Pokemon Sun & Moon isn’t necessarily the game we wanted but it ended up being the game we deserved.
Pokemon Sun and Moon does a lot of hand holding, especially early on into the game. However, once the game opens up it shows that all the added changes and quirks to the game are well worth it.
A lot of the changes in Sun & Moon were changes I didn’t even know I fully needed until going back and playing Pokemon Y just the other day.
Here’s a list of a few of the changes:
- Shows ‘super effective’ or ‘not effective’ for typing attacks
- No more HM’s (yay)
- Ride Pokemon
- Alola forms of Kanto Pokemon
- Gone are the gym leaders and replaced with Trials
- Fully functioning Map with Objective markers on the bottom screen
- Quick Pokeball throws
All of these changes are a great way to get newer players into the franchise and likewise keep current players happy with the new game structure. I loved that it was a mix of Alola Pokemon and Kanto (first gen) Pokemon. Coming off the heels of Pokemon Go this summer, it seems Game Freak is hoping to keep the Pokemon hype train going, and having a ton of Kanto region Pokemon was a brilliant play.
The ‘Trials’ (New version of gyms) were a bit jarring for someone who has been playing the series since day 1 but around halfway through the second island it became clear that it was just a more fun way of doing gym battles. You may fight a Totem Pokemon (really strong Pokemon from that region with boosted stats) or a gym leader. The Totem Pokemon can call down an ally to help which proves to be more challenging than fighting a standard gym leader with, typically, two weak Pokemon and one relatively strong ‘mon.
Some of the Alola (region) Pokemon are really great and overall, I love the design of many of the new Pokemon. My one gripe with them is it felt like they added way more ghost and fighting ‘mons than any other which would lead my lineup to be unbalanced.
Some of the new Pokemon have some really cool abilities and moves that are refreshing this time around compared to X & Y. One of my favorites is Mimikyu (see below), who’s special ability allows it to take one direct hit and not lose any damage. This allows you to mitigate the risk when going up against other Ghost Pokemon as well as psychic.
Kantonian Pokemon (First Gen Remix)
Kantonian Pokemon, as they call them, are the Alola forms of Kanto Pokemon that have changed when being on the islands of Alola. Above you can see a look at an Alola form of Marowak. This Marowak is now Fire and Ghost as opposed to ground typing which changes the ‘mon completely.
This is a refreshing treat for long time fans of the series as well as people who may have come back to the game after being gone since the first or second generation. This is definitely one of the most welcoming additions to the game and really fits in with the theme of the game.
Obviously with every Pokemon game and story arc has to have it’s bad guys, this time around its Team Skull. Team Skull is arguably the weakest villain we’ve had in a Pokemon game to date. They are a bunch of wannabe hip hop dancers who ‘steal’ Pokemon, which the latter is more of a cliche in these games than anything else.
With no real purpose other than to talk ‘street’ to you and battle here and there they offer no back bone to the story and hope that next game we get back to the roots of Team Rocket, Magma and Plasma respectively.
The three starters this generation vastly improved on the weakness that was offered in X & Y. I thought the typing for these starters were a good variety and it was nice to see the combinations of Water/Fairy and Grass/Ghost (FTW). During my play through I had the Grass/Ghost starter and he proved to be very effective throughout the whole game. Likewise, during my X&Y play through I dropped chespin quickly and moved onto other characters.
Buy this game.
If you are a fan of the Pokemon series, looking to get into an RPG, or are coming over from Pokemon Go, buy. this. game. It’s definitely the easiest of any Pokemon game to date to get into, it’s the most user friendly and intuitive with its controls.
Although the story is a bit weak at times and the game tends to hold your hand for way longer than it should it’s a solid entry, and a breath of fresh air from a franchise that may have been suffering a bit from fatigue.
It’s the best looking, best controlling and overall, best functioning game in the series. After playing 30+ hours of Sun already I dipped back into Y one more time to see the difference and I don’t think I could go back.
There aren’t as many puzzles, no caves that need flash, no swimming at all really, and not as much long trips to get to nowhere towns. The game is more to the point and focuses heavily on core mechanics that make a Pokemon game great.
If you own a 3DS or are interested in buying one, make sure to pick up Sun or Moon.