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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • When you find Necrozma on Mount Lanakila and rejuvenate it with your Z-Power Ring, it immediately responds by attacking you. Is it an Ungrateful Bastard who still holds a grudge against you for defeating it twice, or does it want to be caught like Nebby? There is support for the latter interpretation, given when Lillie asks you to catch Nebby one motivation is so it can use its light to provide comfort to Necrozma by being near it, and after you catch Necrozma Colress will appear and congratulate you on having befriended it. Necrozma having an unusually high catch rate, higher than even the wild Pokemon on the first routes, also supports the latter interpretation.
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    • As admitted to by Game Freak themselves, it's up to the player to determine what Necrozma's morality is. A Tragic Monster who is only doing what it must to survive? Or a genuinely malicious being that steals light for reasons beyond just survival? Most likely, it's both: stealing light to survive but also desiring to harm humanity due to what people did to it in the past.
  • Annoying Video Game Helper: Rotom Dex returns and has many new features that provide varying degrees of assistance and annoyance. Nothing quite compares to forgetting which way it is to the local Pokémon Center in this game, because Rotom is also your mini-map as long as it isn't talking. Unfortunately, one of Rotom's helpful hints is telling you to visit the Pokémon Center. What has to be its worst aspect comes in late in the game, when it will decide to give you advice you didn't ask for. It will spam this at you pretty much every time you leave or enter a building, look in your bag, use a Ride Pokemon and so on. It will give you advice you already knew and have no reason to give a damn about. It will give you this advice over and over until you want to throw the Dex at the wall, and you can't turn it off.
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  • Americans Hate Tingle: Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon were the best-selling video games of 2017 in Japan, period, with nearly half of their total sales coming from their home country. In the West (particularly North America), they were met with strong critic reviews, but a more polarizing fan reception and lower (if still decent) sales.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • Game Freak seems to have caught on to the lukewarm reception of the Rotom Dex, and has added more features to make it useful, namely a clone of the well-received O-Power mechanic:
      • While it is a bit luck-based, the Roto Loto is basically the equivalent of Pass Powers/O-Powers. One of the prizes in particular, is an Experience Booster. This coupled with Lucky Eggs becoming random drops again (instead of only one per game in Sun and Moon) and Chansey being a regular encounter makes the Anti-Grinding a little more tolerable.
      • Bonding enough with the Rotom Dex gives it the chance to allow you to use two Z-Moves per battle instead of just one, though not during online battles or in battle facilities. This may allow for new strategies such as having one Pokémon use an offensive Z-Move while other can use a Z-Powered status move to boost its stats later on.
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    • A lot of players complained about the visit to Ultra Space in the originals being extremely limited, and a One-Time Dungeon to boot. This game seems to fix that by vastly expanding Ultra Space to have more areas (such as an area for every individual Ultra Beast), as well as encountering Legendary Pokémon from past games while traveling through Ultra Space a la Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire.
    • A criticism of Pokémon games since Pokémon X and Y is their generally sparse post-game content, with little on offer aside from hunting down a Bonus Boss or two and participating in a scaled-down Battle Frontier expy. A Famitsu interview claims that these games will have far more to do once the main story is over, such as encountering past Legendary Pokémon like Mewtwo through Ultra Wormholes in Ultra Space. Additionally, there is a whole other story in the game centering around Team Rainbow Rocket.
    • In contrast to vanilla Sun/Moon having Lusamine be a near-monstrous abusive sociopath before suddenly being forgiven and having a Heel–Face Turn off-screen, she's not as bad this time around, with nobler motives and very clearly understands where she went wrong, making her redemption more believable. The game also provides a short event that gives Lusamine closure to her original motivations by having Mohn show up in Aether Paradise. However, there are plenty of people who would argue this version of Lusamine was a downgrade to the original portrayal, so wether US/UM improved her character depends on who you ask.
    • A criticism of Pokémon games since Hoenn was that the rivals aren't very powerful, often having predictable and generic team layouts with only a few of them changing depending on your starter, and not even filling out their entire teams until the postgame. Some even going to far as to say that Hau is the worst rival ever (due to Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire giving Brendan/May more development) due to his rather weak overall team and some not liking his character. While Hau's character is still the same friendly Malasada-obsessed person he was, his overall team Took a Level in Badass, deciding to add some powerhouses such as Tauros and Noibat to his team instead of a Komala. Notably, in his battle in Malie City, he comes at you with a team of five Pokémon - in the previous games, the first trainer you encounter with five was Lusamine. The culmination of his new level of badass leads to him being the Final Boss of this game.
    • With Pokémon like Tyranitar, Manectric, and Houndoom appearing in these games, as well as the specific mention of Mewtwo when referring to finding Legendaries in Ultra Space, the Mega Stones controversially absent from the originals (aside from limited-time codes) are implicitly now more easily attainable. This implication turns out to be true, as the Battle Tree now sells Mega Stones for all Mega Evolving Pokémon, whether or not they're in the new Alola Regional Pokédex. Almost every Pokémon that Mega Evolves is available to capture in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, the sole exceptions being Numel, Camerupt and Diancie (Who as a Mythical Pokémon, usually aren't supposed to be available in-game anyway) but their Mega Stones are also obtainable in-game.
    • Junichi Masuda has stated that one of the reasons that the mid-October 2017 interview, which revealed things like the ability to find legendaries through Ultra Warp Ride and an extensive postgame plot, was released because Game Freak noticed the lukewarm reception that the games were getting prior to their release.
    • The Zygarde subquest has been made much less cumbersome — now to obtain a Power Construct Zygarde, all you need to do is capture a wild 50% Zygarde in Resolution Cave and combine it with the 10% Zygarde given to you by Dexio and Sina on Route 16 and the cells in the Zygarde Cube you receive alongside the 10% Zygarde, with the Zygarde Cube already containing the proper amount of cells in these games. The Zygarde cells are replaced with special stickers — and unlike the Zygarde cells, some of which only appeared based on whether it was day or night in-game, the stickers are there for a full 24 hours.
    • The Ending Fatigue from the original game is fixed. The many cut-scenes at the party, the battle with Tapu Koko, and Lillie's prolonged goodbye are all removed, and the end credits start during the final few cut-scenes so that it doesn't take so long when it turns into a more proper credits reel. The music on said credits reel is also much more fitting.
    • The frustrating grind for BP has been finally fixed with Mantine Surfing. Getting the top rank will always yield at least 8-9 BP, making it far more stable and evenly paced than trying to grind them though the Battle Tree or Battle Royal.
    • Most of the Festival Coin yields have been doubled or triples from what their were in Sun and Moon, helping to ease the hassle that was grinding for it. In addition, the FC payout for a failed Global Mission has been boosted from about a hundred to about a thousand.
    • When you first arrive at the Battle Tree and fight Red or Blue, the opponent of your choice will heal your Pokémon beforehand, a gracious gesture after Sun and Moon players may have found themselves blindsided after pushing through Poni Gauntlet.
    • Speaking of the Battle Tree, players are now allowed to use legendary Pokémon and don't have capped levels (50) in the pre-Super rounds. This makes earning BP in the Tree a little more manageable.
    • Mt. Lanakila was seen as a Disappointing Last Level due to having no Trainers for thematic reasons (It was newly constructed, you're practically the first person through there period), with Vast Poni Canyon acting as the Victory Road of Alola. Mt. Lanakila now has Trainers in it and acts as a true Victory Road, complete with much stronger-leveled Pokémon, and you can even access the base of the mountain as soon as you reach Tapu Village, so you can evolve your Crabrawler or catch a Vulpix or Absol. Necrozma is also available to catch here.
    • Speaking of earlier evolutions, the evolution spot for Magneton, Nosepass, and Charjabug is finally Blush Mountain on Ula'ula Island, as well as the totally unrelated zone that was Vast Poni Canyon from the previous games. This also means you'll be getting those evolutions much sooner.
