral Chain

Astral Chain, first revealed during the February Direct, got a story trailer, too.

Evil creatures called Chimeras are trying to pull humanity into another dimension, and a team of researchers banded together to create an anti-Chimera weapon merging humans with The Legions. Those Legions are the player character, but the special power has some negative drawbacks that cause some kind of havoc in the host body.

Look forward to more when the game launches August 20.

Empire of Sin

If you like guns, gangsters, and death, then Empire of Sin, a new game also set for a 2020 launch, might be one to check out. For now, make do with the trailer below.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance III: The Black Order

The Switch's exclusive Marvel game got some love during the Direct with an intense new story trailer showing off villains and heroes and announcing some new DLC content players can get now. The game itself will be available July 19.

Cadence of Hyrule Gets a Release Date

After a month of speculation and several of waiting, Cadence of Hyrule got another new trailer showcasing enemies players will take on as Link or Zelda — and a release date: July 13. Check out the trailer below.

Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games 2020

It wouldn't be the year before an Olympics year without a new Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games, and this year is no exception. The game will feature the usual mashup of Mario and Sonic characters doing Olympic sports like fencing, tennis, and the long-jump.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

It's here! The first Animal Crossing Switch news, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, was shown off in an adorable new trailer. The game centers on populating a deserted island and crafting tools after flying there as part of the Nook Inc Getaway Package. Nook apparently wields great influence here, as not only will the player purchase homes from him, but furniture and other items will be crafted using the special Nook Crafting Bench.

There will be plenty of new ways to interact with the environment and neighbors, including pole jumping and, of course, paying Tom Nook for everything, even your tent. It is his island getaway package after all.

The bad news? It's delayed to March 20, 2020, to help ensure the game is the best it can be. On the bright side, it's gorgeous, with a bright, yet muted color palette that reeks of coziness, a chilled out soundtrack with tones of New Leaf, and a sense of unity that only comes from trying to survive together in a lonely island.

Upcoming Games Highlight Reel

It's tough to follow an act like that, but Nintendo managed to with a sizzle reel highlighting the year's upcoming releases, including Spyro: Reignited Trilogy, Ni No Kuni, Minecraft Dungeons,  Dauntless, The Sinking City, and  a lot more.

Banjo-Kazooie Coming to Smash Ultimate

One final Smash Bros. announcement was the long-awaited and much-hoped-for addition of Banjo-Kazooie to Smash Bros Ultimate, with plenty of character footage and what looked like a glimpse at the duo's special stage, Gruntilda included.

These are the next, next Fighter Pass DLC characters and will be added to the game in Fall this year.

Breath of the Wild Sequel

The Direct ended with the usual surprise announcement, and this one was a pretty big surprise. It's a Breath of the Wild sequel set in what looks like a post-Calamity world.

Link and Zelda approach the skeleton of Ganondorf who gets revived by the creeping purple darkness associated with the Calamity. It's only in development as of now.

That's it. Looking for more E3 2019 coverage? Be sure to head over to the other recaps below: 

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June's Pokemon Direct Introduces Gen VIII Pokemon, Wild Area, Dynamaxing https://www.gameskinny.com/xfwds/junes-pokemon-direct-introduces-gen-viii-pokemon-wild-area-dynamaxing https://www.gameskinny.com/xfwds/junes-pokemon-direct-introduces-gen-viii-pokemon-wild-area-dynamaxing Wed, 05 Jun 2019 10:14:28 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Today's Pokemon Direct revealed a lot of new information about the upcoming Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield, from new areas of the Galar region to completely new battle mechanics.

While we previously looked at the six reasons you should be excited for the games, these new revelations double down on that sentiment. 

Along with the information below, one major piece was revealed by the Direct: Sword and Shield will release worldwide on November 15. Currently, a double pack is up for pre-order as well.

Native Galar Pokemon and Legendaries

The new trailer revealed a host of new Pokemon, which then received a short introduction from the games' creative designer.

