Pokemon Sun: A Review(ish)

Pokemon Sun: A Review(ish)

Pokemon Sun: A Review(ish)

0 comments 📅03 January 2017, 15:54

I’ve been playing Pokemon Sun on my DS for about a month and a half now, and though I haven’t completed the game yet I wanted to write a brief review on the game I’ve experienced so far.

The Look.

Graphically I have enjoyed the improvements they have made over the last Pokemon game I played, Alpha Sapphire. Everything is more 3 dimensional so even on my 2DS the images don’t look totally flat. Also the vast improvement on how the water looks was a nice surprise.

Gameplay.

First, rather than go battle different gyms you are completing trials on the various islands. Though the idea is basically the same as the gyms, these trials provide a nice break from the games of the past in that they aren’t centered in a building. The locations vary from beaches to forests, to caves.

p15_02Second, the types of Pokemon you encounter are a big mix of the different generations and you see this from the beginning. Whereas in the past you had to go to safari zones to come across older gen Pokemon, such as Pikachu, in Sun you can capture a Pichu on the very first island. This is probably my nostalgia kicking in since I grew up with Gen 1 but I still like this change to the game. That being said, I don’t like the changes to the Pokemon encounter itself. Gone are the days of seeing an obvious disturbance in the grass or water and sneaking up to is so you could identify it with your Pokedex. In Sun you have to run around until you have an encounter and hope it isn’t something you’ve already caught (unless of course you’re trying to level up).

Third, and probably one of my biggest issues so far is the change in the trainers you come across. In the past after you beat a trainer on the road, you could go back and battle them again at higher and higher levels. This allowed leveling while also providing a steady source of income when needed. The income part is slightly remedied by being able to clear a beach of Pokemon on the 2nd island for 20k each time you help clear the beach.  But I still miss being gallery-1476267756-pokemon-sunmoon-totem-2able to battle trainers repeatedly to help leveling rather than wild Pokemon all the time.

Fourth, are the additions of the Pokemon Refresh and Poke Pelago. At first I thought these were kinda dumb additions and didn’t pay them much thought. But as I’ve played more, I’ve come to like these additions. Poke Refresh has one benefit right off the bat. If your Pokemon gets poisoned, burned, etc you can go to the P.R. when prompted at the end of the battle and cure the condition on the Pokemon (assuming you win and the Pokemon hasn’t fainted). This prevents you from having to burn a potion or make a trip to a Pokemon Center. The other aspect of P.R. is it helps increase your Pokemon’s affection for you by petting it and feeding it. This is important in two ways. Some Pokemon, such as Pichu, have to have their affection at a certain level before they will evolve so by feeding and petting them you slowly increase their affection. The other key is that as your Pokemon begin to like you more (shown by a heart gauge) they get an Exp Boost. This helps offset the lack of being able to battle trainers more than once as you can still get a decent amount of Exp battling wild Pokemon even if they are a slightly lower levels than your own.

The Poke Pelago has a few benefits as well. You get little islands your Pokemon can go to and that you can improve pokemon_alola_regionover time. The first one provides you with beans which are used to feed your Pokemon in P.R. but also to improve the Pelago islands. You can also put these beans in a box on the islands and sometimes you will get wild Pokemon who visit. If they like it enough you can capture them without having to find and battle them. The other islands provide places to grow berries, gain various items (including evolution stones), and act as a kind of Pokemon Caretaker where they can “play” and improve their levels, HP, etc depending on what you decide they should concentrate on. Both Pokemon Refresh and Poke Pelago can be time consuming to utilize but I think the benefits are worth it.

Finally, I have two main irritations. First off, it seems like they have dumbed the game down just a little. They have added explanations that I don’t think add anything to the game itself. For example, shortly after you start your journey you are told only people with Pokemon can walk through the grass. Now it could be that I’ve played Pokemon games long enough that I take that knowledge for granted but I don’t recall stuff being THAT spelled out in previous games. My other irritation is Team Skull. This of course is this game’s version of Team Rocket. What bothers me here is the characters. They have made them into baby gangster wanna-bes and the result just makes me cringe each time I run into them. From the terrible wanna-be gangster gestures to the horrible theme music. If I could change anything in this game so far it would definitely be them.

 

All in all I’ve enjoyed playing Pokemon Sun so far and if you’re a fan of the previous games I think you’ll enjoy it as well.

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David Fisher
David Fisher

I've always been into sci-fi and fantasy stuff. I'm not a comic reader however I do read a lot of books, as well as watch movies and TV shows. I grew up on Star Trek; TNG and Star Wars and now I range from those to Harry Potter, Dune, and Game of Thrones to name a few.

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