Nintendo Announces Its First Pokemon DLC

Expand Your Galarian Adventure

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Nintendo unveiled new Pokemon DLC with a video presentation earlier this week. When Nintendo announced a Pokemon-based Nintendo Direct for January 9th eyebrows were raised. Expectation for a Direct was high. A Direct at the start of the year is pretty common. It gives Nintendo a chance to tease the year’s releases, build hype, and drive sales. But could they really have enough to say about Pokemon? The latest games, Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield only launched in November. Most assumed this would focus on the promised system to transfer over Pokemon from previous games. Most were wrong.

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Remake

The first announcement was the release of a ‘new’ game. With a cute trailer Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX was revealed. The game is a full remake of the earliest games in this spin-off series. Originally released as two versions on the DS and the GBA the remake only seems to offer one version. The trailer seems to be aiming to invoke nostalgia for this series which is now 14 years old. This seems a big ask; I’m not sure there’s a huge fanbase who are looking back fondly on the series. There hasn’t been a release in the series for four years, for example. With its randomly generated dungeons and roguelite gameplay its a little niche, to say the least. It also seems risky to be launching this game in March when we only just got a full Pokemon title. Still, watching the trailer below its hard to deny the appeal of the graphics.

Pokemon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass

The big news was the revelation of Pokemon DLC for Sword and Shield. The Nintendo Direct presentation was quick to address this change in doing things. Previous games often have a ‘third version’; either one with added content or a new story set in the same region. These were released and sold as new games, and required starting from scratch. While no pricing information was shared, hopefully (presumably?) the new Pokemon DLC will be cheaper than buying an entire new game. These advantages were subtly made front and centre of the announcement, which is sure to smooth things over with a fanbase that tends to overreact to change.

The Pokemon DLC has been given the slightly wordy title of ‘Pokemon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass’. One of its surprises is that it continues the division between the two versions. There will be differences in content depending which version of the base game you’re playing, in an effort to continue to encourage trading. Each part of the DLC is a new area with a new story, new characters, new returning Pokemon and even new (and returning) legendary Pokemon. It definitely seems to be ticking all the boxes. The second part, The Crown Tundra, even includes a new co-op mode. The downside? The first Pokemon DLC, The Isle of Armor, is not out until June. Six months away. It seems a long time to wait, and strange to reveal it so far in advance. Still, if you’re still angry over ‘Dexit’ a least you know more ‘mon are on the way. If you want all the details, including glimpses of the new Pokemon, check out the full Direct below.

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Matt Crofts
Matt is the SFFN's Retro Editor, focusing on all things old but interesting, including (but not limited to!) books, movies and video games. As a researcher in Gothic literature Matt also has an affinity for black cats, Hammer horror, and all things Dracula.