WARNING: THIS POST WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS… also, not #Spon… I just love the game
I’ve been a Pokemon fan for most of my childhood as my first experience with the series was when my cousin lent me his copy of Pokemon Ruby for the Gameboy Advance and I was completely lost on how to play the game since the furthest I’ve ever been in the game is Rustboro City. Then I was given a game of my own… Pokemon Blue for the Gameboy Color and my brother and I had to share Pokemon Fire Red… which led to numerous of new games since we couldn’t agree on how we should progress.
I also own a copy of Pokemon Uranium (#BannedPokemonGame) and that game requires lots of patience because I’ve been playing for 4 days and I’m still on my 2nd badge.
And now we have the new game.
Pokemon Sun and Moon is the 7th instalment of the Pokemon franchise and the hype has been in the air since late February of 2016. As a Pokemon Fan myself, I’ve decided to pre-order the collector’s edition which came with not only the game but also a free poster, pin and a metal tin case of the game.
Due to real life commitments, I am only able to play the first few moments in the game but those few moments blew my mind as it is completely different to how its usually done.
And when I mean different, I mean it’s cinematic and it requires at least 5 – 10 minutes of your time.
============ WARNING… SPOILERS AHEAD!!! ============
The game starts with a video chat between the hero and Professor Kukui (yes, it’s no longer that fade in intro sequence) and generally, he just explains what Pokemon is but executed like it was a live video chat rather than how it’s done in the past. Then when you pick your avatar, it’s still the boy and girl option but you get to choose out of 4 options (for each gender)… mostly it’s the skin changing in colour.
But after the general stuff are the good bits.
The game starts 3 months before you arrive to the Alola Region where (which I assume is the Aether Foundation), you are introduced to Lillie who is running away from, what I guess, is the security. As she runs, she gets surrounded and escapes with the help of the smuggled Pokemon she has in her bag.
Then 3 months pass and you meet your mom…
Ok… I just need to ask, is the Hoenn Region the only region where the hero has both their mum and dad? Like seriously, when are we going to have a stop in these ‘Fatherless Protagonist’. And fan games don’t count since they are not canon (which sucks because I had a blast playing bits of Pokemon Uranium… and in that game, it was now a motherless protagonist + a devastated father).
Any who, your mom comes out with the normal Meowth and it goes to your room. It’s basically similar to the sequence done in Pokemon X & Y except the the Meowth belongs to your mom (finally, the parents own Pokemon… well, Ruby / Sapphire, the dad is a gym leader…).
The game isn’t joking when it meant ‘the game takes place 12 hours apart‘ because I was playing this game at around 2pm AEST and it was night time in game. You know when the beginning of you playing Pokemon starts at night? When you play the game at 8pm!
Unlike pass games where you need to go outside to meet the professor or you need to be in trouble to see the professor, the professor comes to your house and welcomes you. That’s right… no lab! (Well, you do live in a giant island). The professor and the mum have some nice bants and reminisce when you used to live in Kanto. You are then asked to go to the first town called Iki with the professor. As you walk, the professor tells you what you and you Pokemon can do.
The way you chose your Pokemon is also different because (to my understanding) there is a ritual done when it comes to picking Pokemon (but it’s not as weird/complex when you play Pokemon Uranium). The choosing of Pokemon requires to have the Kahuna so Kukui asks you to find him but as you search you spot Lillie.
You end up following her and ‘the smuggled Pokemon’ IS CUTE AF!!!!
It looks like a baby for pete sakes!!!
And like all babies, it gets into trouble as wild Spearows come to attack it (ooh just like in the Anime series).
Unlike past games where by this point you’d get your first Pokemon just to save the poor creature, you jump head on to save it (once again… like in the anime) then you both fall of the bridge because the Pokemon uses a move that scares the Spearows off but breaks the bridge.
But don’t worry, you both get saved by Tapu Koko. And the way you get saved… not gonna lie… looks similar to how Ash got saved during the first episode of Pokemon XY by Mega Blaziken.
Ok… mini rant, are they going to keep referencing the anime and past games or something? I know Red and Blue makes a return but is it going to be like TATINOF where the entire thing will be fully referencing past franchises and stuff?! I guess it’s to cater hardcore fans who’ve been playing the games for a long time that maybe now’s the time to put in those cheeky references.
Then after a bunch of text, you meet your Pokemon since the Kahuna arrives and the ‘ritual’ is basically if your Pokemon also likes you. This scared the crap out of me because I thought this means I need to pick a different starter (and playing new game over and over again).
What starter did I get? I got Popplio… I always get my water types!
Then after a bunch of text and my feelings being played, you meet Hau and this part… I swear they imitated Pokemon Uranium for this… because his partner is the Pokemon who’s type is WEAKER to the one you’ve chosen (same in Pokemon Uranium).
“Your rival, Theo, also receives one of these starter Pokémon from Professor Bamb’o. However, unlike the official Pokémon games where the rival always receives the starter with a type advantage, Theo’s starter always has a type disadvantage to the player’s starter”.
I know Pokemon Black and White had this as well but you’re mostly against Cherren throughout the main games rather than Bianca so I don’t think it counts. And in X and Y, you’re also mostly against your rival so there is no point as well.
When you return home, your mother sees your chosen Pokemon and compliments it and stuff. Then the text ‘the next day‘ comes and it’s in this part of the game where Kukui teaches you how to catch Pokemon (like usual) but what happens after is REALLY DIFFERENT as you now get 10 Pokeballs… TEN!!! And you also get 5 potions. You know how much I get in the past… 5 Pokeballs and no potions (or 1 potion).
He also tells you how you could heal up your team like your mum and Pokemon Centers and stuff like that.
And this is basically it for first impressions as everything else, it’s normal gameplay.
So what are my thoughts on the game so far?
I think that the way the introduction is executed is really different to how it’s done in the past. I also think that this game referenced stuff that I found really interesting. Also, the way you are introduced to one of the island guardians really early in the game is also interesting to see.
I think I will have a blast playing the game and I think you will too.
What I find disappointing thou is the fact that gyms and the elite four is no longer a feature in the game and just playing the demo, the island trials might be a bit boring/tedious due to it’s simplicity (but it’s supposed to be a kid’s game… and I’m 18… so who am I to judge).
The design is quite ok as well. It reminds me a bit when I played Pokemon Y in the past and I just see some potential in the game. Story wise based on the prologue scene, I’m really excited to uncover more of what the game has to offer. Like who are the island guardians, who is that cute baby Pokemon that Lillie smuggled (and I know who it is thanks to the game trailers + Poke-tubers)? Who was she running from?
I DON’T KNOW BUT IM EXCITED!!!
I’m currently just started playing but if I could rate my first impressions, I’d rate it 3/5. I think this game is worth a shot even if there are giant changes in it. I think old fans will have a blast playing it and new fans will enjoy this new reboot.
Pokemon Sun and Moon is out now so go get yourself a copy (and using my skills when I used to run @PhandomAus, cheapest is in Target for $49)