Howdy ladies and gents, I’m back from the underground to give you my initial impressions on Pokémon Sun, one of the two new Pokémon games recently released for the Nintendo 3DS. Now the game’s been out in the US since last week whereas us here in the UK only got it a few days ago and I wanted to bring myself away from the game just long enough to share with you readers how I feel about the 7th generation of the main series Pokémon games.
So how’s the game? Well it’s pretty darn good. Here’s the thing, I’m not gonna act like I’m blown away by this game, however there’s a lot of interesting updates and surprises here and there that make this game worth picking up especially for veteran players like myself. I consider Pokémon Sun like a new season in a long-running TV show with this new entry bringing the nostalgia and freshness at the same time.
My Main Thoughts
Pokémon Sun does a lot of cool things, with the new Alola region (influenced by Hawaiian islands) it presents you with a brand new opportunities for a different landscape an interesting sense of style, culture and atmosphere. And of course it changes a few things up with the story, game structure and most importantly the Pokémon themselves.
What I’ve really liked so far is how the core game mechanics are still the same; you run around battling and collecting Pokémon, fight Pokémon in the wild or in battles with trainers and you can assemble a unique crew of Pokémon and level them up. All that stuff I love and enjoy. But there are some newer elements that been brought to the table like:
- The Interactivity: This game must have the most interactive NPCs in the series so far, most people have something important, funny and informative to say and story-wise I feel like the two previous generations beforehand, this game has characters that accompany you on your quest that feel like they have personality and tell you interesting things mainly relating to the connection between humans and Pokémon and the Alolan culture.
- Change in Structure: So far I haven’t seen any gyms, instead you have island trials which are a welcomed change and while simple, its different and entertaining. Plus the way you advance from point A to B feels slightly different with the way you gain items and come across trainers, but maybe that’s just me.
- Exploring: While the game prevents you from going off the main path if key story and character material is going on, you are allowed to look around and you are rewarded for exploring with items on the ground with some that are easy to find and some that are hidden. Also with the Alola region there’s some differences with the route structure, design of the towns and activities to pass time with whether you’re using taking pictures with the Pokémon Finder or messing around with the Festival Plaza, both of which I’ve gotten lost in for a while in the first 4-7 hours.
- Pokémon Refresh: Basically this was Pokémon Amie from X & Y except expanded, I haven’t played X since 2013 or 2014 so I couldn’t tell you what’s different, but so far I really like Refresh. While its annoying when you accidentally hit your Pokémon instead of petting them, I do enjoy feeding, cleaning and petting my Pokémon. Your connection to them feels more intimate and some of the Pokémon animations are so cute and fun, plus the effects of your close connections really helps in battle when it comes to landing critical hits, evasion and avoiding status ailments.
- Visual & Audio Presentation: The game looks great, the art and animation are the best the series has seen so far, and because of the varied/dynamic camera angles, you travel through this world seeing all of the beautiful detail from different angles, it feels cinematic and larger in scope than previous games. There’s also minor yet notable updates to Pokémon battle animations, attacks and environments too. Also the music is really good, while not as immediately impressive as X & Y, Sun’s soundtrack is probably the most culturally diverse in the series so far along with familiar-sounding songs too in the vein of generation 6 too, I’m really starting to enjoy some specific songs especially the Evolution music (that sound is beast!).
Up to this point I’m enjoying myself, this game feels a little more personal, versatile and different, while being more of the same that I’ve come to expect from the series. While Sun doesn’t haven’t that wow factor that X did when I started playing that in 2013, this game has easily stolen many hours away from me to the point where I feel bad for not playing it. I’ve literally just started to get lost in this game with all of the new features, level grinding and catching different Pokémon and trust that I spent around 8 hours just doing as little of the story as possible, I didn’t even pass the first trial around 11 and a half hours in! If I have some nitpicks about the game is that it is a little easy in terms of the difficulty, some Pokémon take a little longer than I expected to evolve and with the new Pokédex you’re told exactly where to go whereas in the old games you just found your own way forward, but that’s just the traditionalist in me haha. Honestly I can’t wait to see where this game goes and hopefully I’ll be playing it at least beyond Christmas.
So are you playing Pokémon Sun and Moon and if so 1) Which version do you have? And 2) Are you enjoying it? Be sure to comment below and I’ll see ya on the next blog post, laters! 😀