Premiering in 1997 Japanese animation, Pokémon is a phenomenon that has continued to foster emotions of both nostalgia and youth. Adding to the Nostalgia Factor is the reintroduction of video games dedicated to the popular series. Pokémon Sun and Moon, a role-playing video game developed by Game Freak and published by The Pokémon Company and Nintendo, aims to both commemorate and improve upon the 20-year legacy. Though familiar in setup and scope, Pokémon Sun and Moon flips the script by changing the mission and its location.
About Pokemon Sun and Moon
Intended to be played on the Nintendo 3DS, Pokemon Sun and Moon is the first installment in the seventh generation of Pokémon games. Presented in a third person, overhead perspective this game follows a young trainer who is on a mission to collect and train Pokémon as well as win battles against other trainers.
Through battles, a trainer’s Pokémon gains skills and abilities which will help them evolve and become stronger. Like in previous games, players are able to challenge untamed Pokémon to battles and capture them with the use of poke balls. Players are also able to battle and trade Pokémon with other players using the Nintendo 3DS connectivity feature. With an improved battle interface (which features detailed explanations about Pokémon attacks) any players that consider themselves rusty can jump into the game knowing that they will not get lost.
As many fans of the Pokémon series will note, every Pokémon game has followed a very similar pattern. The pattern usually involves a player beginning in a well-known location and fighting gym leaders before making their way to tougher competition. Pokemon Sun and Moon changes things up completely by introducing something known as the island challenge. Named Alola, this made up region closely resembles the state of Hawaii and it quickly becomes a major player in this game. Split into four different Islands, each of these locations differ both in population and the native Pokémon found there.
Instead of taking on a series of gym leaders, players embark on a variety of challenges which then culminate into a major battle against a powerful opponent. The main objective of the game is to stop the plans of Team skull and after that, the Aether Foundation. Like most of its previous versions, Pokemon Sun and Moon introduces 81 species of Pokémon including special features such as Alolan forms of previous generation Pokémon.
With dynamic storytelling and improved camera work, Pokémon Sun and Moon not only offers players a mission but also helps them invest in a new world that is created.
Dependent on where purchased, Pokemon Sun and Moon can range in price from $40 to $130 hours. Pokemon Sun and Moon can be purchased on Amazon, Target, Mercari and Ebay.
How It Compares
When looking to see how a game stacks up against others, a direct comparison is always the best choice. We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.
- Yo-Kai Watch
- Shin Megami Tensei
- Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
- Limited edition dual pack Includes both Pokemon Sun and Moon games, and a set of 3 new first partner pokemon figures...
- Discover all-new Pokémon as a Pokémon Trainer
- Set out on an adventure in the Alola Region - Discover the Z-Moves and unleash these intense attacks in battle
One of the major drawbacks whenever a new Pokemon game is released is the storyline. While previous incarnations of this Saga played it safe by having a trainer travel to different locations and fight battles, Pokemon Sun and Moon flipped the script and allowed the actual location to become an active part of the story. Through interactions with inhabitants of Alola, you get to learn about the backstory of the characters and the island itself. It adds a greater depth to the story.
One of the most telling signs that this game is a major improvement from its predecessors are the graphics. While previous incarnations of Pokemon games have had issues with lagging and unrealistic depictions of water, Pokemon Sun and Moon has the most realistic depiction of nature to date. Though with much room to improve, this game has been carefully developed and makes the overall experience enjoyable.
While the creators of this new Pokémon game made a slight change to the style of the storyline, they chose to stay true to their tried-and-tested gameplay options. With its traditional third person overhead perspective, this game is exactly like those in the past.
Anyone that has played a previous Pokémon games will find that Pokemon Sun and Moon follows a very similar formula. Although set in a foreign location, the game itself is easy to follow and builds up as you gain more experience.
Due to its similarity and overall premise to Pokémon, Yo-Kai Watch has attracted a massive following in Japan and abroad. The game follows a young boy or girl who obtains a Yo-kai Watch and is now able to see and interact with them. Featuring incredibly entertaining dialogue between characters and Yo-kai, this game is more mature and cheeky then one would think. Also featuring a watch that can help uncover Yo-kai, the game play aspect of this game is where it excels. As a player progresses, their watch upgrades, allowing them to find more powerful Yo-kai.
While the comparisons to Pokémon may be warranted, a major problem with the game is its storyline. It is never made clear what a Yo-Kai actually is which makes the entire premise of the game hard to follow. Much of the game is spent with the young player and the main Yo-Kai, Whisper working together to solve petty problems. It isn't until halfway through the game where a central villain shows up. The overall pacing of this game is relatively slow.
