Review cover Pokémon Sun and Moon (Nintendo 3DS)
Official GBAtemp Review

Product Information:

  • Release Date (NA): November 18, 2016
  • Release Date (EU): November 23, 2016
  • Release Date (JP): November 18, 2016
  • Publisher: The Pokémon Company
  • Developer: Game Freak
  • Genres: Role-playing

Game Features:

Single player
Local Multiplayer
Online Multiplayer
Co-operative
The everlasting Pokémon craze manifests itself yet again in the seventh generation of the famed series. Do the games evolve the Pokémon legacy in any meaningful way?

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Aloha! Or rather, Alola

Did you know, the Pokémon regions of Hoenn and Sinnoh were actually both chains of islands? Well, if you didn't know, that's probably because the games didn't really specify or promote that little factoid. Pokémon Sun and Moon constantly and lastingly do the opposite; every aspect of the lore and environment come straight out of real-world Hawaii. Obviously contributing to this archipelagic emphasis is our new region's title, also used as a customary greeting between citizens of the beautiful Alola islands.

I respect the real adherence to theme presented in these titles. Though the Pokémon designs themselves aren't all indicative of the region's location, most geographical features stay true to the volcanic island theme. The (perhaps overused) mountains overlooking the ocean, the grassy meadows, and the sandy beaches are really fresh environments when compared to the often urban-centric themes of previous titles. Other than the central city, most villages are fairly rural, and have a thematic attachment to Hawaiian traditions. Consistency in the titles' designs is a definite plus which helps engage the player.

But now that we're on the topic of presentation, there is some bad news. I believe that the 3DS is able to process fine-looking titles with the right amount of tweaking and balancing by the developers-- take Kid Icarus Uprising as a good example. A healthy balance of graphical impressiveness and performance is necessary to create an absorbing experience. Unfortunately, Pokemon Sun and Moon achieve neither.

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My first complaint is in reference to the character animations. Most character movements look lanky and unnatural. Even the main character's walking animation looks like a Barbie doll with spaghetti for arms is sliding across a newly waxed floor. The horribly low resolutions of the models look overly enlarged, especially on an XL screen, to the point where you can count pixels on the edge of their clothing. Each model is, for some unknown reason, traced by a nasty-looking black outline which makes no graphical sense and makes most models look significantly worse.

Nor does the performance excel as a result of these low-quality models; any battle involving more than two Pokémon makes the framerate drop like a rock. The special animations for Z-moves are brought down by constant framerate drops. Triple and rotation battles were completely yanked from the game presumably due to the poor performance of the graphical engine, and the stereoscopic 3D feature is entirely absent. I know Pokémon was never exactly the gold standard in terms of graphical fidelity, but these shortcomings in presentation are too large to overcome, especially when you consider how the performance affects the gameplay and the whole experience of the titles.

Hold my hand

Pokémon Sun and Moon's introduction seems to last the entire game. Firstly, it is reluctant to let the player, well, start playing from the outset. A full hour of unskippable cutscenes with annoying roadblocks and hand-holding moments really prevented me from getting excited, nor did they really grab my attention like the beginning of a video game ought to. It's only one facet in a sea of many shortcomings which I attribute to an over-reliance on the Pokémon brand name by the titles. After this grueling hour or so of mandatory introduction to the major concepts as well as a full outline of everything you'll be doing in the game, it seems as if the title sets you free for a little while to explore the island, encounter wild Pokémon, and enjoy the ambience. But every five minutes or so, the game is sure to pull you back in with some ridiculous side quest, given by the side characters who annoyingly show up just to stop you from getting to the next major objective. Even the Pokédex has a mouth on it this time around, narrating what your next move should be at all times with objective markers and pestering comments.

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I found myself wishing the game would set me free. I've already spoken of my admiration for the plentiful thematic elements and the creative universe; what I don't understand is why Pokémon Sun and Moon are so reluctant to let me stray off the beaten path, or just stop to smell the roses or admire the view. Focusing intently on the player's linear progression while also halting it every five minutes for a meaningless side quest is just a bad model which almost never works well in such an open-ended game like this. One amazing pro I haven't even mentioned yet is the removal of grid-based movement. Full control over the character in a 3D environment feels great in a game like this, but it also serves to make the forced linear progression seem even more restrictive.

Enough about general freedom, let's get down to the nitty-gritty of the battle system and the gameplay changes made by Sun and Moon. In terms of battle, I found myself singing the same tune. Most new elements in battle are either small, negligible additions which really fail to broaden the system as a whole, or "logical" additions which serve to hold the player's hand to an even more extreme extent than present in previous games. Z-Moves are a new addition, touted in favor of Pokémon X and Y's Mega Evolution system: once-per-battle techniques activated by a crystal corresponding to move types, which power up an attack or make a new powerful attack of their own with a fancy new animation. It's not really anything more than a one-hit KO in most situations, and fails to evolve the battle system in any real way.

Certain very practical and needed additions are present, including a shortcut to Pokéballs on the main battle menu as well as the option to place captured Pokémon directly in the player's party and the ability to choose which box to deposit them in. However, the majority of additions are included to either artificially lengthen otherwise mundane fights or hold the player's hand through the already mind-numbingly easy battles. For example, a new feature is the ability for wild Pokémon to call for help, which activates an overly long animation and drops another full health Pokémon down, just to spite the player already annoyed by the increased encounter rate. An example of a hand-holding addition is the ability to see a move's effectiveness against the opponent on the battle screen, removing the previously-sacred concept of type charts and remembering them. I guess kids these days can't handle basic memorization?

Hawaiian rollercoaster ride

One place where Game Freak hit it out of the park was the music composition. The songs are all very thematic, upbeat, and a real pleasure to listen to. It's definitely the best music in a Pokémon game to date.

