Photo from destinationcomics.com
By Nicolas Nogueira
The Japanese electronic entertainment titan, Nintendo, released “Pokémon Sun” and “Pokémon Moon” for the Nintendo 3DS on Nov. 18. Upon launch, it has sold over 10 million copies worldwide.
The newest installment of the series is the seventh generation of Pokémon. Like previous games, the story follows the journey of a young Pokémon trainer and his/her friends in the Alola region. The player character and his/her friends’ mission is to stop the evil organization, Team Skull, schemes while adventuring and challenging other great trainers along the way.
Game Freak, the developer of the Pokémon series, introduced new Pokémon along with “Alolan” versions of Pokémon from the first generations, Red, Blue and Yellow. The new forms for old Pokémon are evolutionary traits due to life in the tropical climate. It is a new concept Nintendo and Game Freak will expand on in future titles.
Mega Evolutions passed down from the previous generations X, Y and Z-moves were introduced. The new mechanic is a powerful attack that is limited to once per battle and only if the Pokémon using the move is holding a specific item relative to the move type (e.g., grass, water, fire and so on).
The Poké Finder, another new feature, allows players to take pictures of Pokémon. This ability resembles the Nintendo 64 title “Pokémon Snap.”
One of the other biggest new features is Pokémon Refresh. Players can now pet, feed or otherwise annoy the Pokémon in their party. The Pokémon you interact with will react to their treatment. For example, the owl Pokéemon, Dartrix, recoils if the player touches his fringe.
“Pokémon Sun” and “Pokémon Moon” will also be able to make use of the Pokémon Bank application when it opens for the new generation Jan 1, 2017. Players will be able to transfer their Pokémon from generations X and Y to Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire (ORAS). However, it is not possible to transfer them vice versa. Regardless, players can still store their Pokémon in the bank and transfer their old parties to the new generation come January.
Like with the Pokémon generations X, Y and ORAS, Sun and Moon have 3D capabilities. Thus, providing more activity and interaction with the overworld. Players can customize their trainer’s skin tone, gender and hairstyle and shop for new clothing options later on.
Previous generations had regions which were mainland with the occasional island to explore. However, the Alola region, based off of Hawaii, is comprised of four main islands. This encourages players to explore and talk to the non-playable characters, who can offer valuable advice or items, instead of just traveling city to city for the badge. Each player needs to travel to and dominate each of these islands’ respective “island trials,” which is the new system replacing gyms. The trials feature “boss battles” in the form of Kahunas, each island’s most powerful trainer.
Players currently have some leeway in the way they choose to explore. Some areas on the islands can be missed entirely if the player were to only follow the storyline. However, all areas are still accessible after finishing the main story.
Major retailers are selling Pokémon Sun and Moon for $39.99, but do not feel rushed to purchase it. The great thing about Pokémon games is that each generation is relevant and has plenty of timeless content to enjoy. If you have not picked up Omega Ruby or Alpha Sapphire, do it now before the Pokémon Bank opens up. This way you will be able to transfer all the Pokémon you want to the next game.