Pokemon Unite gets mobile release date, Sword and Shield to remain competitive center

    
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Today’s Pokemon Presents wasn’t the most exciting for fans of multiplayer online gaming, but there were a few kernels of information for us nonetheless. While the new information on the upcoming Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl shows off some neat stuff, like customizable bases returning, simple online lobbies, non-combat pokemon contests, and digging mini-games that can be done with other players, The Pokemon Company has also announced that competitive ranked events will be held in the Pokemon Sword and Shield games in the foreseeable future.

This may also reveal something about the open-world Legends: Arceus game that got many of us hoping for a more cooperative online Pokemon game.

The game’s current website now has the title as “up to 2 players,” up from “single-player” previously reported, but we’ve reached out to PR to clarify whether or not this means online play. Today’s announcement did mention the game will work with Pokemon Home, though, as will the new Diamond and Pearl games sometime in 2022. As the game is introducing new regional forms, as well as combat styles – Strong Style to add damage, Agile Style increase speed and possibly allow for multiple turns – The Pokemon Company may want to keep the latter game separate but could also allow the new game’s regionals a way into the competitive scene using Sword and Shield rulesets.

Pokemon Unite has now received a September 22nd release date, and players who pre-register on the Apple or Google app stores can help the community unlock Pikachu as a free gift if 2.5 million people sign up (coins to be awarded for players who have already purchased the mousey-mascot). If 5 million people sign up, players will receive a Pikachu skin based on the image in our headers.

We also got a first look at Mamoswine and Sylveon as playable characters, though we have no idea what roles they will have. We only just recently received a new support character, Blissey, who came out of nowhere, as Blastoise had been previously teased alongside the post-launch released Gardevoire.

While we have noted that Pokemon Unite is a fairly competent game, its monetization has been an issue. The Pokemon Company may have reviewed previously known information for some titles, but it skipped the fact that Unite just added a gacha-pon exclusive skin, the “Berry Style” Snorlax seen above. Again, players who may have trouble with gambling or overpaying for power may want to be cautious about starting up the game, but it’s been fairly enjoyable when I’ve been able to avoid the gross monetization.

Massively OP’s Andrew Ross is an admitted Pokemon geek and expert ARG-watcher. Nobody knows Niantic and Nintendo like he does! His Massively on the Go column covers Pokemon Go as well as other mobile MMOs and augmented reality titles!
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