This morning, The Pokemon Company announced that Pokemon Sword & Shield’s second DLC Pack “The Crown Tundra” will be launching on Switch on October 22.
The announcement came as part of a new Pokemon-centric Nintendo Direct, which gave the rundown of the content in “The Crown Tundra,” including new story content, raids, and an entirely new mode that brings back most of the supporting characters from Pokemon Sword & Shield’s main story. If you want to watch the full presentation you can right here. For everyone else? Here’s our recap.
The expansion opens up a new area, the titular Crown Tundra, which is home to several Pokemon that weren’t available in the main game. Also here are new characters like Peony, who is leading an expedition into a Pokemon den, which is home to several previously unseen Pokemon in the Galar Region. This will include the return of every Legendary Pokemon from previous games, as well as Galar variants of the Legendary Birds Articuno, Moltres, and Zapdos. Many of these Pokemon will be found in a new segment called Dynamax Adventures, which you and up to three other players can embark on to fight through caves capturing these Pokemon for your team.
After you do all of the above, returning to the Galar region proper will allow you to play through a new mode called Galarian Star Tournament. The competition lets you pick a partner from any of the main cast of Pokemon Sword & Shield to compete in a 2v2 tournament. Different character combinations will result in new dialogue, but hopefully that will be more substantial than just quippy banter, as the cast of these games is pretty memorable, and I’d like to see some meaningful relationship building.
Following the release of “The Crown Tundra,” The Pokemon Company will be releasing a bundled package for Pokemon Sword & Shield to stores on November 6, which will include the expansion pass alongside either game to get the full experience in one place.
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Along with all the DLC talk, it was also announced that eight variations of Pikachu will be added to Pokemon Sword & Shield, each wearing a different hat worn by Ash Ketchum, the main character of the Pokemon anime series. All eight versions of Ash’s Pikachu will be rolling out over time, with the first being available now, with instructions on how to get him on the Pokemon website.
In other news, Pokemon Go will soon be compatible with Pokemon Home, the storage system Nintendo has in place to transfer your Pokemon to Sword & Shield, and upon using this once you’ll receive a Gigantamax Melmetal, a Pokemon that hasn’t been made available in a mainline Pokemon game until now.
The presentation ended with an animated music video from Japanese band Bump of Chicken for “Gotcha,” a collaboration between the band and The Pokemon Company. And I gotta admit, it got me choked up. And if you’ve got any attachment to the Pokemon franchise it might do the same to you.