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Broken Base / Pokémon Sun and Moon

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Due to the massive amount of hype surrounding them before their release, and their removal and addition of many different features and mechanics, Sun and Moon are rather controversial games, with many divisive features and characters.

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    Base-Breaking Characters 
  • Pokémon:
    • Popplio was the most polarising starter — its big personality and quirky circus clown design caught a lot of flak online. This only made Popplio's fans more vocal, catching the attention of Kotaku, here and Destructoid, among others.
    • The starters' middle evolutions unsurprisingly became this upon their reveal, with Brionne once again getting the worst of it. There are people saying that its design and backstory were adorable and won them over; others think Brionne's design looked no better than its pre-evolution. Some even claim that Brionne's design is even worse, and even some people who had previously defended Popplio from its haters promptly turned against it just because of what it evolved into. One common complaint against Brionne is that its design is "too feminine"; the best explanation is that while there have been other feminine-looking starters in the past such as Braixen and Meganium, Brionne's design extensively uses feminine Tertiary Sexual Characteristics despite its gender ratio favoring males, similar to Sylveon. Then you have Dartrix, whose design is divisive and its Brainless Beauty nature being either hilarious or unlikable. Torracat is by far the most liked of the three for following Rule of Cool, but early signs of its controversial evolution were a point against it.
    • To absolutely nobody's surprise, the starters' final evolutions are also divisive.
      • This time, Litten's final evolution Incineroar is the most controversial of the trio. While a cat evolving into a tiger has been an extremely popular fan idea for a Fire-type starter line, most of the debate surrounding Incineroar comes from the fact that it has the look and feel of the Fire/Fighting starters from Generations III through V, and most fans have been dreading getting another Fire/Fighting starter ever since. However, Incineroar breaks the mold by being a Fire/Dark typenote  and being very clearly themed on both black cat superstitions and heel wrestlers; some fans appreciate these elements and find that they make Incineroar cool and unique with lots of personality (and even see Incineroar as a deliberate homage and Evil Counterpart to the Fire/Fighting archetype), while others see them as half-hearted excuses for having yet another Fire/Fighting-esque starter without the actual typing, and a deliberate slap in the face to those dreading yet another bipedal fire starter. Other people don't mind that Incineroar is bipedal, but don't like its strange, top-heavy body proportions (while it has a buff chest and upper arms, its lower torso, lower arms and legs are oddly thin in comparison, the arms to the point that its fingers are thicker than its wrists, and its body in general has a lack of muscle toning that makes its arms have tubelike shapes) that have been likened to making Incineroar look like a balloon and throw it into the Uncanny Valley for those kinds of detractors. Despite this, Incineroar is considered a good potential character choice for Pokkén Tournament due to its wrestling motif and uncommon typing.
      • Primarina has its fans for its beautiful design, amazing defensive typing and surprisingly diverse movepool, while its haters have many of the same complaints about it as its pre-evolutions, although most people agree that it's more aesthetically pleasing than Brionne. Its Hidden Ability, Liquid Voice, is generally considered to be lackluster as most of the sound-based moves that it can learn are inferior to Surf and Sparkling Aria outside of Hyper Voice not hitting allies, and is further hampered by the fact that it is the only type-altering ability that does not power up its affected moves.
      • As for Decidueye, some people like it for its unique and badass archer-owl design with a fantastic Grass/Ghost typing, while others accuse it of having an awkward design and having a typing that seemingly came out of the left field. While it has a nice range of status moves and has a fantastic niche as a False Swiper thanks to those moves and being part-Ghost, it has a horrendously shallow offensive movepool compared to Incineroar and Primarina, a ridiculously high special attack despite learning very few special moves (none of which were available through leveling-up prior to Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon), and some people would have preferred it to have stayed part-Flying like its pre-evolutions. While it's the most popular out of the three starters, fans are undecided on whether it's a very cool Pokémon worthy of being the gen's Breakout Character or whether it's a Tough Act to Follow compared to Greninja with its much greater competitive worth and amazing Hidden Ability.
