HMs Are Not In Pokémon Sword And Shield

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HMs Are Not In Pokémon Sword And Shield

Since the start of the Pokémon series, Hidden Machines (HMs) have been a staple. These special moves, which could be taught to multiple Pokémon, then used in battle and in special circumstances outside of battle, were replaced in Sun and Moon with Ride Pokémon. During our trip to Game Freak's Tokyo headquarters for this month's cover story, we asked about the role of HMs in Pokémon Sword and Shield.

According to planning director Kazumasa Iwao, HMs didn't fit into the philosophy of Pokémon Sword and Shield. "I think they played a role in the series traditionally to be like the relationship between a door and a key; the HM will unlock something and you’re able to progress and feel the ability to go to a new place," he says. "We didn’t have them in Sun and Moon, and this time around, we didn’t feel it really matched the concept, especially with the Wild Area and wanting to have this higher degree of freedom. The player can kind of choose how they want to engage with the gameplay. Having the more HM-based elements, we didn’t feel it really matched the game, so this time around they’re not in it."

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Pokémon Cut From Sword And Shield's National Pokédex Will Return In The Future

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Pokémon Cut From Sword And Shield's National Pokédex Will Return In The Future

Fans are eagerly anticipating Pokémon Sword and Shield, but some of the biggest news coming out of summer was regarding what won't be in the first mainline Pokémon console RPGs. During E3, producer Junichi Masuda explained that not every Pokémon will make the leap into Sword and Shield. This news left many fans disappointed, so I caught up with Masuda during our trip for this month's cover story to dive deeper into the reasoning for the cuts.

According to Masuda, the sheer number of Pokémon the series had accumulated over the last two-plus decades got to the point of being unwieldy. "Up until now, we’ve been proud we’ve been able to include so many Pokémon in the games, but as a result of that, there’s actually been quite a few features or gameplay ideas that we’ve had to abandon in the past," he says. "Going forward, thinking about the future of Pokémon, we want to prioritize all those new gameplay ideas, new ways to enjoy the game, and want to challenge ourselves at Game Freak to create new ways to enjoy the game. That’s really what drove the decision for this new direction."

Pokémon Sword And Shield Introduce Autosave To The Series

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Pokémon Sword And Shield Introduce Autosave To The Series

During our trip to Game Freak's Tokyo headquarters for this month's cover story, we learned all kinds of behind-the-scenes information about Pokémon Sword and Shield. While talking with the developers about the new features coming to Sword and Shield, director Shigeru Ohmori mentioned autosave occurring in the Wild Area.

Normally after you perform a trade, you'd need to stop and save, but instead, Game Freak figured out a way to incorporate seamless saves into the Wild Area. "When you connect with them to actually trade or do some kind of interaction, it then seamlessly switches to a synchronous connection," Ohmori says. "It’s also saving in the background, which is something we previously didn’t do, so there’s quite a bit going on in there that is represented in the Wild Area."

At the mention of "saving in the background," I asked Ohmori if that happens throughout the rest of the game, or if that's restricted to the Wild Area. "It’s a new feature we’re implementing: full autosave functionality," he says. "Traditionally in Pokémon games, it’s an important thing to write your report to record your save, and that’s always been a staple, like, "Remember to save your game!" We do have an autosave feature this time, where you can just adventure and it’ll constantly save the game."

Sword And Shield's Max Raid Battles Could Be Among Pokémon's Most Challenging Encounters

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Sword And Shield's Max Raid Battles Could Be Among Pokémon's Most Challenging Encounters

Pokémon Sword and Shield are introducing myriad new mechanics to the series. One of the biggest new additions is the ability for Pokémon to grow to massive proportions. While this is most prominently on display in battles through the Dynamax and Gigantamax mechanics, players can also challenge powerful giant Pokémon in cooperative Max Raid Battles. We spoke with the developers to learn more about these encounters.

Initially, the Max Raid Battles were called something more generic like "cooperative battles," but following Pokémon Go's implementation of co-op raids, the word was entered into the vocabularies of Pokémon fans across the globe. "The initial concept of having cooperative battles against a Pokémon – the raid idea – came before raids were even implemented in Pokémon Go, but we saw Pokémon Go implement this raid feature and how popular it was for people to get together in the same space and enjoy these cooperative experiences," director Shigeru Ohmori says. "I think there was some influence like how in Pokémon Go, you don’t need to be a hardcore battler to enjoy the raid battles. It’s really easy to invite a friend. We wanted to have that element in Sword and Shield’s raid encounters as well."

November Cover Revealed – Pokémon Sword And Shield

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November Cover Revealed – Pokémon Sword And Shield

Fans have long-requested a mainline Pokémon RPG on consoles, and after remaking the first-generation titles in last year’s Let’s Go games, Game Freak is finally giving fans their wish in Pokémon Sword and Shield. We traveled to Game Freak’s headquarters in Tokyo, Japan to get the behind-the-scenes story of these games. We spoke with the game’s director, producer, planning director, and art director, picking their brains on the direction of the series and what they hope to accomplish with the upcoming Switch titles.