The first is Wooloo, a sheep Pokemon prized for its wool by weavers in certain areas of the Galar region. Its wool is used to create popular goods in the region, and it's a normal type.

Next is Gossifleur, a grass type flower Pokemon. Its pollen is said to have healing properties, and it evolves into Eldegoss, another grass type whose seeds promote growth and revitalization.

Dreadnaw is the giant blue 'mon shown off, the water-rock "bite Pokemon." It's supposed to be vicious and difficult to train. In keeping with that theme, its favorite habits are apparently gnawing off chunks of rock and iron.

Finally is the taxi Pokemon Corviknight. It's a giant corvid-type bird (flying and steel type) that takes the place of Fly in Sword and Shield. Corviknight ferries the player back and forth to any town they've already visited in the game, which suggests Gen VIII will continue the tradition of having no HMs.

There are many more new Galar-specific Pokemon that have yet to be revealed, though players can look forward to returning 'mon from previous generations as well, including Growlithe, Axew, and Inkay.

There was a special video at the end of the presentation introducing the Galar region's legendary Pokemon as well: Zathian and Zamazenta. These are the creatures featured on the mock-up box art and the official box art.

Both resemble wolves, and the titular sword and shield seem to be built into them. The teaser shows the two about to fight before another power distracts them, so it's possible Gen VIII will feature a special third legendary Pokemon a well, like Necrozma and Rayquaza in previous generations.

Dynamaxing

Gen VIII is doing away with Mega Evolutions in favor of Dynamaxing. This new feature is a phenomenon unique to the Galar region, where affected Pokemon become massive, gaining increases in their stats and seeing their entire move set change to Max Moves as well. Dynamaxing can take place once per battle, but it only lasts for three turns.

The Wild Area

The Pokemon Company showed off a major new feature in the form of a special area in the game: The Wild Area. This is a huge environment stretching between major cities in the region and is essentially Pokemon's first open world-styled area. It features a freely movable camera, which can add an even greater sense of depth and scale, along with plenty of secrets to uncover, including hidden items.

The Wild Area is home to a wide range of wild Pokemon as well, but which Pokemon players encounter depends on where they are in the Area and what the weather is like.

It's worth noting the trailer shows wild roaming Pokemon in a variety of locations, and it isn't restricted to the Wild Area. The Pokemon Company confirmed players will see the Pokemon walking, swimming, and even hiding on the overworld map.

The Wild Area is also home to yet another new feature: Max Raid Battles. These battles borrow from Pokemon GO and pit up four trainers against a Dynamaxed version of a specific Pokemon. One of the trainers can Dynamax their own Pokemon to make the fight easier, though the opponent remains in Dynamaxed form for the entire encounter.

Max Raid Battles can take place over local wireless or a global wireless connection, meaning players can hook up with friends and trainers from around the world. However, multiplayer isn't required to participate in Max Raid Battles. If three other trainers aren't around, the game provides three support trainers to fill those spots.

Who's Who: The Galar Edition

We've got a better idea about some of the region's important characters, too. The usual plot setup makes its return: the player is off on a journey to become the best trainer in the region. That means they'll have to challenge the reigning Champion, Leon.

Leon is basically the equivalent to a mega-popular footballer (soccer player), sporting a football uniform and inspiring a huge following throughout the region. The one Pokemon shown off from his team is Charizard, which will presumably get the Dynamax treatment as well.

Leon's younger brother Hop serves as the player's rival, and like Hau before him, he chooses the Pokemon the player's starter is strong against (Sobble to the player's Grookey, for example).

Milo is the grass type Gym Leader, and it appears he'll come into battle with at least five Pokemon if the Pokeballs on his pants are anything to go by.

Details remain scarce about how many Gym Leaders there are, but the Pokemon Company did say all Gym Leaders will have at least one Dynamax Pokemon on their team. Which Pokemon can get the Dynamax treatment still isn't certain, though it does seem like quite a few are eligible, including starters, Raichu, Clefable, and Gyrados.

