Pokémon Sun and Moon have been available worldwide for almost a month and despite the entire game being datamined and leaked days before their release, have sold very well. As a huge fan of the series, I was among the millions of players eagerly awaiting the chance to explore the new region and I certainly have lots to say about it.
For those of you who don’t know, Sun and Moon are set in the Alola region. An archipelago of four small islands modelled after Hawaii. an incredibly ambitious environment that is brought to life beautifully, whilst pushing the 3DS to its very limit. As usual you choose from a water, fire or grass type starter and go about your adventure. The catch is there are major differences between these generation 7 titles and other installments of the series. For instance, there are no gyms. NO GYMS! Something that was once very vital to the series is gone and replaced with an exciting new twist. Instead of a short, menial puzzle and a few trivial battles, each of the new Island Challenges offers a unique challenge for the player, whilst keeping the boss style battles in the form of the totem pokemon. An unexpected change, but a very successful one and by far the most noteworthy. There are also redesigned and retyped versions of generation one pokemon. These new Alola forms, provide an interesting twist to old favourites and opens up new battle possibilities. I can’t describe more without giving away the story (Ultra Beasts, etc.), so I’ll leave those out, but rest assured, there are many pleasant surprises.
So, Sun or Moon? Well, as usual, they are pretty much the same, but I’ll explain the differences . The first difference is the fact that the games are set 12 hours apart. Meaning players of Sun will find the time of the game reflects real time, as in day time in real life is day time on the game. Whilst Moon players experience night on the game during the day in real life, Leading to different encounters among wild pokemon that appear at various times and certain character interactions. The next major difference is, as usual, the pokemon you encounter, such as Sandshrew on Moon and Vulpix on Sun, continuing to encourage players to trade and building a giant player community. There are also minor differences, such as colours for character customisation, but I’ll leave some mysteries for you guys.
Being a hardened fan of the series since the start, it breaks my heart to admit there are, in my opinion, some fatal flaws with the game, albeit to my count, only two. The first is the absence of any kind of national pokedex. Even postgame, you are only able to register the 300 pokemon native to Alola. A disaster for people like myself, who have filled their national pokedex and like a 802 (when Marshadow comes out) to show off. The second is the framerate, almost unnoticeable in normal play, single battles, etc. But in Battle Royal, totem battles or multi battles, the frame rate draws to a crawl. It really pushes your older model 3DS to its limit. Could be a deliberate drive to sell the newer 3DS models. Or maybe they’ll patch it, who knows? Just give me a national dex while you’re at it.
Overall, though. An incredible experience. A vibrant locale and an exciting new story. Definitely one to watch out for.