Let’s get this out of the way first. We absolutely love Pokémon and the entire series of games, movies, cards, toys, etc. There has been so much to come from the franchise in the course of the last twenty years. Sure, it’s easy to poke fun and harp on a variety of things but overall, it’s good, clean fun. This short list includes five ways the upcoming Sun and Moon games are a bit more abstract than its predecessors. This doesn’t mean any of it is negative, just different. A lot of changes have shifted the way we play these games so it shouldn’t affect fans too much, right?
1. Alolan Forms
So, throughout the previous generations we have received a variety of changes to the way Pokémon look. Gender differences were found in some species and not always noticeable. However, Mega Evolutions completely changed the game in a number of ways. Certain Pokémon received huge stat boosts, change in typing, and completely upgraded appearances. But, those effects would only be temporary. With the creation of Alolan forms in Sun and Moon, a few Pokémon are completely being made over and this time it’s permanent. Old Pokémon receive new types while still keeping their original names doesn’t make sense, shouldn’t Sandshrew be renamed to Snowshrew? At least these Alolan forms are still easily recognizable. It is indeed an interesting concept to go forward with and does give some creatures some much needed attention. A lot of fun can come from Alolan Pokémon but could have possibly been saved for some sort of first generation revamping. We won’t know if these new forms will keep coming in any future generations but there has been a complete halt on Mega Evolutions, so the signs aren’t looking too favorable.
One of the key components in the Pokémon series centers around battling. You can’t catch anything unless you enter a battle so you can throw the Pokéball. It is a simple process that has mostly gone unchanged throughout the series. The introduction of abilities did create a new way of approaching strategies and new attacks have been added but for the most part, as long as you can weaken an opponent, it’s all good. Now, there is a new element entering the fray in the form of Z-Moves. These allow Pokémon to unleash an ultimate attack one would think is usually reserved for legends. However, all types of Pokémon will be able to use one while some receive a specialized Z-Move. It sort of acts like adding a fifth attack to your arsenal but can only be used once per battle (similar to Mega Evolving). Z-Moves create another layer of strategy to incorporate. While not all information has been released, we can only speculate and raise our own curiosity. Can these be prevented during battle? Will you survive such a massive attack? Do they still depend on basic stats? Z-Moves require a flaw to make sure the matches aren’t so one-sided. But who knows, maybe you’ll turn the tables on an opponent by launching your own Z-Move.
3. Ultra Beasts
All Pokémon games include a legend, or two, or like, ten. Generation IV was guilty of including more than a handful of seemingly special Pokémon. Whether or not their backstory or roles within the games were really fleshed out, they are considered legendary. There are also a number of mythical monsters which could fall into the category as well. Now, Pokémon Sun and Moon are bringing up Ultra Beasts and we’re not entirely sure where they lie. Obviously, they must be Pokémon with attacks, typing, etc. It has yet to be confirmed however what they really are and where the name comes from. Ultra Beasts make it seem like legendary Pokémon have been replaced or at least knocked down a peg. Maybe it is Pokémon’s way of actually introducing bad or mean-spirited Pokémon. For the longest time it’s been the trainer’s fault if their Pokémon lashes out but Ultra Beasts are confirmed to inherently cause harm. They sort of have code names and resemble some of the characters seen so far. Ultra Beasts are truly an odd addition to the usual formula for Pokémon games which is a great way to look at it. We just hope their reasoning comes full circle.
4. Island Challenge
As battling is such an integral part of the Pokémon experience, you would always have your strength tested throughout the games against gym leaders. You gain a vast amount of experience and often push your team to the limit. In the Alola region, there are fewer towns than usual and is made up of a series of island. Therefore, the creation of the Island Challenge will test your skills in battle each island’s trial captain. They have even upped the ante by including power-ups and allies to fight along side. After defeating the captains along with their Totem Pokémon you will need to face the kahunas. With four islands and about two leaders per area, that comes out to eight. Perhaps you do receive some sort of badge or memento from the battle because the number adds up to the previous game’s eight badges. Fans are concerned with such a huge change within the gym battle formula but there is still some hope.
5. Returning Legendary
We have already mentioned Ultra Beasts and their possible significance, now we shift over to a previously established Pokémon making a triumphant return in Pokémon Sun and Moon. When we last left off with Zygarde in the games, it was an underused, underutilized Pokémon somehow related to Xerneas and Yveltal to finish off the alphabet. We even thought it would receive its own game in the generation as most come in a trio, but none of that is the case! Now, it is making an interesting comeback in the new games. Parts of the storyline seem to revolve around Zygarde and its various forms, even characters from XY return to provide more background to the mystery. We currently don’t know why Zygarde makes a return but it is the only legendary Pokémon to gain more significance for a storyline compared to the previous generations. Perhaps it holds a huge secret in order to gain such a prominent role. We are curious to learn if it will relate to new legends such as Lunala and Solgaleo.
Now, we understand there is so much left to learn about the games and fans are going to have all kinds of theories. So, this was just to bring up interesting concepts that have already started reshaping what it means to be a Pokémon game. Comment below with anything you find concerning or are actually excited for in Pokémon Sun and Moon.