I hope you guys appreciate the effort I had to go through to get that accented e (so, 10 seconds of Google)
As you may have guessed from my number of game reviews, this one was inevitable. I’m actually trying to get more game reviews in but I’ve got JRPGs on the list and ugh… JRPGs. Also my friend is making me duo queue with him on League of Legends so that eats up time. Anyway, on to the actual game review.
This game is a huge letdown but then again, it’s my fault for getting hyped about the game in the first place. Cutscene after cutscene and whether or not you can skip them is up in the air. I assume no, because I tried to skip the opening cutscene but to no avail. Look Game Freak, the majority of your audience has been playing Pokemon since before Gen IV. We don’t like cutscenes. Allow us to skip them.
You know, while we’re talking about cutscenes, I remember the games in Unova, Gen V I think. There was a streetpass thing where you had to get people to answer questionaires and it was a total flop because you could only do it if you were in the same room as the person. Literally zero Americans have access to more than like 5 people in this manner. Genius. Anyway, if I remember correctly, there was an option to answer questions yourself and send the content to Game Freak and one of those questions was “What do you like most about Pokemon”. I answered story and maybe it’s my fault. See, when I was playing Pokemon, the story consisted of stopping villains from stealing all of the Pokemon and it never took longer than 10 seconds to press A through all of their dialogue, 20 if they were particularly chatty. But maybe Game Freak took this as “We need to add cutscenes because the best part of any game is the part that you’re not actually playing it”. And can we like, add an option to skip the learning to Battle/Catch stuff? Again, most of us have been playing Pokemon for over 15 years (20 years in my case). I’ve been playing Pokemon since before I knew how to read (a relative had to play it with me and read stuff for me). We know how to catch Pokemon, it’s okay. If you want to include it for the newbies that don’t know, the guys coming in to the Pokemon series, fine. Just add a simple yes/no box “Do you want to learn to catch Pokemon?”. And while we’re at it, can we also find a way to skip the egg hatching animation? I set up the eggs, I think I know what’s going to come out of it.
The story isn’t even good. It’s almost like the game was designed… for… kids… …
Anyway the new Pokemon all have terrible speed stats and half of the new Pokemon are old Pokemon with new types. Alolan Ninetails is super bae, Ultra Beasts are Ultra Gay. To be honest, I actually rather like many of the new Pokemon. The design concepts are actually quite appealing. The changing of types and abilities is actually well-done. It livens up the game a bit for oldies like me that have played since we were getting potty trained. Gonna have to draw attention to Alolan Golem though.
I’m not trying to be racist or anything, but the dude looks like a Sikh and learns explosion. I’m not saying inspired by real world events or anything… … Kappa. My main issue with most of the Pokemon is that their speed stats are often too low. My competitive team involves only two Alolan Pokemon (Alolan Ninetails and Alolan Sandslash to be exact) which I think is kind of cheating since Ninetails and Sandslash have been around since Gen I. As far as the competitive scene goes, I’m actually pretty pissed because Ultra Beasts have cancerous type setups and some really cancerous strategies. Celesteela is a Steel/Flying type with Toxic and Leech Seed strats. It’s broken. My friend can combo them with his Drought setup team but I have trouble with it.
I think the best change is the removal of the need for Hidden Machines or HMs. These were moves that you had to teach to your Pokemon to progress on the map. This. Was. Horrible. Your Pokemon can only learn four moves and the need for 5-7 HMs to complete the game wound up with a situation in which your Pokemon had to have gimped movesets just to complete the game. You can forget these moves in post-game, but I don’t see the point in having them in the first place. It ultimately wound up with 1 Pokemon having all of its moves be HMs and another two having an HM or two on them. This game solves that problem with “Ride Pokemon” that you can call at any time. Noice.
An… interesting change is the addition of Z-moves. Once per battle you may power up an attack. In the case of offensive attacks, it does damage through protect. In the case of status attacks, usually raises the user’s stat or has some special effect. For example, Destiny Bond is a move that knocks out the Pokemon that knocks it out. If you use it as a Z-move, then the enemy can only attack that Pokemon. There are some interesting strategies to go with these status moves (which are far stronger than a bonus 20-40 power boost if you ask me).
Checking IVs is now easier, you do it from the PC. And training EVs is now easier, you can do it with Exp. Share + S.O.S. chaining. It’s a vast improvement from the prior system of horde battles. Mainly because you can do it every battle. Horde battles were random and I think there was an item you could use to force one to happen, but I don’t think it was sold in stores. In Pokemon Moon, the item to make S.O.S. chains happen more frequently IS sold in stores. So easy.
Mega-Evolutions are still here because why wouldn’t they be. You can mega-evolve and Z-move except not on the same Pokemon because both mega-evolution and Z-moves take up an item slot. I still think mega-evolution is too powerful, gaining 20 in every stat is just too strong. But whatever. What do I know compared to the people in Game Freak.
Overall, the game ranks in the middle for me. I like the things they improved, I dislike the things they made worse. My biggest complain is probably the lack of a looping breeding path. I got so spoiled in ORAS. But hey, ya win some, ya lose some. Thanks for reading.