Pokemon Ultra Sun And Ultra Moon [Game Review]

Title: Pokemon Ultra Sun and Pokemon Ultra Moon
Developer: GAME FREAK, Inc.
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: 
Nintendo 3DS
Category: 
RPG, Adventure
Release Date: 
November 17, 2017
How we got the game: 
We preordered physical copies

krismii
Of course we’re going to buy and play the newest core Pokemon game! Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon came out almost literally a year after their predecessors Sun and Moon, and… were extremely similar to their predecessors, in my opinion. They were still a lot of fun to play!

rachmii
Story-wise, super similar! However, I felt as though they added a good amount of side quests as well as other things here and there to make the game enjoyable. In my opinion, more enjoyable than Sun and Moon.

gameplay

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Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon play much like every other core Pokemon game. Your main objective is to travel the land, catch and raise a team of Pokemon, and aim to become the strongest trainer in the region, all the while having the world’s fate rest on your 11-year-old shoulders.

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It’s easy enough since the game, in a way, holds your hand throughout. Your Rotom Dex is also the map on the bottom screen of the 3DS. There’s an arrow that shows where you are and where you’re going along with a red flag for where you’re supposed to go. Not to mention in Pokemon battles, if you’ve battled a Pokemon before, everytime you battle it again, your Pokemon’s moves will tell you if it’s effective or not. Though, none of this is different from Sun and Moon.

 krismii
Thus, the gameplay itself is fairly linear, with clear goals in mind and your opponents always being around a similar level as your Pokemon team. While there is plenty to explore, you always know where you’re supposed to go. A strategy is usually involved when it comes to battling — with type weaknesses and strengths, using items effectively, etc. — but it becomes a bit of a moot point when your Pokemon’s moves tell you if they’re super effective or not against Pokemon you’ve already fought. It helps to speed battles up and is great for newer fans, but some challenge is taken away.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Yes, they definitely catered it to younger players or first-time players. It is a cool feature, but I’d still like to learn it myself. A new gameplay mechanic was added and that was going through the Ultra Wormhole. It uses tilt controls on your 3DS to gain speed and head towards or away wormholes. You should always see how far you can get, but there are things in there that’ll slow you down. It’s one of those things that takes getting used to.

krismii
Using motion controls was a bit odd in a Pokemon game, but I didn’t mind it the few times I did it. I think I would have enjoyed the Ultra Wormhole aspect more had they been given more of a purpose. They seem to be just extra “pockets” of areas to catch rarer Pokemon. I would have liked to have more land to explore, such as the Ultra Megalopolis city. It was interesting to see and a great battle took place there, but that seemed to be it — granted, I’ve played enough to beat the main storyline, so perhaps there’s some post-Champion aspect of Ultra Megalopolis that I haven’t seen yet.

graphics-music

krismii
It’s utterly amazing how far the graphics and music for the Pokemon series has come since the original Blue and Red versions! Animated cut-scenes and battle stances, both for Pokemon and people, are fluid and crisp, and the scenery in the games are so pretty!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
While this is also in Sun and Moon, I love how they added actual backgrounds to the Poke Refresh as well as the battle sequences depending on where you are. They updated some of the music for certain battles where were upbeat and a lot of fun to hum to; especially the Rainbow Rocket music. It was very nostalgic.

krismii
I noticed the Poke Refresh backgrounds as well, and was impressed — I wonder how much data and programming it took to be able to create so many individual backgrounds like that? Some of my favorite music was the Champion and Elite Four battle tunes, having come much farther than the original games.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Yes, they did such a great job. It really makes me wonder what they’ll come up with next. Though, I will admit, they should have let your Pokemon follow you. I’d rather that than the backgrounds changes. But I’ll take what I can get.

krismii
I do miss that from HeartGold and SoulSilver! I don’t know how it would work with the different graphics style of Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, but it would have been a nice aspect, especially since Hau always seemed to have his starter Pokemon out with him, haha!
story

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As far as story goes, it’s not much different from Sun and Moon. You help Lillie and Gladion stop their mother, Lusamine, from opening the Ultra Wormhole. Of course, you fail, but then you end up getting to go into the Wormhole itself.

krismii
It took much longer for the Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon stories to appear different enough from the original Sun and Moon than I thought it would, and I was a little disappointed at that. I thought it would be a brand new adventure rather than a rehashed version of the original story, and I honestly wasn’t sure if the money was worth it. The wormholes have more of a purpose in these versions and there are a few more post-Champion events for you to do, but they seemed as if they could have been DLC for Sun and Moon rather than an entirely new game.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
It definitely seems like just an “updated” version of Sun and Moon, but I found it different enough. I enjoyed collecting the Totem stickers (even though I didn’t really care for the Totem Pokemon, but I like collecting things). I expected Team Rainbow Rocket to be part of the story instead of an afterthought. I enjoyed their time, but I wish they had a bigger part.

replay-value

krismii
It’s Pokemon. Of course we’re going to keep playing these games. With how many creatures you can raise, each with customizable move sets, as well as being able to set your own challenges as you progress throughout the game, the Pokemon games generally have a high replay value.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I will not stop playing until I raise every single Pokemon to level 100. Then there are shiny Pokemon, of course.

Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon gets…
4 out of 5 lives.

Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments! 

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Still No Hookshot For Link [Breath Of The Wild]

Happy Thursday!

The Game Awards were a week ago and they put out more DLC for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The DLC looks great and while we haven’t had a chance yet, Kris and I are looking forward to playing it. Still, there’s something missing.

The DLC looks as though they added new shrines for Link to explore as well as more background information on the Champions and Zelda herself. (She looks adorable in her winter outfit!)

Link also gets a cool motorcycle which, as was explained, is sort of like his own “divine beast.” It looks pretty cool and I’m looking forward to trying it out.

It was hard to tell if there were any new weapons for Link from what they showed. There’s one weapon in particular that they never added and they still haven’t added.

The hookshot.

According to My Nintendo News, IGN got together with the developer team of Breath of the Wild and asked about the hookshot.

Apparently, they had originally tried putting the hookshot into the game, but it just didn’t seem to fit in. In past games, Link always needed a target to attach the hookshot to. They would have needed to scatter targets around the entire open world and, I’m sure you can agree, that would take away the look of the natural environment.

They were planning on adding a double hookshot, but it just didn’t work out because then Link would have been able to go anywhere. The climbing was a new mechanic and they wanted players to use that rather than swing everywhere like Spider-Man.

The hookshot is one of my favorite weapons in the Zelda series, but I do have to agree. Breath of the Wild has a lot of brand new mechanics and ways to play. Sometimes new is better because honestly, I haven’t really missed it.

Do you still miss the hookshot? Do you agree with their decision to leave it out? Let me know in the comments below!

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Discord and Nintendo’s Voice Chat

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday! It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…!

While single-player games are amazing, especially since Rachel and I have each other as sometimes-snarky cheerleaders for each other whenever we play those games, multiplayer games can be so much fun. With the online capabilities of nowadays, being able to play with friends who don’t live around the corner is fantastic. Voice chatting definitely helps, but the platform needs to be done well…

How many of you actually use Nintendo’s voice chat? You know, the Nintendo Switch Online app on your phone? We personally haven’t. We’ve heard it wasn’t that great…

We do use Discord, however, mostly just between each other when we’re working in different rooms, but we’ve also played around with Discord’s voice chat while playing online games together. Recently, there was an article on My Nintendo News that mentioned how Discord would be willing to talk with Nintendo about powering Nintendo’s voice chat, and it honestly sounds like it would be a good partnership.

The article itself didn’t mention many details, but from what I’ve heard of the Nintendo Voice Chat, it needs an overhaul. Discord is a popular choice amid gamers nowadays, as forums, video, and voice chat. With all the games that Nintendo is bringing to the Switch, especially multiplayer games, having a well-working voice chat system is crucial.

 

Do you use Nintendo’s Voice Chat app? How well do you think Discord would work as Nintendo’s voice chat platform?

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Friday Favorites: 2017 Games

Double Jump Kris MiiOnly a few more weeks until Christmas!

Amid everything happening in life, we’ve played quite a few awesome games that came out this year. This week, I’m celebrating some of my favorites that I’ve played!

frifaves2017games

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Alrightie, so this was more or less an improved version of a game that has been out for a few years. Nonetheless, when we had gotten the Switch, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was one of the first games that we put on our list for the new console. With the new characters and tracks that had only been available previously as DLC, it was a good investment for us. Since then, we’ve had tons of fun playing the game with our cousins and the rest of our family!

Miitopia

This addictive and, at times, silly RPG was one of my top games due to how well it was written and how charming the graphics and characters were. Being able to customize your party and characters however you wanted while going through an intriguing adventure all helped push the game onto this list!

Fire Emblem Warriors

Hyrule Warriors was a great game for the Wii U, with placing characters from a favorite franchise into a new style of gameplay. Fire Emblem Warriors did something similar, and I had so much fun with the hack-and-slash game! While Hyrule Warriors had more diversity when it came to characters and attacks, Fire Emblem Warriors had more of a strategy and battle chaos that made me enjoy the gameplay much more.

Pokemon: Ultra Moon

It’s Pokemon. Obviously, the Pokemon game of the year is going to be on this list. I’m still playing it and, honestly, the story isn’t too different from the original Moon game yet in a way that has disappointed me a bit, but it’s a great adventure nonetheless. Seeing the Pokemon additions to the world, letting you fill up the National Pokedex easier than the previous versions, is fantastic. While your avatar still has a dopey smile on nearly the entire game, the other characters — Hau, Gladion, Lillie, for example — are wonderfully written.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

You guys really shouldn’t be surprised that this game is at the top of my list. I’m a Zelda fangirl through-and-through, and I have been waiting years for this game to come out. To see it in all of its open-world glory with a new twist on the same wonderful story was amazing to me! It’s a game that I’ll return to again and, honestly, probably won’t mind the DLC that gets released for it. I’ll use any excuse to return to that version of Hyrule.

What are your favorite games from this year?

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Animal Crossing: Town Planner

Happy Thursday!