Another strong aspect of the title are the new Island Challenges, replacing the Pokémon Gyms of the past. Each island has a thematic "challenge" associated with it which usually involves completing various puzzles and objectives and facing off against a powerful opponent near the end. It's really not that different from Gyms when you think about it, but the environments are well designed, and they now actually reward you at the end with a Z-Crystal, significantly powering up your arsenal.

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More new features include the mediocre Battle Royal mode, replacing the now-defunct and sorely missed Triple and Rotation battles. QR codes and more nifty online features allow for a bit more lasting interest after the game is finished. The "Pokémon Amie" system from X and Y is once again present but in a new, expanded form which allows for various groomings to be done once a battle is finished. All these and other additions are relatively minor and don't really broaden the experience as a whole.

Lastly, we examine the concept of difficulty which always seems to slip out of Game Freak's grasp. I realize the target audience of Pokémon games, but it's stunning to think how progressively easier the series gets with each passing rendition. As always, the player's starter Pokémon is usually enough to beat nigh every opponent in the game by itself. Catching other Pokémon is really a novelty as opposed to a legitimate way to expand your team, as the "Exp. All" makes it trivial to clear everything with your starter while other Pokémon passively gain experience. Any concepts whose purpose might have been to add difficulty are horribly artificial, such as wild Pokémon "calling for help". Pokémon Sun and Moon are really mind-numbingly easy, and not in a way which allows you to just have fun. You are forced on a linear track which is nowhere near difficult enough to be engaging yet too restrictive to have fun and explore. It's really not right that mashing A will get you through the bulk of the title, regardless of whether or not the target audience is children; at least get creative with the easiness.

 

Verdict

What We Liked ...
  • Great atmosphere
  • Fantastic music
  • Good practical additions
What We Didn't Like ...
  • Obnoxiously linear
  • Poor graphical design
  • Poor performance
  • Mind-numbingly easy
  • Too much hand-holding
6
Gameplay
The basic, addictive concept of the Pokémon series is here, but the lack of freedom to explore the atmosphere and the complete lack of any modicum of challenge fail to make Sun and Moon engaging experiences.
6
Presentation
While the music is perfectly executed and the camera work is solid, it's impossible to overlook the chugfests which are battles involving more than two Pokémon, and it's especially impossible not to notice the low-poly models which look stretched out with unnatural animations.
7
Lasting Appeal
Online features add a good deal of post-game content, and new minigames add some sorely needed breaks from the monotonous gameplay. However, the story itself is fairly short.
6.2
out of 10

Overall

Pokémon Sun and Moon observe the Pokémon tradition, changing it in minor ways while keeping the formula intact where it matters. However, poor graphical design, a heavy focus on linearity, and a lack of difficulty make Sun and Moon unable to become the evolution which the Pokémon series desperately needs.
Holy balls this is the lowest rating I've seen so far for these games. Interesting. I can't argue because I haven't played the games yet, however I played a bit and didn't like the cutscene abundance before the first battle. Really, the games were always meant for kids, so the hand holding is expected. I loved ORAS because of the nostalgia, but basically the goal with Pokemon games for me is to blaze through the story, wallow in the post-game and set up camp. Breeding, doing requests, which will be a total maelstrom between Friday and I guess January when the Bank update comes out. It seems like your review mostly covered the campaign, not noting the specific changes Game Freak did, which I figure would get a reviewer more hysterical. Some buffs, a crap ton of nerfs, the apparently overall slow roster this generation, meaning speed freaks like Greninja still rule. Those are my obsessed aspects of the games, so if I were to play the games, shared your opinion as well as enjoy the technical side of it, the breeding, the battling, the mechanics that changed, those things I'm exposed to every single damn day, then the rating would be higher.

As far as hand holding in battles, competitively the type chart being integrated is actually good. I've seen examples of talented players making major mistakes because of a slip in type effectiveness memorization. For example, one game I saw had a pivotal part where one player used Counter on a Ghost pokemon, failed obviously. Sucks that he forgot, the hand holding thus is a good thing, it means less brain crunching for the player, focusing on other things. I completely understand the negative aspect of it though. The big hand holding bit I love already is the stat listing during battles. Showdown has that, keeping track of what stats boosted and what went down, I really forget about those, and with Moody it's a nightmare remembering what went up and what went down. So, bravo for that inclusion. Battle Royal, I've seen excitement for that, competitively again, I've witnessed players doing Free For Alls, back then they had to use the mult-battle option, meaning 2 people vs. 2 people on the outside, but a FFA on the inside. I notice it actually with teen players, interesting. I'm not keen on it really, but whatever.

I'm surprised there wasn't any discussion of Battle Tree, I'm curious how battling Cynthia, Red, and Blue are. I'm excited to spot those characters. Anyways, well written review. I am unashamedly a Pokemon fanboy, so perhaps I should be trashing you and your review, but you present everything fairly well, and foresight kicking it, I'll probably agree on the story aspect. But for me, there's more after that, a lot more, trying to ahem, git gud in battling, more breeding as I'm currently working on a living dex, doing requests. Also really exciting is the hacking for this generation, it's already nuts and surpassing XY and ORAS. The QR code events is actually a godsend, screw codes, now anyone can snap a picture of a QR code from anywhere (bet they'll still do Gamestop events) and share it, everyone gets it. Hyper Training, one step closer for everyone to legitimately have perfect IV pokemon, though I think the bottle cap amount in the games is unfortunately low. But that's why you have PKHex...hehe.

Rambling, anyways, good review.
 
The only thing I disagree with is how easy the game was. All the other games felt like baby shit compared to this game's difficulty. Otherwise, a lot of hand holding is done with other things not involving battles. Nothing to say on the review.
 
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The only thing I disagree with is how easy the game was. All the other games felt like baby shit compared to this game's difficulty. Otherwise, a lot of hand holding is done with other things not involving battles. Nothing to say on the review.