Big fights like the battle against Leon and the Gym Leaders take place in stadiums and are a key part of Galar culture; basically, they're like major football games.

One feature mentioned is that Dynamaxing increases the audience's energy level. Whether that has any bearing on the match's outcome isn't clear, though.

Finally, on the character front, we were introduced to Professor Magnolia and her granddaughter Sonia. Professor Magnolia as the Galar region's professor, studying the Dynamax phenomenon alongside Sonia, who acts as her research assistant.

Well, almost finally. Rotom makes its return as a major character in the form of the Rotom Phone. The Pokedex is included in the Rotom Phone, but the phone can also be used for various other things, like making a bike go faster or helping it travel over water.

While we wait for even more information to be released, be sure to head over to our Sword and Shield pages for more on the upcoming Pokemon games. 

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Pokémon Press Conference and Pokémon Direct Announced https://www.gameskinny.com/fvvgy/pokemon-press-conference-and-pokemon-direct-announced https://www.gameskinny.com/fvvgy/pokemon-press-conference-and-pokemon-direct-announced Mon, 27 May 2019 13:09:07 -0400 Ceedi

The Pokémon Company has announced that it is hosting a Pokémon Press Conference on May 28, 2019 at 6 p.m. PDT.  There is no word on how long the conference will last. The conference is stated to cover a number of topics of interest for Pokémon fans.

A similar event was held last year at the same time.  During that event Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee, and Pokémon Quest were revealed for the Nintendo Switch. It is notable that the press conference this year doesn’t mention video games specifically. This indicates that the information revealed at this conference may cover more aspects of the franchise than just the video games.

Nintendo and The Pokémon Company have also announced a Pokémon Sword and Shield Nintendo Direct. The Direct is scheduled for June 5, 2019 at 6 a.m. PTD. The Direct will be 15 roughly 15 minutes long and reveal a lot of new information on Pokémon Sword and Shield.

With this direct coming days before E3 2019 it is likely that Pokémon will not be a huge part of the Nintendo E3 Direct broadcast.  It is also possible that Pokémon Sword and Shield will be one of the games Nintendo will have a demo of on the E3 show floor.

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Artist Spotlight: Travis "Sketch Junky" Elliot Catches the Essence of Pokemon https://www.gameskinny.com/rswkc/artist-spotlight-travis-sketch-junky-elliot-catches-the-essence-of-pokemon https://www.gameskinny.com/rswkc/artist-spotlight-travis-sketch-junky-elliot-catches-the-essence-of-pokemon Thu, 28 Mar 2019 12:47:52 -0400 QuintLyn

One of the greatest things about gaming or any geek activity is how it can inspire fans to creativity. All over the world, fans of video games, anime, comic books, sci-fi, and more are creating beautiful and amazing things around the properties they're most passionate about.

Recently, we came across one such creative on Reddit, where he'd posted several of his drawings under the name Sketch Junky. Most were Pokemon related, which is always going to catch our attention.

But there were also Legend of Zelda and Dragon Ball Z pieces as well, and all were done using markers and pens  nothing digital.

They were so well done that our editor, who first saw them, messaged me with the link just so I could see how fantastic they were. It only took us a few minutes of conversation to know we'd like to talk to the artist about highlighting his work on the site.

Who is Sketch Junky?

As it turned out, the artist going by Sketch Junky was a 30-year-old in Kentucky by the name of Travis Elliot. When I spoke to him, he told me he'd been drawing since he was a kid, having started by replicating Nintendo covers, such as the Ninja Turtles, as well as various comics. Both Marvel and DC were represented as he noted he'd replicate Spider-Man, Venom, and Batman, among others.

I spoke with Travis for a while about his art and inspirations and learned quite a bit. Of course, the interview was pretty free-form so this won't be a dry, word-for-word recount. That said, I hope you find it as interesting as I found speaking with him to be.

