Earlier in November the newest Pokémon game came out. Sun and Moon as I’m sure everyone in the world knows. So Pretzel and I picked up a copy each respectively. I got Sun.
Ready for the statement of the year? I think Sun (and Moon) might be the worst Pokémon game they’ve made in the core series.
The setting is Hawaiian which is pretty cool. It takes place on four islands and you travel between them in a quest to defeat all of the island trials. Standard Pokémon stuff.
My first issue with the game is it never stops holding your hand. You know how in most Pokémon games the first town is a hand holding exercise. Make sure you got the basics down and stuff. You’re ten years old and or new in town and the local Pokémon professor takes notice. Gives you your first Pokémon and tells you the game plan.
I got through what I’m guessing is 70% of the game and it had yet to let go of my hand. There is a map and it calls out where the next location you have to go to. You never have to walk that far. It displays a little flag on the map that says “Go here!” but it never goes anywhere far. You’d think the flag would move to the next town or at least somewhere far away.
But no, it usually just jumps up the street a ways. Mere blocks away. And each time you get to the location you need to go there is an event where people talk to you. Pokémon is for young children but goodness- it never just lets go. Exploring is a bitch because the routes you have to explore are very short and there is always like one or two events on the way to the next town. After like one town I was already sick of people talking.
Also- there aren’t gyms. Weird right? Now there are trials! What’s a trial? That’s a good ass question since they are all different. There are “Captains” on each island and they usually give you some contrived thing to do. Childish shit. One of them is find four ingredients for a meal. Another is “swim where I tell you to swim.”
No fucking joke, one of them is a “spot the differences” game. Those dumb ones where they like- try and hide Ronald McDonald in a historical photo.
When did Pokémon become about anything other than training and battling Pokémon?
No though, they introduce all of these Captains who have to tell you how to play this videogame. You don’t normally battle them. They train special Totem Pokémon which are essentially just slightly stronger wild Pokémon, but not in a Trainer battle. So why even have trials in the first place? You could have it be fun little side quests that we the plays have to find and complete ourselves. But the writers don’t believe we’ll have motivation unless new characters pop up all the time to talk about trials and captains and-
I don’t fucking care, this is Pokémon. Let me fucking explore and catch Pokémon. Stop dragging me along your weak story.
It gets even worse though because one of their big things was that there are new Alola-forms for Pokémon. Its an old Pokémon, but now we’ve changed the colors and types!
Some of them are charming and fun, but they dare to say that since they recolored some old Pokémon designs that counts as brand new Pokémon!
You did a handful of changes. I know a lot of people who love the new Alolan forms but you do not get to call a re-hash as a new idea. This game did not seem like it added a bunch of new Pokémon. I kept seeing the new stupid Alolan form Pokémon but that’s boring as shit. Even if you change a Pokémons color and type it still evolves into the same thing. Meowth evolves in Persian. Diglett evolves into Dugtrio. So on and so forth. You made them look different. Cool, but I want new Pokémon to catch and evolve. Not the same Pokémon but a little different. You might say that, “Hey Daniel, ExegguNightmare up there looks way different than just a recolor.” And you are right, but they spoiled that one before the game came out. Actually, they spoiled a lot of them.
What this does is remove the wonder from the game. I am one of those people who will adamantly say that the original 151 Pokémon are the best. Now I assure you its not because they are inherently better, but because the game had 151 Pokémon that were all completely new at the time. Most new generations on Pokémon do not usually boast a gigantic number like that. You know which generation did though? Pokémon Black and White offered a similarly huge number of new Pokémon. I played the shit out of Black and White. I spent a lot of time scouring the corners of the world looking for Pokémon.
Sun and Moon definitely suffer a lack of inspiration. There are a handful of cool new Pokémon but that number is way too small. I’ve seen all the old Pokémon. I want to see new Pokémon. To all the Pokémon lovers who are reading this (if any), how fucking pumped would you be if the next generation boasts 100% new Pokémon. No old ones. No fucking Ratatas, no fucking Spearows. Every single Pokémon you encounter is brand fucking new.
We’d all flip our shit. We’d tear that game apart looking for everything.
My last qualm with Sun and Moon is that even if we had new Pokémon and less hand holding, it seems so small. There are four islands and I got to the third one. And it hadn’t felt like I’d gone anywhere. I know their islands so it can’t be huge region spanning paths but the first island I could probably run around the entire island in like 5 minutes. Same with the caves and forested areas. I can sprint through them in like 20 seconds. It all feels so small. I don’t feel like I’m on an adventure.
With all of this said I actually sold the game back to GameStop today. Didn’t beat it. I was playing it and one day just didn’t turn back on. The storyline is so pointless. There aren’t enough new Pokémon, and there isn’t enough to want to explore. This game feels like it doesn’t trust its players enough to play Pokémon correctly.
So I am already done with it. It had ups and downs but overall it feels like the worst one I’ve ever played. The previous champion for worst Pokémon for me used to be Diamond and Pearl but I at least had enough motivation to want to beat it.