Really? Harder than B2W2? I haven't really played BW, I own them though. With Black 2 specifically, I got murdered by Elesa, it wasn't until I transferred my Dream Radar legends did I get a bit better, and by the 8th gym, I was alright.
 
Really? Harder than B2W2? I haven't really played BW, I own them though. With Black 2 specifically, I got murdered by Elesa, it wasn't until I transferred my Dream Radar legends did I get a bit better, and by the 8th gym, I was alright.

Elesa was legitly hard. I had a bit of trouble with her myself.
 
K
The only thing I disagree with is how easy the game was. All the other games felt like baby shit compared to this game's difficulty. Otherwise, a lot of hand holding is done with other things not involving battles. Nothing to say on the review.
The game is only hard if you don't catch other pokemon and if you don't fight all the trainers. Especially with whole team Experience Share its easy. I find the majority of people who say its harder try and win the game with 1-3 pokemon.
 
The game is only hard if you don't catch other pokemon and if you don't fight all the trainers. Especially with whole team Experience Share its easy. I find the majority of people who say its harder try and win the game with 1-3 pokemon.

...oh yeah. I forgot. I used the first 5 pokemon I saw and ran the whole game with them. Maybe the game is too easy.
 
I don't know if I'm just holding these games to too high of a standard, or what. But I just could not bring myself to complete it. And I say this as someone who absolutely loves the series. ORAS also could not catch my attention despite my love for RSE. Perhaps Sun and Moon lack any interesting extras that past games had, or it's just too linear, or I've just grown out of enjoying the series. I like that Gamefreak tried to change the formula, at the very least, but for me, this game will be joining the dusty pile that X/Y, OR/AS, and the other recent Pokemon Spinoffs reside in.
 
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Disagree with some points of the review (everyone has a different opinion)

Graphical design, in my opinion, is much better than XY/ORAS. The areas look much better and less grid-like. Yes, the performance is atrocious (worse than XY/ORAS, especially with Z-moves and aura animations) but I quite liked the design of the areas. The addition of better battle backgrounds and trainers in battle also add a nice touch

Also disagree with the negative sentiment towards "game is too easy". It's like rating Kirby games poorly because they're easy. Maybe Gamefreak should have an easy / hard mode and hard mode simply turns off exp. all to appease those that want more of a challenge. Yeah, Whilst I would like smarter AI or higher levels for trainer battles, the game is meant to be enjoyed by everyone and "numb-numbingly easy" in my eyes is a bit of an exaggeration
 
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The game is easy? No - the game has difficulty modes. It's called Exp. Share. On/Off.

I've played and loved all Pokémon games since the first generation, yet this one blows my mind in how enjoyable, fun, colorful it is. Not to mention it has a story that even the Mystery Dungeon series would applaud. The legendary is finally relevant as something more than just the nuke to finish the evil boss with, the characters develop and change, the world-threatening aspect of the main plot is taking a back seat to the personal conflict that we actually care about... The only thing I ever thought was lacking about the series were the stories. This generation fixed that and fixed that in spades. Officially flawless as far as I'm concerned.

Also, the Z-Moves are not just OHKOs - when status moves are used as Z-Moves, they gain all kinds of added effects that can turn the tides in any battle. They give you an option to be either all-out offensive or to give you a strategic edge.

Pokémon calling for help might be tedious if one gets unlucky and get stuck in a long loop, but later on one is chaining such loops on purpose - the Pokémon that appear in this way can be stronger, have otherwise unavailable Hidden Abilities and even appear as coveted shiny versions more often.

There have been many tweaks that will greatly influence both the competitive and in-game battles. Some old Pokémon have had major changes in their base stats or Abilities, paralysis was changed to only halve the Pokémon's Speed (instead of dropping it to a fourth), new arena effects are made to be more prominent... Anyone who actually plays Pokémon more after finishing the main story will definitely disagree with the whole "lack of major changes" statement.
 
Legit the first harsh review i've seen, interesting.
There's always one.
I will say if anyone expects highly competitive graphics from a 3DS game you're having a giggle. Like you could put "shit graphics" for every 3DS game ever.
Also this game sounds like its been the least linear Pokemon game so far so if this is obnoxiously linear, is there a word to describe the predecessors?

By the way the Europe release date is the fucking 23rd not the 18th. (Hella annoying)
 
I really wish they'd add back the Challenge Mode that Black 2 had. I don't need ball-busting difficulty like most of the "hard mode" romhacks, but something where every trainer isn't 5 levels under you might be good. I know I can turn the EXP share off, but that means a constant struggle of not being allowed to use my strongest mon because it hogs all the exp otherwise, which is very annoying.

Also, there is no excuse for the performance. Zero. I don't think I've personally seen a game run this poorly on any console ever. Admittedly I haven't tried to play Hyrule Warriors Legends, but still.
 
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Game on rail (9 hours in and i'm still getting at least 2 CS per route); boring characters and, consequently, story (so no different from the usual); no need to even learn Pokemon types anymore; fps drops everywhere; trainers with max 3 Pokemon?
basically the only improvement i saw was the removal of HMs..
 
Thanks all for your thoughts. I'll fix the randomly different EU release date. :P

About the graphics, I had a feeling people would take issue with me even bringing that up. Performance in relatoon to graphics is the real issue here. I would almost say this game is graphically a step backwards from Pokemon X and Y, and it is an absolute chugfest. Does it get a free pass on that just because it's Pokemon?
 
