Currently celebrating its 20th anniversary year, Pokémon is one of the most successful game franchises on earth. With around 380 million games sold, it is constantly outdo both Call Of Duty and Grand Theft Auto. And this was before Pokémon GO. The summer’s new wave of pokéfever has elevated the pocket monsters’ pop culture credentials beyond ever, and this new mainline 3DS sequel is poised to take advantage of the improved attention. So it’s a good job it’s the very best Pokémon game ever.
For people who just have ever played Pokémon GO, the pokemon games fun is probably not quite everything you imagined. Although they were originally aimed only at kids they’re vastly more complicated compared to the app’s simplistic touchscreen gameplay. The basic idea remains to catch ‘em all, however the mainline Pokémon titles are essentially open-ended role-playing games. Think a household-friendly version of Skyrim, but with turn-based combat featuring an army of friendly monsters for your method of defence.
Sun and Moon can be bought separately, but they’re essentially the identical game and you’re not anticipated to buy both. Together they may be basically Pokémon 7, with the minor differences involving the two releases – primarily a number of unique pokémon in each – merely meant to encourage trading between players. Capturing your pokémon is only the beginning the truth is, as you may train and evolve your critters to fight throughout the game’s story and ultimately other human players.
Each pokémon you capture has an elemental type (everything from grass to ghost) and might learn four moves at a time to use in battle. These have similar sort of alignments and often various unwanted effects, including paralysing an enemy or lowering their accuracy. All of this results in a highly complex web of vulnerabilities, defences, and bonuses, where even pokémon which are several experience levels below their opponent have a chance in case they have the right abilities.
Matching attacks to the right clicker games online, and breeding and training increasingly useful creatures, quickly becomes an obsession. Especially when you realise there are several layers of complexity beneath the basic stats for each creature, should you decide to decline that particular rabbit hole. That may be entirely your choice though, and in case you don’t would like to delve into the intricacies of Effort Values, Natures, and IV training then you’ll never realize they exist (except we informed you).
Even back into the Game Boy days Pokémon was always a suitable open world game, letting you go wherever you would like and put off the main story for as long as you want. There have been a couple of story barriers from time to time, just because there is in Grand Theft Auto and anything else, but Sun and Moon are full of them, and feel far more restrictive than usual to the first several hours. That has the possible to become frustrating, because like all Pokémon games the storyline is largely inconsequential and not the main objective at all.
But although we worried that the achievements Pokémon GO might imply that Sun and Moon can be dumbed down and simplified to get a wider audience that’s not the case. The restrictions initially might upset the ones that would like to run off instantly but they’re an intelligent enough precaution so that the game is really as accessible as you can.
During battles this game also now indicates which moves are best, after you’ve battled that same type of pokémon once, but even while veterans of the series we found this useful. Indeed, the video game does its best to not hide any information during a fight, and this are only able to be viewed as a a valuable thing.
There are notable changes for the structure of the game, with traditional gym battles being ditched in favour of ‘island trials’. Sun and Moon are positioned on a group islands inspired by Hawaii, as well as the idea would be to travel across them and undertake each of the head kahunas and their captains. It’s still not too different to the idea of gyms, nevertheless it does enable more variety than only fighting your way by way of a type of advanced level pokémon, when you collect cooking ingredients or help out with science experiments (whilst battling pokémon, naturally).
Also gone for your game are HMs, so that you don’t need to teach a pokémon a move like Cut or Fly to use them inside the game world. Instead you call in specialised pokémon that you can ride on the back of, which means you not any longer ought to fill your party with otherwise useless pokémon that you’re just keeping around for his or her special abilities.
Surprisingly, the mega evolutions from Pokémon X and Y have been pulled from the key game, and although it is achievable to work with them eventually they’re replaced in importance by Z-Powers. Once you collect the appropriate elemental crystal by beating a captain, this can get for any pokémon to enable them to perform one super powerful attack per battle – one of the most elaborate in which look like Final Fantasy style summonses.
As it ever was there are lots of new pokémon to learn, with many impressively weird ones which have very distinctive powers. Rather than just being a different collection of stats there’s critters such as the fish Wishiwashi that will school together in to a giant whale-like form, or the bird Oricorio which changes form based on which nectar it’s been sipping. However the game also does perfectly in mixing the latest pokémon using the old. Especially with the latest regional variations of old fashioned creatures, which in turn have a fresh look, type, or abilities.
In reality, the overall game does well all round in reflecting the most effective ideas in the series to date and building to them, for example the Nintendogs style pampering of your pokémon after a battle. In the beginning this seems a pointless novelty, but not only will it remove status ailments after a battle however it improves your relations together with the pokémon to the point where they’ll start avoiding attacks more or hanging to their last pip of health in battles.
But even these are merely the very best level changes therefore we haven’t got the room to correctly focus on Poké Pelago (a set of single screen islands where you may send idle pokémon to exercise up or seek out treasure), Festival Plaza (the key online interface where you could battle and trade with other people), the fun new Battle Royal multiplayer mode (essentially a four-player Pokémon deathmatch), the Poké Finder photography mini-game, or perhaps the huge range of new items that could be held and utilized by the pokémon themselves.
In terms of flaws you will find few surprises, using our biggest issue being the possible lack of artificial intelligence when fighting ordinary enemies. The moves are clearly being chosen at random and therefore can spoil the jubilation of a difficult win when you are aware it was only since the stupid computer opponent missed an apparent opportunity. Anything beyond which is just nitpicking, but it’s a shame that so as to keep the frame rate the only part of the game that’s in 3D is flappy bird, even though the graphics are extremely good that’s an easy task to forgive.
Even script is preferable to usual, and although it’s never anywhere near as funny as Nintendo games including Paper Mario, there are many than the usual few good lines in there in order to avoid dextpky49 saccharine storyline from becoming excessive to deal with. We particularly enjoyed the amusingly pathetic wannabe gangsters from main bad guy group Team Skull.
Any qualms concerning the initial linearity are also quickly forgotten once you realise exactly how expansive the conclusion game is. For several players, a Pokémon game doesn’t even begin properly until you’ve spent the dozen or so hours required to complete the history, after which you can dedicate yourself to training and breeding, and also pursuing the newest Ultra Beast creatures and dealing with the very highest level computer opponents.
We’re looking to avoid spoiling too many secrets here, because Sun and Moon are absolutely bursting using them, and purely in terms of affordability the games are off of the scale. It’s rare a sequel in the long-running series can please both veterans and newcomers in equal measure, but Sun and Moon reach that balance almost perfectly. The result is not just the very best Pokémon game ever, but among the finest video games available.