Getting Started and Inspiration

Just about every interview with a creative starts out with the interviewer asking them how they got started, who and what their inspirations were, and what kinds of things they hope to achieve. It's rote, but you have to start somewhere. 

As a kid, I drew mostly for fun. I drew what I enjoyed. I wanted to be an artist, but I decided not to attend art school.

This decision wasn't made lightly. There are some definite benefits to obtaining formal schooling when it comes to art, but there are also some serious downsides, such as the cost, which in addition to what students pay just to attend college, is compounded by the number of materials and lab fees art students are required to dish out.

That isn't to say Travis thinks formal training is a bad idea for everyone, just that it wasn't for him.

One of the things Travis noted that influenced his decision was discovering art forums when he was about 19 or 20. There, budding artists shared their progress, showing that those who are willing to put in the work can do amazing things, even without formal education.

This thought process was solidified when he had a chance to peek at one of the sketchbooks owned by Dave Rapoza, an artist that Travis considers to be a major influence on his own work. Just seeing the book inspired him to apply himself, knowing that if he did, he'd do well.

Other Influences

You may notice, scrolling through this piece, that Travis really seems to like drawing Pokemon. Of course, he's also shared pieces inspired by other games and anime, such as The Legend of Zelda and Dragon Ball Z.

Since most of these properties have both video game and anime ties, I asked him which was his bigger influence.

As it turns out, while he does love video games, the anime aesthetic was the bigger influence here. But he didn't just want to copy what the artists were already doing. He wanted to re-imagine them in a more realistic illustration style.

We discussed the fact that this isn't the first time artists have made a run at designing "realistic" Pokemon or other anime characters. He agreed, he wasn't the first but noted that the others just didn't feel right to him.

The realistic versions I've seen neever really struck a cord. They were too literal like Venosaur being an actual dinosaur.

This same thought process is applied to Dragon Ball characters. Even in his own work, Dragon Ball characters have been a challenge when it comes to the balance between achieving a realistic look and keeping the overall essence of the characters.

In the case of Dragon Ball, Travis notes that he's done over 20 different characters and only a few of them have come out the way he wants. One thing that he's learned with these attempts is that the hair is a big factor.

You can't be literal with the hair. You have to make concessions. Translating anime is a delicate balance.

The Joys and Pitfalls of 2D Animation

A lot of my conversation with Travis revolved around the art style in anime and animation styles that really struck a cord with him. As hit turns out, he has a lot of love for some of the older stuff; old 2D Disney movies are a huge influence. On the other hand, the newer 3D stuff doesn't work as well for him visually.

He says a similar thing about the Dragon Ball franchise when comparing the latest series to the older ones.

Dragon Ball Super feels flat. The original Dragon Ball and DBZ are more alive and energetic.

He added that in general, he wishes animators would mix it up more and offer more variety.

Of course, he doesn't dislike everything new. He has high praise for Your Name, an anime movie that came out two years ago. He felt the movie which is the highest-grossing anime film of all time worldwide demonstrated that a lot can be done with 2D that just hasn't been yet.

All Those Games

Of course, not all of his influences are anime or games that happen to tie into anime. Travis actually has a short list of games that have had some influence on his work, including what he considers the "Golden Age" of Final Fantasy games — specifically Final Fantasy VII through Final Fantasy X. He noted that he really latched onto the visual art style of that period, noting that you just don't see as much of it now thanks to developers looking to make everything as realistic as possible.

Another Square Enix series he notes a fondness for is the Kingdom Hearts series. This is also because it's artistically unique among video games.

The Kingdom Hearts story doesn't hurt either. And it kept him coming back time an again to play Kingdom Hearts II, Chain of Memories, and Birth by Sleep. And of course, he even picked up Kingdom Hearts III. Like a true fan, the game was in his hands at midnight when it released.

He did note a few concerns he had with KHIII, though, pointing to a lack of Final Fantasy characters and minimal post-game content. He also feels it lost some of its flair.