Thanks all for your thoughts. I'll fix the randomly different EU release date. :P

About the graphics, I had a feeling people would take issue with me even bringing that up. Performance in relatoon to graphics is the real issue here. I would almost say this game is graphically a step backwards from Pokemon X and Y, and it is an absolute chugfest. Does it get a free pass on that just because it's Pokemon?
funny how yokai watch looks and runs better
 
Found X/Y pretty boring because of the character interaction,easy difficulty and subpar performance and it seems that i'd hate Sun/Moon for the same reasons judging by the review.
But what about post content stuff? Is it barebones just like X/Y's ? (XY literally didn't have anything)
 
Found X/Y pretty boring because of the character interaction,easy difficulty and subpar performance and it seems that i'd hate Sun/Moon for the same reasons judging by the review.
But what about post content stuff? Is it barebones just like X/Y's ? (XY literally didn't have anything)
Ehh it's not much better than x/y as they seem to have poured most effort into the story and such but the online stuff makes it a little better.
 
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Found X/Y pretty boring because of the character interaction,easy difficulty and subpar performance and it seems that i'd hate Sun/Moon for the same reasons judging by the review.
But what about post content stuff? Is it barebones just like X/Y's ? (XY literally didn't have anything)
Play the game is good turn off exp share and enjoy
 
It's definitely the best music in a Pokémon game to date.
I guess you've never played any of the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games. The music in those games, especially Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon, blow Sun/Moon away. (Although Sun/Moon's music does blow away all of the other main Pokémon games.)
 
I guess you've never played any of the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games. The music in those games, especially Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon, blow Sun/Moon away. (Although Sun/Moon's music does blow away all of the other main Pokémon games.)
Well, at least in a main series game.
 
I agree with this review A-Z, I couldn't have put it better than the reviewer, infact I'd like to add a few more points to it, people who are saying hand-holding was a issue with the series for a long time should get a load of SuMo, honestly it feels like gamefreak staff have a secret meeting where they discuss how children are becoming dumber every 3 years between new generations to warrant this level of hand-holding, its seriously Navi level annoying from Oot, I would have let it pass if it were say just to get you to your first couple of trials, but nope each and every route almost has a cutscene telling you where to go as if the routes weren't linear enough to begin with, did I also forget to mention how small the region is? its painstakingly small the game legit cuts you off from going to some parts of the map that look explorable, the map design and the pesky hand-holding completely killed any enthusiasm I had going into this generation I guess it was silly of me to think maybe gamefreak got their shit together after how well X/Y did.

Now for the pokemon, some of the designs are done very well but wasted on the new generally slow ass tank pokemon? how come a Ninja/archer owl is slower than a sumo wrestling panda such as snorlax? I don't get the logic behind it, with that absurd of a typing rowlets evo line has, which also gives it insane amounts of weaknesses then why make it a slow tank which can't even be a proper tank thanks to so many weaknesses....then there's the overall number of new pokemon guess they really didn't learn from the criticism of X/Y.

Now for the gameplay, its unbearable to say the least, even on the NEW 3ds line the choppy framerate just boggles my mind, using the pokeride pokemon in certain areas makes the game fall to under 19-18 fps, the story is absurdly short even for pokemon standards, the only relevance the legendary pokemon have is that they save the world the same old BS, oh and also they even cut down on mythology within the game which every game before SuMo kind of referenced, X/Y/Z had links with norse mythology which the dex entries and story surrounding them explained very well, and every gen untill gen 6 somewhat explained the mythology, not here though the game goes like this here's your legendary mon go save the world.

Difficulty this was something that surprised me and this was the only surprise in store if any, seems like they overlooked every criticism X/Y had and just aimed at balancing the difficulty even with the exp share on, but even with that effort the game is still weak, its better than X/Y atleast, but will not reach the heights BW2 did even in postgame mind you.

Now for the final nail in the coffin for me with pokemon in general, ultra beasts, all I'll say they don't belong in pokemon, even though they are presented in this "mature" kind of way, their designs look like they were borrowed from digimon, I could stand things like megas or even Z-moves(some of them will break the competitive side of pokemon for how broken and unbalanced they are) because they generally made older pokemon better for competitive but these are just not welcome bad designs to forced "unique" typings they feel ultra rushed no pun intended, this really made it clear that gamefreak are honestly running out of ideas on how to refine the series to keep it relevant in this day and age all of this culminates into a experience which is half baked, nothing special and absurdly rushed to meet the release date, I have never had such a inconsistent experience with a pokemon game ever.

4/10 it was going to be 3 but due to some of the new designs looking decent to semi-decent (completely excludes the UBs) it can earn a 4 at the very least, I guess this was my last generation with pokemon, it was weak in almost all aspects.
 
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If there is one thing that really disappoints me about this game, it's just how linear it is. It seems like they were really trying to make a more "Traditional" JRPG, by focusing on story and characters, but forgot about the rest of the gameplay. Which is sad, because they aren't learning from Nintendo. Nintendo sees fans wanted open-world Zelda games, so they've been making open-world Zelda games. But when Pokemon Fans ask for Open-World Pokemon games, they just close the world off more.
 
I have to agree with the review to be honest. Especially the part about not letting you just have freedom to explore. I started noticing this trend in the series in the most recent games where they would have your npc friends randomly be at the entrance to a new route only to say hello, some meaningless thing, and then leave gifting you a random berry or item of no consequence. This time around they make the npc interaction even longer with cutscenes, detracting from the exploring and raising of Pokemon.
 
I mostly disagree with the review, I've had a blast playing this game, and I'm right before the Elite Four. I am however excited for difficulty mods. Most trainers having 1-2 pokemon is silly. And the boss Pokemon should have much much much more defense. Agree on the fantastic music though.
 
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This is a nice game if you need to kill some time (1-2 hrs per session) but is far too easy unless you play competitive matches.
i find it sad that there is no "middle ground" difficulty
 
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To the reviewer, did you go online with the games? Did you get your console banned? Reading about legit game owners getting the ban, I'm curious of your status. If you beat the game and didn't get banned, and your wifi was on the whole time, then it makes me wonder if the people claiming they got banned without going online are not telling the whole story.
 
