Pokemon Sun and Moon

Pokemon Sun and Moon Game Review

Title: Pokemon Sun and Moon
Company: Nintendo
Release Date:
November 18, 2016
How we got the game:
We pre-ordered them.

This post may contain spoilers.

Well, after avoiding the demo versions and trying to ignore spoilers all over the Internet (it was quite a workout), we finally beat the main story line of the newest generation of Pokemon games! While we each have a copy of each version, but Sun was what Rachel chose to play first while I played Moon. I must say, the Alola region was definitely up to par with the previous generations!

When I first saw the trailer and various leaks from Nintendo about these games, I have to admit I was a bit nervous. No gyms? Weird versions of Kanto Pokemon? What was Nintendo thinking? But, then again, it’s Pokemon. How can you not enjoy the games? I loved them and here’s why…


As far as gameplay goes, Sun and Moon play very similarly to the previous generations of Pokemon games. As the protagonist, you explore a region while catching a handful of creatures with powerful elemental abilities to join your party for the adventure and battles. While most of the gameplay formula is familiar, Nintendo did add some new twists.

The biggest difference, in my opinion, were the multiple islands and the trials. You’re no longer confined to one large region, but to four small(ish) islands. Most Pokemon are exclusive to a certain island or two and most of the islands have certain climates. For example, Poni Island is mostly rocky, mountain, desert area with a small village by the docks. Melemele Island, on the other hand, is filled with lush grassy terrain with a few small beaches here and there and a small city.

Rather than the usual eight gyms followed by a Pokemon League, there were trials and Island Kahunas to defeat after you passed the trials. The trials were unique, ranging from hide-and-seek like tasks and quizzes, with them ending with a battle against a powered-up totem Pokemon. The controls for the game stayed the same as the previous generations, for the most part, but there were a few new quirks. For example, the battle screen showing which of your Pokemon’s moves were effective against an opponent and helpfully tracking the stats changes of the battling Pokemon.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I especially loved that feature along with Pokemon Refresh, where you could feed and pet your Pokemon to interact with them. You could also give them a bath which would take away most status conditions. Can we say, money saver? Seriously, paralyze heals, burn heals, and the like get expensive quick. Another fun feature was Poke Pelago. You’re able to grow your own berries and have your PC Pokemon go on adventures and exercise. I love the idea of knowing my Pokemon in the PC are out and about having a fun time rather than sitting in a box the whole time.

Those were definitely some fun extra gameplay features. There were also the Z-Moves, which… Honestly, I really don’t think were needed. They were interesting, sure, but we had just gotten Mega Evolution in the previous generation. It’s curious that they would forgo that until after the main storyline for a souped up type move that can only be used once per battle. The Z-Moves weren’t too bad. They just weren’t too impressive to me.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I always forget to use my Z-Move because I try to save it and then before I know it the battle is over. I do think it was cool concept though. However, the Mega evolution was overlooked, even though you can get it after the main story. I also like how they got rid of HMs. I like the concept of riding Pokemon since we were able to ride some Pokemon in previous games, but they gave that a whole new meaning. Except Machamp… I don’t understand why he has to hold us while he pushes boulders. That one is strange to me.


When you play Pokemon Moon, you’re twelve hours behind the clock. If it’s daytime outside, it’s nighttime in the game. With that said, I was beyond impressed with the graphics of this game, especially with the night sky, stars, and dark waters of the sea!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Since I played Sun, my game was set during the day. Except I always played at night in real life, so my game was based at night for the most part. Day or night, the graphics was gorgeous. The characters were so animated and unique from one another, it was amazing. My only complaint was that you yourself was stiff as a board… But seeing the trainers in the background of battles and watching them command their Pokemon was definitely cool.

Yes, the nearly perpetually smiling protagonist was a bit… creepy. Other than that, though, the graphics were wonderful. The landscapes, the characters, the Pokemon’s battle moves, I loved it. The only slight problem I had was that the frame rate definitely dropped a few times with the heavy graphics of Z-Moves or Double Battles.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
They added a lot for the 3DS to handle, but it did very well 90% of the time. As for the music, I love all Pokemon songs. However, I found myself picking out favorites from this game. I felt as though the music was more upbeat and fun this time around. I certainly love Team Skull’s theme and also Vast Poni Canyon at Poni Island. It’s so funky!

My favorite themes had to be the Elite Four and Ultra Beasts tunes. High energy, high stakes and risks, I loved them! The music was definitely a huge highlight from these games! They really helped the mood of the story line.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Out of all the Pokemon games, I think this story line is my favorite. It wasn’t just about a team trying to take over the world or anything like that, there was a deeper plot between Lillie, Gladion, their mother, and mystery Pokemon called the Ultra Beasts. The characters really made the story, too. Team Skull were fun (and funny) opponents and Gladion made a great anti-hero.

It definitely was a bit different from the normal “take down the opposing bad guy team.” Team Skull were amusing, especially since half of the citizens didn’t even take them seriously! Lusamine was an intriguing villain — I loved to hate her, especially after the way she spoke of her children and Pokemon. The story of Lusamine and the Ultra Beasts were entwined with the usual goal of defeating the strongest trainers around the region and challenging the Elite Four. Pokemon Sun and Moon did not change that, but they did add in extra little stories, if you will, post-game.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I’m glad that they created an Elite Four and Champion even though they took away the gym badges. Then you continue the story as you defend your Champion throne instead of re-challenging the old Champion over and over again.


With that said, like most Pokemon games, you can definitely continue playing even past the main story line. Sun and Moon have plenty of other challenges for you to take, such as defending the Champion throne, capturing the Ultra Beasts, and even simply just exploring the region to fill up your Pokedex.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I will be playing this game for the rest of my life. I’m halfway through filling up my Pokedex and I know there is so much more to explore. This game was awesome!

Pokemon Sun and Moon gets…
5-lives5 out of 5 lives.

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

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Readers Comments (11)

  1. I thought it was great, even if I thought it was a bit too restrictive at points and that the pace was a bit irregular because you are constantly stopping to hear learn more about the plot. Still, I loved the changes Nintendo implemented, such as the removal of HMs and the trials, which are decently challenging.
    Anyway, great review!

  2. Excellent comprehensive review, you two! I pretty much agreed with you on how great the new gameplay and story were! I also didn’t like Z-Moves as much and don’t think they’ll make a big splash (except for Z-Splash?) in the competitive scene. They’re really fun to watch though, and the dances are semi-amusing. But yes, the story twists and focus on interesting characters sold the plot for me. And the music and graphics are in top form too, even with the ever-smiling protagonist (clearly the game’s true villain). I loved it, and with Pokemon Bank finally being updated, I’m going to enjoy using my old Pokemon in the new game!

  3. Excellent review from you two! I definitely agree with you on how great the story was. I was personally impressed by how they fleshed out the characters in this series of Pokemon games. The removal of the HMs was way overdue and I’m so glad they implemented the ride mechanic, hopefully this will make it into future games.

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