During this week’s Pokémon Presents video, The Pokémon Company unleashed a wave of updates and announcements for ongoing games such as Pokémon Masters Ex and Pokémon Unite.
But the bulk of the Presents was spent on showcasing lots of new information, and Pokémon, in the big upcoming mainline game, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.
Scarlet and Violet take place in the new Paldea region, but the story and structure is entirely open-world — a first for the 20+ year old franchise. Battling eight gym leaders in order to become the league Champion is only one of three major stories that were teased in the trailer.
The other two stories have yet to be announced, but the trailer showcases a region-wide treasure hunt that stems from the academy that your character attends.
Furthermore, players can explore the region and battle the leaders in any order. Is there level scaling involved? One gym leader was revealed: Grusa, the ice-themed scientist leader of the Glaseado Gym. Grusha uses one of the new Pokémon, Cetitan.
Other newly revealed Pokémon include Fidough the adorable puppy Fairy-type, and Paldean Wooper, a brown Poison-Ground version of Wooper.
Exploring an open world Pokémon game will be easy with Scarlet and Violet’s signature legendary Pokémon: Koraidon and Miraidon. Instead of using different Pokémon to climb, fly, and swim, these mystical motorcycles can do it all themselves. Though most likely you’ll have to unlock each riding style through your journey.
Each modern Pokémon game has a specific gameplay gimmick. For Scarlet and Violet, it’s Terastal. A Pokémon in the Paldea region can Terastallize, transforming them into a shining, jeweled version. Not only do they become more powerful, but they could change type. Interestingly, you won’t know what type they can change into until they Terastallize for the first time.
Terastal is tied to a special orb that must be charged at Pokémon Centers, or at special crystals located throughout the region.
The video also showcased multiplayer battles, called Tera Raid Battles. Up to four players can battle wild Terastallized Pokémon. Combat uses a unique real-time battle system, where you don’t have to wait to take turns with your fellow trainers. Trainers can also cheer to heal and boos their allies.
Playing cooperatively online requires a Nintendo Online membership.
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet will release on November 18 on Nintendo Switch. If you purchase the game before February 28, you can receive a unique Pikachu via online download. This Pikachu knows the move Fly, and its Tera type is Flying.