Pokemon Sun/Moon first impressions

I’ve been playing Pokemon Moon since it was released a few weeks ago. I had only really started playing Pokemon this year when I joined my son in playing through some of the games. I’ve managed to make it up through Generation 4 before this latest release. My youngest has been playing it for years, so he’s my go-to person for knowledge of type weaknesses when I’m feeling too lazy to look it up online.

Sun/Moon is the latest in the franchise and at the core, it’s the same old Pokemon game you’re used to. You build your team of Pokemon and battle your way through various challenges and travels. The basic formula hasn’t changed much, it’s still just a standard RPG style battle system. They’ve added in Z-moves as a big heavy hitting feature, but it’s similar to mega evolutions from the past.

The setting is a Hawaiian style island that doesn’t really hide its origins much. People say “Alola” instead of “Aloha”, but otherwise, it’s just Hawaii. This means that there are a bunch of new creatures to find, and catch, some of which are re-skins of previous Pokemon. The major difference in this version is the addition of “trials” instead of gyms. The trials serve the same purpose as the gyms, progressing you through a series of battles and puzzles, but in my opinion I found the trials I’ve done to be pretty simple and not nearly as challenging. I’m not really complaining, but it’s a different experience for sure.

The other big change that I’m enjoying so far is that you no longer need to give your Pokemon special moves to float on the ocean or fly to other cities. You can simply call a special Pokemon to your side at any time to accomplish this. That’s a huge impact since you no longer need to balance out your team’s moves for battle, with their abilities to progress the story. I rather enjoy not having to think about that any more.

Overall, I’m having a great time with Moon and I am looking forward to finishing it and seeing the ending. The graphics are really nice, and gameplay is smooth. Time to go catch em all!

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