    • Those who plan to breed Pokémon and want to have Destiny Knot don't have to rely on Pickup's 1% drop of it nor grind for BP in the Battle Tree or Battle Royal. A sidequest on an abandoned tower in the water near Acerola's trial site will give it to you as a reward for helping an NPC with the Frillish surrounding it.
    • Another addition for breeders is the Ditto sidequest in Konikoni City. All five Ditto that can be obtained in this quest have fixed natures (Bold, Adamant, Modest, Timid and Jolly) and all of them have a stat that is 31. One of the Ditto even has an Attack IV of 0, making it perfect for those who really into Min-Maxing their Pokémon.
    • The addition of side quests, though some can be cumbersome, in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon is generally well-regarded by most players because these side quest gives color to a player's play-through and doesn't leave them completely bored of the game in general. It also helps that one side quest gives a happy ending to the Stufful in the Motel on Route 13, whose fate was left ambiguous back in the original games.
    • Colress' appearance in the original games are met with disappointment by players as he barely has much of a role in the story proper. Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon has Colress be much more involved with the plot and plays a role in the Rainbow Rocket episode as well.
    • The SOS mechanic with Wild Pokemon calling for help has been significantly toned down. Now they only get 1 SOS call per battle unless you use an Adrenaline Orb. This makes it much easier to catch that low catch-rate Pokemon you were after.
    • Unlike Sun and Moon providing you no prior hints whatsoever that certain Pokemon are only catchable through the SOS mechanic, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon makes it a lot more clear by attaching an Adrenaline Orb symbol to a Pokemon's game location in the Rotom Dex.
    • Fishing for rare Wild Pokemon is made to be a lot less tedious this time around compared to how it was originally in Sun and Moon. While going back-and-forth between areas is still a necessity to refresh the rare fishing bubbles, said bubbles in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon now appear at random on any fishing spot, and the bubbles can now appear at multiple fishing spots in the same area. The fact that they're now random means that players no longer have to always travel long distances to return to that one fishing spot that has the rare bubbles.
    • Many people were upset that like with ORAS, you needed two version exclusive legendaries to unlock a secret, third legendary. In 2018, Game Freak announced that they were distributing two legendaries each month to this game and Pokémon Sun and Moon. With the exception of June's shiny Zygarde, all the legendaries being distributed are the version exclusive legendaries from this game. Depending on your game, you will get the legendary that cannot be found in the game you own. This makes it so you don't need to trade away another version exclusive legendary or buy the opposite version in order to find Suicune, Rayquaza, Giratina, Landorus, and Kyurem.
    • Evolving Sneasel was made a lot easier in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon compared to how it was Sun and Moon where the player had to forever hunt Jangmo-o at Vast Poni Canyon in the hopes that one will finally appear holding a Razor Claw. There's now a newly placed Scientist in front of Route 15's Aether House that will provide the player a Razor Claw if they've managed to gather up 50 or more TMs.
  • Awesome Music:
    • Ultra Necrozma's battle theme. The song is full of synth and organ sounds that all help give the feeling that you're fighting a godlike being that can OHKO most of the Pokémon you have on your team. Some people have compared it to a traditional JRPG final boss theme similar to that of Dancing Mad or One-Winged Angel.
    • Team Plasma Boss Ghetsis' theme was already a good theme in the original game. But it's made more ominous here that tells you how messed up Ghetsis is.
    • Ultra Recon Squad battle theme or the music from trailer introducing them is very fitting for them and combines Aether Foundation battle and Ultra Beast themes into an even more potent mix.
    • The new Champion battle theme is an energetic but also climactic-sounding remix of Hau's regular battle theme. It really helps sell how much better he is than he was in Sun and Moon.
    • After 20 years, Giovanni finally gets his own theme, and it's a badass remix that incorporates the Team Rocket Hideout theme from Gen I, the Team Rocket battle theme from Gen II, and the Team Rocket encounter theme from Gen II as well. The result: An epic track that makes you feel like you are marching off to war, and considering the Pokémon he throws at you, it's not an inaccurate description.
    • The Victory Road theme is awesome enough in the original, but now that the Victory Road on the way to Mount Lanakila is revamped in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, the theme now fits the challenge you go through on your way up to the mountains.
    • The remix of Cyrus's theme is even more badass than the original: those background record scratches amp up the tension in the whole battle with him. And given that he will be tossing either Dialga or Palkia at you (depending on which version of the game you're playing) as his trump card, it's certainly apropos.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Lusamine's portrayal in these games has split the fandom down the middle. There are many who think Lusamine in the original Sun and Moon was one of the best, most twisted and dark villains in the franchise, and are outraged that not only is she changed into a well-intentioned and sympathetic character who gets a clear-cut redemption, but that she goes from the first female Big Bad to The Heavy as Necrozma takes her former spot and then a Distressed Damsel in the postgame Rainbow Rocket episode. On the flip side, there are fans who feel that Lusamine was never supposed to come across as vile as she did in the original games, given all the informed statements about how she was kinder in the past, how she was under the influence of Nihilego's neurotoxins and had an offscreen change of heart after her defeat, and that her sociopathic insanity and abusive nature were too over the top, and are glad that these games actually humanize her and makes her someone you respect enough to want to rescue.
    • The Rotom Dex continues to be a divisive character. For some people, the reintroduction of O-Powers in the form of Roto Powers, the new ways to interact with it and the chance for it to let you use two Z-Moves in one battle have redeemed it, while others can't stand how much its Annoying Videogame Helper side has been ramped up to the point where at times, most of your returns to the main overworld are accompanied by it blocking out the map with unwanted (which Rotom even lampshades) pieces of advice that many don't find helpful.
    • Lycanroc's Dusk Form is somewhat divisive. Initially, some people complained it was simply Midday Lycanroc with an orange coat, green eyes and Midnight Form's mane attached. Others began to like it after finding out that it would have Tough Claws. After it was revealed to be an event-exclusive evolution (which reminds of the Zorua line fiasco) it got disliked once more - though this aspect died down after it was revealed that it would be able to breed offspring that evolves into Dusk Form. Tensions flared up again when it was discovered following the game's release that Dusk Form has Midday Form's statspread and movepool with the sole differences of two points taken from speed and placed into attack, having access to Counter and two more tutor moves. Some people believe these factors make it much better than Midday, others are worried about its viability since a little change in speed can mean a lot of difference in competitive potential, and some were disappointed that its stats weren't either a combination of or average between Midday and Midnight's statspreads, while others still insist that the ability to use Z-Happy Hour makes up for this.
    • Ultra Necrozma has many fans that love it for its golden angelic design, being a bigger Game-Breaker than Arceus, and being one of the best boss fights in the core series. Others however, aren't fond of having another Dragon-type third Legendary, or of Ultra Necrozma rendering Dawn Wings Necrozma almost totally obsolete.
  • Best Boss Ever: Ultra Necrozma, is the Climax Boss for the games and is quite possibly considered one of the best boss fights in the franchise! It features Awesome Music that straight up sounds like a classic JRPG final boss theme, it's a very difficult fight and incredibly high tension with the end of the universe and you're fighting against a Physical God with all stats up due to a Totem boost. It's difficulty isn't completely cheap, and is actually earned unlike some past boss fights in the series. It's also considered a step up from the fact that you can't actually fight Motherbeast Lusamine in the last game.
  • Best Level Ever:
    • Despite all the Nightmare Fuel it generates, the seven mysteries side quest is considered one of the most exciting side quest to players. Factoring to the Epileptic Trees it generates once one clears the side quest and the horror game-esque nature of it.
    • The ever anticipated Rainbow Rocket Episode is also this for players in part of being able to fight against the previous bosses in 3D and these bosses being no slouch either.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: In Tide Song Hotel, one room has an NPC Lass with a Comfey and Bellosom. If you approach them, the Bellosom would start dancing with the Comfey until the lass sees you and the Bellosom forces you out of the room simply because you saw them. When you enter the room again, they're gone. The staff of the hotel doesn't say anything about the lass staying in that room either.