      • Finally, an issue that some fans have with all three starters is their seemingly lackluster stat distributions, especially with regards to Speed (all three of them are very slow, yet too fast to use Trick Room). Incineroar's is probably the most controversial — while it has nice defensive stats, Incineroar is the only starter to lose points in a stat upon evolving, dropping from Torracat's 90 speed to 60, ten points lower than Litten's, while its relatively useless 80 special attack stays unchanged. Some people saw this as a disappointment after the very fast and competitively viable Greninja, with a few people even making unfavorable comparisons to the infamous Unova starters. Others point out that Chesnaught and Delphox weren't that great themselves, and that the Alola starters still have type combinations, designs, personalities and lore that make them unique and likable.
    • Bewear is considered either charming with a sad backstory, or stuck with a generic design that looks like a fanmade Pokémon. Even its name is divisive, with some feeling that it fits the character (who is The Dreaded to the Alola folk) while others are not able to get past the Punny Name and feel that its one of the worst English names in the series' history. Its pre-evolution has also gotten mixed reactions, with people either loving it and finding it adorable or hating it for having a bland Fakémon-esque design. Some of its silly yet badass portrayals in the anime and the Narm Charm animations of its Z moves have helped its reception, however.
    • As with most inanimate object-based Pokémon, Sandygast and Palossand. Some like their designs and find the concept of a possessed sandcastle awesome, while others feel they look creepy or uninspired and compare them unfavorably to Yo-Kai Watch characters. Because of the latter, many fans of the sandcastle mons have taken to pointing out Gen I's laundry list of inanimate object Pokémon to defend them, just as what happened to other inanimate object-based Pokémon in generations past...except this time, this incited people to counter by saying that just because it was there from the beginning doesn't mean it's acceptable now.
    • As for Alolan Raichu, there are three groups: Those who love its cute design and are happy Raichu's finally getting some love, those who like the design but think it could be better, or those who hate Alolan Raichu's pastel-colored design. And that's not getting into whether Raichu should have gotten a Mega Evolution instead (assuming no Pokémon will get both). Its sparse lore for how it came to be doesn't help matters.
    • The Ultra Beasts have been a point of massive dispute, mainly over the speculation fueled by the lack of knowledge of what they actually are and what role they play in the games' story (and their potential changes to Pokémon's formula). Some only dislike the term "Ultra Beast," which they argue sounds uncreative and like something straight from a lower-quality children's monster/fighting game.
      • Their creepy designs are another point of contention; many people feel they don't look like Pokémon, while their supporters argue that their designs were meant to be jarring because they're not actually Pokémon. The Reveal that they can be caught and used in battle and that they're just extradimensional Pokémon is a source of further dispute; many fans like that they stand out from other Pokémon and are surprisingly good in competitive battling, while others feel they should have been exclusive to special boss battles and shouldn't count as normal Pokémon.
      • UB-02 Absorption/Buzzwole in particular has garnered mixed reactions. People either love it for being a menacing, towering bug abomination or hate it for its somewhat silly ridiculously muscular design that makes it look like someone's Stand. And, of course, some people love it because of said ridiculous, Stand-esque design.
      • UB-05 Glutton/Guzzlord has also been a point of contention. Some people love it for its menacing, eldritch design while others find its design to be a generic, narmy one reminiscent of a 90's Monster of the Week. Similar to UB-02 Absorption above, a third group of people love it because of its silly design. However, unlike the above-mentioned Absorption, UB-05 is hated by a fourth camp for being rather poor in competitive in contrast to its beastly design, especially compared to the other Ultra Beasts.
    • Ash-Greninja. Some love it, seeing it as a cool nod to the anime and like the fact that fan favorite Greninja has access to a Mega Evolution-like form change. Others (particularly detractors of the anime and Ash Ketchum) hate that the anime is being acknowledged or are sick of Greninja, whom they perceive as a Spotlight-Stealing Squad.
    • Alolan Persian. Some people like its fat face as it makes it look more like a persian-breed cat. Others are bothered by the bobble-head look or wanted it to stay closer to Kanto's Persian. Access to the ability Fur Coat gives Alolan Persian the last laugh in competitive play, however, making it more popular in that aspect, but it's still a divisive Pokémon overall due to said design.
