Reviews: Pokemon Sun And Moon
Worst Game in a While
I went into Pokemon Moon with high expectations, and came out very dissatisfied. Worse, I am concerned with this game means for the franchise moving forward. Pokemon Moon takes the worst features of the series and magnifies them: X&Y's overuse of cinematic camera, D/P/Pt's unskippable tutorials and cutscenes. It then bogs down battles with the terrible call for help feature, limits water exploration in a region based on Hawaii (which features plenty of water exploration in real life!) and dumps a mess of a story rife with Unfortunate Implications about Alolan culture and one of the worst examples of Purity Sue (in the form of Lillie) in Pokemon yet. The whole game is not terrible. Apart from the scourge that is Lillie upon the game, Hau and Gladion are both interesting characters and Kukui is a fun-loving professor. The Trial Captains are interesting characters with diverse designs and interests. However, the game's problems vastly overshadow the rest of the game. I would not recommend this game.
One of the best generations in the series.
Hey, look. I can write reviews that are primarily positive. Yeah, after the disappointment that was Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS, I needed something to cut down my very thick layer of cynicism. Of course, judging by the review title alone, you can probably guess what helped. Almost every problem I had with Pokťmon X and Y has been fixed. I think I'll start off with characterization. Whew, this is probably gonna take a while. The first thing I was waiting to see was the new villain team. After the humorless and bland Team Flare, I was pretty happy to see Team Skull. The fact that they were intentionally Harmless Villains was a nice touch, and every member has depth to them. Even the grunts. From a gameplay perspective, their teams are nicely varied, again in sharp contrast to Flare. In terms of the rest of the cast, my personal favorite was probably Lillie. She gets easily the most Character Development out of all the cast, and on a side note, she's just so freaking adorable. Now, the rivals. Frankly, I didn't like the Gen 6 rivals. They were flat and got basically no development. Gladion is a very effective antagonistic rival. Besides the fact that I think his introduction was a little lazy, he works well. Hau is a stereotypical "friendly" rival, but I didn't mind him much. I just wish he had a little more character development. Gameplay-wise, it's... Well, it's typical Pokemon gameplay. If I could pick one new thing to keep for Gen 8, though, it would have to be the Ride Pager. Awesome, no more HM slaves! The one mechanic I didn't like so much was SOS battles. It just felt like an excuse to drag battles out. Now, this is where I explain some of the big issues. Probably the most frustrating part is the ending, which can easily take almost an hour to go through. After the Final Boss, you need to sit through 3 15-minute cutscenes and fight a Post Final Boss. All without the ability to save in between anything. The Ultra Beasts reeked of They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character. They were hyped up as being otherworldly Lovecraft-esque Eldritch Abominations that weren't Pokemon. Come again by release, you can catch them in the postgame and besides that, they get about as much screentime as King Sombra. You don't even see half of them until the postgame! Lastly, I really don't understand why the developers removed stuff like the Player Search System and DexNav. Both were pretty much perfect features, and both were very useful. Festival Plaza, the replacement, has very little purpose in comparison. It's especially irritating to have to waste 10 minutes on it just to be able to trade or battle online. A few small detractors, but nothing too major. Sun and Moon are some of the best entries in the series. Buy them, dammit. You will get your money's worth.
The best possible start to a new generation
Iíve always been a more casual fan of Pokemon. Iíd almost always buy the newest iteration, but only a while after release, and without having looked up any prerelease information on it. That changed with Sun and Moon; I was interested in the changes it promised from the start, and I hungrily ate up any new info provided. Ultimately, my anticipation was rewarded; Sun and Moon are among my favorite games out of the franchise. The story and characters are the most obvious areas of improvement. The total restructuring of the game let the developers rethink the story's progression from scratch, and they certainly took advantage of it. There are multiple intertwining subplots going on within S/M, and the game manages to introduce and develop them all smoothly and concurrently by integrating them into the playerís gradual exploration. It's not a literary masterpiece or anything, but itís smartly written, and it has enough highlights to be more than worthwhile. What really lets the story shine, though, are the characters; S/M easily have the best cast out of any Pokemon game. Most every character is memorable, and a surprising amount of them are given some depth or development. The most important part of what makes these characters memorable are their varied relationships. None of these characters exist in a vacuum, and even otherwise static characters feel more fleshed out through the variety of interactions they have. On the gameplay side of things, the core battle system is still there, but enough variety is presented in other activities that it never grows stale. One of the main things S/M do is make just exploring the region fun. Alolaís one of my favorite regions, due to a combination of making the areas diverse and the aforementioned integration of story progression into exploration. Each new area offers a variety of new Pokemon to try using, but it never introduces so many as to be overwhelming. The Exp Share and EXP scaling further facilitate experimenting, while allowing the game to still offer a reasonable challenge. The trials push exploration further, in that a lot of the time their purpose is to familiarize you with an area, while punctuating it with a new challenge via a Totem battle at the end. These gameplay diversions usually arenít very meaty, but they serve their purpose in serving as fun little diversions that push you to explore. My only major gripe is the SOS battles. Iím not as down on them as a lot of other people Iíve seen, but I see a few very obvious things they could change to make them a lot better. Overall, Sun and Moon aren't perfect games, and thereís still a lot they could add to them. However, every thing they do right just makes me love them all the more, making them both among my favorite Pokemon games and easily my favorite to kick off a new generation. I canít wait to see how Game Freak develops all these new ideas in however they choose to continue the series.
so so SO MUCH BETTER than the last round!
Sun and Moon fixes pretty much every problem that happened in X/Y. There remains a consistent plot throughout, there are plenty of optional areas to explore, and a few twists and turns along the way. Thanks to having less Pokemon to choose from the region is overall more challenging than Kalos so for those who complained X-Y were too easy, you'll have to plan your team more for this one. (Although it can be said that with a Mudsdale you can clear at least a quarter of all challenges single'mondedly.) Overall, the replacement of Trials over Gyms actually works... pretty well. It mixes up what you will do during various points. The lack of H Ms is fantastic. My only major complaint is perhaps that the new Pokemon are overall pretty 'meh' and didn't feature really outstanding designs or new typings. Their encounter rate also tends to be around 1% to 10% so expect a long, dragged-out hunt.
Generation VII Review
Generation VII currently includes Sun and Moon. Setting: The region is based on Hawaii. Story: Team Skull is a bunch of entertainingly incompetent goons. They're so hilariously ineffectual that virtually nobody takes them seriously, and you start to wonder what sort of climax they could possibly bring. Well... Pokemon: In addition to several interesting new Pokemon, this Gen provides regional variants of several Gen I Pokemon, and introduces the mysterious, bizarre Ultra Beasts. Verdict: Gen VII made a clear effort to shake up the formula. Gone are the usual 8 Gyms, replaced with many trials that lead to battling the Kahuna of each Island. The story is on par with Gen V for its prominence in the gameplay, and while it held my attention, it could stand to cut down on the cutscene time a little. In contrast to the lively, beautiful setting, the story is laced with some of the darkest themes in the series. Overall, a unique experience that retains the enjoyment of past games. 8/10