It only has been one year and Game Freak decides to make an alternate story of Pocket Monsters Sun and Moon. Pocket Monsters Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon like Pocket Monsters Black 2 and White 2. How well does Ultra Sun and Moon compared to the originals. Let’s find out.
The story focuses on the main character coming to the Alola region. While you went into the grass, a Yangusu comes to attack you. Three starter Pokémon appears. After picking your starter, Kukui meets you. Eventually follow Lillie, Kukui’s assistant to a draw bridge. The main character saves Cosmog from wild Pokémon on a rope bridge after being attacked by one. The rope bridge broke after Cosmog used its special powers. The island guardian, Tapu Kokeko rescues you and Cosmog from the fall. Once you obtain your starter Pokémon, the player starts setting out for the island tour (島巡り) to complete island trials.
The main character will encounter Team Skull throughout the journey, a criminal organization that steals Pokémon and cause mischief. As the journey progresses, the main character finds out that Aether Foundation is the organization behind the funding Team Skull. Working with Lusamine is the Ultra Recon Squad, who comes from a different world. They are assisting in her research of ultra-holes and ultra-beasts. Apparently, Necrozma took all their light from their world. They are afraid it will happen in Alola too. With that, Lusamine wants to catch Necrozma to save the world.
As you expect, the story is mostly the same with some differences. Like the last game, Team Skull still provides comedic relief and bullying Pokémon as always. This time, the Aether Foundation nor Lusamine is the big evil in this game. This time, it’s Necrozma. Even so, her methods of getting to Necroma is somewhat questionable.
On the other hand, with Lillie’s character development and seeing her carry a Cosmog named Hoshigumo (ほしぐも) reveals shady things about Aether Foundation. Lusamine, who is Lillie’s mother and representative of the Aether Foundation obsesses over saving the world from Necrozma. She eventually opens a worm hole to Ultra Megalopolis using Hoshigumo with Guzuma going as well.
Compared to the last game, the game is largely the same with more additions and changes. The obvious is how you receive your starter and the Ultra Recon Squad appearing. The game doesn’t diverge until after intruding the Aether Paradise to save Lillie. With that start of the arc to save Lusamine from Necrozma is when Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon becomes a new game. You as the player have to take back the light that Necrozma stole by defeating it in its two forms. Also, Lillie does not leave unlike the prequel. She battles along with you during the Team Rainbow Rocket arc and you can scout her at the Battle Tree.
As for the island trials, they are mostly the same with a few slight differences such as different leader Pokémon (ぬしポケモン). However, Mao’s and Mamane’s trials are completely different. Furthermore, there is now an 8th trial, which Matsurika does. She tells you to collect all the pedals from the trial captains. After collecting all the petals, you can attract the leader Pokémon. You can also receive a leader Pokémon by collecting the stickers that is around the island.
After beating the game, you are tasked to catch the new Ultra Beasts before heading to the Team Rainbow Rocket arc. This is where Team Rainbow Rocket attempts to take over the Festival Plaza. Eventually, they take over the Aether Paradise, mostly the mansion and make it as their castle. After Sauboh sold the Aether Foundation to Team Rainbow Rocket, you battle him. Afterwards, you have to make your way to beat six different bosses from villainous teams such as Team Aqua/Magma, Team Galatic, Team Plasma and Team Flare. After beating them, you face Sakaki, the leader of Team Rainbow Rocket. He plans to create an army of Ultra Beasts to take over all the worlds. Once you beat him, he gives back the Aether Paradise.
Aside from the story, there are some new features. One of them is Mantine Surf, where you surf to different islands and earn points by performing moves while avoiding obstacles. You can perform other moves by unlocking them. If you beat all the high scores in all the beaches, you can receive a surfing Pikachu.
Second is the Alola Photo Club. This is where you can take pictures of you and your Pokémon. You can do various Z-Moves as a pose and pick a pose for your Pokémon too. You can also pick different places where to take the pictures after you visit them. After taking your photos, you can save it on to your SD card so you can share them on the internet. Also, you can customize your pictures with frames and pictures as well.
Third, there is new features in the Rotom Dex. By increasing the Rotom Dex’s affection, you can use the Rotom Loto. Depending on where it lands, it will receive an item. These items work similarly to the O Powers in the sixth generation of games. This can range from additional experience, extra money, healing Pokémon, etc.
Lastly, there is the Ultra Wormhole Ride. After defeating Dusk Mane or Dawn Wings Necroma, you can use Ultra Wormhole Ride. This is where you ride in ultra-space collecting energy orbs to go as far as you can before entering a wormhole. You can control Solgaleo or Lunala either by using the accelerometer or using the circle pad. There are four types of wormholes that determines Pokémon’s rarity and shinyness.
There are also five different color worm holes that take you to different worlds, including unique places for Ultra Beasts. When you defeat Ultra Necrozma and beat the Pokémon League, you can encounter Legendary Pokémon. The big difference is that Legendary Pokémon and Ultra Beasts are no longer shiny locked. Also, when you encounter regular Pokémon, the shininess is determined on when you entered the world. This means you can save and reset for Individual Values and/or natures.
As a whole, Pocket Monsters Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon is a big improvement over the originals. While experiencing the same story can put some people off, but the improvements post-game. With many sub quests, the Battle Agency (similar to the Battle Factory), a new post-game scenario and additions to the gameplay, it’s definitely worth a play.
The Bottom Line
Strengths: Improved gameplay, especially in regards to the post game. O-Power replacement with Rotom Loto is a nice improvement. More side quests and game modes, move tutors, and ability to catch all the legendary Pokémon.
Weaknesses: The story is too much like the original, but thankfully not as tedious with the credits being shorter. Some of the story due to Necrozma being the big evil instead of Lusamine don’t quite make sense.