Video Games

'Pokemon Sun and Moon' review: Gotta catch em' all ... over again

Game screenshots (Nintendo/Business Wire).

Game screenshots (Nintendo/Business Wire).

The highly-anticipated “Pokemon Sun” and “Pokemon Moon” games are finally here. Developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo, these are the newest installments in the “Pokemon” franchise.

The games offer a  change of scenery - Alola, which looks similar to Hawaii, is a new land to explore. There are also new effects and gameplay for an improved experience.

This series begins with the player, accompanying their in-game mother, moving to Alola to start fresh. This will eventually lead your character on a journey to become the best Pokemon trainer in the region.  Your character must journey across seas, over mountains and through the depths of Pokemon-infested caves. All made easier by the mountable Pokemon you can obtain.

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Hidden Machines are no longer an issue with “Pokemon Sun” and “Pokemon Moon.” In previous “Pokemon” games, these HMs would take an entire move slot just for the ability to swim or fly. This would be drastic because they were nearly impossible to get rid of, if there was an option in the game to do so at all.  This game mechanic has been completely replaced by the Pokemon you can ride. You are given a device that lets you summon a unique Pokemon to smash, swim, or fly their way to the next objective. This may not sound like a big deal, but it is something that Pokemon fans have been patiently waiting for.

Some Pokemon are different in Alola - they can have different attributes, which adds a fresh feeling to the series. One of the most drastic changes is the new threat in the franchise; Team Skull. Wearing only black and white, they usually travel in pairs and act tough, moving their arms in a threatening manner. You will soon work out how real a threat they pose.

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Another new feature of “Pokemon Sun" and "Pokemon Moon” is the “Z Move.” These moves are enhanced by the crystals you collect throughout the story. Each type of Pokemon (such as Grass, Fire, and Water) has a crystal and an accompanying Z-type move.

In terms of difficulty, “Pokemon Sun” and “Pokemon Moon” are a little on the easy side compared to other titles. There are no gyms in this game, but there are tough Pokemon to fight at the end of every section. All of your Pokemon gain experience after a battle which makes leveling your team that much easier. After you fight a Pokemon you have never encountered before, you will receive information on your weakest and strongest moves, making match ups a lot easier to strategize.

Verdict: 9/10

“Pokemon Sun” and “Pokemon Moon” may be the best games in the “Pokemon” franchise.  The stories have heart and there is variety in the characters’ Pokemon stats and move abilities. This makes the games appealing to both “Pokemon” veterans and newcomers.  I found these amazing games almost impossible to put down.