Pokemon Sun and Moon

Liz Moeller, Staff Writer

Nov. 18 saw the birth of the newest generation of the little pocket monsters people all across the globe have come to love. The latest entries of Pokémon Sun and Moon can be described as revolutionary to those who have been into the series since the 8-bit pixel Gameboy beginning, but the game also leaves itself as inviting as ever to those who want to dip their toe into this franchise.

One of the biggest changes that has been coming about the last few generations of Pokémon games, Sun and Moon being generation 7, is the bigger grasp of storytelling. While trainers still can simply be the best like no one ever was and catch them all, there is an arc of characters with motivations, flaws and depiction that haven’t been seen that often.
While this will be spoiler free, it is probably the most story driven game yet, even over stories such as Pokémon Diamond, Pearl and Platinum (Gen 4), where the ‘Team Rocket’ is actually led by a trainer named N (for a while), whose goal it is to free Pokémon from trainers, much like a softcore PETA supporter with cool hair and a weird name.

Another large change is in what is no longer there: gyms. The days of Misty, Brock and Lance are now behind us as we are welcomed to the Alola region, based off of Hawaii and having ‘trials’ instead of gyms. The first trial is to find the ‘totem’ Pokémon in a cave and defeat it, thus gaining favor with the island guardian Pokémon to continue on to the next trial. With four islands and two trials on each, it does cover the eight gyms and there still is an elite four.

HM slaves are also a thing of the past, as instead the player rides a selection of Tauros, Larpas and Charizard, to name a few, being called upon once you defeat a certain trial in an island.

Although, disappointingly enough, the 3D features of this 3DS title have been removed because of limitations of the hard drive, the actual graphics are amazing for a little handheld game. Even blown up on a 40 inch TV, they still look relatively great when designed for a screen that could be smaller than a smart phone. The newest Pokémon in this region may only be about 100, but there are plenty of the older generations to catch, with a fresh take on some favorites such as Vulpix and Ninetails, now being beautiful ice vixens instead of fire.

This game is highly recommended for all players, those returning to the Pokémon world and those about to step into it for the first time. It is very newbie friendly and will help walk you through the basics while pros can go straight out of the gate. Copies of Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon can be picked up at any retailer, going for the price of $39.99 each, or if you’re lucky enough, as low as $34.99 for a used copy at GameStop.