To the reviewer, did you go online with the games? Did you get your console banned? Reading about legit game owners getting the ban, I'm curious of your status. If you beat the game and didn't get banned, and your wifi was on the whole time, then it makes me wonder if the people claiming they got banned without going online are not telling the whole story.
I haven't been banned yet, though I didn't experiment too heavily with the online features considering only other reviewers and people who pirated even have the game.
 
I just hate not having the pokefinder from ORAS to tell me which Pokemon I'm missing in any given area. Not to mention that the pokedex keeps telling me where some Pokemon are found but hours of hunting can't find them. Stupid castform....
 
I just hate not having the pokefinder from ORAS to tell me which Pokemon I'm missing in any given area. Not to mention that the pokedex keeps telling me where some Pokemon are found but hours of hunting can't find them. Stupid castform....

Some pokémon only appears when a pokémon in the area calls him through SOS system.
For example in the desert, if you let a Sandile with low HP, he will call pokémons whole time. You just need to kill the crappy ones who calls and if you get luck, he will call a Castform or Gabite, having a chance to catch them.
 
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And here I am, finding this game the best game ever :(. Honestly , it was great. . . It deserved better than a measly 6.2. No comments on this review.
 
Some pokémon only appears when a pokémon in the area calls him through SOS system.
For example in the desert, if you let a Sandile with low HP, he will call pokémons whole time. You just need to kill the crappy ones who calls and if you get luck, he will call a Castform or Gabite, having a chance to catch them.
I suppose that's what the adrenaline orbs are for.
 
Who else felt way more nostalgic then usual playing this pokemon?
I literally pulled out my emulator and started playing Pokemon red right after finishing it
 
This got a lower score than Pokemon X/Y? And here I thought X/Y were painfully mediocre :c
Well, I'll see for myself when the game comes out in less than 3 hours from now. The game's polling at around 89 on Metacritic, which makes me optimistic!

I guess you've never played any of the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games. The music in those games, especially Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon, blow Sun/Moon away. (Although Sun/Moon's music does blow away all of the other main Pokémon games.)
Mmm... Gimme a remastered album of Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky please...
 
I'm really glad this is the rating it got, although some may say it's a little harsh.

My realisation of the quality of this game came when I opened ORAS again. Everything is so much smoother and more pleasant, the entirety of S/M feels so slow, even browsing the Pokédex feels tedious. I also don't feel as if it's a new generation. Everything is so samey to X/Y, no improvements whatsoever.

S/M = X/Y, except much laggier, and with a Hawaiian theme.

What really shocked me is the 10/10 NintendoLife gave it. Are they delusional, or just payed off?
 
I'm really glad this is the rating it got, although some may say it's a little harsh.

My realisation of the quality of this game came when I opened ORAS again. Everything is so much smoother and more pleasant, the entirety of S/M feels so slow, even browsing the Pokédex feels tedious. I also don't feel as if it's a new generation. Everything is so samey to X/Y, no improvements whatsoever.

S/M = X/Y, except much laggier, and with a Hawaiian theme.

What really shocked me is the 10/10 NintendoLife gave it. Are they delusional, or just payed off?
They're not delusional, it's just Pokemon and its apparently impossible for it ever to be bad, right?

Some redemption for endoverend
https://www.theguardian.com/technol...a-refreshing-reinvention-of-a-classic-formula

They gave it 3/5 stars, which is close to what this review gave it.
Only "mediocre" review out of 34 official reviews though.
Thank God, I thought I was the only one.
 
The reviewer here should be very proud for being one of the only ones that genuinely REVIEWED the game.

It's not just fanboyism, because even /r/pokemon can't stand the hand holding and are left wondering wtf happened.

These other mainstream game reviewers seem to just review on the hype that surrounds the game before launch. These ratings are so biased its insane https://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments/5d2rus/pokémon_sun_moon_review_thread/ . It's ridiculous. But you, Alex McAuliffe, you are the real deal, thank you.
 
I agree completely with the review except about the difficulty. Pokemon X and Y were so easy that any of my pokemon could have easily swept the grass gym leader. This game had a few challenges such as the girl with the ground pokemon and the elite four (not difficult, but not anywhere as easy as in X/Y or ORAS). This game is designed to be a slow as possible to make it seem like it is a long game. I have the Z moves because you have to wait an eternity to watch the stupid animation even if you turn off battle effects. The encounter rate of some of the pokemon is ridiculous. I spent about 1 hour trying to find that dragon pokemon near the end of the game that has a weird name. I also spent about 30 minutes trying to find a pikachu or pichu in the very beginning. The worst thing is that it takes about 15 seconds to run from a wild encounter. This game feels like the PKMN Diamond of the 3ds. SOOOOO SLOOOOOW.
I also can't tell you much about the story either because I wasn't paying attention-I just didn't care. The characters were so boring. I just don't know why every pokemon game now has to deal with saving the world. Why can't you just deal with some criminals like Team Rocket? I don't want to be blasted into space to fight a giant meteor in a pokemon game. I don't want to save time/space. I don't want to find a giant person who is 3,000 years old who built a weapon of mass destruction.
I really wanted to like this game too. The new pokemon were pretty cool. Getting rid of HMs is awesome (bye zigzagoon). The Alolan evolutions were mostly awesome. I just don't understand how pokemon messed this one up so badly.
 
Doesnt this game look like X and Y but better? Performace issues are apparently only existent on old 3dses so i wont have an issue with that. I have no issues with linearity either, very much enjoyed skyward sword. But open world is always nice.
 
Elesa was legitly hard. I had a bit of trouble with her myself.
Thats because all she did was spam volt switch, like in gold silver where that gym leader whitney just spammed roll out with miltank.
 
Doesnt this game look like X and Y but better? Performace issues are apparently only existent on old 3dses so i wont have an issue with that. I have no issues with linearity either, very much enjoyed skyward sword. But open world is always nice.
I'm on n3ds. Battles still drop frames very often.
 
