- Dynamax and Gigantamax. Recent generations have introduced several new gimmicks for battles. Mega Evolution into stronger forms, Z Moves to perform enhanced attacks, and now? Dynamax, the ability to transform Pokémon so that they appear and function at kaiju proportions for titanic attacks! Only made better with Gigantamax which includes a complete transformation! Ever wanted to see a Charizard as tall as a mountain with wings of fire? How about a giant Pikachu calling down lightning from the heavens? You can even encounter and capture wild Dynamax/Gigantamax Pokémon in Max Raid battles!
- It gets even better in the Crown Tundra DLC, because now, you can fight and catch kaiju sized Legendary Pokémon! The battles are often brutally hard, but amazing all the same.
- Special mention goes to Dynamax Zygarde, who keeps its Power Construct ability from Generation 7 and thus transforms into its Complete Forme when its HP drops below half.
- For years in the games, Pokémon Gym Battles would be fought in enclosed environments with maybe a few spectators present. But now? Gym Leaders are fought in massive stadiums filled to the brim with screaming fans! It just goes to show how massive a Pokémon battle can truly be, especially a Gym Battle!
- The first two Gym Leaders, Milo (the Grass-type Leader) and Nessa (the Water-type Leader), consider it very impressive that you and Hop beat Kabu (the Fire-type Leader), as he's considered a roadblock in the Gym Challenge lineup (and as his Centiskorch is the first Gigantamax Pokemon you battle in the Gym Challenge, for good reason).
- Piers manages to be the 7th Gym Leader (and thus the #3 ranked trainer in all of Galar) despite not using Dynamax. Raihan even admits that Piers gave him a tough battle during the Champion Cup. Not only that, but there's the fact that the series finally features a Dark-type Gym ever since it was introduced back in Generation 2.
- The Gym Leaders all have unique animations for throwing their first Pokemon out. You have some pretty standard ones like Raihan and Nessa, but then you get Gordie who does a complete front flip to throw it! Even more impressive seeing how Gordie is a pretty big guy to be doing something like that.
- The final battle against Eternatus. The Gigantic Pokémon turns into its nightmarish Eternamax form and is seemingly invincible! Victor/Gloria and Hop are unable to attack, but when all hope seems lost, Hop remembers the Rusted Sword and Rusted Shield. The items glow as Zacian and Zamazenta arrive on the scene (having flown there with a huge burst of power) to save the day! A burst of power then erupts from within the items that transforms the legendaries into their powered-up forms! Now the player and Hop are able to charge Eternatus with backup from both legendaries just like the legendary heroes who fought Eternatus thousands of years ago! When it comes to animation, it's likely the most epic scene yet in a mainline Pokémon game.
- It gets better. You know how capturing Legendaries in past games has always been sort-of-canon? Well, now, it's officially canon!
- During the Dynamax crisis caused by Sordward and Shielbert in the postgame, Bede reveals that he managed to take down three of the Dynamaxed Pokémon at his Gym by himself.
- In the postgame, after Sordward/Shielbert tries to make the legendary Pokémon that is not the cover legendary rampage through the city, it begins attacking them a fit of rage, and even after the player defeats it, its not enough and it goes after Hop. Then the cover legendary blocks the attack and the opposite legendary runs off, with Hop pursuing. Then, when the cover legendary goes to attack, the player can choose one of two options, with the former even having the player calling to the cover legendary. It is at this point the cover legendary stops, and allows the player to battle it.
- After the cover legendary Pokémon's capture, Hop succeeds in calming the opposite legendary, and, for the first time ever in a Pokémon game where an NPC trainer has obtained a legendary Pokémon offscreen, gets the permission from the opposite legendary to capture it! Hop even uses it as his last Pokémon during the final battle against him (as well as his second-to-last when you rematch him in the Champion's Cup)!
- For comparison, even when your cover legendary decides it wants to join you, you still have to weaken and catch it like normal. Hop's legendary is so grateful/impressed that Hop just tosses a single, normal Pokéball and the legendary doesn't even try to escape.
- While Played for Laughs since there's no telling how legit their claim to the throne actually is, Sordward and Shielbert ultimately decide to "Abdicate the Throne" in favor of Victor/Gloria possibly making him/her the heir to the Galarian throne.
- Visiting the Wild Area for the first time, and being given full freedom to explore. Though you can't catch any Pokémon that are much stronger than your team level-wise until you return with a few badges, there's nothing stopping you heading out and grinding EXP by defeating some of the stronger wandering Pokémon - even those that are over 30 levels higher than yours, in some cases!
- Hatching a shiny Pokémon - especially if it's your first one ever - feels extremely rewarding and it goes out of its way to show the Pokemon you just obtained is special by extending the hatching sequence a little longer and playing an animation consisting of the shiny sparkles surrounding the hatched Pokemon and a very satisfying sound reminiscent of shining like a star.
- In the past, players were rewarded with a certificate hallmarking their success in completing the PokéDex. Now, with the camera function on the Switch, you can print it out and make it real. Yes, you can physically own a PokéDex completion certificate!
- A meta-level one: Gene Simmons is notorious for taking legal action against any parodies or ripoffs of his persona as the Demon. How does he react to Obstagoon? He gave it the thumbs up!
Awesome / Pokémon Sword and Shield