Let’s take a closer look at that Pokémon Sun and Moon reveal

4 min read
8

Solgaleo

Pokémon Sun and Moon! No longer a game considered to be fictional like Star Citizen or the Queen of England, Pokémon Sun and Moon got its first proper reveal yesterday. The focus of yesterday’s trailer was on starter Pokemon, but there was a lot more to it. So let’s analyse said video in more depth, while I quickly hide my Rule 34 collection of Gardevoir pics.

Upgraded character models

Pokemon SUN (1)

Pokemon X and Y had a massively different visual design. Gone were the 2D sprites, replaced instead with full three-dimensional characters and pocket monsters. The overall design that had guided previous Pokemon games was still there, but you could see that change was on the way. Which is why the current character models look like they’ve finally grown up:

Pokemon SUN (14)

And that’s cool! Not only that, it’s absurd how much data developer GameFreak can fit into a single game cartridge, when you factor in the previous generations of Pokémon, the new breed and the actual storyline. It’s nice to see that while the core gameplay of Pokémon will most likely never ever change, the actual look and feel of the game most certainly will.

A region inspired by Hawaii

Pokemon SUN (2)

Every Pokémon game to date has taken place in a new region. Blue and Red had the Kanto region, Silver and gold had Johto and so on and so on. Pokémon X and Y however, felt like the first game in the series to be directly inspired by an actual real world location: France. The Kalos region was home to several French landmarks and styles, while Lumiose City was very much a Pokémon version of Paris.

Pokemon SUN (8)

Pokémon Sun and Moon however, is clearly taking place in Hawaii. Or at least, the Alola region which bears some striking similarity to the home of the biggest waves around. The colours, predominant ocean and Hawaiian fashion are all proof of this, so expect to scour the nearby islands for battles and legendary critters again. ALOHA!

A brand new starter type combination

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While I’ll undoubtedly pick Litten as my starter type, I quite like what Pokémon Sun and Moon is doing with the grass-type choice. Specifically, a brand new choice when it comes to hybrid Pokémon. While Rowlet isn’t the first Grass/Flying-type hybrid (that honour belongs to Tropius), it is the first grass-type with a secondary type added on ever since Bulbasaur was retconned into a grass/poison-type Pokémon.

It can also turn its head around 180 degrees, so I’m guessing Rowlet must be a huge fan of The Exorcist.

Deeper environments

Pokemon SUN (9)

Pokémon Sun and Moon looks like it’ll be transitioning to a far deeper style of exploration. I mean, just look at all those linear paths!

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And that’s important. We’re getting that much closer to the full 3D Pokémon game that we’ve been asking for years now. A properly massive sandbox where we can see Pokemon on the horizon and then throw our balls at them until they submit. I don’t think Pokemon Sun and Moon will be that game. But I do think that we’re getting that much closer to getting the Pokémon game we’ve all been dreaming about. And it’ll be a handheld game to boot at this rate.

Phwoooaaar, look at those legendary Pokémon mate

It wasn’t too long ago that I wrote about Nintendo registering some trademarks. Trademarks that very much sounded like the names for the pair of legendary Pokemon that would become the faces for this generation of games. Well check ‘em out, because here’s Solgaleo:

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And Lunaala:

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Just like every other legendary since the Ruby and Sapphire days, these rarest of the rare pocket monsters will each embody a certain theme related to Pokemon Sun and Moon. I’d delve deeper into it, but I’m just too excited at having the first proper Pokemon based on a Lion since Shinx bitterly disappointed me with its final evolution.

Cover art!

Pokemon SUN (17)

And here’s the real deal breaker for which Pokémon game you’ll end up choosing: the cover art. Sure, you can weigh the options over which exclusive versions of Pokémon you can find in Pokémon Sun and Moon, but we all know that it’ll come down to the cover art. And Solgaleo is winning this race, hands (maybe paws) down.

I mean, it’s a solar-powered lion. Not even PETA can find fault with that. Pokémon Sun and Moon is out November 18 according to the screenshot above me.

Last Updated: May 11, 2016

Darryn Bonthuys

Word-slinger at Critical Hit. Inventor of the macho Swiss gym chocolate known as Testoblerone. That's...that's about it really.

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