I would call this game, one of the most anticipated games of the year. At least for me, this was one game that I was very excited about. I was a huge fan of Pokemon X/Y and although ORAS (Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire) weren’t as enjoyable as X/Y, ORAS are still great games.
In what Nintendo would probably describe as a P.R. disaster, a few weeks before the game came out, all the new Pokemon were revealed. But what started out as potential disaster ended up helping out Nintendo because this was the best selling Pokemon game ever made. Clearly people saw the Pokemon and had to get this game to have the New Pokemon on their team.
It wasn’t just new Pokemon though, Game Freak (The developers of Pokemon) took old generation 1 Pokemon and put a fun spin on them all. Take Ninetales from the picture to the left here. Up until this point, Ninetales was a Fire type but in Pokemon franchise, he/she gets a new typing and a new look. Lets be realistic here, I think it looks a lot better. So if the new Pokemon didn’t bring enough hype to the game, the new Alolan Versions of old Pokemon certainly did.
The game starts out a little bit different than most other Pokemon games. For example in the first Pokemon games, you get to pick your starter within the first 5 minutes of the game. This its take quite a bit longer and although I don’t know the exact time, it felt like it was a good half hour before you can even pick your first Pokemon.
Picking the starter wasn’t too much of a hard decision for me. I had given it a lot of thought before hand. I came to the decision that I was going to pick Rowlet, a couple weeks before the game even came out. Some of you may be wondering why and the simple reason is because I really like the Owl design of Decidueye. I also took it a step further and looked into the three starters stats and move list. The fact that Decidueye could learn Brave Bird, Spirit Tackle, Leaf Blade, Sucker Punch and if I wanted to he could also learn False Swipe. This is the first time where I actually preferred the grass type over the other two. This is just my own personal opinion but I think Decidueye is the best grass starter in the history of the Pokemon franchise.
The rest of my team, ended up filling out as the game progressed through the story. A lot like my starter, I looked at the leaked Pokemon list and really made tentative plans of what my team was going to look like. That did play out the way I wanted it to and ended up only keeping half of my original team. Normally in Pokemon games, I build a team early on and play the game with that team. This was the first time in a Pokemon game that I just kept tinkering with my team, trying to find a good chemistry with all my Pokemon. Finally, I did settle on the team thats just below this post.
- Salazzle: I liked the typing of Salazzle, Poison/Fire. First time in the Pokemon franchise with that pair of typing.
- Mudsdale: Ground is probably my favorite Pokemon typing so I always want atleast one on my team. Mudsdale wound up being my teams unsung hero as it always found a way to surive.
- Toucannon: Initially I didn’t want to use Toucannon because I already had Flying type but once Dartrix evolved into Decidueye and I lost that Flying type. I brought Toucannon back in.
- Alolan Ninetales: I didn’t plan on using Ninetales but when I ran into Vulpix in the wild, I knew I had to have it. Not to mention, Ice/Fairy is a helpful comination.
- Alolan Golem: I did a lot of research before buying this game but even with all of that research, I didn’t realize Golem was given an Alolan form. The rock/electric typing seemed very helpful against other Flying types so I brought him in.
Getting back on track and talking about the game itself, I felt like the game took a long time to actually get going. There was a very long tutorial that ended up taking at least an hour and half (if not closer to 2 hours).
I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone who hasn’t had a chance to pick to up the game yet. I’m not going into specific details about the story but I do want to talk about my opinion of the story. Personally, I did not like the story. With that being said, I know I am in the vast minority and most people think that this is the best Pokemon story created. Before I go into why I didn’t like the story, I do want to give out a shout out to Game Freak for focusing more on the Narrative rather than just the gameplay.
The Game’s length is probably some where between 20 and 30 hours. I know it sounds like a wide margin but it all depends on if you take the time, explore and try to catch all the Pokemon as you can. Personally, it took me about 25 hours to play through the game and it just felt like a long time for me. A big reason for that are the very long and unskippable cut scenes. I feel like there are at least 5 hours of unskippable and not very interesting cut scenes. This really slowed the game down for me and made the game feel like it was poorly paced.
Now I’m sure many are reading and thinking, “Okay, you thought the game poorly paced but whats wrong with the story?” The problem is, its a Pokemon game and I don’t mean; its a Pokemon game so it shouldn’t have a story. The problem is, the game takes itself very seriously. Game Freak wanted to make a more “adult” game and make it “darker” than previous Pokemon titles. That’s the problem, if you want to make a dark and adult game, make it that way. But Game Freak can’t do that because its still a kids game that kids are going to buy. There lies the issue, how do you make a dark Pokemon story for kids?
Another reason, I didn’t like the story is because its very Japenese and very anime. I’m not trying to sound racist but certainly a difference between western culture and eastern culture and I’ve always leaned towards Western Culture. So if you’re into things that are very Japenese and anime, you’ll probably like the story. I typically avoid more anime based games because I know my interests and I’m just not into that kind of stuff.
Keeping with the theme of changes,this game eliminates Gyms. This is an interesting change to the whole Pokemon game mechanic. As you all know, previous Pokemon games featured 8 Gyms that you had to defeat so you could advance through out the story. Eventually you play through story, get to the elite four and beat game. The Gyms were all taken out for Sun and Moon and replaced with Totem Pokemon who are essentially powered up Pokemon in the form of a boss battle. This is a change, that I’m apathetic towards. If the game didn’t have the Totem Pokemon and instead stuck with Gyms, I wouldn’t have complained or minded.
Now I do want to talk about a core game change that I absolutely loved and it was something that everyone had been asking for a very long time. That is no more HM’s. I always hated (and excuse my language here) having to have an HM whore that had to 3 (or maybe 4) HM moves. To give an example, a reason I didn’t care for the previous Pokemon title ORAS as much because to play through the story you had to have a Pokemon that knew Surf,Waterfall and Dive. That’s forcing you to have water type but its also forcing you to have a Water type with a terrible move list. Its ends up being a wasted Pokemon slot. With Sun and Moon, you longer have to deal with that and instead you just have specific Pokemon that you ride for specific situations. Its a lot like in X and Y where you had to ride Mamoswine to get through the snowy Path.
Finally I want to wrap things up with the post game. This is what I like about Pokemon the most, its not about playing through the story but its all about what I can do after I play through the story. If you’re like me and prefer this, I have great news. There is plenty to do, whether its running around filling up your Pokedex, running around catching legendaries or building a competitive team. The post game has a lot of options for you to keep you busy for hundreds of hours. I’ve put almost 60 hours into this game already and I still feel like there is so much more to do.
But enough about me and my opinions, I want to hear from you guys, what did you think? Don’t just hit the like button (you can if you want to) but tell me why I’m wrong and how the story is great.
Final Rating: 8.0