Pokémon Sun and Moon – Preview

Title   Pokémon Sun and Moon
Developer  The Pokémon Company
Publisher  The Pokémon Company
Platform  Nintendo 3DS
Genre  RPG
Release Date  November 23rd, 2016
Official Site  http://www.pokemon-sunmoon.com/en-us/

pokemonsunmoon1by Nicole Thue

There are a lot of things from the nineties that we need to just let die. Thankfully, Pokémon is not one. Since the initial release of Pokémon Red and Green in 1996 for the Game Boy in Japan, there have been fifty-three games released on various consoles surrounding the adventures of these cute little pocket monsters. The fifty-fourth installment of this lucrative franchise, Pokémon Sun and Moon, is scheduled to be released on November 18th of this year.

The storyline is similar to the rest of the games released for Game Boy/ Nintendo DS handheld consoles. It’s a coming-of-age journey called The Island Challenge in which irresponsible parents allow their children to wander around in the wilderness by themselves, talking to strangers and trying to trap dangerous wild animals in magical balls. On each island in Alola there are a variety of island trials, and these can require tasks besides just battling Pokémon, such as searching for different objects throughout the island, or knowledge tests. At the end of each successfully completed trial awaits a Totem Pokémon, which are much larger and more powerful than their Alola counterparts. These Totem Pokémon, and supposedly a few of the other types, are capable of calling ally Pokémon into battle with them.pokemonsunmoon2

There is also trouble to be found on each of these islands because, as always, there’s a group of Pokémon thieves. Referred to as Team Skull, this group of ruffians will serve as the antagonists you encounter throughout your journey. And, of course, each island has its own version of a Gym Battle called a Grand Trial. During the Grand Trials, and other Pokémon battles throughout the region, you can use a new feature called a Z-Move. This involves a special bond between the trainer and Pokémon, and requires two items: a Z-Ring and a Z-Crystal, and these moves can only be used by a Pokémon once per battle. Supposedly Tomy International will be releasing a real life Z-Ring with the release of Pokémon Sun and Moon. This replica is meant to be worn by players and will light up and vibrate when they perform a Z-Move in the game. Hopefully this Z-Ring does not suffer the same fate as the Pokémon GO Plus accessory that can be used while playing the popular iPhone/Android game by Niantic. They sold out before the game even launched and are currently on back order until the end of September.

pokemonsunmoon3While the die-hard fans will always be excited for new ways to become the very best, this new game by Nintendo has been the focus of some criticism, mostly focused around the new Pokémon. A lot of it started shortly after the new starters were released. Rowlet, the owl-like Grass/Flying-type; Litten, the feline Fire-type; and Popplio, the Water-type that looks like a SeaWorld attraction, aren’t the most popular Pokémon amongst the fans. There are a few other concerning Pokémon as well: Mimikyu is a Ghost/Fairy-type that looks like Pikachu’s evil twin, evidently due to its “disguise” ability. Wimpod is a Bug/Water-type, who has the ability to drop his HP down to below half, forcing him to switch out with another Pokémon during battle. Fittingly, the ability is called “Wimp Out”. Then there’s Gumshoos, a Normal-type Pokémon that bears a striking resemblance to Donald Trump. You get the picture.

You can’t blame Nintendo though, with 721 already registered Pokémon, there are only so many more creative names and ideas left. Of course, if you’re that worried about the new Pokémon not meeting your standards, you are able to transfer over your team from previous Pokémon games that you’ve played on the 3DS and can also transfer Pokémon from any mainstream entry compatible with Pokémon Bank soon after release.pokemonsunmoon4

They’ve also introduced something called Alolan forms for existing Pokémon. Sandshrew and Vulprix, along with their evolutions Sandlash and Ninetales, are among the Pokémon who’ve been around in previous games but now have a new evolution in the Alola Region. They have a sleek Ice-type look, complete with a new glacial color and all. Others include variations of final evolutions. For example, Alolan Exeggutor, a Psychic/Grass Pokémon who is known in previous games for its round tree-trunk body, becomes a Dragon/Grass-type and has a long, slim body instead. Raichu, Pikachu’s final form, now an Electric/Psychic-type, is seen surfing on the wide yellow end of his tail. Marowak and Meowth also have new and improved Alolan forms, which are evolutionary responses to help them survive in their new island environment. Then there are the new powerhouses that everyone’s excited about, Solgaleo and Lunala, the Legendary Pokémon. Solgaleo is a Psychic/Steel-type and resembles a lion, while Lunala is a winged Psychic/Ghost type.

Both boast new moves and abilities and will make Pokémon fans struggle with the hardest decision that comes with any new release: which version should we get? Both, obviously.

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  1. Ste Ste says:

    I’m not sure I’m going to bother with Sun/Moon, I got back into the series with Black and had a great time. I then went on to devour White 2 and Y but my enjoyment has stalled somewhat in Alpha Sapphire and I’m still only half way through the gym battles despite picking it up near release. Also the fact that they’ve added yet another hundred or so monsters to the already bulging pokedex fills me with dread rather than excitement. Can I really be arsed to collect another new set of pokemon which are just re-hashes and variations of those that came before?

    I’m sad to say that my great love affair with the series might be over.

    Nice write up though, hope to see more from you in the future.

  2. Victor Victor says:

    No game makes me feel older than Pokémon. I’ll sit out the new games and catch up again when my son is old enough to play them. I remember playing the Pokémon Red game in 1997. My team of critters were undefeatable. But I never had the urge to do the same thing again with a bunch of new Pokémon.

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