Square Enix doesn't have the same spark it used to.

And then there's his first love, old-school Nintendo games. Aside from featuring the covers he used to spend his time re-imagining, these games also taught him a very important lesson when it comes to gaming.

Video games don't have to be difficult to be fun.

East Meets West

When talking about Travis' influences, we did end up meandering a bit.

While anime and Eastern art styles are a major influence, he also looks to a few Western influences as well, particularly comic books artists and older Disney movies. He points to The Lion King as his first influential film, partially because of how the storytelling captured his imagination.

Then, of course, there are the comic books which he discussed in relation to Japanese manga. He didn't list any big ones but did note that he kept some around.

However, when it came to art, he still prefers the Japanese styles, noting their more fantastic nature.

Western style comics and animation involve making tropes more realistic, while the Eastern style is about having more fun and not taking itself too seriously. It's like they're saying 'How can we make cool interesting?'

Supporting Himself While He Learns

To achieve his goal of becoming an artist, Travis obviously had to have some way to support himself. Eventually, he took on working in security, which allows him to put time into his art.

Of course, as he's grown as an artist, he also takes on the occasional commission and freelance work. Eventually, he does hope to make a living based on his art alone.

Thinking About the Future

Travis goes on to talk about what he'd like to do with his art in the future, discussing the struggle many artists have with deciding whether they want to be employed by companies, doing what they're told, or if they'd rather just do what they want to do and risk a less steady income.

While he's thinking about that, he is using his time to learn what of his work really resonates with people. He feels that his use of traditional media, particularly markers and ink, are why people gravitate to what he does.

It offers them more variety from all the digital and CGI works we've seen over the last several years.

That said, he is capable of working in more modern mediums, he just prefers not to. Additionally, Travis did add that he has plans to try his hand at some other franchises in the future, including Full Metal Alchemist, Deathnote, and Samurai X.

Pokemon: Sword and Shield, Pokemon: Detective Pikachu

Since a lot of Travis' pieces are Pokemon oriented, I asked his opinion on both the upcoming Detective Pikachu and Pokemon: Sword and Shield.

Pokemon: Sword and Shield

When asked about the new game, he said that he likes that the environments seem more immersive, but that he's concerned by the title. He feels the battle theme seems to indicate the developers plan on taking the game in directions that could alienate older players.

When asked which of the three starters he had his eye on, the answer was quick and to the point:

Grass money.

Detective Pikachu

One of the fun reactions Travis has gotten to his Pokemon art is that some people have actually asked him if he worked on the designs in the upcoming Pokemon movie. While he hasn't, he is pretty happy with the comparison.

He also noted that he's generally pleased with the direction the artists did take when creating the "real world" version of the Pokemon. He's happy you can tell who each of the characters are and adds that there would have been a real downside to making them too realistic.

If you're making Pokemon real, there's gonna be nightmare fuel. Also, if Pokemon were real, we'd live in a very dangerous world.

He added that he really wants to see how they handle Gengar. In fact, that's why he did his own version.

Where to Find Sketch Junky

If you're interested in checking out more of Travis' work or perhaps asking him about a commission or two, here's what you need to know:

We want to thanks Travis for taking the time to speak with us. If you know of other great artists that should be highlighted, let us know in the comments below. 

 

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Why You Should Be Excited For Pokemon Sword And Shield https://www.gameskinny.com/uacdx/why-you-should-be-excited-for-pokemon-sword-and-shield https://www.gameskinny.com/uacdx/why-you-should-be-excited-for-pokemon-sword-and-shield Tue, 05 Mar 2019 13:43:27 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield, the upcoming Pokemon games for the Switch, were finally revealed last week during a special Nintendo Direct. While the presentation did not confirm many details about the games, a roughly two and a half minute long trailer was shared, and it is already giving fans a lot to ponder and praise.

With this article, we take a look at some of the elements that have players excited, ranging from new visuals to new Pokemon. This examination, coupled with some community-fueled speculation, should give you a good idea why we think you need to be looking forward to the release of Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield.

