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Saturday, November 19, 2016

Pokemon Sun Review - 8/10

Sun and Moon are the newest versions (as of now) in the main Pokemon franchise. They've been advertising the crap out of the game on their official Facebook page, and probably Twitter, so there's not much mystery to the game. More Pokemon, new location, new NPCs. Its pretty much the same as every other Pokemon game.

The Good:
I really like the idea that there are new/different breeds of Pokemon. When you capture a standard Pokemon everyone knows what the type is if you've been playing and researching for a decent amount of time. Though with these new change ups they make battling and finding new Pokemon more interesting. While these changes are sometimes more cosmetic than anything they, at the very least, shake up the game enough so it feels different from the other titles. So its less the same Pokemon game and rather Pokemon but with a little something extra.
Previous 3D titles have been very linear which is to say that they follow a X and Y axis fairly rigidly. X and Y axis' are basically left to right and up to down. even with the jump to full 3D the games still followed this. Towns and cities had you move along a predictable grid as opposed to near full 3D motion that we see in other games. How does this affect the games? Apart from being able to avoid trainers and grassy areas, not much actually. However its actually somewhat nice to see this. I don't always have to be forced into fighting someone. I can just find a spot I can squeeze through and possibly come back later. Its a small thing, but a nice thing.
A genuinely cool feature they added was an overhaul to the battle system layout. You can, at any point in a match, click on one of the Pokemon fighting on the field to check their stat buffs/debuffs and when selecting an attack, if you've caught the Pokemon before hand, it will show you which attacks will be effective or not. I first thought it was a way to hand hold some of the new players but it honestly is a cool idea. The prompt for the effective attacks is non intrusive so you can completely ignore it if you like. You can also check to see what the move can do just by holding on a question mark mid battle rather than having to go to your Pokemon screen, the certain Pokemon you want and then selecting the specific move you want. Its... nice.

The Bad:
I'm actually older than Pokemon, considering the first game was released in 1996. Feel old yet? So why do the games keep hand holding me? I will never ever defend the idea that every single main Pokemon game will ALWAYS do that stupid tutorial on how to catch Pokemon. It is straight up the most annoying thing ever. An unskippable cutscene that happens in every single game without the ability to skip it. "But its for the new players!" But what about the rest of us? I have a comprehensive knowledge on how to capture Pokemon. Which ball is best, taking into factor how rare and how much the ball itself costs via money and time as well as the best moves to use to put a Pokemon in that sweet spot for their health, which status ailments are best used, not to mention when to catch a Pokemon or to wait for another time based on how early in the game you are and thus lacking the proper moves and items to capture said Pokemon. I. DON'T. NEED. A. REFRESHER. And this isn't to say this is limited to capturing Pokemon. From introducing new concepts to new characters to new cities. The majority of the time I spend the game rolling my eyes and mashing any button to go forward. Not to mention the massive amount of blocked off areas until you do "the thing". I understand a few times for this and in select areas but it seemed like this was happening constantly. Walls, NPCs, Pokemon. Each new city or area I went to there was another roadblock until "the thing" was properly completed. The worst part is most times "the thing" is annoying and time consuming. Sure I will get to it later but don't keep me from experiencing the rest of the game in the meantime. If there was a barricade every other time this wouldn't be such a huge problem. But instead I get the classic, "Hold up! Go back and do the thing! Yes I know a Pokemon you actually want is just a few feet from here but... Go! The thing!" I can buy alcohol and pay taxes. Please treat me like an adult.

I know this review was fairly short but its pretty by the books. Its a game that even the most hardcore Pokemon fan can enjoy and I would feel comfortable giving this as a gift to a new player. The game is competent and adds enough new stuff to make it feel different from the previous titles.
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