Pokémon Sun and Moon: A Review

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Columns Gamers' Guild (GG) Reviews
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Prepare for trouble and make it double! To protect the world from Devastation! To unite all people from within our nation! To denounce the evils of truth and love! To extend our reach to the stars above! AMOS! and… well, I’m all alone so that’s all you’re going to get… just me……

*ahem* Anyway, Pokémon Sun and Moon has been out for quite some time now. Since then, I’ve already finished the game and managed to rack up about 100+ hours of playtime in it. So let’s have a look into just what Pokémon Sun and Moon did right or wrong.

Pokémon Sun and Moon is the Seventh Generation of the Pokémon franchise that started 20 years ago. Pokémon Sun and Moon is a rather groundbreaking entry into the series with many changes to its core formula such as the removal of Hidden Moves (HM) and Gyms.

Many fans love the new changes while some may dislike it, and I’m here to try and break those down and see just what they did right or wrong in this new entry to the series.


The Good

1. Removal of Hidden Moves (HM)

Back in my days, we needed HM slaves!

Back in my days, we needed HM slaves!

Personally I disliked the concept of HM ever since the very first Pokemon game I’ve played. Most of the HM required to move around the world in Pokémon is very weak such as Cut or Flash. These moves don’t feel good to be used in battle and is simply learned by your Pokémon so you can get around.

The fact that your Pokémon can only have a maximum of 4 moves at any given time doesn’t help this problem at all. You’ll be stuck with a move you didn’t want your Pokémon to learn in the first place as long as you want to get around places easily in the Pokémon world.

In Pokémon Sun and Moon, HM is removed for good and is replaced with the much more fun, Poké Ride where you call a Pokémon to help you with whatever that is blocking your way; it could be a giant boulder or just to swim across the pond.

 

2. Change in pacing of the game

Some may see this as a bad change, but I personally felt this change was alright and breathes new life into the Pokémon series. Previously, most of the Pokémon games place you in a hero position where you feel like the chosen one and a total bad ass.

For example, you’re the one who stopped a legendary Pokémon capable of creating new land or flood the entire world in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, or that time where you are literally chosen by a legendary Pokémon in Pokémon Black and White.

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This time around, it feels less like you’re a total bad ass and more of a random kid that somehow managed to not get himself killed during all these shenanigans. It’s not like you’re doing less this time around, but it might be due to the fact that most of the characters in Pokémon Sun and Moon appear more chill and cool about your accomplishments; saying things like “wow, good job”, instead of going into a monologue about how you defeated the best trainer in the whole galaxy and how much of a bad ass you are.

 

3. Story and Character

In Pokémon Sun and Moon, the characters are quite well developed, especially Lillie whom I absolutely adore (note: top tier waifu material.) Character development is often overlooked in the Pokémon series where most of your travelling companion/rivals are quite typical and lack any depth to them.

I would say the development of Lillie is rivaled only by N from Pokémon Black and White, another character I absolutely love and have even cosplayed before. The story in this latest entry of the Pokémon series is quite fleshed out as well. There are multiple cut scenes and there is even a plot twist which was half expected but still pretty good.

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Lillie is too cute ><

4. The graphics are beautiful

The scenery and Hawaiian feel to this game is amazing. I really feel like I’m taking a vacation in Hawaii and everything looks so beautiful. The graphic improvement from its predecessor is awesome and really well done. I personally don’t really care too much about graphics in games but this is one of those times where the graphic improvement really helped me to immerse myself better.

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5. Hyper Training and Battle Spot

This would only apply to a small niche within the Pokémon community. However, the competitive scene received some much needed love with the introduction of Hyper Training. Not only that, Battle Spot received some much needed upgrades. Now, we can download the latest VGC rules to play on Battle Spot, allowing updates in ruling whenever necessary.

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The Bad

1. Removal of PSS

PSS (Player Search System) was introduced in Pokémon X and Y, but was removed in this latest entry of the Pokémon series. PSS is a system that allows you to track players near you and makes it much simpler to challenge or trade with them.

PSS was really great in that it allowed us players to interact with nearby players whom we don’t know. This could create a situation where you can challenge a random stranger in a subway or cafe to create new friendship and bond.

Rest in peace, PSS

In Pokémon Sun and Moon, PSS was replaced with Festival Plaza which functions identically. I say identically because you can’t access the Festival Plaza while you are out adventuring in the Pokémon world while you can access PSS on the bottom screen of the 3DS even while adventuring.

 

2. Slow start

The game starts out very slowly. Pokémon has been infamous for having boring tutorial sections that are unskippable even if you’re a veteran to the series, but the game usually stops hand holding you quite quickly into the game.

However, I realised that Pokémon Sun and Moon seems to have a slower start compared to older Pokémon games. I was even frustrated at some parts of the game because it seems like I was being dragged around instead of adventuring on my own.

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3. Bad Tutorial

Pokémon has always been pretty bad with their tutorials but useful information are spread out across the game where NPC will tell you some useful information indirectly such as “I gave my Eevee a fire stone, and what a surprise! It evolved into a Flareon.”

This may seem like useless mumbo-jumbo to veteran players but it is a useful way to teach newer players on the concept of evolution stones. However, in Pokémon Sun and Moon, I noticed there’s lacking of such NPC throughout the game, this could leave many newer players confused.

 

4. SOS system

Some people praise the SOS system while some condemn it. The gist of this system is that most Pokémon are able to “call for help” now which summons another Pokémon to help it fight, turning a 1 v 1 situation to 1 v 2 situation. But that isn’t the annoying part. The annoying part is when the Pokémon keeps calling for help, preventing you from catching the Pokémon as calling for help doesn’t take up any turns at all.

Besides that, most of the trials against Totem Pokémon are also in a similar 1 v 2 situation which puts the player in an unfair scenario especially if the Totem Pokémon synergies well with the Pokémon it summoned.

SOS battles are usually a pain to deal with

SOS battles are usually a pain to deal with


Welp, that’s all I can think of for the good and bad of Pokémon Sun and Moon. All in all, this game is one of the best Pokémon games I’ve played due to the many improvements it made to make adventuring so much more fun. Easily takes a spot in my top 3. What about you?

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