Just realised: this game has not much humour in it, nor funny references...
In general this game feels so flat and boring.
Glad to have cancelled my pre-orders and didn't buy any of the two games; my protest will be simply a drop in an hyped ocean but at least one where I've saved myself +- 60€ and booked a weekend to Paris aka Lumiose City. Thank you GF :-)
 
I beat the game and I didn't run into a triple or rotation battle throughout the whole adventure.
Apparently they were removed due to performance issues. If you've been in a double battle, you know the frame rate TANKS. Now imagine that with two more full Pokemon character models sharing the set!
 
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Shame this game turned out to be so shit. Some of the changes were pretty nice, I liked the replacement of HMs and gyms (even though trials are basically the same thing) and the whole "endless calling for help" thing was neat if you wanted to grind...but the game ended up being so easy there was no reason to even bother. The handholding and cutscene "story" trash was annoying as hell, as was the extreme linearity of it. I wanted a Pokemon game, not a generic jRPG.

Despite how bad I think it is, I did end up finishing this one which is a bit surprising considering I haven't enjoyed a Pokemon game enough to finish it since HG/SS. Probably because I forced myself through the massive bore just to see what kind of changes they made to the end game, which basically had none.
 
"call an ally" is annoying, frustrating, and pointless. i don't want a 30second battle to continue for 30 minutes just because a Pokemon that's asleep refuses to be alone no matter what phase of battle it is. i just turned the game off at that point.

i just throw a fancy ball at it or run away now. being able to throw a pokeball shouldn't rely on RNGs (random number generator) rather than skill.
 
I'm playing the game and right now i do it for the sake of online deathmatch. Is the most enjoyable thing on the game despise you're locked to 3 pokeballs on "formal" matches. Other than that fells, well, i don't know but the word "good" is not the thing that comes in mind.
 
Yeah we kinda do ever since Black 2/White 2 gave us the glorious "Challenge Mode" But I guess gamefreak can't help themselves with taking features out for no reason.
But then we had two games (X/Y & ORAS) w/o the challenge mode, so we kinda just dropped that. It's an RPG, why wouldn't they give the enemies items, decent movesets, and such? Ahh right, kiddos gotta play this. RIP Challenge Mode B2/W2.
 
Overly negative to prove a point? It's a solid pokemon with great atmosphere which alone easily puts it at a 7+ even with its linearity
 
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I don't agree that Pokemon games deserve a 7 just because it's a pokemon game.
True. But it's a good game and a pokemon game. It's much better then a 6.2. This review is clearly just a 'look at us being edgy and overly negative against mainstream opinion'
 
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my game doesnt work every time i boot it up its gets an error wich states i need to restart my 2ds but it just keeps happening

i have already tried redownloading it sevral times but it just doesnt work.
i have also already contacted Nintendo custemor service but that was yesterday evening so that probably wont reply until Monday.
pls help
 
Out of all the Pokemon released recently, this is the one that I've enjoyed the most after BW, this game focus more in being an actual JRPG rather than just capturing pokemon and defeating gyms, basically it isn't the same old.
I welcome the changes to the game, it does have too many tutorials, but other than that, I am loving the game, something that does not happen often (I am actually happy I decided to buy the Fan Edition, given how much I'm enjoying it).

I honestly hope future Pokemon games will follow this game's design and focus a bit more in the story and the characters like BW and this one did.
 
Haven't had any performance issues on my n3ds, although I have seen it being played on an o3ds and dear lord it is horrible.
 
This game has the dumbest balancing issues I've seen in a while
Too easy on casual, Too hard on nuzlocks due to each wild encounter and challenge basically being a 2v1.
You level too fast with EXP share on and too slow with EXP share off.
 
6-7 is not a mediocre score.
It is. It literally means people will get fired, if this was the metacritic average

So people giving scores are supposed to play into score creep (5/10 is the mid point of scores out of 10) because of something that some other idiots are doing? I like your logic.

Too hard on nuzlocks due to each wild encounter and challenge basically being a 2v1.
Would Nintendo have designed it with such a thing in mind? I know some companies do (*points vaguely in the direction of PC multiplayer fps titles*) but it is a community play style as far as I am aware. To that end maybe a new play style wants to be invented to generate some challenge.
 
Would Nintendo have designed it with such a thing in mind? I know some companies do (*points vaguely in the direction of PC multiplayer fps titles*) but it is a community play style as far as I am aware. To that end maybe a new play style wants to be invented to generate some challenge.
Even without designing with nuzlockes in mind it's still shitty that the EXP share is too OP yet at the same time required. And games had multiple Difficulty settings since like forever, heck even Pokemon had it in B2W2
 
I can't argue otherwise, mainly as I have not played the game but also it does seem like a thing, but saying nuzlock runs are not working so well seemed a bit like saying this film did not work if I muted it. Plenty do, and it is actually a thing some people looking to learn film making do, and I am the last person to argue against experiencing something in some way that garners you enjoyment (I mean http://gbatemp.net/threads/gbatemp-rom-hacking-documentation-project-new-2016-edition-out.73394/ ) but it seemed like an odd way of putting things to me.
 
Don't add in the BW series when talking about difficulty... choose Tepig (Emboar) to solo the game with one pokemon...
 
There are some points here which are just ridiculous.
Obnoxiously Linear: What Pokémon main franchise game is not linear.
Poor Graphical Design and Poor Performance: The game runs poorly exactly because it uses models and textures that are high quality, at least for 3DS. Considering how high poly the models are, this is a baseless critic.
Mind-Numbling easy: Like pretty much every Pokémon game. "But BW2 was harder". Just cause one game of the entire series is harder the game will receive a lower score. Beside, Pokémon games are usually easy since they are meant for kids, taking points of it because it isn't hard is just nonsense.

For me this critic was just a try of been edgy and scoring a game lower than it should.
 
