As the first (and probably last) purely tropical region of the Pokémon franchise, Alola provides a change in pace for the entire series, something many fans felt was needed, while some felt it was unnecessary. The Alola region is divided into four natural islands and one artificial island. It is a popular resort destination and attracts a lot of tourists from other regions. It has a refreshing seaside atmosphere and portrays a culture which is vastly different from other regions.
While the real antagonist of Alola is the Aether Foundation, I will first be talking about these clumsy floozies – Team Skull.
Team Skull is composed mainly of misfits who failed the Island Challenge. Unlike other criminal teams, they don’t pose much of a threat to Alola and are treated more like everyday nuisances rather than a formidable organization. They have a close bond with one another, treating each other like siblings. At some point, Team Skull is hired by Lusamine, the woman behind it all. They do their job surprisingly well, but thanks to their ridiculous outfits and failed swag, they fall behind in the race.
While the Aether Foundation isn’t really a criminal organization after all, it is still the primary antagonist in the Alola region. The Aether Foundation was initially introduced as a group that cures hurt Pokémon, and protects them from the likes of Team Skull. But later, it was revealed that Lusamine, the leader of the Aether Foundation, is a manipulative sadist who has a broken, twisted relationship with her children. She and her cronies have been conducting research on Ultra Beasts, experimenting on the forcefully kidnapped Nebby, verbally abusing Lillie, and whatnot. In short, the Aether Foundation was a very interesting antagonist, providing for an emotionally powerful story.
The Pokémon Sun and Moon (SM) games made for a very good story, Lusamine was the perfect endgame villain, and the ending was satisfying, to say the least. However, the Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon (USUM) games completely butchered the plot. Sun and Moon had a number of dark undertones that made for an immersive storytelling experience. It delved into areas deep in philosophy and broken values, not unlike the BW games. SM were by far one of the most mature Pokémon games in terms of dialogue and themes.
And then there was USUM. Need I say more? All in exchange for a little extra postgame content, Game Freak destroyed one of the best Pokémon games in a long time.
The Pokémon of Alola are a mixture of good and bad. They gave us some really cool new alternate forms to lots of Pokémon, along with three really adorable and equally powerful starter Pokémon.
Solgaleo and Lunala are both awesome mascot legendaries, and Mimikyu is just as popular as Pikachu… I think. Alola does have some lazy designs like Mudbray and Sandygast, but their stats make up for them.
Stufful and Bewear have achieved new levels of cuteness, and Alolan Raichu is pure awesomeness. But at the same time, Alola has some really bad designs – Bruxish and Wishiwashi, to name a few. The Ultra Beasts also have lackluster designs, and while they do look formidable, people wonder if they can even be classified as Pokémon.
Overall, Alola had some really solid ideas, and while 90% of it was executed perfectly, some Pokémon leave a lot to be desired.
Years ago, the four guardian deities of Alola, Tapu Koko, Tapu Lele, Tapu Bulu, and Tapu Fini, waged a terrible battle against Solgaleo and Lunala, who arrived to Alola through an Ultra Wormhole. After defeating them, the two Ultra Beasts left a number of Cosmog to be protected by the deities until they were fully evolved and ready to go back to Ultra Space.
Alola focuses on a number of touchy topics, including insanely powerful Pokémon, termed as Ultra Beasts, living in an inexplicable dimension; with their strength beyond human understanding.
This was what I hated most about USUM. In SM, Lusamine was the endgame villain, but in USUM, they made an Ultra Beast the villain.
Then enters the final boss of the Alolan universe, Necrozma. Shrouding the entire region in darkness, Necrozma started harvesting its power. And it’s up to the player to stop it. In my opinion, while the lore of USUM is strong, it lacks the emotional underpunch of SM. Nevertheless, it was a refreshing take on Pokémon mythology, one which was much appreciated.
Divided into four large islands, Alola is a sunny island-type region inspired by real-life Hawaii, where humans and Pokémon co-exist with a close relationship.
Alola is a very beautiful place. It has a refreshing, casual atmosphere to it, one which makes us feel happy-go-lucky and carefree. Its tropical setting gives lots of fresh and original ideas for a new and energizing storyline. It was really fun to explore Alola, but at the same time, there wasn’t really a whole lot to go around. Four islands aren’t really that big of a place if you think about it. Compared to other regions like Hoenn or Unova, Alola doesn’t really have much to offer.
Total Score: 40.5/50