Reviews - Updated on April 15, 2022

Relevant for the platform: 3DS

For Pokémon fans, 2016 is probably the best year ever. After all, it was this year that a revolutionary mobile game, a good fighting game and an adventure in the spirit of Ace Attorney were added to the series (it is only in Japan so far). And now, by winter, a full-fledged new generation is also reshaping many of the basics, but retaining the most important thing – depth, diversity and interestingness.Pokemon Sun / Moon Review

There is still no Russian language, but English is very simple here.

The new generation chooses the plot

For twenty years, lovers of pocket monsters have grown, and it is logical that it would be nice to at least somehow grow up in the game. In the seventh generation, the style that made all the characters look like children has given way to more realistic proportions, and your character is already more of a teenager than a child. However, he still lives with his mother and, as is customary in the series, begins the path to the title of the best Pokemon trainer by moving to a new place – the tropical islands of Alola.

Another thing is that if earlier we just went from hall to hall, defeating everyone, and along the way uncovering the conspiracy of a bad team of coaches, now the plot is much more important. The place of the halls was taken by the trials of local captains. And they do not always offer only to fight – sometimes it will be necessary, for example, to solve puzzles for attentiveness.

From test to test, we are taken along a fairly straight path with numerous scenes on the engine. Not to say that their performance shines – the characters are practically not animated, and the mystery around the girl Lilly does not look particularly interesting. The fact that the game has become linear is both good and bad. On the one hand, in the era of Pokemon GO, the main part of the series should provide a fundamentally different experience. On the other hand, such an unusual departure from the canons squeezes you into the box.

Aloha, Alola!

The Alola region is inspired by the Hawaiian Islands: there is a lot of greenery, swarthy fit girls, joyful pot-bellied fishermen in colorful shirts and travelers. Divine protectors (Guardian Deity) live as legendary Pokémon in a tropical paradise, and a particularly advanced trainer rules each island. Get ready for a sense of celebration and unbridled fun – even at night. In total, we have four islands at our disposal, between which we move by ferry. They are quite large, and some kind of compactness, infringement is not felt.Pokemon Sun / Moon Review

At the start, they give a very nice little cat and an owl – the seal has almost no chance.

The map divided into four parts was made more realistic. Roads and cities now naturally intertwine, and numerous patches of grass, where wild Pokémon live, are found on many city lawns. It’s a very cool feeling – and the most interesting territory in the entire series. True, the Alola Islands did not want to “revive” – the cities are full of houses where there is nothing to take and no one to talk to, there are enough secluded corners on the roads where nothing lies.

The heroes weren’t too happy either. The characters look blurry, especially their faces. The environment suffers from “ladders”, which are more noticeable the larger the screen of your console. But Pokemon are real cuties. The design of those that appeared in the new generation may seem controversial, but it fits very precisely into the way the game looks in general. If monsters were made in the old style, a contradiction would be evident.

There is no three-dimensional mode at all – but it would be bad for the owners of the old version of the console with it. And so Moon works equally well on New 3DS, and on the original device of 2011. But the biggest design mistake is not the exclusion of volume at all, but your opponents from the Skull team are absolutely terrible-looking, comical “gangstas” copied from rap artists from a decade ago. It is not even clear how such people got a visa to Alola.

Animal abuse

Seriously changing the presentation of the plot and its structure, Game Freak did not reshape the battles. And rightly so: nothing simpler than one-on-one turn-based battles can be invented in the Japanese RPG genre. Sometimes, of course, there are two-on-two fights, but no more.

At the same time, the authors added the ability to fight four in a special Battle Royal mode. Everything is arranged like wrestling with monsters, where every man is for himself. The thing is amusing, fun, but secondary to most battles. Much more important – and not so pleasant anymore – that wild Pokémon now call for help and it is impossible to catch the beast if the partner entered the battle. This made random battles a little more difficult. Therefore, for balance, the touch screen shows the effectiveness of attacks. Keeping in mind that the poison class is stronger than the fighter class is no longer necessary – if the attacks are Super Effective, you will see it right away.