  • Breather Boss:
    • Aether Foundation sandwiches one fight with the Ultra Recon Squad between Guzma and Lusamine this time. The member fighting you only has Poipole, which statwise starts lacking behind at this point of the game, while Guzma has 4 and Lusamine 5 fully evolved Pokemon in total. Justified since as Ultra Recon Squad members themselves state, they are inexperienced in Pokemon battles.
    • Hapu isn’t much of a challenge due to her type of choice, Ground, having common weaknesses that often exploit its below average Special Defense. Her team has not changed much since the original game (only replacing Alolan Dugtrio with a Golurk). She comes shortly after Totem Ribombee and the hellish Ultra Necrozma fight, both of whom are at higher levels than any of Hapu's Pokémon, and are capable of causing a Total Party Kill by themselves. She’s definitely a much-needed break from the otherwise high difficulty.
    • Archie in Ultra Sun can be turned into a joke if you acquired Groudon and Red Orb beforehand. His Weapon of Choice, Kyogre, will spam Hydro Pump on Primal Reversion Groudon because of his double weakness to water...not taking into account Desolate Land, which instantly evaporates all water-based attacks. Arguably a case of Fridge Brilliance as this Archie heils from a world where the existence of Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre, and their more powerful Abilities, are unknown.
    • Cyrus is fairly easy to defeat in Ultra Sun because his Dialga loves to spam Roar of Time, which deals a lot of damage but leaves it open on the next turn due to the need to recharge. Or if you have a Fairy Type.
  • Broken Base: While the gameplay is seen as a marked improvement over Pokémon Sun and Moon, the story is regarded as a downgrade from the originals to some players, with Necrozma's plotline awkwardly melded in with the Aether family plotline (causing character motivations and even personality to be altered substantially, and not always in a way that makes 100% sense) and the Ultra Recon Squad receiving very little development. And that's when it's not simply repeating the originals almost verbatim until Necrozma appears. However, there are players whom, despite the story majorly being almost similar to the originals, find the stories an improvement due to several other factors, such as Hau being a much more characterized rival here in comparison to the originals, certain characters like Colress receiving more of a role, and the addition of side quests. And there are also those who liked the story of both the originals and the Ultra games regardless.
  • Contested Sequel: Fans are split on how good the games are in comparison to the originals, or indeed other Updated Rereleases. While many like the new gameplay additions like Mantine Surfing and new Ultra Beasts, others feel that the story and region map aren't different enough from before, while the changes that are made to the story are often debated (especially with regards to Lusamine's characterization and Lillie's arc). Others still believe the games lack enough differences to justify making two versions, and that they should have been one version, or even Downloadable Content for the original Sun and Moon.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: Solgaleo/Lunala is rarely separated from Necrozma and actually trained up, due to Ultra Necrozma's BST being higher than Arceus itself, an automatic Expert Belt effect that guarantees a knockout on anything it can line up a weakness on, a 200 BP Z-Move that looks like a nuke and obviously hits like one, and if you have Roto Boosts, being able to replicate the aura it had.
  • Crack Pairing: The protagonist and the Rotom Pokédex gained a more significant following in this game after being a very small Crack Ship in Sun and Moon, thanks to the new system that allows you to bond with it through dialogue options. This is only exacerbated by many of Rotom's choices of dialogue, which range from Accidental Innuendo to flat-out Getting Crap Past the Radar.
  • Critical Dissonance: Like the original Sun and Moon and many other Pokémon games, these games are rather polarizing among the community for their perceived quality. Despite that however, the game holds an 85 on Metacritic for both critic and user scoresnote  and, in only a few weeks, became the third best-selling "third" versions just under Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 and Pokémon Yellow.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Guzma's Masquerain, previously only fought in the last fights with him, is a Pokémon he has with him at every battle in the game with him now. This doesn't sound bad, but Masquerain gained an infamously high boost to its Special Attack and Speed this generation, and with some surprisingly good coverage (Bug Buzz and Air Slash, but also Icy Wind) that catches a lot of people off guard. It's become a bane to Nuzlockers everywhere that expect it to be an easy kill.
    • For Mantine Surfing, the Sharpedo. Unlike most obstacles that just stay put and slow you down if you run into them, these guys actively chase you down and try to ram into you.
  • Disappointing Last Level: Ultra Megalopolis is an impressive-looking area, but that's all it is — impressive-looking. There's no NPCs to talk to besides the Ultra Recon Squad, no buildings to explore, no dungeon to traverse, no items to find, no Pokémon to catch, no lore to discover on your own, and nothing to see or do but go straight to Necrozma. Even when it's defeated, the city remains a glorified hallway with no reason to go back other than to switch Ultra Ride Pokémon and (if refused earlier) pick up a Poipole.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • UB Adhesive, properly known as Poipole, became an instant fan-favorite. Depending on whether the Ultra Beasts qualify as Legendary Pokémon, Poipole may be the first pure Poison-type Legendary, and beyond that it's just so damn cuddly for an Ultra Beast. Its evolution Naganadel is just as popular, if not even more so, for being an alien wasp-like dragon, with some even going so far to call the shiny "Beezard" or "Chardrill" for the shiny bearing resemblance to both and becoming a powerful Poison/Dragon Fragile Speedster.
    • The female Trainer in the official artwork for the Battle Agency has become popular among fans due to her cheerful disposition, grinning happily and shooting double finger guns in contrast to her more serious-looking male comrades.
    • Zossie of the Ultra Recon Squad was instantaneously popular for being a Moe Cheerful Child who stood out among the rest of her stoic adult comrades.
    • Ghetsis is very much a minor character in the game, but his return among the Team Rainbow Rocket bosses has been widely rejoiced and praised by the fandom; he was one of the most horrifying villains in the series and shows off even more of his reprehensible nature in his sole appearance.
    • Colress also gained quite a bit of praise and admiration among fans due to his expanded importance in the main story and Big Damn Heroes moment during the Team Rainbow Rocket episode, and defeating Ghetsis by sending him back to his dimension, all with style.
    • Guzma gained a standing ovation from fans due to him not only making good on his reformation in the story but also helping you take Team Rainbow Rocket, even battling alongside your player character at one point, and also finally completing the island challenge and appearing as a challenger for the champion title.
    • While Selene, the female player character, already had a substantial number of fans, many were not pleased with her default hat. Her design in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, however, won over a significant portion of the fanbase and ultimately made her one of the series' most popular female protagonists. So much so that she ranked 3rd in the top 8 popular Generation 7 characters in the official Nintendo Dream Poll.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • Much like the Aether Foundation before them, many people were anticipating the Ultra Recon Squad to be the game's true villains. This proved to be false, as they are in fact polite anti-villains who are trying to save their world, and who join you when they realize how unreliable a partner Lusamine is.
    • The Ultra Recon Squad, and by extension residents of Ultra Megalopolis, have also gathered their own speculation. Just how human are they? Are they blue skinned humans, or are they human-like aliens? Were they once human?
    • Guzzlord has been speculated by some to be a very mutated version of Muk, based on its behaviour and appearance in Ultra Ruin. Given that Ultra Ruin is heavily implied to be an alternate Hau'oli City, in which Grimer can be found, and the fact that a power plant meltdown caused so much destruction that everyone had to evacuate, it's not too far off to imagine that the meltdown must have messed with the likes of Pokemon like Grimer and Muk, turning them into what is essentially a voracious black hole that is Guzzlord.
    • The aftermath of the Trainer School's Seven Mysteries side quest brought many a player and fan to speculate. What happened to the girl who is the seventh mystery of the school? Some guesses include that the Hypno took the girl as prey for the Drifloon so Drifloon wouldn't be lonely due to one of it's dex entries saying that Driflooon is formed by spirits and it's Ultra Moon entry is said that it makes friends with children.
    • The Rainbow Rocket bosses' dialogue, as well as Giovanni keeping all of his Pokemon in Master Balls, made many fans speculate that they came from worlds where they won. What Giovanni gets up to after the postgame is also a source of debate.