A Different Perspective

Pokemon games have always felt fairly limited in the exploration that they offer, opting to provide players with a succession of tasks that they must complete until they reach the end. Earlier games were kept from seeming too claustrophobic by mixing up the way players travelled through the map, but Sword and Shield seems to be taking a new approach.

The trailer from the Direct shows off multiple different camera angles, which appear to vary depending on location. This change in perspective is the key that these new games will use to create a more dynamic seeming world, even if it’s just as empty and linear as previous games.

In the more open areas, for example, the camera pulls back some and is at a lower angle than we saw in Sun and Moon. This means that it is roughly level with the character's shoulders, and while the routes themselves look about as narrow as Alola’s and Kalos’s, this change in perspective means players see everything around them.

We look off into the distance, over grassy plains and rolling hills with a bridge nearby. It’s an area that looks big and feels open, even if you can’t explore every inch of it.

In narrow places, like the snowy path, the camera goes up and zooms in a bit. This creates something similar to the perspectives in the first three generations of Pokemon where you can’t see much on either side of path. In doing so, a route’s short length, and potential lack of things to do and see on it, are overshadowed by a player's wondering of what’s next and where it all will lead.

It’s the cities where this new perspective really shines though. Finally, a Pokemon world gets the bustling metropolises and charming rural hamlets we’ve always had to just imagine in previous games.

The cities and towns seem bigger, and it seems that the close-up angles will make it really feel like these areas can be explored. The industrial city appears to be the best example from the trailer, as it offers plenty of areas to see and, potentially, even different levels to navigate. The snow-themed city also looks appealing, with the almost-over-the-shoulder perspective making it seem bigger than it probably is.

It also helps that every town and city isn't planned out on a grid. There can now be variations in the heights of structures and there are things like peaceful lake vistas, as the trailer shows, and a better general mix of environments. It’s basically what places like Castelia City and Aquacorde Town wanted to be but never could.

All of this combined create a sense of freedom and expansion. One that we have not seen in some of the previous games in the series.

A Non-Linear Map To Explore

A Pokemon game needs an interesting region to make players actually want to explore it, and it seems like Sword and Shield are going to deliver on that front. While the Galar region map, which seems to be inspired by the United Kingdom, may look tiny at first, closer examination suggests that the locale is going to offer quite a number of places to see and many things to do throughout the adventure.

Assuming that the journey in these games begins at the bottom of the map, as it does in most Pokemon games, it appears that players will start in an agricultural area. This fits with the idea of the south of England being the “breadbasket” of the nation (and a punny reference to the “Home Counties” surrounding London, since your home is in roughly the same region as those counties).

From there, it’s not too clear where your journey might take you, aside from north until you finally get to the Pokemon League. There’s a random house to the east, and then it looks like there is a train track going through the nearby mountain range. If, ultimately, you do have to take the train to leave the starter town, then it seems likely that the games' second destination is a Lancashire-inspired red-brick industrial city.

There are several possibilities for where the journey may go from there, as it looks like the city has two potential exits — one to the east and one to the south. The eastern exit seems to take you over a ravine and to an area that appears inaccessible otherwise. From there, a player may be on their way to an eastern coastal town where one of the European football pitch gyms is.

The southern exit appears to take you to a mostly empty field, punctuated by a tower in the northwest area and a large stone in the southeast. Presumably, there’s something worthwhile in that area, but exactly what remains unknown.

It also looks like there’s a bridge in the field, which will take players over a small river and along a road that winds up further north. This appears to arrive at the large city that dominates the map’s center, and, from there, you can seemingly go west to a rocky area and, by extension, the mushroom forest or east to the previously mentioned coastal town and a snowbound city.

