Sure, Piakachu is still adorable, but now he can also grow so large he could easily wreck a city.

In the latest Pokémon Direct video presentation, Nintendo and Pokémon developer Game Freak let the world know the global release date for the upcoming Pokémon Sword and Shield games for the Nintendo Switch. November 15 is the big day, but while it’s nice to have a date to circle on your calendar, this really wasn’t such a big surprise.

The last for Pokémon, stretching from Let’s Go, Pikachu! back to Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, came out in Novemebr, and the two before those, X and Y and Black 2 and White 2, were October releases, so it was pretty much a given that we’d be able to start playing Sword and Shield in mid to late autumn. But there was one genuine shocker in the Pokémon Direct presentation the fact that the new games will include gigantic, kaiju-class Pokémon for you to battle alongside and against!

Along with the natural environment of the new Galar region, the extended preview video proudly shows off Sword and Shield’s new Dynamax play mechanic, which allows Trainers to transform their captured Pokémon into giant-sized versions of themselves, boosting the power of all their attacks and special capabilities.

It’s not just especially fierce Pocket Monsters species that can Dynamax, either, as evidenced by this colossal Clefable.

Nor does a Pokémon have to be an evolved form in order to take on super stature, as evidenced by these screen shots with a Dynamaxed Pikachu, which wasn’t shown in the video.

Dynamxing isn’t a permanent state for player-trained Pokémon, however, as they revert back to normal size after three turns (which seems like a subtle salute to tokusatsu special effects hero Ultraman, who can only sustain his giant form for three minutes).

▼ And yes, Dynamxing does involve the use of extra-large Poké Balls.

The video preview also introduced a number of new Galar-region Pocket Monsters, as well as the games’ two new Legendary Pokémon species: sword-in-the-mouth Zacian and shield-for-a-face Zamazenta.

▼ Top row (left to right): Gossifleur, Eldegloss, Wooloo, Corviknight
Bottom: Drednaw, Zacian, Zamazenta

Other tidbits from the preview include the introduction of Max Raid Battles, where you can team up with up to four other Pokémon Sword and Shield players to battle against a wild, permanently Dynamaxed Pokémon, as well as the implication that invisible random battles are seemingly gone for good. “While adventuring through [the games’ wilderness area] you have control over the camera,” Game Freak says, “allowing you to better search for items and Pokémon. Search far and wide in the tall grass, in the skies above, and even in the lakes, where you never know what you might find,” which suggests that Pokémon will be visible on the world map, like in Let’s Go, Pikachu! or Pokémon GO, allowing players to freely initiate combat or ore easily avoid unwanted confrontations.

But yeah, nothing has our blood pumping as quickly as the prospect of commanding a towering Pikachu this November, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that some crazed employee of the Pokémon Company is already pitching production of life-sized Pikachu plushies in Dynamax size.

Top image: YouTube/Nintendo
Insert images: YouTube/Nintendo, Pokémon official website (1, 2)
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s happy there are new Pokémon games coming, even if that means he has to learn two new sets of species names (English and Japanese).