Pokemon Sword & Shield: Why Game Freak Wanted To Make Pokemon Huge

Just before E3 2019, The Pokemon Company introduced us to the new Dynamax mechanic in Pokemon Sword and Shield. When a Pokemon Dynamaxes, it grows to an incredible size–like, building-size–and gains extra power and stronger moves. It also works similarly to Mega Evolution in that you can only use it once in a battle. Basically, Dynamaxing is the “taking it up to 11” of Pokemon games.

At E3 2019, we spoke to Sword and Shield creative director Shigeru Ohmori about the thought process behind Dynamaxing. As it turns out, a lot of it has to do with the Nintendo Switch as a new platform for core Pokemon games. These are the first in the main series to be on TVs, so going big with the Pokemon is a great way to show that off.

“Now on Nintendo Switch, we have more resolution to work with–maybe you’re playing on a big screen TV,” Ohmori said. “So the ability to see the difference in size of the Pokemon was a lot easier this time… It was something we wanted to challenge ourselves [with] this time.”

On top of that, there was a heartwarming reason: to make sure every Pokemon has a chance to shine. Unlike with Mega Evolution, any Pokemon can be Dynamaxed; they don’t need to hold a special item, even. Yes, this means you can battle with a giant Wooloo.

“One of my goals with Dynamax this time around is that any Pokemon can use it, so I wanted to have the ability to–for some Pokemon that didn’t have their time in the spotlight to be viable in battle as well this time,” Ohmori said.

In other Pokemon news, we learned more about how Max Raid battles work during Nintendo’s Treehouse livestream. Pokemon Sword and Shield come out November 15.

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