This is all quite exciting because, barring something like requiring an HM-type move or Pokemon to progress, it looks like Sword and Shield may finally bring branching paths to Pokemon. It might mean you could choose where to go next, and in what order to tackle at least a few gyms, in this new adventure. While it may not seem like a huge deal on the surface, as player choice is quite common in modern games, it would be a huge breath of fresh air for Pokemon.

Mysteries To Solve

The map revealed of the Galar region does offer some clues about the journey players can expect to follow in Sword and Shield, but there are still some mysteries as well. The snowy city, for example, appears to only be accessible through a muddy, obstacle-course looking area, but there’s also a southeastern exit that leads through a sea route and to a large building. Perhaps this will be the Galar region’s criminal gang hideout or the estate of some eccentric recluse like Bill.

Additionally, the Pokemon Company loves hiding important areas behind cloud cover on early map reveals, as was done with Aether Paradise in Alola and frozen Unova from Black 2 and White 2. The Galar map shown during the Direct also has a few small areas covered by clouds, and the map's southern edge is certainly of interested. There’s so much cloud cover there that it obscures almost everything except the river’s course.

Some enterprising Pokemon fans have actually matched the land layout and river course in southern Galar to the northern edge of Kalos. This has sparked the rumor that, perhaps, we’ll be revisiting Kalos in Sword and Shield. If that is not the case, there may still be a lot of Kalos references, like the Fletchling weather vanes seen in the trailer, and Pokemon in these new games. 

Image via NintendoSoup

New Pokemon

Of course, what most people are anxious for is to learn more about Galar’s Pokemon. Unfortunately, the reveal trailer didn’t show any new Pokemon outside the three starters, but these three are certainly promising in their designs (and, I’m just sayin’, Grookey wins for best Sword and Shield starter).

One noticeable way the starters have changed from previous Pokemon games is their color scheme. Gen 6, and Gen 7 even more so, utilized a bright color palette for the starters, and Galar’s three are somewhat muted by comparison.

This contrasts well with the design of the surrounding region, and the chosen colors and shading strongly resemble the starter designs from Gens 2 through 6. It might have been a calculated design meant to evoke nostalgia, but even if it was not, it’s a pleasant change that goes far in separating the new Pokemon games from their immediate predecessors.

The choice of animals and overall design is a boon as well. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the Alola starters, especially Litten, but there’s something about these new Pokemon that makes them seem like they’re just ready to play about and have a good time.

It's a marked contrast from earlier generations, where friendship and an anime-inspired look took a backseat to more of a wildlife-influenced approach. The Galar starters do both: they combine cuddliness with more of the wild animal look that was the guiding force behind the design in the original games.

That juxtaposition of the familiar with the exotic is what takes a generation’s starters and makes them really stand out. For example, Scorbunny is a rabbit that sets things on fire with its feet. It’s more in keeping with Torchic, the fire-breathing chicken, or the samurai otter Oshawatt — a combination of ideas that stands out as more inspired overall.

Of course, there’s bound to be some duds in the mix. The way Pokemon designs go, for every Kommo-o, you get a Vanillite thrown in somewhere. At the very least though, Sword and Shield are off to a strong start.

Returning Pokemon

Elsewhere, it looks like the lessons learned in Unova are still being applied to the pool of wild Pokemon you will encounter in the new games. Opinions change, and despite the fact that introducing all-new Pokemon in Gen 3 went over well, it bombed in Gen 5. This means that Sword and Shield may offer a wide variety of Pokemon, old and new, from the get-go.

While, of course, players will be excited to see the new Pokemon that Galar has to offer, this mix is not a bad thing. It was very successful in the first few areas of Sun and Moon, and Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, as they had the best combination of Pokemon in the series to date, ranging from Munchlax and Grubbin to rarer ‘mon like Zorua.

The trailer doesn’t show a whole lot of what looks like the new games' opening areas, but it does looks like trainers can plan on fan-favorites, like Pikachu and Minccino, making an appearance early on. There is probably also Hoothoot and, if the player’s home is anything to go on, Munchlax again as well.

