Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield Logo on Black Background

Earlier this week, we heard news of the new Pokémon games, Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, which would be gracing our Nintendo Switches in late 2019. We got to see some starters and we got an idea of the location, which seems distinctly British.

However, we really don’t know too much quite yet, and I thought I’d put together a list of some of the things I’m really hoping to see in the next installment of the franchise:

New Eeveelutions

It’s no secret that my favorite Pokémon is Eevee. With the exception of the first two generations of games, we usually get new Eeveelutions every other generation. We only got one new eeveelution the last time around (Pokémon X and Y) instead of two, so we’re really overdue. I think we should up the ante and get three this time around! Okay, two is fine. I’d love a dragon-type eeveelution and I’ve even seen adorable bug fakeons, but really, I don’t mind the typing, as long as it’s cute!

Secret Bases

One of my favorite features out of any of the Pokémon games was the ability to make secret bases in Pokémon SapphireRuby, and Emerald, as well as their remakes, Pokémon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby.

You could deck out your bases with posters, Pokédolls, slides, and even musical tiles. After you traded, battled, or Streetpassed with people (in the remakes), their bases will appear on the map and you can battle other trainers and steal their flags for prestige. It’s just a fun little bonus that keeps the game active long after the story has ended.

Mining

Pokémon DiamondPearl, and Platinum added a mining aspect to their versions of secret bases. When you went into a special area beneath Sinnoh known as the Underground, you could mine walls that sparkled for fossils, shards, evolutionary items, and items to boost stats in attack.

It was a nifty way to pick up rare items, and the social aspect would benefit from an updated system. The mining aspect also fits in with England’s history, being an area of rich paleontological and archaeological finds, as well as rich with coal, metals and ores.

New Fossil Pokémon

Who doesn’t love a good fossil Pokémon? Pokémon SunMoonUltra Sun, and Ultra Moon did not give us any new fossils, so we’re way overdue!

Also, when we got to see some locations in the Direct, I noticed that there was a hill with a design on the grass. This has got to be a reference to the chalk hill figures throughout England–a few are found in Dorset, England, an area noted for its fossil deposits.

The prehistoric contemporary to dinosaurs, the Icthyosaur, famously had its remains found here, and it would be a neat connection to have an Icthyosaur-type fossil Pokémon in the in-game location! There could also be a Plesiosaurus fossil to be found if Scotland was a part of the Galar equation…

Additions to Evolution Lines

Although the fourth generation Pokémon games didn’t really impress me in terms of the new Pokémon it yielded, I have always thought it was cool how they added to already existing evolutionary lines.

We got more baby Pokémon and second- and third-stage evolutions additions than ever before. It would be cool to see that level of creativity again, and considering gen IV remakes are the next ones due, it could turn out to be a cute teaser/homage to those games.

Pokémon Go Connection

In Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! and Pikachu! you could connect your game to your Pokémon Go app. You could send some Pokémon to the console game, and this enabled you to obtain Meltan and Melmetal in both games. I’d like to see this feature again, if only for the fact that it would be a big help in completing my Pokédex.

(And maybe we could keep that mystery box that gets you Meltans, because boy, it is a pain to get all those candies!)

Meltan/Melmetal’s Official Main Series Game Debut

Speaking of, Meltan and Melmetal debuted in Pokémon Go, not in the main series game. However, it’s very clear that they’re here to stay, then he can be raised in the Let’s Go! games and there are Pokémon cards of them.

It would be great to see them in the main series game in some way. Ideally, they would be used to bond the stories of the Let’s Go! games and Pokémon Go more closely with the main series game.

The Return of Gyms

Although the trials were a fun change in the Sun and Moon games and their sequels, they may not work as well in a different regional setting. If the games go back to a more traditional style (which they appear to), it would make more sense to bring the traditional gyms back.

It seems possible that a compromise between the two different advancement styles could be put into place as well. Either way, I’d be happy to go back to a traditional gym system so the gen VII games could retain their distinct charm–a charm that one could revisit at a later date, when they’re in the mood for it.

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So, how about it? What new features or returning features are you hoping for in Pokémon Sword and Shield? Are there any other potential clues to features you think you’ve spotted in the direct? Let us know in the comments below!

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