Pokémon Sun and Moon Review

Mark Nintendo, Reviews Leave a Comment

Pokemon moon 3ds box coverAccording to Oxford Dictionaries, the word of 2016 is post-truth.

Not in this house it’s not. In this house, post-truth is when I’ve told Janet I’ve cleaned the house, only for her to return from work to discover it wasn’t necessarily based on objective facts. So that’s pretty much every year since … when did I first become a stay-at-home dad?

Our word of the year is Pokémon. Pokémon Go, Pokémon plushie, Pokémon books, Pokémon advent calendars and for the love of Pokémon will you stop talking about Pokémon and go to sleep!

I’m clinging to the hope that their 11+ will be entirely Pokémon related, in which case Grammar school is a formality and I should probably start looking into cheap same-day returns to Oxford and Cambridge.

But it also raises a big question. How do I reclaim my phone from the kids when there’s an Oddish on the nearby list? Janet solved this conundrum by deleting Pokémon Go from her phone. Inspired or traitorous, I’ll let you decide (although I’ll give you a hint, it was definitely the latter!) Sadly for me that just wasn’t an option because, well, there’s an Oddish on the nearby list and I need the kids to go and find it for me. For them. I meant for them!

But all is not lost. Hope is on the horizon. I may no longer need to ‘borrow’ my own phone because Pokémon Sun & Moon has been released on the Nintendo 3DS. Praise Be!

pokemon-moon-world-mapIn Pokémon Sun and Moon your adventure centres around the Hawaiian-esque islands of Alola. I use the word adventure deliberately because whilst many previous Pokémon games used the term ‘plot’ in its loosest sense, Sun and Moon has a distinct story-line running throughout, with a vastly improved narrative and impressive cut-scenes to boot.

For the most part, the structure remains true to its origins. You search new areas, collect Pokémon, battle a boss and move on; only this time the gyms have been replaced by Island Trials. Trials that include collecting items, quizzes and puzzles that become far more interesting the further into the game you go.

alolanexeggutorAnother welcome change is the rewards you receive for completing a trial. Instead of earning badges you now receive Z-Crystals, enabling Pokémon to learn new, more powerful Z-moves to use in future battles.

The battles themselves have sharper and more colourful animation than ever before and retain that large degree of trial and error synonymous with the franchise. The more you fight, the more you learn. Thankfully you no longer need an encyclopedic knowledge of which Pokémon type is most effective against each opponent as its effectiveness is now logged after being used for the first time. There’s also a ‘call for help’ move for wild Pokémon which, as the name suggests, calls on another Pokémon to battle alongside them when the pressure mounts.

For those interested in game time, there’s over twenty five hours to work your way through. For those, like my boys, unfortunate enough to inherit their fathers obsessive genes, there’s more Pokémon to collect than you can throw a Poké Ball at. And for anyone interested in multiplayer, Sun and Moon offers a fantastic four-player Battle Royal.

All-in-all, a refreshing and worthy update to all that’s gone before, with just the right mix of familiarity and new ideas to entertain Pokémon veterans and *noobs alike.

*I can only apologise for using the word noobs. I did write newcomers but it was auto-corrected by my seven-year old. What can you do?

pokemon-scorePokémon Sun and Moon are out now for the Nintendo 3DS. Rating: PEGI 7.

For more information, visit the official Nintendo website by clicking here.

{I was sent a copy of Pokemon Moon for the purposes of this review. All words and opinions are honest and my own}

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