    • Pokémon species-wise, ever since before Zeraora was revealed, some fans thought Zeraora was an Ultra Beast, when it actually isn't despite being one of the 5 new Pokémon being added to Ultra releases, given the other four new Pokémon are Ultra Beasts.
  • Even Better Sequel: As divisive as Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon are, they are near-universally considered a straight upgrade from vanilla Sun and Moon for their more streamlined gameplay, better postgame and wider range of available Pokémon.
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • Though it's more "crazed with pain and enraged beyond reason" than evil, Necrozma has the honor of being the first Big Bad in the main series games to be a Pokémon itself. In addition to its base form having a cool design that looks distinctly alien (even next to the Ultra Beasts), but its true form is an awesome angelic light dragon that has a higher stat total than even Arceus. The final battle with it is also considered one of the best boss fights in the franchise.
    • Team Rainbow Rocket is a dream come true for fans who'd played all of the games, letting you fight the team bosses one after another. They're led by Giovanni, the original games' Big Bad, who when you defeat him says he'd rather not fight you at his full power and lets you go. Making it even better is that afterwards Giovanni escapes and plans to wreak havoc elsewhere, setting up a sequel hook.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Despite being one of the most despicable Big Bads in Pokémon, which is only reinforced with this game, Ghetsis retains his flashy "walking castle" design from Pokémon Black and White, as opposed to his more sinister attire from the sequels. Justified in that this Ghetsis comes from a reality where his plan from the original games succeeded, so he never needed to change his clothing for the new plan he had in the sequels.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • Ultra Necrozma may have a slight Redemption Demotion in it not having an aura, but in all other aspects, it's still the SNK Boss it was in the climax. You're able to find Necrozma in its base form midway into Mount Lanakila (with the Ultranecrozium Z and the N-Solarizer/N-Lunarizer given to you afterwards), and catch Solgaleo/Lunala after the final battle with Gladion, both at levels as high as the highest opponent that you'll face in the league. Also, now it has access to its own Z-Move that looks like a literal nuke and certainly hits like one. Have fun as it tears the Elite Four, Team Rainbow Rocket, and basic Battle Tree challenges to shreds all by itself.
    • Similarly to Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, after Necrozma is defeated (which happens before the final Trial), players can go through Ultra Space to find Legendary Pokémon and Ultra Beasts. Not only is almost every Legendary, from Mewtwo to Kyogre/Groudon to Xerneas available, but the Ultra Beasts found can respawn. It's entirely possible to finish the game with a roster made up purely of unstoppable Olympus Mons!
    • Malamar can turn the majority of the Totem and Ultra Beast battles, including Ultra Necrozma's into a complete joke if he gets a single turn to attack, due to being able to turn their automatic stat boosts, intended to balance the 6 vs 1 battle advantage, into stat DROPS with Reversion.
    • Zoroark can also break into pieces the Ultra Necrozma battle, due to Illusion causing the AI to constantly spam Psychic-type attacks if he appears as a psychic-weak pokemon.
  • Genius Bonus: A Magnemite in the Hokulani Observatory says "Alola!" in Morse Code.
  • Goddamned Boss: Dulse or Soliera, depending on the version the player got, is a surprisingly annoying Wake-Up Call Boss. The Furfrou they bring is surprisingly fast and tanky thanks to Fur Coat, so if you thought you could cheese this fight with the event Rockruff, then think again, since said Rockruff won’t be able to do much against it. It also has a fetish for spamming Sand Attack as well as Attack-lowering moves. To top it all off, it carries Headbutt, which seems to flinch 80% of the time for the A.I. On the rare occasion that you do land a hit, you won’t be able to do jack shit to this annoying poodle. Have fun!
  • Good Bad Bugs: With the introduction of Clagnorous Soulblaze, Wide Guard is changed so it is supposed to reduce the damage done by Clangorous Soulblaze as it hits multiple targets. However, a bug caused Wide Guard being able to reduce the damage done by all damaging Z-move instead.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Though it turned out to be false, the alert sent to all Hawaiians on January 13th, 2018 that a North Korean ballistic missile was headed their way made it seem like the real Honolulu was going to wind up like the Ultra Ruin.
    • Remember how, at the end of the Team Rainbow Rocket arc, Giovanni ended up contemplating which world to attack next? Yeah, by the looks of it, he ended up choosing ours.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: In the beginning of the game, Hau says that Tauros are scary and he doesn't want to ride on one. Come the battle on Ula'ula Island, however, and he's added a powerful Tauros to his team. Looks like Hau's gotten over his fear of them!
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: It took a while, but each of the last few trailers before the game's release left the fandom with a Jaw Drop.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!:
    • It's generally agreed that Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon directly improve upon Sun and Moon, for the generous heapings of Adaptation Expansion and Author's Saving Throw as well as the more expansive postgame. Most of the debate surrounding their quality as games comes from whether they improved enough from their predecessors. In multiple reviews, one of the major criticisms of Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon is that most of the significant changes are reserved for the last leg of the main game and the postgame, with the main adventure remaining mostly the same. While this is fine for anyone who hasn't played the Gen VII games yet, it makes it difficult to recommend these games to someone who has already played through Sun or Moon.
    • While the games address many criticisms of Sun and Moon, they still lack a National Pokédex despite the much wider range of Pokémon available in-game, Alola Dex or otherwise. Some fans were disappointed towards the continued neglect of such a longtime feature, wanted to see new Dex entries for non-Alola Pokémon, and find that not contributing towards a Dex takes away a bit of luster from all the past Legendary Pokémon that were added to the game.
    • The Festival Plaza returns with the exact same mechanics, good and bad, that it had in Sun and Moon. Thus, all of its issues (such as not being able to switch your party Pokémon within the Plaza, Sophocles offering low-ranking shops, version-exclusive shops, and not being able to remain online while playing the main adventure) remain completely intact. The only improvement is that farming Festival Coins is easier now, with the Battle Agency and the higher FC rewards from visitor requests.
    • Some people feel irked that Pheromosa, Celesteela, and Kartana all have the exact same Pokédex entry in Ultra Moon rather than individual ones. While older generations have had Pokémon who are counterparts have similar Pokédex entries, this is the first time that the same entry has occurred for multiple Pokémon — especially just in a single version. Buzzwole, Xurkitree, and Guzzlord also share the exact same entry in Ultra Sun — and it's word for word the same entry that Pheromosa, Celesteela, and Kartana have in Ultra Moon.
    • A number of Pokémon have had their movepools adjusted from Sun and Moon to fix some oversights like Bulbasaur learning Leech Seed at levels 7 and 9 instead of Vine Whip at level 9 or just to give them some more moves, but Alolan Marowak still can't learn its signature move Shadow Bone without the Move Relearner as it is still set to learn it at the level before Cubone can evolve. Dusk Form Lycanroc is in a similar boat — it learns Thrash upon evolving and can't learn Accelrock or Counter without the Move Relearner, despite how much it was touted in the prerelease period for being able to learn both of them while the original Lycanroc forms got one or the other.
    • Alolan Marowak's problem is exacerbated by the fact it cannot learn any physical Ghost-type attacks without the Move Reminder, and its only physical Fire attacks before learning Flare Blitz at level 53 are the weak Flame Charge (via TM) and the average Fire Punch (from a tutor introduced in the Ultra versions). Ultra Sun players have the Shadow Bone problem solved with a level 25 Totem-sized Alolan Marowak received from Samson Oak once enough Totem Stickers have been collected.
  • It Was His Sled:
    • As with The Reveal of Cosmog evolving into Solgaleo/Lunala in Sun and Moon, Ultra Necrozma's entire existence is supposed to be a huge twist. But thanks to its design, raw strength, and memorable Climax Boss fight (coupled with many Epileptic Trees dating back to the originals), it's become more well-known.
