A large portion of the Nintendo booth at E3 2019 was dedicated to showing off the upcoming Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield games for the Nintendo Switch. The area was designed to look like a massive water-themed Pokémon Stadium, complete with large screens showing off the game, in-universe billboards, and a crowd of spectators and their partner Pokémon cheering on the players.
Of course, the booth-turned-stadium foreshadowed the highlight of our experience, the playable demo of Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. The folks at Kotaku were able to play the demo themselves, where they could battle their way through a (naturally) water-themed Gym before heading through a door that opened into an impressive Pokémon Stadium battlefield. There you could face off against the Gym Leader, Nessa, in an incredible battle that introduced massive Dynamax Pokémon into the gameplay.
“We’re very cognizant of not betraying the expectations of long term fans,” Shigeru Ohmori, the director of Pokémon Sword and Shield, told Kotaku. “We view it as a way to get every Pokémon to shine in battle. Even if they weren’t as viable in the past, this is their time to shine, and we’re balancing the battle system around that.”