Colourful Thoughts: PC’s take on the Alola region!
Now that most of PokéCommunity has traveled through and became Champion of the Alola region, what were their thoughts?
There’s really something exciting about completing a Pokémon game: you get to become the Champion, you explore the (hopefully fun!) post-game, and also play around with everything else the game has to offer, provided you didn’t already get a chance to do so prior to completing the games.
In this edition of Colourful Thoughts, I’ve gathered some opinions from several members around PokéCommunity on their experiences traveling through Alola as they’ve played through and completed Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon. With every new set of Pokémon games there are pros and cons, and Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon are no different in this regard.
Without further ado, what does PC think about Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon upon completing it?
Sun and Moon are very well loved by PokéCommunity members. In particular they praise the music tracks, the plot, character development, graphics, mechanics, and more! For many, Sun and Moon has become one of, if not their favourite out of the main series titles! When asked, this is what they said:
I thought it was pretty good. Story is great the music tracks are mostly really good. I like what the dex has and it’s overhaul. The mechanics and balances it brings to older Pokémon and generations is nice. Really solid, hard to say which I think is better this or BW, my current favorite.
It’s a great celebration of the series IMO.
Thoroughly enjoyed it, even more than I was expecting! The storyline, characters and music are just some of the aspects that made these games so enjoyable. I’d put 7th gen up there on par with 4th gen as my favourites of all.
I had a great time in Moon. I really fell in love with all the characters and their personalities. I really feel like this generation has the most memorable characters.
I also really liked the new Pokémon designs. They were really unique, and the lore is pretty cool for them as well. (Mimikyu!)
One of my biggest fears/disappointments before playing Moon was the removal of gyms. I really didn’t like the idea of the trials and captains. However, they substituted the gyms really well. I think in the next games I want gyms back though, haha.
G/S/C + HGSS are still my favorite games, but Sun/Moon are second. And I can’t wait to play again with my copy of Sun!
These PokéCommunity members thought there were many things that can be improved upon in their journey; they either felt underwhelmed by their experience overall, felt the region was too linear in direction, or felt Game Freak could’ve done better in including more features, rather than omitting those from previous titles. This is what they said:
In his review, Nah expresses disappointment with Game Freak giving fans what they more or less anticipated in a standard Pokémon game without really going above and beyond expectations, especially considering the games’ release on the 20th anniversary.
Sun/Moon was in some ways a step in the right direction. The return of character customization, introduction of battle styles, the attempt at shaking up the old gyms system with the trials and kahunas, the replacement of HMs with PokeRide, Poke Pelago, PC Judge function, etc. It was good that there was emphasis again on story without it being a huge waste like they did with X&Y. We got a pretty good batch of starters this time. The soundtrack is very good. The fact that you now defend your Champion title instead of just running through the E4 and previous champ again was a much needed detail change.
The games are solid. The games, objectively speaking, do not have any truly glaring flaws as a standalone title (the common complaints of “too much cutscenes/dialogue” and the ever present “I don’t like the new pokes” are very much subjective ones); if this was your very first Pokémon game you’re not going to have a bad time with it and arguably did not miss out on anything huge by not playing any of the previous entries. The games are very par for the course, read: of relatively good quality.
But that’s also the problem. I have for some time now, and I know I did it in this section during the pre-release days, expressed the fact that I had grown a bit sick of Game Freak simply making what was simply acceptable and not pouring everything they had into the series. The Pokémon games have never been bad, but after 15-20 years of it, you kind of begin to hunger for more. Especially when they’ve shown in bits and pieces that they are capable of much more. Excuses were made for XY and ORAS in the form of XY being developed on new hardware and ORAS being restricted by it being a remake (not that I feel that those are terribly good excuses), but given that neither of those things were the case for Sun/Moon, and that it is also the franchise’s 20th anniversary, I had hoped that perhaps this would finally be the Pokémon game I had been waiting for for the past 4 or 5 years.
They didn’t do it though. They did pretty much what I didn’t want them to do. Sun and Moon is a lot like the first pair of every generation. They do some good things, but it is ultimately not enough to make up for the fact that they take out stuff, don’t polish it enough, etc. The post-game is not terribly expansive (it’s basically just the UB sidequest, catch legendaries, complete Pokédex, do battle facilities, which is nothing special). The region is a little small. Story was something I ranted about in a separate thread (short of the long: t’was a good start but needs more/has a few issues). Clothing and hair selection for trainer customization was a bit limited. The game lags in double battles/battle royales. Festival Plaza was a good concept: it was meant to be a fusion of B2W2’s Join Avenue and gen 6’s PSS, but it did not work out as well as it could have in practice. Mount Lanakila was highly disappointing as the second to last area in the main story. Grinding to level 100 is a needless pain in the ass. We lost the hatching O-Power and the infinite loop of ORAS.
This all might seem sort of nitpicky, and it might seem like I don’t like the series any more or something, but that’s not the case. My slightly lengthy, critical rants are just how I show my love is all. It’s not done out of hatred or just to be a contrarian douche, but rather a desire to see them do their best–and I know that this isn’t it. That and I have a lot of free time on my hands lol.
In his review, Keiran expresses disdain with several aspects of the games: he was definitely not a fan of the linearity and the low difficulty, nor the omission of sixth generation’s P.S.S. In addition, he felt unimpressed with the Trial Captain system overall, among other concerns.
I beat it today and overall it was a pretty underwhelming experience.
Every time you turned a corner, there was a cutscene telling you what to do or where to go. Story was 80% “omg evil team/boss NPC randomly appeared, let’s battle” (the third Kahuna and every Gladion encounter, for example) and 20% chunks of plot/character development smushed into 20 second cutscenes. It plays like a theme-park MMO.
The difficulty is low for battles and traveling. Vast Poni Canyon was the only area that wasn’t a linear route, and Po Town was the only memorable part of the game. The world feels very small.
Game Freak loves to remove features that people love, like Pokémon following you, but removing PSS went a bit too far. S.O.S. battles are awful. Festival Plaza and Poke Pelago are options on your menu instead of actual areas in the game. The Rotom Dex, which sadly replaced PSS, takes up half your screen leaving little room for the map that doesn’t really do much except show you where the next cutscene is. They said trials would replace Gym Battles, but they were basically the same thing – most were very underwhelming as well.
Lastly, the Pokédex is okay, but I feel some Pokémon are much harder to find than they should be. Also, I really hate the fact that you can’t evolve Charjabug until lategame when Grubbin is one of the first Pokémon you can find in Alola. I felt like I hardly saw new Pokémon while garbage like Fearow, which no one has cared about in 20 years, was everywhere.
I really don’t like theme-park games, and I’m pretty disappointed they chose that route.
What do you think about these reviews? Were you impressed or disappointed by your journey through the Alola region?
Edited by bobandbill and Jake.