I’ll admit, I’ve barely played Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. The mobile game has been doing really well, but apparently, the game isn’t what it originally started as.

According to My Nintendo News, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp was originally titled Animal Crossing: Town Planner.

It was nothing like what the game is now. It was what the old title suggests.

Town Planner was going to be a game where you mainly clicked menu options. There was no avatar to move around or such. You were going to have a plot of land and build a town.

Characters aside, it sounds as though it was similar to Happy Home Designer, except your focus was the whole town and not individual houses.

This is supposedly why the mobile game was delayed so long. Other than building a town and visiting towns of others, there wasn’t much to do. Nintendo felt the game was too bare bones and didn’t think it would sell well. So they redid the game completely.

Thus, now we have Pocket Camp.

I do wonder what the game would be like if they kept it as Town Planner though. Pocket Camp seems close to being more like the main game and I would prefer that on a handheld. Town Planner sounds as though it would be like The Sims where you build houses and buildings on bare lots, which is my favorite part of The Sims.

Yes, there is Happy Home Designer, and it sounds like Town Planner didn’t have much as far as “gameplay” goes, but I would definitely be interested in trying it out.

Nintendo has a way of making things better than they seem and I’m curious what their original goals were.

What are your thoughts on this? How are you enjoying Pocket Camp? Let me know in the comments below!

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Pokemon Mega Construx

rachmii
A few months ago, when Gamestop was having a sale on all Pokemon items, we had to go there and go wild. I mean, it’s Pokemon. Why not? We were actually pretty good and didn’t get too much, but we did splurge on something a little different. Pokemon Mega Contrux, which are Lego Pokemon.

krismii
Although it’s not Lego brand, they’re very similar to the other building block company Construx. Each box gives you extensive instructions and the needed blocks to properly build your little Pokemon and the surrounding scene, if there is one. When we did the Gyarados build, we even realized that they gave us a few extra pieces just in case they were needed… Unless Rachel and I just somehow missed a step somewhere and had the leftover pieces as a result.

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(I didn’t realize they were different companies… you learn something new every day!) We very well could have missed a step, but if we did, you can’t notice. Gyarados looks wonderful! It actually amazed me how it all came together so quick. You look at the mess of pieces and think that it can’t possibly turn out the way it looks on the box. But the instructions were well put together and therefore, so was our Gyarados.

krismii
I remember having a big bucket of Legos as a kid and creating large towers out of them. Dad once helped me make a windmill, and it was tons of fun to spend that time with him! I doubt he remembers it now, haha! Now we have memories of us goofing off while trying to create a Gyarados. We still have the Ivysaur to create. Being smaller, it probably won’t take us as long, but you never know with us.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The Gyarados didn’t even take us too long. We watched the old Pokemon anime while we did it too, which was fun. I’m looking forward to making Ivysaur and getting all the other Pokemon. I want to get Charizard and there are smaller ones for Pikachu and Eevee.

krismii
Our only problem with having these constructions is where to display them! Our Gyarados is sitting pretty on top of a stack of books that are on a wall shelf, which is a nice spot to both keep it out of the way and so the cat doesn’t try to play with it, especially since Gyarados came with a loose ultra ball. Still, it was a lot of fun to build, and I’m looking forward to creating more.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
We need to invest in display cases or shelves to store all our Amiibo and soon-to-be Contrux masterpieces! This was a fun, mindless project to work on that didn’t take too long. We enjoy puzzles, so this was a lot of fun!

Have you built the Pokemon Mega Contrux? What do you think of them? Let us know in the comments below!

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Top Tuesday: Favorite Kingdoms In Super Mario Odyssey

Happy Tuesday!

Hype from Super Mario Odyssey has gone down a little bit. I haven’t had a chance to go back to the game and find the rest of the moons, but I did want to talk about some of my favorite levels from the game.

5. Cap Kingdom

This kingdom isn’t very large and, especially in the beginning of the game, you don’t do too much here. Still, I think it’s a cool place. It’s unique as far as Mario games go and I enjoy the atmosphere.

4. Bowser’s Kingdom

Bowser levels are usually one of my favorites in Mario games. While I enjoyed this one, it didn’t make it too high on the list. It was certainly different and not at all what I expected. I missed the lava pits, but it was a cool level anyway. The music was excellent.

3. Snow Kingdom

This was a pretty level. I especially loved the many doors you could go through to get to smaller levels within the main level. Also, crushing the snow was the most satisfying thing ever.

2. Sand Kingdom

I’m not one for the desert levels, though this didn’t feel like a typical Mario desert. The Sand Kingdom is the second main kingdom and it’s so big that it’s almost overwhelming. But I felt like I was playing Breath of the Wild again because it was so open and there were so many things to do. Of course, the other kingdoms were big as well, but the Sand Kingdom felt the biggest and had the most stuff to do.

1. Mushroom Kingdom

Call me cliche, but I really enjoyed the throwback to Super Mario 64. The way they did the castle and the outside were awesome as well as the music and the various paintings that you could find and hop into.

What are your favorite kingdoms in Odyssey? Have you completed the game? Let us know in the comments below!

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