Pokemon Sun / Moon Review

In stores, you can completely change the “bow” of our avatar.

As the main innovation among the techniques, the so-called Z-Moves appeared. These are very strong attacks, in a sense, an analogue of mega-evolutions from the previous generation. But they affect the battle much less, because they are issued per hour by a teaspoon, are used once per fight and take up the only pocket for things from your Pokemon. But you really want to put a berry there, restoring vitality or healing from poison.

You can also heal in case of poisoning in the old fashioned way, through the “tamagotchi” mode of Pokemon Refresh. We blow a dryer on a wet Rowlet, soak it with a tampon from strong toxic fumes – and the baby is fresh and full of strength. Courtship does not end with cleaning – you can immediately babysit the ward, scratching him and feeding him.

With all the simplifications, each of the monsters still has four attacks and two classes, and you can only carry six with you, so selection, selection and combination again are important. Let the battles be very simple, it’s easy to “pump over”, there is always enough money for healing items and pokeballs for catching, but sometimes an opponent of an uncomfortable type may appear and spoil the mood.

deep desires

With all the changes, Pokemon Moon feels and tightens in much the same way as all the previous parts. Deep childhood desires to explore and explore, to be excited about new things and to build your own box of toys are stimulated by numerous Pokémon. As before, we are slowly gathering the necessary composition, gradually understanding the capabilities of the animals and following their development, rejoicing at each evolution and new interesting technique. This is exactly the part of the universe that no Pokemon GO has and cannot have – depth.Pokemon Sun / Moon Review

The “bosses” are totem Pokémon, surrounded by a magical aura.

Some additional features help to go deeper. So, our hero can move on monsters not only in separate episodes, but also constantly. True, these are not the same Pokemon that you caught, but they are different. One can break through stones and open new paths, the other sniffs out objects literally from under their feet, the third flies and allows you to quickly move within the island.

In addition to the already mentioned “tamagotchi” mode, PokePelago has also been added – a mini-game where you can grow beans for your animals and lure rare wild monsters. By the way, some of Alola’s Pokemon are different from those you saw in the previous parts of the series, that is, even experienced trainers can be in for a surprise, for example, in the form of Rattata, which now has a darkness class.

There are also communication options. An entire menu item on the touchscreen is dedicated to Festival Square, a place to chat with other Trainers and fight their Pokémon. They also sell whole sets of useful things for the story mode. Alas, it was not physically possible to try online. But usually dueling with live opponents in the series is much more difficult than battles in the story mode. It will hardly be different here.

For the Moon or for the Sun?

And a little about the difference between versions, if you are not aware. I’m talking about Pokemon Moon, there’s also Pokemon Sun. This is the same game, the differences are only in the set of monsters, including the title Pokémon. Most of the animals are there and there, but some are only obtained by exchange with the owners of the alternative version. In the seventh generation, there are a couple of little things like Pokemon evolutions that depend on the version – for example, Rockruff became a werewolf for me, but in Sun he could not do this. The estimate below will be valid for both variations.Pokemon Sun / Moon Review

Another of the additional “chips” worth noting is the photography mode.

***

Both Pokémon are not the kind that blow the roof off. Rather, they arrange a general overhaul with the addition of a couple of floors, redevelopment, removal of walls and a new design vision of the overall picture. It is clear that Old Believer fans may not like this. But for those who are a little tired of twenty years of just “catching them all” and getting updates on the Pokemon list, fresh blood will come in handy. Plus, Sun/Moon was clearly built with the success of Pokemon GO in mind, and those who have only recently become monster trainers need some storytelling, some extra lore. Therefore, the game deserves a place above the fourth and fifth generations, which did not make any special changes.

Pros: as always, a huge amount of content and Pokémon, hundreds of them; a beautiful new region with excellent route organization; for those who care about the plot, the series will gain additional meaning; many pleasant innovations have not changed the essence of the series; beginners will find it easy to get used to.
Cons: With clear storytelling came linearity; the look could be prettier.

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