The wait for the next generation of the Pokemon franchise is finally over, with Pokemon Sword and Shield making their debut on the Switch this weekend. As players dive into a new adventure in the Galar region, the full set of new Pokemon species and regional variants of classic creatures has finally been revealed.

Each generation of Pokemon games roll out a variety of the eponymous creatures for players to find, collect and battle with in a new part of the world to explore, and Pokemon Sword and Shield expand on the universe by introducing a set of Pokemon inspired by England and the United Kingdom, the real-life basis for the game's setting.

80 of the creatures in Pokemon Sword and Shield's regional Pokedex are completely new to the franchise, including the evolutionary lines of starter trio Grookey, Scorbunny and Sobble and the games' canine legendary duo Zacian and Zamazenta. Additionally, the games have introduced 13 regional variants of existing Pokemon, with unique versions of Weezing, Zigzagoon and Linoone, among others.

Pokemon Sword and Shield also stick to the series tradition of making certain Pokemon exclusive to each version. The unicorn-like Galarian form of Ponyta is only obtainable without a trade in Shield, while Sword is the only place to encounter the new variant of Farfetch'd and its new knight-styled evolution Sirfetch'd.

One new mechanic granted to Pokemon old and new in Pokemon Sword and Shield is the ability to temporarily turn into massive, stadium-sized versions of themselves in battle through the games' Dynamax mechanic. A select few, including Charizard, are granted Gigantamax forms with their own special moves and abilities.

The release of Pokemon Sword and Shield has not been without controversy, with mixed opinions emerging over the games being the first mainline entries in the Pokemon franchise to exclude the National Pokedex, the collection of every Pokemon in the series since the release of Red and Blue in 1998, in favor of solely featuring the regional selections made for the Galarian Pokedex by developer Game Freak.While pre-release reception hasn't been universally positive, excitement for the franchise's Switch debut is still high for old and new fans, and those still interested in diving into Sword and Shield will find plenty of new creatures to befriend along the way.

Pokemon Sword and Shield are out now for the Nintendo Switch.

Source: Comic Book