Pokemon Sun and Moon Review

Sun and Moon has been out in the UK for roughly a month now and it’s going to be one of the most requested games for Christmas but is it any good?

Pokemon, for those who have been living under a rock, is a collection of games where you catch a variety of monsters and make them battle. Up until gen 6 (X, Y, Omega Ruby, Alpha Sapphire) you would battle gym leaders and then partake in the Pokemon league. Sun and Moon however turns this on its head, instead you make your way through 4 islands. Each Island has a variety of challenges and when these are completed you can take on the Island’s Kahuna.

What is interesting is that the challenges aren’t just your tradition Pokemon battles like previous generations but have a variety of different tasks. One task will have you finding food in a forest, another will have you answering quiz questions and one will have you looking for ghosts in a shopping mall. It is a really fresh update to the arguably stale gym-leaders that is still all too familiar for older players.

Speaking of bringing back nods for previous players, some of the Pokemon now have exclusive Aloan forms of popular Gen 1 Pokemon. For example, if you gave a Pikachu a thunder stone in any other Pokemon game, your Raichu will look like this:

Whereas if you give a Pikachu a thunder stone in Sun and Moon, your Raichu will look like this:

 

Not only does Raichu become cuter but he/she also gains the psychic typing alongside its electric typing.

As well as completing the island challenges, you also get access to Z-Moves, these are super-powered moves that you get by obtaining Z-Crystals. There’s one for each of the 18 types plus some that are exclusive to certain Pokemon (snorlax, eevee, Pikachu, etc.) and you can only use one per battle. There is a lot of debate as to whether or not these will be used in competitive play especially in the case of VGC17 but they are great fun to use in-game.

So what about negatives? I personally dislike Festival Plaza. This is designed to be a hub-world for all things multi-player (battles, trading, etc.) however what it actually does is slow down this element unnecessarily which is a grave shame. Instead I would prefer to see the return of the Player Search System (PSS) from gen 6 as it allowed me to trade and see people whilst I was playing the game as opposed to having to enter a separate hub-world.

I also dislike the fact that the game holds your hand until you complete the first island. Whilst I understand that new players will need to get introduced to the game’s mechanics, I personally find it very patronizing and would prefer an optional tutorial instead.

Overall Sun and Moon are beautiful games and ideal entry points for new players. Whilst previous players may miss some previous mechanics, there is still plenty of positive improvements to ensure players keep with the game. If you have a 3DS or a 2DS, I would recommend buying a copy if you haven’t already done so.

Go on, treat yourself this Christmas!

Positives:
-Nice update to the classic Pokemon formula
-Z-Crystals provide a new element of depth for competitive play.
-Islands are interesting and vibrant.

Negatives:
-The first Island is one long tutorial.
-The Festival Plaza is a clunky multi-player hub.

Overall score: 8/10.

Kelly Davies

@CREWpenguin

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