    • Leading up to Sun and Moon, there was a lot of mystery behind the Ultra Beasts, namely if they counted as Pokémon in the first place. As such, attributes such as Typings and Abilities or other things Pokémon had were deliberately kept hidden. With the new Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon Ultra Beasts, the fact that they are Pokémon isn't so much a secret any longer and they had their typings revealed in pre-release material. Their names were however, kept secret and were only known by the code names (UB Burst, UB Assembly and UB Adhesive) until release.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Lusamine. While she still keeps her temporary disownment of her children, her controlling tendencies, and her freezing of the Pokémon in her lab from the originals, her original motive in wanting to avenge the loss of her husband in the orignals comes to the forefront in the main story, thus giving her a bit more reason why she acted the way she did. She became overbearing and disowned her children for leaving her because they were the only two people she has left in her family after Mohn disappeared and they left her alone for 3 months.
  • Just Here for Godzilla:
    • A majority of the veteran players will pick up these games just to see Team Rainbow Rocket in action—all of which only happens after you defeat the Elite Four first.
    • Similarly, many people who already played the original Sun and Moon picked up this game exclusively because of Ultra Necrozma.
    • Perhaps the biggest one of all is the fact that this is the first time they introduced brand new species of Pokémon in the middle of a generation. Prompting people to get a copy just to get these five monsters to truly catch them all.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • The Player's mother in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon is now this to the fandom in light of the post-game side quest of having your pet Kanto Meowth fight a neighbor's Alolan Meowth.
    • Ultra Necrozma due to having one of the most difficult boss fights in the game, if not the hardest. It's on a similar level of Whitney's Miltank in how infamously difficult it is to fight.
  • Memetic Hair: Phyco's large, blue mustache pretty much has a fanbase of its own due to just how much it stands out, to the point where some players (jokingly or otherwise) claim that it's the main reason they bought Ultra Moon. His facial hair has also been frequently likened to Waluigi and the Guy Fawkes mask.
  • Memetic Molester: Ghetsis, even more so than usual, since he is shown holding Lillie hostage in, of all places, a bedroom.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Fusion is just a cheap tactic to make weak Legendaries stronger!" Explanation 
    • Ultra [anything]Explanation 
    • "They finally came out!"/"Gay mafia!"Explanation 
    • "I lived bitch"Explanation 
    • Every Villain Is Lemons Explanation .
    • The line "How many times do we have to teach you this lesson, old man?!" from the SpongeBob episode 'The Bully' has gone memetic due to all of the previous evil team leaders coming back to cause trouble once again.
    • Light That Burns the Casuals Explanation 
    • Combining any of this game's memes with "Get in the bag, Nebby!" from the previous games.
    • Ultra Necrozma: The Nuzlocke Killer Explanation 
    • Like with Gumshoos introduced in the previous games, Stakataka has been the subject of many "we will build a wall" jokes.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Lysandre has the Ultimate Weapon reconstructed inside of Aether Paradise and is fully intending on using it to wipe out all life in the world this game is set in unless you defeat him in battle, following a rigged Sadistic Choice that makes you activate it.
    • Ghetsis crosses it on-screen when he, being a Sore Loser about his defeat, physically strikes Lillie down onto the floor and outright threatens to murder her if the Player Character doesn't surrender to him. It's made worse by the fact that since all his Pokémon have been knocked out, he's threatening to kill her with his own hands.
    • Faba crosses it when he sells out the Aether Foundation to Team Rainbow Rocket whose main goal is to conquer all worlds with the Ultra Beasts. Faba's reasoning for why he did this is so he could further his career.
  • Narm:
    • Like most world-ending catastrophes in Pokémon, the NPCs barely notice Necrozma blocking out Poni Island's light at all. Not only that, but if you wipe against Ultra Necrozma and end up back at Seafolk Village or any of the surrounding exhibits, the happy music plays and remains unchanged.
    • Most of the Totems in this game (even some of the ones that weren't replaced) follow suit in screaming weird words when accosting the player much like Vikavolt and Mimikyu did in Sun and Moon. Kommo-o's cry is one of the more perplexing ones amongst the playerbase, as many initially believed that "Sooooo-oooound!" was a placeholder that hadn't been replaced with a proper cry.
    • Much like in the previous iterations, the Trainer keeps a blank face throughout the entire game (aside from a couple of cut scenes). It gets a tad ridiculous in the cutscenes before fighting the Ultra Beasts, where the player character visibly braces him/herself for the fight ahead while still wearing the vacant smile.
    • Lusamine appears as a title defense match in the post-game. She still uses her defeat animation from when she's defeated at the Aether Paradise all while accepting her defeat calmly. It makes the character come off as a total drama-queen. Then again, Gladion is a bit of a drama-queen when it comes to losing too, make this a Like Mother, Like Son moment.
  • Narm Charm: Team Rainbow Rocket. It sounds very silly, but becomes rather chilling when you realize the reason they're called that is because it's Giovanni commanding all the other previous team leaders as one united front to invade Alola.note 
  • Older Than They Think: This isn't the first time the concept of the Climax Boss being a wild Legendary Pokémon in a 6-on-1 battle was used. Pokémon Stadium, Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness and Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 did this first with Mewtwo, Shadow Lugia and Kyurem respectively.note 
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Kommo-o back in Sun and Moon was tainted for having a mediocre stat spread in spite of having 600 BST, having a double weakness to a game-breaking type, a signature move that worked off its lower Special Attack and lowered its defenses, and having a very limited movepool. Now with Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, Kommo-o was given various helpful moves such as Close Combat and Drain Punch, and was blessed with a powerful, multi-target Z Move that also buffs all its stats afterwards.
    • Lurantis was almost universally considered inferior to Tsareena, due to having an overall lower stat spread and almost no support for its potentially powerful Hidden Ability, Contrary, getting only Leaf Storm (on a primarily physical Pokémon). Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, however, give it the ability to learn Superpower, allowing a Contrary Lurantis to run a potentially powerful physical or mixed moveset. Combined with a Special Defense build or an Assault Vest and a good draining move (Giga Drain or Leech Life), Lurantis can become a very difficult opponent to bring down once it gets set up.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • Festival Plaza continues to be a large source of ire from the playerbase as it was in Sun and Moon, and unfortunately adds a few more things that aggravate players.
      • As with Sun and Moon, certain clothing colors and styles are exclusive to one game and completely unavailable in the other. Bought Ultra Sun and want some blue, green, or yellow clothing without having to grind in Festival Plaza? You're out of luck.
      • If you want to dye a piece of clothing pastel purple and lack access to a purple dye house, good luck. You need the elusive Custap Berry, limited to events and online prizes in previous generations, in order to do so, and how to legally obtain it in Generation VII, if it is possible to do so, is currently unknown.
      • Much as Festival Plaza itself was generally seen as a poor man's PSS and Join Avenue, the Battle Agency is seen as a poor man's Battle Factory. You can rent Pokémon as usual, but only one - your other two are based on partners that you have to choose. Winning a battle increases your rank and the level of your hired Pokémon, but your partners won't level up unless they do as well. The default "Festival Fan" partners are underwhelming as well, frequently carrying level 50 Pokémon that quickly become near-useless as your rank rises. Constant communication with other Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon players is vital - Sun and Moon players are stuck at rank 0 and you will be locked out of using anybody who hasn't connected with/go online at the same time as you for 48 hours. Until you beat your opponents, you will be stuck with the same ally team and the same enemy team unless you use a Switcheroo facility to reroll your available Pokémom. If that wasn't enough, many of the usable Pokémon have useless abilities (like Durant with Truant) and outright bizarre nature/moveset/EV spread choices, making the experience all the more bewilderingly frustrating. Your rank also rises after each battle regardless of the outcome, forcing you to talk to Sophocles before the next match.