Beyond that, there looks to be a ton of other returning ‘mon, from favorites like Lucario to less popular choices such as Wailmer. Alola gets some representation too, with Wishiwashi making an appearance. It’s a bit odd seeing a tropical fish apparently thriving in the frigid north, but, it’s a Pokemon world, so it doesn’t have to make sense.

More Important Pokemon

There’s potentially more though, as a post on 4chan, made before the Direct aired, accurately named the games, predicted the region’s inspiration, and made mention of a new feature replacing Mega Evolutions: Armored Pokemon. The thread was taken down, but its contents made the rounds again after the Direct because its information was so close to everything that was revealed.

There wasn’t much detail about these Armored Pokemon, but the post named Charizard and Flygon, among others. It also stated that Meltan would be involved in the games’ plot and the mystery surrounding armored evolutions.

Whether any of this ends up being true is anyone’s guess, but the idea of locating Pokemon more centrally in the games' plot and additional mechanics is another new step forward for the series. Instead of just hearing NPCs talk about how central Pokemon are to daily life, we would now see them actually take part in it.

This approach could even provide the foundation for the villains’ activities, with some sort of genetic engineering (like with Mewtwo) or general, nefarious scientific plots taking center stage. I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing the games’ baddies be some sort of ethically challenged group of rogue academics, as opposed to another variation on the criminal gang theme. Who knows? We might even see Colress again if that ends up being the case.

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Indeed it seems that there is a lot to be excited about it when it comes to Pokemon Sword and Shield. While we have only gotten a glimpse of what the games will bring, the first trailer definitely put a strong foot forward, and hopefully more details are on the way shortly.

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New Pokemon RPGs, Sword and Shield, Announced During Special Nintendo Direct https://www.gameskinny.com/ppzp4/new-pokemon-rpgs-sword-and-shield-announced-during-special-nintendo-direct https://www.gameskinny.com/ppzp4/new-pokemon-rpgs-sword-and-shield-announced-during-special-nintendo-direct Wed, 27 Feb 2019 10:17:39 -0500 QuintLyn

Early this morning, the Pokemon Company took over Nintendo's channels with a special Nintendo Direct or rather Pokemon Direct stream. The stream didn't last long; in fact, it took up less than 10 minutes. But it provided enough information to get fans of Pokemon excited.

As it turns out, the company has been hard at work on a new set of Pokemon RPGs, titled Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield. These games take place in an all-new region the Galar Region.

Galar is a diverse area featuring terrain ranging from fields and meadows to snow-covered mountains. Players can also expect to explore expansive contemporary cities, where they're sure to meet plenty of interesting characters.

As with all Pokemon RPGs, Sword and Shield start players out with one of three "starter" Pokemon, who will be their companion throughout the game. As Galar is a completely new region, it only makes sense that these will be never before seen Pokemon.

The first Pokemon is a mischevious Grass-type Chimp Pokemon, known as Grookey. Grookey is incredibly curious, which probably means he's going to get into a bit of trouble. 

The second is the incredibly energetic Scorbunny. As the name indicates, this one is a Fire-type Rabbit Pokemon.

Finally, there's the shy, and therefore stealthy, Sobble. This Water-Lizard Pokemon hides in water while shooting attacks at its opponents.

 

What other features players can expect from the game were not revealed during the announcement. That said, players probably won't have to wait too long to find out. As it turns out, the Pokemon Company and GAMEFREAK intend to release both games on Nintendo Switch later this year.

There's no official date yet, but we do know it will be a simultaneous global release. This seems like an excellent move considering the Detective Pikachu movie will have released by then, most likely increasing the number of people interested in picking up their first ever Pokemon game.

It should also be noted that before the Pokemon Direct came to an end, the company stated that fans should also keep an eye out for more announcements. It seems the Pokemon Company isn't done with us yet.

If you're interested in watching the announcement, you can do so in the video above. We've set it to start at the right point, but just in case it doesn't behave properly, the announcement begins about 29 minutes in.

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