Alola, my dear PUCLonians! A tad late (I apologise), but it is finally time for a full review of Pokémon Sun and Moon! Or, well, of Pokémon Sun, since that’s the version I have played. Spoilers: I think the game is awesome. Also, spoilers: this review will have ALL the spoilers. I have pretty much finished the game (I just need to catch three Tapus and try out the Battle Tree), and I’ll be talking about anything and everything under the Sun… uh, pun not intended, if you can believe that.
So, only if you’re done with the game or don’t mind being spoiled, let’s dive right in!
The Game Looks Amazing
You’ve certainly noticed, but I can’t not say it: this game is beautiful, in a way not even Gen VI could be. The colors are popping, the landscape is breathtaking, the characters are incredibly expressive…
… except yours.
Yes, Whimsicott, that’s the one defect this game has. Do you really want to bring it up right away?
Sure, I know you need room for uninterrupted squeeing, so le’ts get it out of the way.
Fine. The player character needs to not be smiling blandly in everything that’s not a full-on cinematic cutscene. It’s really out of place and it takes you out of the mood of the story in many places. Other than that, the game looks perfect to me, even with the low resolution on the XL’s bigger screen. If we do get a Stars version or something like that on the Switch, I’m probably going to faint from the beauty.
The stars in the sky (and the phase-current Moon!) glitter in the prettiest way, the sunset colors the sea and sky in a dozen different colors over the course of minutes, and there are different plants and flowers everywhere. My favorite place might be Poni Meadow, with the hanging wisterias and the polls and the old trees making paths for you… oh, it’s delightful.
The Pokémon Are Awesome
I ended up playing through Sun with five sixths of the team I outlined in my article from last month: Alolan Vulpix is found way too late into the game, and, well, as the title probably tipped you off, there are Cottonee everywhere in the game.
Unless you’re playing Moon, which has lots of Petilil and not one Cottonee, and is thus forever the inferior version.
Yes. I had no idea about this when I picked my version, and my squees when I found a Cottonee in Melemele Meadow could probably be heard from Russia.. Anyway, I put a Whimsicott on my team, and never looked back. Until I got Solgaleo, I adpted a sweet little Mimikyu, and I loved wvery single Pokémon I used. Now, I’m soon starting my playthrough of Moon, and I already have a team I want to use lined up in my head. Essentially, this Generation has about 80 new Pokémon, and I love enough of them right off the bat to make a team and a half. The last half a team is made up of Alolan forms. Keep in mind that Gen V had 156 Pokémon, and I picked my Pokémon Black team by choosing the three Pokémon I liked and the three Pokémon I disliked the least (all the numerous Gen V Pokémon I love grew on me later). While there are a few stinkers even in this Gen (I have yet to figure out why Crabominable and Dhelmise exist, and let’s not get me started about Turtonator), I generally love Gen VII Pokémon.
I will forever brag about being the only old Pokémon you deigned worthy of using. You even boxed that Eevee after a few levels.
Well, that was partly because I let it evolve at sunset, to see if it would become Espeon or Umbreon (Espeon, if you’re interested) and I only found the mossy rock minutes after that, but… yes. I would, though, like to give a special shout-out to my favorite Ultra Beast: Kartana. I had caught a glimpse of it in the last CoroCoro leak before the game came out, but I didn’t pay much attention to it. When they described UB-04 “Blade” to me, it sounded quite scary: it can cut through anything! Nothing touches it and stays unscathed! Then I found it in Malie Garden and it appeared, looking angry and fierce and, when the camera zoomed out… tiny. And that’s when I looked at it and realized it was an itty-bitty origami samurai, and that its entire concept was based on a paper cut. I laughed for ages, and it only got funnier when I caught it and saw it was called Kartana… a katana made of carta (that’s Italian for paper, of course). Such a perfect design.
The Story Is… Incredible
I have always been a staunch defender of Gen V, with all its flaws, simply on the grounds that it has the best story of any Pokémon game, bar none.
Also, it has me.
Yes. And as the only other game you can run through with Whimsicott from the start, well… I think Pokémon Sun might have stolen the other crown from Gen V, as well. I loved Lillie almost as I loved N. I know some people can’t stand her, but I love her. When she showed up in different clothes, ready to take on the world and save her mother… I have to admit, I cried. I didn’t think I’d ever see a Pokémon game give such an interesting psychological aspect to its characters.
And then I cried again several other times during the main story, because this game is that good.
You cry all the time, but yes, the game is indeed that good.
The best moment, though, didn’t make me cry. It made me gape and scream and whoop in excitement, when I found out (I had been completely unspoiled for this) that Nebby, cute wee Nebby that I had saved on that bridge before I did anything else in the game, the little rascal who wouldn’t stay in Lillie’s bag and kept getting us into trouble, was actually FREAKING SOLGALEO. I mean, I had guessed that “still Nebby” (a.k.a., as I now know, Cosmoem) was some kind of item that would have something to do with summoning the cover Legendary. But no, Nebby IS the cover Legendary, and when Lillie’s backpack flew into the vortex, I freaked out. Wasn’t that the coolest thing ever? I think it was. This story started with that amazing intro and Tapo Koko saving you, and it only got better. When Lillie said I should keep Solgaleo because only I could give it adventure and battles… well, yes, I cried, but I loved that they gave us a good reason for it, or I’d have broken the game insisting that she keep the Pokémon she had given up everything to protect and keep safe for so long. And of course that was what cemented my decision to keep Solgaleo (now Orion) in my party. I never use Legendaries in the game, but this time I had to. Such an amazing story and connection. I love my Solgaleo.
And the battles! When Guzma first sent out his Golisopod (a very scary-looking Pokémon I had never seen before), I was really startled. It OHKOd one of my Pokémon with his First Impression, and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to beat him. And when Lusamine fused with Nihilego in the Ultra Space… that was insane! So interesting, and all for one single battle. And the Elite Four was adequately hard to beat (probably even for someone whose team sucked less than mine did), and I loved that we finally got the Professor as the Champion! Like it was maybe supposed to be in the Red and Blue Beta! All those touches… and after the credits rolled, there was still so much to do.
I loved seeing Looker again, and I thought the Ultra Beasts catching plot had pretty serious implication for a Pokémon game. So even with all the hand-holding, this didn’t feel like a game for little kids, and I fully enjoyed it.
Well, after Sun comes Moon… before I even opened the second game! I was trying to figure out how to get Cosmog, and when I went to Ye Olde Altar of the Sunne and found out the rift didn’t take me to Ultra Space, but to the world of Pokémon Moon… oh, what a moment. So you can spend the entire post-game in synch with your local time or not, as you prefer, or you can easily access time-specific stuff… I thought it was an amazing touch. BTW, that is how you get Cosmog, and the cutscene at the Lake of the Sunne/Moone is delightful. Go do it if you haven’t already.
But yes, Pokémon Moon, and then probably another playthrough of Sun… seriously, I’d never put these games down. And I am looking forward to trying out some of the new Pokémon in battle. I am the proud owner of a Timid Snow Warning Alolan Vulpix, and I can’t wait to try out Scron’s set for it (did you see that In The Meta is epically back? Go check it out!).
What was your favorite moment in Sun and Moon? Who was your MVP? (Mine was Ribombee, although Whimsicott’s Charm totally saved the day on more than one occasion.) Are you planning on playing through the other version, or are you already doing that? What Pokémon are you most looking forward to using in battle, be it in Singles or VGC? Let me know in the comments and come back on Sunday for Snag’s next Anything Goes article on Sun and Moon!
Until next time,
The Fluffiest Whimsicott