While not terrible, the graphics in this game leave little to be desired. From extremely colorful backgrounds that could potentially leave anyone dizzy to lagging backgrounds, there are several improvements that could be made to make this game stand out.
Much like Pokémon, Yo-kai Watch follows the tried-and-tested third person, over the shoulder angle. While not new to the role-playing genre, this angle helps players understand and envelope the entire world. And an important feature of the game is a watch that helps uncover where Yo-kai are hidden. By moving in any given direction, the watch meter (which is located at the top right hand side) helps the player find Yo-Kai under tables, behind trees, or even disguised as a cup.
Due to its repetitive nature, this game is not difficult to follow. Once you are introduced to the first Yo-kai, Whisper, the game shifts and the main objective is to identify and track down other Yo-kai.
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Breaking free from the traditional role-playing video game, Shin Megami Tensei is a post-apocalyptic game developed by Atlus for Nintendo 3DS. Following a young Samurai named Flynn, this game focuses on his mission to stop a mysterious black samurai who begins transforming the population into demons. Featuring an extremely interactive 3D third person and 2D overhead game style, players can become part of the action while also choosing to stay an overarching spectator.
While other stories in the role-playing universe play it safe, Shin Megami Tensei’s storyline is filled with dark plot twists. The story focuses on a young Samurai named Flynn who protects the medieval Kingdom of Mikado from attacks by demons. Though shrouded in a mystical world, this game brings up issues of slavery, classism, the search of identity, and the pursuit of what's right. For those who are looking for a storyline with more grit, this game has it in spades.
One of the standout features of this game is its graphic interface. From the very first moment that the game starts, it is clear that the creators wanted to create a mood. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, there is a grit and grunge to this game that helps its appeal. While most games provide maps, Shin Megami Tensei allows players the opportunity to get lost and even when unable to find your way, the detail of some of the missions helps you navigate through any problem.
Once in control of the main character, players are able to navigate the game both in a third-person perspective with a 3D-rendered environment and a 2D overhead map. When in the overhead perspective, red icons represent the player party and the enemy demons. As with most role playing video games, as the character grows stronger and gains more experience through the completion of tasks, they gain strength and also wealth.
With a sometimes difficult to follow storyline, this game is one that requires focus at all times. While other games allow for certain types of mistakes, in Shin Megami Tensei, those mistakes could lead to team members potentially being killed. If you're up for the challenge, this is the game for you.
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Developed by Level-5, Ni No Kuni Wrath of the White Witch is a role play game that has revitalized the RPG genre. Following the story of a young boy named Oliver and his exciting journey to another world to save his mother, this game features incredible graphics and sound design. While pleasing to the eye, Ni No Kuni takes influences from two popular games and delivers a product that many have found appealing.
Ni no Kuni tells a story of a young boy named Oliver who is pulled into two different worlds, which is the main conflict of the story. Through Oliver's interactions with people in one world he is actually able to influence what happens in the other world. A story that is both delightful and easy-to-follow, Ni No Kuni plays more like an anime than an actual game.
The most impressive feature of this game is its graphics. Aesthetically pleasing, this game is able to transport you into an entirely New World from the comfort of your seat. With vibrant scenic colors, every detail is easily discernible while this game is being played. Playing like an actual movie, the graphics in this game signal a very important change in the RPG game sphere.
Ni no Kuni excels in the gameplay department by cleverly taking influences from two incredibly popular games and blending them together. As some may have guessed, those two series are Pokémon and Tales. While Oliver and company can fight in battles themselves, they also have the option of capturing wild animals and having them fight for them. By combining both types of combat styles, the game itself becomes more complex and the player has more options.
If you're someone who's looking for a challenge, this game might not be for you. With a very easy to follow storyline and challenges that can be overcome rather quickly, this game can be completed in the span of a few days (if you put your mind to it).
Pokemon Sun and Moon is the best addition to the Pokemon game series since gold and silver. Combining elements which appeal to both original gamers and the new generation, this game adds an extra bit of suspense by taking players away from their normal comfort zone. With improved graphics, story, villains, and the introduction of new Pokemon, any player (regardless of generation) can sit down and enjoy the incredible work created.
Though some may want a more traditional and linear game, Pokemon and its creators made the right choice by adding life to an over 20 year old story. Pokemon Sun and Moon is a gripping game that will hold your attention through all challenges, big or small.