    • Dusk Form Lycanroc only evolves at sunset (5:00-5:59) in-game. This isn't an issue in Ultra Sun but for Ultra Moon players, this means having to evolve it between 5:00-6:00 AM. This may be made slightly easier when you have access to the reverse world in the post-game, but this is significantly less convenient for the main campaign. You can try to get around it by tinkering with the 3DS clock, but thanks to No Fair Cheating, this will result in every "Once A Day" event, such as berries and the Battle Buffet, being locked for 24 hours. Another easy way to get it is to trade it with a friend who plays Ultra Sun. But those who don't have a friend playing it are out of luck.
    • While catching Legendary Pokémon is awesome, it has the same problems as in Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby. Notably, to catch Suicune, Rayquaza, Giratina, Kyurem and Landorus, you need to have both of the other Pokémon of their respective trio while only one can be caught directly in your version of the game, and unlike Mascot Legendaries or version-exclusive Ultra Beasts in Sun and Moon, you won't have any spare monsters (though a series of Legendary Mystery Gifts running throughout 2018 may provide some relief).
    • Some have complained about Rotom getting a bit too chatty when it takes a liking to the player, since it hides the island's map when it talks. This is especially annoying when Rotom starts a speech with "Here's where I give you advice you didn't ask for..." and proceeds to give the player a piece of advice it'd already given a dozen times before. This tends to happen most times the player exits any menu or otherwise go back to the main overworld. Another complaint regarding Rotom is wasting a few seconds to inform you when you haven't seen the wild Pokémon that you're currently facing, something you can figure out on your own.
      • Two powers, HP and PP Restore, can only be used in battle. Using said powers (alongside Stat Boost) does not count as a free turn, meaning you may as well have simply used a potion or elixir instead, rendering these powers rather pointless. If they were able to be used outside of battle, they could have been used to save up on item usage, but this is not the case.
    • Some fans felt that the Shiny hunting mechanic with the Ultra Wormholes in regards to regular Pokémon cheapened the value of Shiny Pokémon. Conversely, some were against the severely limited pool of available regular mons in the Ultra Wormholes: only 20, five each in each of the four different non-UB Ultra Wormhole areas. It's not so much for the Legendaries and UB's, since those are ruled by the game's usual Shiny mechanics.
    • "Wild Blissey used Fling! Wild Blissey threw away its Lucky Egg!". Hopefully you are chaining on Chansey with a Pokémon with Thief, as otherwise that 5% chance of Blissey carrying a Lucky Egg can be wasted...far easier than you can imagine.
    • Ultra Warp Ride is generally liked, but it's rife with a number of frustrating things, particularly related to Camera Screws. The turns in the tunnel tend to be sharp and easily obscure most of the riding field, the Ultra Wormholes are much more opaque than the usual ones and block up most of the screen as they get close, as does Lunala when flying at the top of the screen due to its massive wingspan (a problem that also occurs in battles) and make it easy to accidentally run into an electric orb or a wormhole you weren't intending to go into. The motion controls, on the other hand, are outright despised for being terrible and being the default option, and nothing in the game tells you that you can switch to Circle Pad controls unless you go over to the Game Freak Building in Heahea City and talk to the Aether Employee who shows up after your first use of Ultra Warp Ride.
  • Sidetracked By The Golden Saucer: Upon clearing Hala's grand trial (which is considerably early in the game), two particularly addictive features are unlocked:
    • Mantine Surf is easily a very addictive mini-game. With additional points that you can gain BP's in a steady phase, as pointed out in Author's Saving Throw, most players will find themselves playing Mantine Surf and getting items such as Max Revives and Rare Candies first, along with getting Disc-One Nuke moves such as Shock Wave and Water Pulse. Play your cards right with the Poni Beach course to earn a score higher than 100k, and you can earn 50 BP in one go.
    • If you're the sort of person who enjoys taking photos of their Pokémon or abusing creative game features to make hilarious/lewd scenarios, you will likely love the Alola Photo Club. It allows for people to take photos of their Pokémon alone or with their avatars in most of the game's battle environments with a nice variety of lengths and angles, pose the Pokémon with most of their available battle and Refresh animations and the Trainers with Alolan greeting and most Z-Move poses, and then add a wide range of frames and stickers to the finished photo.
    • The moment you beat Ultra Necrozma, the Ultra Wormholes are opened up, allowing you to immediately start hunting for Legendaries, Ultra Beasts, and regular Shiny Pokémon. Many Let's Play streamers and producers held up playthroughs of the games to do so. Some finished the game with completely different rosters from what they originally played with, including all-Shiny parties and all-Legendary parties.
  • Slow-Paced Beginning:
    • For those who already played Sun and Moon, the first half or so of the game can feel like this; barring the Ultra Recon Squad appearing early on as an early hint of the new story, the story doesn't really deviate much from the precursors until the first time you go to Aether Paradise, which doesn't happen until after the second Grand Trial. There are some minor differences in dialogue and events prior to that, but overall, a veteran player might need some patience to get to the new content.
    • Similar to how players felt about Sun and Moon, the first island still goes about railroading you immensely with tutorials and hand-holding.
  • Special Effects Failure
    • The game will sometimes attempt to fit a length of text that normally should take up two lines onto a single one by reducing the width of the letters. All this ends up doing is causing the anti-aliasing to blur the text somewhat and make it hard to read.
    • Following suit from the problems that plagued Wally's battle model in Sun and Moon, Lysandre's battle model has less polygons than the battle model he had in X and Y and is made in a slightly deformed style that looks weird compared to the realistically tall build of the orignal one. Some people find that the texture markings he has to discern his facial structure just end up looking rather weird, and the textures on his clothes have been pointed out as being of a lower quality as well.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The main melody of Ultra Necrozma’s battle theme sounds similar to the Famicom Disk System startup jingle.
  • Tainted by the Preview: A large number of fans and casual players alike were apathetic towards Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon's announcement. This appears to be a result of several factors, mainly a lack of information, and what little was shown not gaining some people's interest. While this is nothing new for Updated Rereleases, some people feel that the information revealed for such previous games excited them more than that of Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. The controversy of the original games didn't help.
  • That One Boss: Despite the WIDELY differing opinions on Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, it's pretty much unanimous that these games are MUCH harder than vanilla Sun and Moon, as virtually all the boss battles from Totem Gumshoos/Raticate onwards have been upgraded to be much more difficult to beat, not to mention several new and powerful ones as well:
    • Totem Wishiwashi was replaced with Totem Araquanid, which is arguably just as hard. With decently high defenses and sky-high offenses from its Water moves being boosted by both the rain and its Water Bubble ability, it will be able to deliver devastating attacks even to targets that resist Water. It also knows Leech Life to damage you while healing itself. Unprepared Flying-type Pokémon will be caught off-guard by Araquanid's Aurora Beam. The tactics that Araquanid uses all compensate for its poor Speed stat. It starts the battle with a +1 boost to Speed. The Masquerain it summons knows Tailwind to boost its allies' Speed for several turns, as well as Stun Spore and Scary Face to cripple speedy Pokémon and Bug Bite to steal held berries. The Dewpider knows Sticky Web to slow down grounded switch-ins and shares Araquanid's Water Bubble ability, allowing it and Araquanid to pelt you with extremely deadly Bubbles; like Masquerain, it also has Bug Bite to steal held berries.
    • Totem Marowak has a Totem Aura that boosts its Speed. Sounds nonthreatening from a slow Pokémon, doesn't it? What the game fails to mention if you don't bring a Pokémon with the Frisk ability, however, is that Totem Marowak is holding a Thick Club that doubles its Attack, letting it hit you decently fast and really hard. If that's not bad enough, it summons a level 20 Salazzle, who normally evolve from Salandit at Level 33, who loves to spam Flame Burst and Venoshock. Note that Totem Marowak has Detect, and if it uses it on its first turn, it's guaranteed to summon Salazzle even if you can oneshot it with Brionne. Think a Dark or Rock type will do the trick? Nope! The Marowak has Brick Break.