Obnoxiously Linear: What Pokémon main franchise game is not linear.
Anything before BW wasn't linear, also BW2 had more than enough optional routes. In S/M the very second you want to leave the beaten path either Prof. Kukui or somebody else jumps out of a bush and tells you that this way is the wrong way.

Poor Graphical Design and Poor Performance: The game runs poorly exactly because it uses models and textures that are high quality, at least for 3DS. Considering how high poly the models are, this is a baseless critic.
I think somebody here already pointed out that Yokai watch not only looks better but also runs better.
But even so, the game didn't lag that much in x/y OR/AS even though they're using the exact same models. There is no excuse for this terrible performance.

Mind-Numbling easy: Like pretty much every Pokémon game. "But BW2 was harder". Just cause one game of the entire series is harder the game will receive a lower score. Beside, Pokémon games are usually easy since they are meant for kids, taking points of it because it isn't hard is just nonsense.
First off kids aren't dumb so making pokemon games easier and easier just because "lel itz for ze kidz" isn't a good argument.
Secondly Gamefreak knows that Kids aren't the only ones playing these games. Both in the reveal trailer for S/M and Pokemon GO trailer there were more than enough teens and young adults. So yes not designing the game in a way so that both demographics are satisfied IS a valid criticism.

Also just because past games had same issues doesn't mean its okay to ignore the flaws now. If anything that shows that it's a long runningProblem with Pokemon games that gamefreaks just ignores because nobody gives them shit for it.
 
Anything before BW wasn't linear, also BW2 had more than enough optional routes. In S/M the very second you want to leave the beaten path either Prof. Kukui or somebody else jumps out of a bush and tells you that this way is the wrong way.

How couldn't is be: You go to the gyms one after one, them you go to Elite 4, beat it and that's the end of the story. Tell me how isn't it linear.

I think somebody here already pointed out that Yokai watch not only looks better but also runs better.
But even so, the game didn't lag that much in x/y OR/AS even though they're using the exact same models. There is no excuse for this terrible performance.

No it's not. The game is using models with higher polygons than both XY and ORAS, and that's the reason the game is bigger than both and also has frame rate issues even without 3D.

First off kids aren't dumb so making pokemon games easier and easier just because "lel itz for ze kidz" isn't a good argument.
Secondly Gamefreak knows that Kids aren't the only ones playing these games. Both in the reveal trailer for S/M and Pokemon GO trailer there were more than enough teens and young adults. So yes not designing the game in a way so that both demographics are satisfied IS a valid criticism.

Pokémon is a franchise to be enjoyed by all ages. A hard game is not unplayable by kids, but maybe it wouldn't be enjoyable for some of them.

Also just because past games had same issues doesn't mean its okay to ignore the flaws now. If anything that shows that it's a long runningProblem with Pokemon games that gamefreaks just ignores because nobody gives them shit for it.

This means it's a characteristic of the franchise, and BW was rather an exception. Like people said before, this is like criticizing Kirby for been easy.
 
How couldn't is be: You go to the gyms one after one, them you go to Elite 4, beat it and that's the end of the story. Tell me how isn't it linear.
By giving you other places to go to other than the gyms. No one forces you to go to the power plant mid game but you can do it once you got surf. No one forces you to go through Route 20 to get to Cinnabar Island. In fact you can skip it entirely thanks to route 21. The progression in S/M is similar if not identical to B/W which was one of the reason so many people hated this game according to the internet.

No it's not. The game is using models with higher polygons than both XY and ORAS
If thats the case then we have even more reason to complain about the frame rate because nobody wanted the 3D models to be improved from Gen 6 to 7 by sacrificing framerate (which was already dodgy enough back in gen 6 once you turned on the 3D). And tbh thanks to 3DS's 240p screen you can't see the difference anyway. Maybe if you count the pixels, good luck doing that while the game is in motion.

Pokémon is a franchise to be enjoyed by all ages. A hard game is not unplayable by kids, but maybe it wouldn't be enjoyable for some of them.
That's why difficulty settings were invented ages ago. Your point is?

This means it's a characteristic of the franchise, and BW was rather an exception. Like people said before, this is like criticizing Kirby for been easy.
If bad game design is a characteristic of a franchise then you should evaluate if you really understand the concept of critique.
Also Kirby isn't marketed towards Adults so nobody expects that game to be balanced for older players. You're comparing apples and grapes.
 
By giving you other places to go to other than the gyms. No one forces you to go to the power plant mid game but you can do it once you got surf. No one forces you to go through Route 20 to get to Cinnabar Island. In fact you can skip it entirely thanks to route 21. The progression in S/M is similar if not identical to B/W which was one of the reason so many people hated this game according to the internet.

There was a route or two that differ from the main path, but the game is pretty much linear

If thats the case then we have even more reason to complain about the frame rate because nobody wanted the 3D models to be improved from Gen 6 to 7 by sacrificing framerate (which was already dodgy enough back in gen 6 once you turned on the 3D). And tbh thanks to 3DS's 240p screen you can't see the difference anyway. Maybe if you count the pixels, good luck doing that while the game is in motion.

Those models are clearly designed to be reusable in the future. The point is, graphically, the game is fine, I would even say it looks great. W can't expect much on a shitty hardware like 3DS.

That's why difficulty settings were invented ages ago. Your point is?


If bad game design is a characteristic of a franchise then you should evaluate if you really understand the concept of critique.
Also Kirby isn't marketed towards Adults so nobody expects that game to be balanced for older players. You're comparing apples and grapes.

Both cases are pretty similar. They are marketed to young audiences, but you can see people with 20 to 35 years playing because those are franchises they grew up with. It's pretty much the same case.
 
There was a route or two that differ from the main path, but the game is pretty much linear
S/M doesn't have even that is the point. Are even reading what is being said here?

