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