    • Totem Lurantis was already a notorious example in Sun and Moon, but here it is much worse. It kept its Solar Blade and Synthesis moves along with the Power Herb and still has a free boost to its Speed, but it replaced Razor Leaf with Low Sweep (a move that always lowers the Speed of those hit) to ensure your Pokémon won't outrun it. Its allies this time are Comfey and Kecleon, who both know Sunny Day (giving Lurantis a stronger heal from Synthesis, makes Solar Blade a one-turn move instead of two, and activates its Leaf Guard ability which makes it immune to Status effects) and are just dying to use it on you. Kecleon's Ancient Power will give most Pokémon with a type advantage over Lurantis a run for their money, and confuse others with Dizzy Punch. Comfey on the other hand, will support Lurantis by raising its Defense with Flower Shield, and restoring its HP through Floral Healing, effectively giving Lurantis TWO healing methods. But the big kicker is Comfey's ability: Flower Veil, which not only protects Lurantis from Status moves, but also prevents it from having any of its stats lowered!
    • Remember the battle against Hau on Ula'ula Island? In the original Sun and Moon, most of the threat he poses is thanks to his Alolan Raichu, which adores spamming powerful Electro Ball and Psychic attacks, which can easily tear through undertrained and/or unresistant Pokémon. Not only is it back in these games, Hau's also packing a much-improved roster of five Pokémon, including his new Tauros, which hits insanely hard with its Horn Attack and will likely run circles around every Pokémon you have at that point. He also has his Eeveelution that has the type advantage against your starter, and if you chose Litten, his Vaporeon ain't going down without serious effort on your part. To top it all off, the levels of Hau's entire team are higher than those of Island Kahuna Olivia's Pokémon, which was the last Grand Trial you faced. Unless you're throughly prepared and have brought your A-game, Hau and his squad could put you in legitimate danger of losing the battle. One saving grace is that the battle was moved further along the path to Malie, allowing you to access the Pokémon Center and savenote .
    • Totem Togedemaru can be quite a challenge if one doesn't have a Ground-type on their team. Its aura sharply raises its Defense, and each of its attacks hit hard. Two of its moves (Zing Zap and Iron Head) can make your Pokémon flinch, and also knows Spiky Shield to injure any Pokémon that use a physical move on it. The first ally Togedemaru calls in is Skarmory, which will use Tailwind whenever it can to make the speedy Togedemaru even faster, which coupled with its moves, means chances are your team will be flinching very often. Skarmory's Sturdy ability can make Z-Moves used on it go to waste, and is hard to take out since it only has two weaknesses. Attempts to zap Skarmory out of the sky with an Electric move will be answered by Togedemaru's Lightning Rod ability absorbing the attack, and Skarmory also knows Stealth Rock to damage your team when they switch in and acts as a counter to any Fire-types you may have brung. It also knows Torment to stop your Pokémon from using a move twice in a row. Togedemaru's other ally, Dedenne, will be busy crippling your team's offensive prowess by lowering their Attack and Special Attack stats using Charm and Eerie Impulse respectively. It also knows Super Fang to bust through bulkier Pokémon, cutting their HP in half. Thinking of bringing in a Grass-type due to its resistance against Electric-types or a Fighting-type to counter Togedemaru's Steel typing? Guess what? It knows Bounce.
    • Totem Mimikyu is a nightmare to look at and a nightmare to fight. The pint-sized demon was already a nasty piece of work in the originals, but has received upgrades similar to the other unchanged Totem Pokémon. It retains its one stage boost to ALL stats and packs the absolutely destructive Shadow Claw and Play Rough, which give it unresisted Dual STAB coverage bar a few dual typings. The rather useless Astonish has been replaced by Leech Life, giving it a powerful new coverage move and healing option. Its allies are now Banette and Jellicent. The former has Screech to turn its targets' Defense into butter, Will-O-Wisp to cripple physical attackers, and Curse, which it gleefully abuses to steadily whittle down your Pokémon's HP. Jellicent, on the other hand, has heavy damage output with Water Pulse and the guaranteed damage of Night Shade. Oh, and Mimikyu still has its Disguise Ability and its Lum Berry, meaning you can't just quickly cheese the fight with a Z-move or a crippling status effect. Not even the Thicc Tricc can save you now. Have fun!
    • Unlike the original Sun and Moon games, where Guzma's encounter is at level 36-37 at Po Town, his levels are Level 41 in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. And if you're doing a walkthrough where you're attempting to not have your Pokemon too much higher than the Totem/Boss Pokemon, you're going to have to do some seeeerious grinding, as Mimikyu's level is at 35. All of the Team Skull Grunts before Guzma, have rather weak Pokémon that are difficult to grind off of. And his Pokemon have been beefed up. He retains the Masquerain he had from the battle at Malie Garden and adds a Pinsir with Storm Throw, a move that always scores a critical hit.
    • Totem Kommo-o got a significant buff here. Just like in the original games, it has all its stats boosted, but here it has four physical attacks - Dragon Claw for Dragon-type STAB that doesn't lower its Defense, Drain Punch for Fighting-type STAB that can heal up some of the damage it inflicts, and Poison Jab and Thunder Punch for Fairy and Flying-types respectively. Next, its allies are closer to its level, unlike in the originals where they were way lower leveled and basically useless. It can summon Noivern, which can use Screech to half the physical Defense of your Pokemon and leave you vulnerable to the totem, and it once again has Scizor to combat those Fairy or Psychic-types you were planning to throw in its face. Lastly, it holds a Roseli Berry to nullify one Fairy-type attack, which would be the most obvious answer to it normally. Definitely one that might throw you for a curve if you were accustomed to it being easy in the originals.
    • Ultra Necrozma quickly became notorious for its abnormally high difficulty, often being compared to Cynthia or Ghetsis in terms of difficulty. Its base stats, especially both Attack stats, are immense, having a BST of 754, higher than Arceus. It starts battle at Level 60 and with an Aura that boosts all its stats further, and it has an extremely varied movesetnote  specifically designed to line up super-effective attacks against as many types as possible, especially against its weaknessesnote . If that's not enough, it outspeeds pretty much anything in the game, is deceptively bulky, and delivers lethal or near-lethal attacks with every turn, further bolstered by its Neuroforce ability that increases the damage of its super-effective moves even more, but even without type effectiveness its attacks still shave off huge amounts of health. You had best hope that you have a supply of Potions and Revives stocked up, because you will almost certainly need them (and while you're at it, maybe something that knows Toxic). And God help you if you're doing a Nuzlocke run...
    • Totem Ribombee may look like a joke, but it most certainly is not. Regular Ribombee already has an impressive base Speed of 124, but all of its stats go up by two stages at the beginning of the battle. Due to its insane Speed, it's near impossible to stop it from setting up Quiver Dance to boost its Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed even further as its partner Blissey heals it. Pelipper, meanwhile, protects Ribombee from Fire attacks with Drizzlenote , Scald has a high chance of burning to stop physical attackers in their tracks, while Seed Bomb discourages some Water-type Pokémon from taking advantage of the rain Pelipper summons. And don't ever forget that this is the fight that comes right after Ultra Necrozma.
    • Lysandre in Episode RR is considered one of the tougher foes in the arc. He starts out like the previous bosses, but takes things up a notch by Mega Evolving his Gyarados, which makes an already threatening foe even worse. And then he sends out either Xerneas or Yveltal, who will continue to destroy you no matter which you're up against.
    • Giovanni at the end of Episode RR. His team consists of mostly ground-types, but his ace Pokémon is a Level 70 Mega Mewtwo. The thing is an absolute beast. It can outspeed pretty much anything you have, and its ungodly offensive stats, depending on the version, combined with knowledge of moves like Ice Beam, Aura Sphere and Psystrike allow it to make short work of anything it can line up a weakness with.
