Every time a new generation of Pokémon is upon us, I find myself dodging both the fan sites and forums. This is because Pokémon is one of the most divisive of all the gaming franchises. Not in the love it versus hate it category, other games take that. But in the fact that there are so many camps: old is best, OG Pokémon, stupid designs etc. So with my Pokemon Sun And Moon Review I was wondering where this title would fall.
Truth told Pokémon is a gaming franchise that has evolved over many years, and to the tail end of 2016 we received the newest entries, but will Sun and Moon be the best like no one ever was?
Let’s have a look below as I put my thoughts together. I’m a huge Pokemon fan so do leave me a Disqus Comment at the end and let me know your thoughts on the game. I also did a Pokemon Villains Special you may want to have a look at.
The game is gorgeous, anyone who tells you the originals look better is a fanboy purist – the graphics of the world, character designs are all really well realised.
New features are the core arguments for Pokémon games, here there are a plethora. The Pelago, the removal of HM moves bringing about rideable Pokémon, the overhauled online festival hub, and the QR reader/Island scan functions. All add a level of things to do.
But of course Pokémon isn’t about the way it looks, or the little things that tick along quietly in the background.
Recently I discussed the villains of Pokémon, and my favourites. This is not just because the new game was out and I wanted to help the hype, but also because the key component of any Pokémon adventure for me, is the story.
Pokémon games tend to follow a basic formula. A coming of age protagonist gets his/her first ‘mon and sets about conquering the Pokémon world, whilst helping stifle the sinister plots of a nefarious team. And whilst there is a bit of that going here, some of the old Pokémon clichés are gone.
Gyms no longer are the measure of your success, Alolan island trials are the new way forward. Also in is the much more personal plots going on around the main player. The ‘rivals’ are more pals who help throughout.
The tone is more laidback, and the people of Alola seem less bothered by the nefarious team in this game then people of the previous game. Team Skull in fact serve more as a mild comic relief. But underneath this soft veneer is one of Pokémon’s most vile villains.
The player will meet several key characters, and capture a lot of powerful creatures on the way to becoming the champion of the region, and for me the new places and tones that occur (especially late game) are brilliant.
Without spoilers I found some of the dialogue of the main villain difficult to read through because it felt so profoundly familiar to me. And I applaud all the writers involved in the character development in these sequences.
Some characters show that their villainy is required for misguided good intentions, some through greed. The villain here is just cruel.
Other stories in the periphery show a ‘villain’ becoming a nice person, through redemption, and another character gaining a perspective who they should be. And that the approval of others isn’t the only reason to try.
That said, the story culminates in the hero being just that. I would have liked to have seen more of the post resolution story being tidied up, but that doesn’t seem likely, especially as Pokémon ‘DLC’ tends to be event monsters, rather than story driven, but Sun/Moon are new, so who knows?
I played Pokémon Sun and Moon on my 2DS, and noticed a few niggling frame rate issues, but only very occasionally. And with the game being a 3DS game, rather than say a ‘New 3DS’ game makes less sense when you factor in some of the minor technical issues I personally experienced.
It makes me wonder if Nintendo forgot about the ‘New 3DS’ which desperately needs some exclusive content, which would have allowed for a smoother performance in this game as well.
The way Sun/Moon play and look, it could, and probably should be a console game by now. Let’s not deny it, if Pokémon had ever come out like this for the Wii U that console would never have struggled, would it? No. Not even a little. Maybe this is something the Nintendo Switch will rectify this year.
As for this game it is a great Pokémon game, it plays like every single Pokémon game before it, with a few minor tweaks. But if you have been away for a while, now is the right time to come back.
And if you haven’t played a Pokémon game before, this might be the most accessible version yet. Check out my official scores below and drop me a comment too gamers.
About This Pokemon Sun And Moon Review
Game Reviewed: Pokemon Sun & Moon
Review Format: 2DS
PEGI Rating: 7
Developers & Publishers: Nintendo
Gaming Platform: 2DS, 3DS
Pokemon Sun And Moon Verdict
Graphics - 9/10
Story - 8/10
Gameplay - 9/10
Fun Factor - 10/10