    • The Rotom Pokedex. Some like it for being a cute and snarky Robot Buddy, others consider it a Small, Annoying Creature and feel it comes off as a Kid-Appeal Character. There's also factors relating to its function that garner controversy, as its map and Pokédex are both commonly seen as inferior to those in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, and its presence and position on the touch screen facilitating the removal of Gen VI's menu buttons.
  • Humans:
    • Hau being yet another Friendly Rival has had many fans irritated. Some like his sunny demeanour, his blasé attitude to losing, and think his relationship with his grandfather makes him developed. Others find his personality overdone and generic, and his attitude to losing patronising and obnoxious.
    • Even Lillie gets a lot of this treatment. Her fans find her to be one of the best characters in the game, and possibly even rivaling N as one of the most developed characters in the series. Her detractors, on the other hand, find her to be a bland, overrated character that overshadows the protagonists (this is also connected to game's controversial increased focus on story, as the majority of the story is about her and her family and a group of her detractors accusing her of being a Purity Sue because of this). Her newfound confidence after her Significant Wardrobe Shift is especially controversial; many fans find it to be well-done and endearing, while her detractors either find it overly Narm-y and annoying Personality-wise, people either think she's an adorable, interesting and tragic character, or find her too bland and generic, being made of traits that make her appealing to the audience, rather than making her an interesting and rounded character.

    Broken Base 
  • Fans from the Chinese-speaking communities are divided into a few parts: Some are overjoyed that Nintendo finally released a game in their mother language, some welcome the Chinese release but worry about the translated names in-game, and some burst into outrage over the translators changing the name of their beloved franchise and ruining their decade-long nostalgia. note  Nintendo's exclusive video for Chinese fandom has little effect settling the anger for the latter. For fans in Hong Kong, the decision only adds fuel to the fire as some fans views Nintendo's decision as a move to assimilate Cantonese, the main spoken language in Hong Kong. It is such a Serious Business that it sparked a protest.
  • The Gym-less gameplay has had some levels of this thrown at it. Many people liked the formula being shaken up a bit and bringing a new idea to the table. Others cried that they changed the formula and it makes the game feel even shorter. Others don't think enough changed, arguing that the Island Trials were still too similar to gyms (both involve beating a strong opponent of a certain type specialty and their underlings), aside from a few elements such as the Totem calling an ally Pokémon.
  • Z-Moves are either a new and exciting feature that could help raise the profile of weaker mons or a boring and lazy addition. Before Mega Evolutions were confirmed to be back, some were worried they would replace the mechanic. And when the games came out and were revealed to lack new megas (as well as many old ones), many put the blame on Z-Moves and Alolan forms.
    • Also in dispute is how Z-Moves balance the game. Defenders claim that they help make many, many weaker Pokemon competitively useful, even in higher tier play, and unlike Megas, are a single use item that can turn the tides in interesting ways. Others claim, however, that they make offensively-minded Pokemon, especially those already powerful, become absolute beasts that can smash down even the Stone Wall Pokemon meant to counter them, making more defensive Pokemon like Chansey struggle to find a use at all, and Arceus help you if they get a stat boost beforehand. It doesn't help that Z-Moves can break through protection moves.
  • The games' ditching of the Excuse Plot of previous games (aside from Gen V) in favor of a more serious and overarching storyline and dialogue reminiscent of other JRPGs. Many fans love it due to giving the plot more significance and fleshing out the supporting protagonists and antagonists more, especially when contrasted to Pokémon X and Y's oft-lambasted supporting cast and antagonist team. On the other hand, many fans also dislike this fact due to the Excuse Plot being a keystone of main-series Pokémon games, the excess dialogue and storyline being shoved into your face every turn of the plot, and the decreased focus on competitive battling improvements and map exploration due to the increased focus on the storyline. And the mentioned plot being bad in the eyes of some fans only make the things worse, making the more focused storyline pointless and tiresome. Basically, the Gen V/Gen VI rivalry, except reversed. And as some people have pointed out, the horrible pacing and needless dialogue (the dialogue with your mom, for example)ruin the gameplay.


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