    • Ultra Sun players got the long end of the stick in terms of competitive Ultra Beasts, with UB Burst/Blacephalon being an extremely strong special attacker. Unluckily for them, trying to catch Blacephalon with anything that doesn't resist or nullify it is an absolute nightmare. Blacephalon's aura sharply boosts its Special Attack, which means that just about anything will die to its extremely powerful Mind Blown attack, with its other attacks (Fire Blast and Shadow Ball) also being fairly strong. Additionally, if you already dealt at least 50% damage to Blacephalon, then Mind Blown will cause it to kill itself. Oh yeah, and each time Blacephalon kills a Pokémon, its Special Attack is amplified further.
  • That One Level: For Mantine Surfing, Poni Island's beach is probably the most difficult by far, as obstacles are swarming in its path, leaving you little time to accumulate speed and points. It doesn't help that the high score requirements are that much higher than the other beaches.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • Getting TM 08 Bulk Up requires multiple steps to complete including having TM 62 Acrobatics to teach to an Incineroar Trainer in Royal Avenue at night, and then giving a Coba Berry to a Machamp Trainer in the same location during the day. But getting the Coba Berry is a Luck-Based Mission that could possibly take several days to obtain depending on how lucky you are, as it can be found under one berry tree in Poni Wilds, and there are many other berries that can be found there as well, and of course when all of the berries under the tree have been gathered, you must wait until the next day to try again. The other option is to have it possibly drop after battling a wild Medicham in Ultra Space Wilds, which is more tedious, but at least you don't have to possibly wait days.
    • Finding Guzzlord in the Ultra Space Wilds, since the best chance of finding it is in the Level 4 White Wormholes. White Wormholes are already rarer than the others, and Level 4 Wormholes only show up at most 5% of the time. Add that to the difficulty of Ultra Warp Ride and Guzzlord's Damage-Sponge Boss status from the previous game, and you've got the most frustrating Pokémon to find in the entire game.
    • It may look like at first glance that 5 out of 10 of the evolutionary-line fossil Pokémon are version exclusive, but in actuality, there is a way to obtain all of them in one game. To do so however can be very time consuming as it requires the player to go into Poké Pelago, and continuously send Pokémon off on "Rare-Treasure Hunting" trips in the hopes that 1 of the random items that gets brought back after 12+ hours (depending on Poké Bean usage to reduce the timer) turns out to be 1 of the new fossils that can only be purchased from the opposing game. With 5 fossil exclusives to search for, finding just 1 of them could already end up taking days to get from a random drop due to being the rarest items that could be brought back.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • With the threat of Necrozma stealing light from different worlds, surely that would mean it'd be time for Zygarde to step in to save the day, right? Especially since it's supposed to be a protector of the ecosystem? Sadly no, it remains irrelevant to any plotline and is still treated as an afterthought, being nothing more than a postgame Pokemon to catch and nothing more. At the very least its rather annoying Collection Sidequest is removed in favour of another one that's not as annoying as it's no longer time dependent.
    • Despite being catchable without the need for Temporary Online Content in Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Deoxys is conspicuously absent from the massive roster of returning Legendary Pokémon (technically it's a Mythical Pokémon, but its absence is still fairly strange).
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Ultra Megalopolis is disappointingly short, similar to Ultra Space in the original pair. It amounts to a small hallway and an elevator to the top of Megalo Tower. Once you defeat Ultra Necrozma there and receive Poipole as a reward for your victory, you have no reason to ever come back other than to switch what kind of Pokémon you ride through Ultra Space (being Solgaleo or Lunala).
    • Given the affirmation of The Multiverse with Team Rainbow Rocket's members coming from other universes, a few fans were disappointed that the Legendary Pokémon found in Ultra Space didn't have unique areas based on their original locations (such as Cerulean Cave for Mewtwo and Sky Pillar for Rayquaza), with all of them instead appearing in fairly generic "one-size-fits-all" caves and wilds.
    • A good number of players are disappointed that Red and Blue did not take part in the Rainbow Rocket segment. If only so they could see the interactions that Red and Blue would have with Giovanni.
    • Because none of the returning Legendary Pokémon have Pokédex entries, it means we don't get entries for Mega Rayquaza or Mega Mewtwo X and Y. And admit it; you were hoping to learn just how Mega Evolution — here portrayed as Body Horror incarnate — royally messes with those two (especially since Mewtwo is already as savage and bloodthirsty as any Mega Evolved Pokémon).
    • The entire alternate timeline is a glaring example. Despite the games being market as an alternative timeline to Sun and Moon, it was mostly the same aside from events towards the end. It would be interesting to see familiar characters given different personalities, or even Alola having gyms, rather than the Island Challenge, but instead it's far too similar to the original Sun & Moon aside from a few characters.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Much like Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire with HeartGold and SoulSilver, these games were immediately compared to the well-regarded Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 due to their obvious similarities (two paired games starring Fusion Dance Legendary Pokémon). As such, fans of B2W2 had their expectations high for features from B2W2 such as a brand-new story, brand-new areas, and multiple postgame battle facilities, only to be disappointed when the games were revealed to be an Updated Re-release similar to Emerald or Platinum rather than true sequels, with the postgame being somewhat better but not as expansive as that of B2W2. The lack of a massive, "hype-worthy" postgame battle facility akin to the Battle Frontier or PWT has left a sour taste in the mouths of fans who loved them in those three games and HGSS.
  • Underused Game Mechanic: Alolan forms, despite some mis-steps that left some of them as Tier-Induced Scrappies, were well-received for the most part, with some of them (such as Alolan Marowak, Alolan Raichu, and Alolan Exeggutor) being very popular for a variety of reasons. In Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, however the Alolan Forme concept was scarcely advertised in the months leading up to the games, and ultimately, there turned out to not be any new ones at all. The fanbase was disappointed.
  • Unexpected Character:
    • Blacephalon and Stakataka (first advertised as UB Burst and UB Assembly) came entirely out of left field. Past Updated Rereleases featured new forms for existing Pokémon, as well as releasing a few Dummied Out Mythical Pokémon, but the idea of entirely new Pokémon being introduced mid-generation was previously unthinkable!
    • Molayne as a member of the Elite Four came out of such left field that people actually missed the foreshadowing that he was in the Elite Four instead of Hala!
    • Between the emphasis on the apparently evil Necrozma and the introduction of the shady-looking Ultra Recon Squad, almost nobody saw the return of previous villains Team Rocket coming. For that matter, nobody would have seriously expected all of the other leaders of the previous villain teams returning, let alone in their original character designs.
    • Because Necrozma was already given Fusion Dance alternate forms a la Black/White Kyurem, nobody was expecting it to have a third form that serves as a straight-up Super Mode, let alone one that has very little to do visually with Solgaleo or Lunala despite "evolving" from said fused forms.
  • Win Back the Crowd:
    • Following the first few months after these games were first announced, fans were concerned that — other than a few plot differences, a few new features, and a few new Ultra Beasts — these games wouldn't have many differences from Sun and Moon. It seems Game Freak caught on to the more polarizing reception of the games' announcement, and most early October promotional material put emphasis on how different these games are (read: how many features will be added) compared to the original Sun and Moon.
    • Before October, the Surf's Up Mantine trailer swayed a number of people to look at the game more favorably. The addition of the Mantine Surf feature was the first major sign to players that the game would have more than just cosmetic changes, and got a number of people buzzing about the game.
    • Being able to fight all of the other previous villains. There is no way a part of you didn't want to fight them in 3D, and all of them in one game.
  • The Woobie:
    • While Gladion and Lillie were undeniably this in the originals, they get taken up another notch in this version, with the disappearance of their father, Mohn, coming to the forefront of the main story.
    • Surprisingly, Lusamine, who also overlaps with Jerkass Woobie. The loss of her husband caused her to take desperately extreme measures to keep those she cares about safe, even if it isn't always the right way. Her devastation by Mohn's disappearance causes her to hang onto the Pokémon she froze so they won't leave her. And then her children, the only two people she has left in her family, ran away from her and left her for 2 years and 3 months. And then when she meets with Mohn again, he has lost his memory and as such doesn't remember her, and so she had to let him go for the sake of his happiness. At the end of the day, you really want to give the poor woman a hug for all she's gone through.

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