'Pokémon Sword and Shield' bring back 'chonky' Pikachu and introduce 'skinny Meowth'
Pokémon Sword and Shield will welcome a series of new "Gigantamax" Pokémon when it debuts on Nintendo Switch this November, and the news is causing a bit of a stir in the Pokémon community. Starting November 15, fans can head into battle with other Pokémon trainers with enormous, super-sized monsters that all come packing special moves. The latest Pokémon to get this treatment in-game include characters fro the original 151: Pikachu, Eevee, Meowth, Charizard, and Butterfree.
And while being huge and able to pull off a variety of different moves is cool enough as it is, fans are latching on to some particularly interesting physical characteristics the monsters have been seen with in a new trailer for the games.
Both Pikachu and Eevee are "chonky" Pokémon now, with Pikachu's body visibly transformed to a form with additional weight. Eevee has massive tufts of fluffy fur surrounding its neck, which are supersized compared to its original design. Otherwise, it's a pretty pedestrian version of Eevee, just a huge, menacing version of the adorable monster.
But Pikachu is the one courting fascination from just about everyone who sees it. In its Gigantamax form, the electric mouse resembles the way the Pokémon did when the pocket monster-based franchise first debuted back in the late '90s. As such, people can't get enough of it. Pikachu's new name is apparently "Pikachonk," according to Pokémon fans on Twitter. It's an appropriate nickname.
Over the years, Pikachu has gotten slimmer and smaller, and the Pokémon used to look way different, as a Kotaku article points out. It looks like this enormous Pikachu is a fun throwback to the character's original design, whether intentional or not. Now, it seems "fat Pikachu" is going to be here to stay, or at least everyone hopes so.
This Pikachu can be obtained only if players have play data from Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! on their Nintendo Switch system, so before jumping into the new game, make sure that's sorted so you can get one. Similarly, the special Gigantamax Eevee can be obtained only if players have play data from Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee! on their Nintendo Switch system. There isn't any additional information about how you can go about obtaining them if you don't have the games just yet, but that may come at a later date.
Meowth's Gigantamax transformation is also peculiar, giving the catlike Pokémon a form that's wholly unlike what any of its evolutionary stages would normally look like. According to The Pokémon Company, growing to such a massive size has caused its body to "stretch to astounding lengths." It's an odd look for the typically squat feline Pokémon, and the sight is something to behold. Meowth looks more like the cat from the "Longcat" meme than its typical self.
Like "chonky Pikachu," fans quickly took to social media to christen Meowth's Gigantamax form with its "new" name and plenty of memes to go along with it.
This Meowth isn't going to be in the game forever, though. It's going to be an early purchase bonus for anyone who purchases Pokémon Sword and Shield before January 15, 2020. It will be available as a Mystery Gift that you can receive through connecting to the internet as a special download.
Meanwhile, Gigantamax Butterfree doesn't look too different from its regular form, though it does have larger, more majestic wings with light green tips and what appears to be a red halo atop its head.
Gigantamax Charizard looks appropriately menacing, though, with wings of flame and the Pokémon's signature stout, sturdy frame. Overall, though, the design isn't too different from the regular Charizard look. Perhaps that's why the social media focus has remained mostly on Pikachu and Meowth.
Pokémon Sword and Shield will mark the first (non-spinoff) Pokémon titles to appear on the Nintendo Switch aside from Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! earlier this year. With all these fun new Pokémon evolutions, the complete games are looking more interesting than any of the iterations before them.