To celebrate the occasion, we have three different covers, which you can see below.

Click the images for higher resolution

Terminator T-800 Joins The Fight In Mortal Kombat 11

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Terminator T-800 Joins The Fight In Mortal Kombat 11

Warner Interactive and NetherRealm Studios have officially revealed what we've all known for a while now: The Terminator is coming to Mortal Kombat 11. More specifically, it's the T-800 model, as portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger.  

The reveal was accompanied by a gameplay trailer, which highlights a nice slice of his moveset. He's able to blast enemies with his shotgun (complete with the fancy reload animation from Terminator 2), headbutt them with his metal noggin, and basically rule the arena like the unstoppable killing machine that he is. There are some other great moments in the clip, like showing off what happens when he gets hit with fire (thanks a lot, Scorpion!) and his fatality. 

The T-800 is hitting Mortal Kombat 11 on October 15, or October 8 if you have the Kombat Pack. Those are the same days owners of the pass will be able to get the Harley Quinn-inspired skin for Cassie Cage, as well as Kano's "Cash Machine Kano" skin and Johnny Cage's "Red Carpet Johnny Cage." Sonya Blade is getting a "Cyborg Hunter" skin, too, which sounds like a nice pairing for the T-800.

Shawn Layden Departs Sony Interactive Entertainment

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Shawn Layden Departs Sony Interactive Entertainment

From producer of software development to president of Japan's studio, Shawn Layden has worn many hats in his decades of working at Sony. His latest role was chairman of SIE's worldwide studios, and that will apparently be his last at Sony, at least for the time being. Sony announced today on Twitter that Layden was leaving the company.

"It is with great emotion that we announce that Worldwide Studios Chairman Shawn Layden will be departing SIE," the tweet reads. “His visionary leadership will be greatly missed. We wish him success in future endeavors and are deeply grateful for his years of service. Thanks for everything, Shawn!"

No other details were given regarding the departure or when it will take place.

Punisher, Blade, Morbius, And Moon Knight Come To Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 Today

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Punisher, Blade, Morbius, And Moon Knight Come To Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 Today

The first downloadable content pack for Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order is out now. Marvel Knights: Curse of the Vampire adds four popular characters to the game's already-massive roster of playable heroes. The pack is out now as a part of the title's Expansion Pass.

Curse of the Vampire adds Punisher, Blade, Moon Knight, and Morbius to fight alongside the likes of Iron Man, Captain America, Spider-Man, Wolverine, and more. Those who purchased the Expansion Pass can also play a new mode: Gauntlet. In Gauntlet mode, you can join a team of four co-op players to tackle challenges one after the other to earn rewards. Once you beat Gauntlet, you unlock a survival version of the mode where you see how long you can last and where you land on the global leaderboards.

This first DLC pack launches alongside a free update for every Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 player. The free update adds new outfits for Captain America, Black Panther, Iron Man, and Thor, which you can see below. In addition, players who think they're worthy of a new challenge can attempt to play through story missions in a new "Nightmare" difficulty mode.

Upcoming Pokémon Anime Series Will Introduce A New Hero Alongside Ash

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Upcoming Pokémon Anime Series Will Introduce A New Hero Alongside Ash

Step aside Ash, there's a new Pokémon trainer in town. Famitsu is reporting that the new Pokémon anime series (called Pocket Monsters in Japan) will feature a new hero who will be training alongside Ash, marking the first time that two characters will be front and center. The new trainer's name translates to Go, and he's 10 years in age. Ash obviously still relies on Pikachu as his go-to Pokémon, whereas Go is a bit more modern, selecting Scorbunny from the upcoming Pokémon Sword and Shield games as his main.

The animated series debuts in Japan on November 17 on TV Tokyo. Odds are it will make its way stateside in the months ahead.

Death Stranding's Baby Will Communicate Through PlayStation 4's Controller

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Death Stranding's Baby Will Communicate Through PlayStation 4's Controller

Hideo Kojima revealed on Twitter that Death Stranding's baby will be right next to the player, at least it's voice will. The baby, called a BB in the game, will likely make all sorts of cute and not-so-cute sounds from the canister that protagonist Sam carries with him. Those sounds will be projected through the controller, if the player needs it as a setting.

Kojima's Tweet makes it sound like this is a feature that is tied specifically to the special edition Death Stranding controller (pictured above) which comes with the PlayStation 4 bundle, but there's a chance it may work with every PlayStation 4 controller

Death Stranding is just a month away now, releasing on November 8. If you pick up the game, will you have BB's voice come out of the controller?