Pokémon Sun/Pokémon Moon are finally releasing this week on November 18th! Unlike Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire which were released in 2014, these titles are the first foray into the seventh generation of Pokémon. As with the previous generational shifts, Sun and Moon bring a bevy of new features to the franchise.
Welcome to the Alola Region!
As tradition, Sun and Moon allow players to tackle a brand new region of the Pokémon Mythos: the Alola Region. Alola takes all of its design cues from the beautiful island state Hawaii. Many of the new Pokémon are influenced by Hawaiian Culture, such as Comfey, a Pokémon the resembles a sentient lei, or Pikipek a bird type based on the local Red-crested Cardinal. This is also the first Pokémon game to feature different forms of older Pokémon that are region based, dubbed Alolan Forms, like an ice based version of Sandshrew.
Another huge difference from previous iterations of Pokémon is the removal of Gyms. Each of the four main islands will instead host a new trail for the player to tackle, culminating in a battle against a totem Pokémon. They are even bringing back a much requested feature: the ability to battle legacy gym leaders from previous generations.
New Starters: Litten, Rowlett, and Popplio
The newest trio of starting Pokémon are already blowing up social media, because let’s face it, they are all incredibly cute. Picking between the three starters have always been a tough choice, but I am genuinely torn as to who I will be picking once I boot up the game.
Z-Moves and Mega Evolutions
Each of the 17 Pokémon types will get their own unique Z-Move in Sun and Moon, working in a similar way to Mega Evolutions from X and Y. Like Mega Evolutions, you only get to use Z-Moves once per battle, but they have greater effects than regular moves. Mega Evolutions from the sixth generation of games are also returning, but since both Z-Moves and Mega Evolutions are controlled by held items, each player will have to chose what power they want out of their Pokémon.
Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow
Earlier this year, to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Pokémon, Nintendo re-released Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow on the 3DS Virtual Console. They did make a couple changes to game though, allowing for local wireless trade like you would have with the original games. But the biggest addition to these games that effects Sun and Moon is that you can transfer your Pokémon from Red, Blue and Yellow into Sun and Moon using Pokémon Bank, the Cloud Based Pokémon storage system. What will be fun about this is seeing what Pokémon come through as their Alolan forms, or if they do at all. This could potentially be the only way to get a fire Vulpix instead of the native Alolan Ice Vulpix.
One Game to Rule Them All
This will be the first Pokémon game to be release in Traditional and Simplified Chinese, bringing the total languages available to nine. And that is all for the price of one cartridge.
In addition to all of this, there are many returning features and faces, like Professor Oak’s cousin, the ability to customize your Trainer, and a Pokémon Snap like picture system. Pokémon Sun and Moon bring the total of all Pokémon close to 800.
November 18th cannot come soon enough.