One of the most popular video game franchises of the last two decades has been Pokémon. Originating from Japan, this game series has taken the whole world by storm. A long running TV show, a trading card game, and many different items of merchandise have been released since the game first appeared. Even though the first game came out in the U.S. in 1998, Nintendo is still producing new games in this legendary franchise with the latest games being Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon.
This latest iteration of Pokémon is set in a new region called Alola. Based on the real island of Hawaii, this tropical region is unlike any of the previous regions used in the game, and as always, is inhabited with new Pokémon to catch and battle.
There are now eighty-one new Pokémon – including new forms of some existing characters. The new forms of the pre-existing Pokémon are known as Alola forms, having adapted to the new environments of these regions with different types, moves, and appearances to their earlier incarnations.
For example, the Vulpix from Red and Blue is a fire type, and can learn fire moves. The Alolan Vulpix is an ice type, that will learn ice moves, and is a beautiful snowy-white colour rather than the previous red-orange.
Another new addition to the game is the Rotom Pokédex. The Pokédex acts as an encyclopedia of every Pokémon that you have seen or captured, including a description of each one. One of the major goals of the game is to fill up your Pokédex – hence the franchise’s slogan, “Gotta Catch ‘Em All.”
In Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, you have a new Pokédex inhabited by an electric Pokémon called Rotom. This gives your Pokédex its own personality, and it also updates you on the objectives you need to complete, which you get achieve through talking with other people in the game.
The Rotom Pokédex gives you a detailed map that you can see at all times whilst playing the on the bottom screen of the 3DS, where in previous versions of the game you had to open your bag and take your map out of it to see where you were.
Some new mechanics have also been added to the game. Firstly, players will notice that they are no longer restricted to only four or eight directions like in the previous games – you now have full control over directional movement.
This, combined with the improved 3D models of the players, makes Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon feel much more like regular console games than a handheld game. Other new mechanics include Z-Moves, which are powerful moves that combine the strength of the trainer and the Pokémon – but you can only use these once in each battle.
There are also SOS Battles, Poké Rides, QR codes scanning, and many more updates. In summary, Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon are great games for anyone – whether they’ve just picked up Pokémon or they’ve been a fan since the 90s.