Those models are clearly designed to be reusable in the future. The point is, graphically, the game is fine, I would even say it looks great. W can't expect much on a shitty hardware like 3DS.
Nobody forced them to add these models. They could've just kept them in their work in progress folder or whatever. The fact that you're okay with this shit framerate doesn't mean other people should too.

Both cases are pretty similar. They are marketed to young audiences, but you can see people with 20 to 35 years playing because those are franchises they grew up with. It's pretty much the same case.
Like I said before, Pokemon is targeted at everybody. You see kids, teens and adults playing these in the trailers. If a kirby trailer shows up you'll only see kids. So no, not similar cases.
Pokemon promised to be fun for everybody, it's in the trailer and you can't argue against it, it fails at that, it gets criticized. Deal with it.
 
S/M doesn't have even that is the point. Are even reading what is being said here?

This concludes, every Pokémon game is linear, this is a bit more linear than some, deal with it. It's not like Pokémon was ever open-world.

Nobody forced them to add these models. They could've just kept them in their work in progress folder or whatever. The fact that you're okay with this shit framerate doesn't mean other people should too.

Dude, I'm talking about graphics. If they even used high poly models, this game looks at least good, the frame rate is another topic, and it's at least better than XY, ORAS. I hardly have problems of frame rate on my New 3DS so I'm fine with it.

Like I said before, Pokemon is targeted at everybody. You see kids, teens and adults playing these in the trailers. If a kirby trailer shows up you'll only see kids. So no, not similar cases.
Pokemon promised to be fun for everybody, it's in the trailer and you can't argue against it, it fails at that, it gets criticized. Deal with it.

There are tons of trailers with just kids, them because one trailer showed adults you're saying Pokémon is a different case than Kirby when I already explained why they are. Beside, just a few there are always gonna be people to criticize something. It isn't just because you didn't like the game that it failed on it's purpose. The fact that these were the most pre-sold game just proves it succeeded. Deal with it.
 
Dude, I'm talking about graphics. If they even used high poly models, this game looks at least good, the frame rate is another topic, and it's at least better than XY, ORAS. I hardly have problems of frame rate on my New 3DS so I'm fine with it.
Hahahahaha you've reached the point I just can't take you seriously anymore.
 
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Relax, folks. Personally, I'm loving Pokemon Moon and in my opinion, these are the best Pokemon games to date (nostalgia excluded). But I'm not going to kid myself into thinking they're flawless. They're too easy as always, there's glaring performance issues, and its focus on children means it has a lot of hand-holding. Yet, none of these issues have kept these games from being very fun for me, and I don't care what scores a game gets as long as I'm having fun with it. One of my most favorite DS games, Fossil Fighters, scored a "mediocre" 6.0 all across the board but it was wildly fun for me. Don't let a review score ruin your fun.
 
It's not the worst thing that could happen, and it takes away the point of wild encounters anyway. Also medicine this gen is cheaper than I thought.
I absolutely hate Training EV's though Wild encounters. Boosting EV battle items won't change my mind about that. (also how am I supposed to lower EV that I don't want)
 
I absolutely hate Training EV's though Wild encounters. Boosting EV battle items won't change my mind about that. (also how am I supposed to lower EV that I don't want)
In the festival plaza. There is a food that reset ev with enough level up. Also super training makes it way too easy to have a broken team during play through, and super training takes more time than wild encounters, especially this gen.
 
In the festival plaza. There is a food that reset ev with enough level up. Also super training makes it way too easy to have a broken team during play through, and super training takes more time than wild encounters, especially this gen.
Pokemon games are easy enough with 0 EV's and IV's so I don't see how making EV training more accessible is a negative in that regard.
One more thing though. Is the EV cap still 255 or did they change it to 252 so that we don't accidentally waste 3 EV.
 
Pokemon games are easy enough with 0 EV's and IV's so I don't see how making EV training more accessible is a negative in that regard.
One more thing though. Is the EV cap still 255 or did they change it to 252 so that we don't accidentally waste 3 EV.
252. That was gen 6.
 
I absolutely hate Training EV's though Wild encounters. Boosting EV battle items won't change my mind about that. (also how am I supposed to lower EV that I don't want)
Festival plaza does much of that with enough leveling up. Also with SOS battles and the like, EV training in the wild has gotten insanely quicker this gen. Like, you can fully EV train a Pokemon in 10-15 mins if you know what you're doing.
 
that's actually an alright review to be honest
but the graphics aren't that bad
the mass decline in performance with battles of 2 or more pokemon is rather bad however
Not sure what it's like on N3ds but when i played it on O3DSXL it was quite sluggish
 
Tibia pls, Pokémon, just like Kirby, Mario and anything else Nintendo, is and has always been a game for kids (some would even say by kids). Unova was a great deviation from this with its metaphysical theme, and the somewhat relativistic lack of distinction between the good and the bad guys. That returns a bit in SM with the bad guys not really being bad and the good guys being bad but also not really because it's only their leader that's bad, and even then it's yet something else pulling the strings. At heart, though, it's still very much a kids' game. That's why it's fun.
 
That moment when you swear Satoshi Tajiri and Junichi masuda have some kind of blood feud with you...
586218bd31b53.jpg


Stupid thing kept fighting with me when I was finally able to make time to do some trade evolutions, getting errors out the ass, then just as we were about to start another round, it pukes an error forcing me to restart the system, and then try to relaunch and get this hot mess. :hateit:
 
I know this game is old news but as someone who owns both Sun and Moon I can say from experience that this is an incredibly accurate review that exposes the truth of the (now second to) newest Pokemon games and their, umm, 'not so good' features. Great job, Alex!
 
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Review cover
Product Information:
  • Release Date (NA): November 18, 2016
  • Release Date (EU): November 23, 2016
  • Release Date (JP): November 18, 2016
  • Publisher: The Pokémon Company
  • Developer: Game Freak
  • Genres: Role-playing
Game Features:
Single player
Local Multiplayer
Online Multiplayer
Co-operative

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