Gamefreak so far seemed to know how to both keep a long running franchise up to date while also making it remain true to the series. With numerous new features and an all new setting, did they still manage to encapsulate the feeling associated with the successful series?
Pokémon has been part of my life for numerous years. While I quite enjoyed X and Y it does not mean I can not see flaws in the franchise. Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire were one of the most boring gaming experiences I had last year, despite loving the original releases. Therefore, I am very happy to see that the seventh generation of Pokémon turned out so true to the series. There is no drag, no bore, just plain enjoyment all around. In this regard Sun and Moon seemed fresher than even X and Y did. Things like always seeing the opposing trainer stand behind their Pokémon add great little detail. In addition, the new tropical region of Alola makes the game feel like an adventure game and an RPG at the same time.
Of course a long-running franchise builds on repeating proven concepts, but the interesting things only happen when a series breaks its boundaries. In the case of Sun and Moon you could say the game borrowed from its own franchise for inspiration, by adding Pokémon Snap functionalities. Being able to take pictures of Pokémon at set locations added a lot of charm. Integrating pre-generated comments to emulate an actual social media site lead to some ridiculous responses, but felt so refreshing and interesting, that there is very little space to criticise. You even level up your photography skills as you get more thumbs-up, which is another layer of depth added to this mode.
An obviously intentional fan service for veteran fans in Sun and Moon were the re-occuring Pokémon of the first generation in their newly introduced Alola forms. While I initially thought they may turn out to be just re-hashes, I couldn’t stop to get excited about every new one I discovered. Especially the new norma/dark type Rattata instantly stole my heart. The magic of this series is to discover as much of the game as you go along, which makes me really glad I tried to avoid most news about this new entry. Everything just fits in to make this Pokémon experience one to remember. New features like accessing Pokéballs instantly in-battle by the press of a button, being able to see buff stages or check what moves are effective remove some hassle for experienced players, while also making the game more accessible to newcomers.
Let’s hope for more
As someone who is equally interested in the competitive scene of Pokémon and the adventure along the way, I am very pleased to see that the seventh generation fulfilled all of my desires. Ever since the disappointment of ORAS I’ve had an itch that could only be scratched now that Pokémon Sun and Moon shined its light upon us. Pokémon games have been must-haves on any console they’ve hit so far, and this generation is no different.
What we liked:
- Pokémon Snap
- Refreshing Alola flair
- Reduction of hassles
- Great new additions to the roster
What we didn’t like:
- A little too helpful tips sometimes
This review was written using a 3DS review copy provided by Nintendo. How do you like the Alola forms of our beloved first generation Pokémon? What do you think about the new setting? Tell us in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter!