Get Rid of That Bike
Having to buy a bike to make your way around previous regions was a very non-exciting way to keep you out of areas. Pokemon games are about the titular monsters, so being able to ride them in Sun and Moon rather than use some silly bike is a fun change that halps the newest entries stand out.
Region Specific Forms
Having new Pokemon is cool and all, but it’s the older monsters that draw in life-long fans. It can become a bit dull thanks to recycled characters at times, but the developers took advantage of the new setting and evolution to provide some impressive new forms for classic favorites.
Having a bond with your beast is what being a great trainer is all about. Sun and Moon take it a step further by letting you utilize powerful new moves as long as you have the right stone equipped. These moves are game changers and are impressive to look at as they decimate your foes.
Trials Instead of Gyms
Gyms were great, don’t get us wrong. But didn’t you find it a bit odd that every single location in every game had the same setup? The Alola Region has its very own culture and lore and that gets to shine through in its ancient trials. You still get the sense of progression, just the world is more a part of it this time around.
S.O.S. battles seemed like a bad idea at first, but they actually make fights feel more realistic. While you’re beating up on some poor wild Growlithe, it can call for a friend and make things interesting. It adds an extra layer of challenge to encounters that should be welcome to all aspiring champions.
Catching hundreds of Pokemon to fill our Pokedexes is something us trainers are used to. But when you really think about it, a majoriy of those creatures are left rotting away in some box in some dusty old PC somewhere. Poke Pelago gives them a use by allowing them to work, play, and train. No longer do they have to stay stuck in some cramped ball, they get to enjoy the sunshine and all the beans they can eat. In return you can grow more Beans and Berries, as well as obtain useful items.
Battle Royal is a brand new kind of battle where you and three others fight against one another at once. No teams, just everyone throwing their best out there and seeing who stands up in the end. It’s hectic and requires strategy as you figure out how defeat tree different monsters at once while not being defeated yourself.
Refresh as a concept isn’t completely new as it is similar to the Pokemon-Amie system from previous games. However, the ability to wipe down and cure status ailments is definitely something of note that we wish every game in the past had. It helps to bolster the relationship between you and your monsters while also keeping your team in fighting form.
Before the game was released, fans were split on whether they appreciated being able to see what moves affected each Pokemon and how. It’s a great addition to the series, though, as it rewards you for trying out moves against different creatures to see what’s best and makes a note of it for you.
Another year has gone by and we still don’t have a new Poke-Snap game, however, you can try your hand at photography in Pokemon Sun and Moon complete with random comments from the interwebs praising (or trashing) your work. It’s fun to take shots and upgrade the camera, even if they haven’t let me throw apples at anyone yet.
A life-changing addition indeed. If your friends, or anyone else willing to share, catches a Pokemon that you haven’t yet, you can scan their Pokedex to get their location so you can head there whenever you’re ready. It adds another social aspect to the hunting experience while also making the search a bit easier.
Didn’t Go Overboard on New Additions
While it’s understandable that new entries into the series have to add something to the growing roster, some of Sun and Moon’s predecessors did go a bit overboard. Random monsters created out of random things like ice cream and lamps weren’t super exciting, so it’s nice to see that the developers took a different approach this time around. There’s a lot of nostalgia to be found in the Alola Region but still a healthy dose of fresh offerings, it’s a world that invites long-time fans to experience something new while still showing off the best of the past.
The bottom screen on your 3DS while Playing Pokemon Sun and Moon is very useful. you have a map of your immediate area which can show useful items as well as where your next quest objective is (no more getting lost). On top of that you can give it a tap to look at an overview of the entire world including where certain locations are and what islands you need to travel to.
No More HMs
HMs were useful, yes, mainly because they allowed us to enter parts of the world we previously couldn’t. But they required you to sacrifice a move slot in the Pokemon that you needed to hold it, and that sucked. Poke Rides, the same system that replaced the bikes, also replaced HMs, allowing you to summon the help you need rather than force one of your own monsters to learn a move they don’t really want.