Game Freak Considered Changing The Battle Mechanic In Sword & Shield

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Scrapping turn-based battles and either adding or subtracting move slots was also discussed.


There’s yet more information coming out of Eurogamers’s big Sword and Shield blowout, and this time it’s the battle mechanics that have avoided a change-up.

Planning Director for the games Kazumasa Iwao told Game Informer that turn-based battles were on the chopping block, before the studio opted for improvement rather than dropping them entirely.

According to Nintendo Everything, Game Informer describes how the developer “thought about changing up the very core of the battle system from the traditional turn-based experience, but reconsidered when thinking of the initial themes for this next entry.” Director Shigeru Ohmori instead described how the team “felt like expressing the turn-based battles in their ultimate form.”

We assume that ‘ultimate form’ is the Dynamaxing that’s being introduced this gen. We got to go hands on with Pokémon Sword and Shield at Gamescom earlier this year, and whilst the Dynamaxing certainly looks impressive, the gameplay remains largely the same.

It’ll be interesting to see if there’s some other hidden mechanic within the games that GameFreak have not yet revealed.

Elsewhere on the battle front, the report also reveals that the traditional four moveslots enjoyed by the monsters within the game was also up for debate during the early phases of development. That too eventually reverted to normal to ensure the game remained well balanced:

“If you make it five or even more than five, that makes it so a lot of the Pokémon can really do anything, and it becomes a lot harder to read what your opponent might do because there are just that many more possibilities of moves they could use. I think that hurts the balance of the gameplay quite a bit.

At the same time, even if you reduce it by one to three, you really start seeing there are haves and have nots in the Pokémon world. Like, these Pokémon are obviously way stronger than the rest of these Pokémon. We keep coming back and finding that four is the right number for the current battle system, but it is something we revisit.”

Would you have been happy with an entirely new battle mechanic within the games? Or are you glad that Sword and Shield have retained the traditional battle experience? Let us know down in the comments.