Nearly a week ago, the 7th generation of Pokémon games, Pokémon Sun and Moon got released. While I saw some of the new features, it gives the franchise a new twist. Since I am more than half way done, it’s time to share some things I like or dislike thus far.
Improved Character Customization
In Pokémon X and Y, Game Freak finally realized that a good number of games allow the player to customize the character. While the options were good for the female main character, you can’t take off the hat. Now, you can take off the hat if you don’t want it.
Sadly, it seems that male characters got the shaft again. I never play as a male character since I would rather play as a female. As you expect, there are more hair and clothing options for the female character. In addition, female characters can change their lip color. In contrast, while male characters don’t have as much customization options, it’s a slight improvement over X and Y with more hair options. However, there is still no long hair, which will disappoint some.
Improved Over World and Graphics
The over world now is similar to Pokémon Colosseum and XD since you can finally move freely and not in a grid. In addition, the player and opponent trainer model now appears in battles. While you can no longer turn on 3D while in battle, the art direction is a huge improvement over the last generation.
While you don’t have a bike, there is rider Pokémon that replaces it along with HM moves. It’s a good thing since HM slaves are now thing of the past and you can still fly and surf.
Ease in Training Pokémon for Competitive Battles
Gamefreak finally made some changes that made it even easier to train Pokémon for competitive play. While Super Training is not in this game, the braces give double the amount of effort values (8 compared to 4). With Pokérus, you can gain 16 effort values in addition to what the wild/opponent’s Pokémon gives you.
In addition, SOS battles make it easier to EV train as a wild Pokémon might call another wild Pokémon into battle. By using the Adrenaline Orb item, it will increase the likelihood of another Pokémon showing up. Also, the probability of a 4 max IV and/or a shiny Pokémon will increase. In other words, you don’t have to walk back and forth to gain experience. Moreover, Pokémon no longer level up in the day care, meaning you don’t have to worry about having level-up moves overwriting other moves.
Lastly, there is Hyper Training. By collecting bottle caps, you can use one to boost one of your stat’s IV to 31. There is also a golden one that allows you to boost all of them. While you cannot use this to pass down 6 IVs, this can cut down the time to breed perfect Pokémon.
Changing up the Gameplay Mechanics
It’s nice to see Game Freak change up the usual formula rather than going with the usual challenging gyms to earn badges. Sun and Moon replaces gyms with the Island Challenge, similar to what the Orange Islands had in the Pokémon anime. Instead of battling trainers, you have to do tasks before you can challenge the leader Pokémon. After beating that Pokémon, you will receive a Z-Crystal, which allows a Pokémon to use a powerful move once per battle. There is also a new battle mode called Battle Royal. The goal is to knock out as many Pokémon until someone has their team completely wiped out.
Removal of Battle Modes and Features
It seems that Game Freak has a tendency of removing good ideas from the game. While Game Freak removed Super Training and PSS, they made some dumb changes. Yes, they removed Triple and Rotation battles from the game. This basically leaves us with the usual single and double battles, which is somewhat a disappointment. It makes me believe that the aging 3DS hardware can’t handle it.
Of course, this is nothing new since they have done this with every generation. Still, I wish they would retain some of the good features for once.
Island Trials is a bit too easy
Sure, the 7th trial might give some trouble because of that Mimikyu, I felt that the trials are too easy. One can say it’s because my Pokémon are effort value trained. I understand that the target audience is children. Still, I think Game Freak should throw in a hard mode for the older fans as mentioned earlier.
With that, this sums up my initial thoughts about Sun and Moon so far. I will share my full review in a few weeks once I beat the game. Feel free to share your thoughts about the game. If you want to add me to the friends list, see the Pokémon page (use the Japanese 3DS friend code). ¶