Friday, November 18, 2016

Pocket Monsters Sun & Moon

The Pocket Monsters (PokéMon) franchise is now on its 20th anniversary since the launch of the first Red and Green games in Japan since 1996 and fans from around the world done many ways to honor the hit franchise's 20th anniversary as a whole. From the games, the TV show, the movies, spin-offs, and merchandising rights, fans have endless ways to honor PokéMon's 20th anniversary and here it is, the ultimate birthday present to the franchise we all know and love has arrived and the all-new PokéMon Sun and Moon games for the 3DS are here to usher us to the next generation of the hit franchise.

Pocket Monsters Sun
Pocket Monsters Moon

So, here we are, twenty years of PokéMon and it goes now as in this brand new installment, players are ready to step on the tropical Alola Region as they are ready to take on new trials, capture new PokéMon, battle the best trainers in the region, avert an imminent threat, and discover the secrets of the Alola Region. Because this is an all-new game with all new PokéMon in store for them, you are introduced with three brand new starters to begin your Alolan quest. First, there's the Grass-and-Flying-type Rowlet, then there's the Fire-type Litten, and finally, there's the Water-type Popplio.

As you progress further, you will encounter more and more new Pokemon around this new region such as Grubbin, Pikipek, Togedemaru, Yungoos, Stufful, Type: Null, and others. Also, keep an eye out of Alolan versions of familiar PokéMon such as Exeggutor, Meowth, Dugtrio, Sandshrew, Vulpix, and others. They may look similar to the ones you remember back when you are kids but they're different in terms of type and their new brand of firepower in store for them. Oh, and if you see an Alolan Grimer and Alolan Muk, please hide the kids. They might be having nightmares about them.

Firepower aside, Pokemon Sun and Moon welcomes players to a whole new way of unleashing devastating attacks to the opposition. Called Z-Moves, a Pokemon must have the same variety of Z-Crystal he/she equipped on the Z-Ring in order to unleash it. There are different kinds of Z-Crystals to collect (depending on the version). Some are applicable to the PokéMon's type (like for example: Bloom Doom for Grass-types, Inferno Overdrive for Fire-types, Hydro Vortex for Water-types, and Gigavolt Havoc for Electric-types) and some are signature Z-moves for a specific PokéMon (like for example: Decidueye's Sinister Arrow Raid, Incineroar's Malicious Moonsault, Primarima's Oceanic Operetta, and Pikachu's Catastropika). 

Did you know that Z-Power can add special effects on status moves? That's right because with a Z-Power and a status move mixed in with them, you'll be gaining an upper advantage on battles. One inate example will be the worthless Splash attack. At first, nothing happened, but if you mixed in with a specific Z-Crystal, the result will be a triple boost to the Attack stat. Looks like who gets the last laugh now, huh? There are so many status moves that can be mixed from a Z-Power. Try it out! Who knows what's in store with those status moves you're familiar with.

The storyline of Sun and Moon is what critics called it "sacrilege" because instead of the usual gym battles and league battles, the new games are focused on trials where players have to complete specific tasks in order to proceed and then battle against the island's Kahunas. Since the Alola Region is comprised with four islands, there are four Kahunas to take on if you're good enough. Defeat the Kahuna and you can proceed to the next island. Be warned though that these new kind of challenges are not going to be easy so stay sharp because there might be surprises in store for you. Later on, you will be encountering more challenges such as collecting Zygarde cells and cores in order to unleash the legendary Order PokéMon Zygarde with three different forms.

Somewhere in the Alola Region, there are powerful entities that pose a huge threat to both mankind and PokéMon. They are known as "Ultra Beasts" and their relentless firepower are second to none. Worse, your capturing methods against these beasts are useless. What holds the mystery of these Ultra Beasts lies on a mysterious organization called the "Aether Foundation" and this organization could be the key to uncover the Ultra Beasts and how to face off with these along with its brutal firepower.

If you need to take a break from the game, you can always check out the new Festival Plaza feature, which is unlockable after you progress through the game. The Festival Plaza feature allows players to trade, battle, do favors, go co-op, shop, and more. There are so many ways to enjoy in the Festival Plaza.

If you have captured PokéMon stored in the PC, don't worry because these PokéMon will not go to waste because of the brand new Poké Pelago feature. With this new feature, PokéMon stored in the PC can go exploring, play, and enjoy other activities. You can even get PokéMon as well. The more PokéMon on the PC you send to the Poké Pelago, the more facilities can be expanded and you will be able to do extra stuff such as finding rare items, raising PokéMon on the go, and more. Isn't science convenient?

Stuff you are familiar back from the Kalos quest of XY are back on Sun and Moon such as personalizing your trainer with various outfits and accessories. Personalization will make your trainer look unique as you show it to the others. The PokéMonAmie from XY has now been upgraded and it's now called PokéMon Refresh. In here, you can tidy up your PokéMon after a battle, heal status conditions, feed Poké Beans, and more, just to boost your PokéMon's friendliness. Simple as that.

There are different ways to search for PokéMon throughout the Alola Region. First, there's the Poké Finder feature on your Rotom PokéDex. Using Rotom PokéDex's camera, you can take photos of PokéMon you find. The better your shots, the better chances this feature will be upgraded such as the zoom in feature. Later, you will be able to use the brand new QR Scanner feature, which allows players to scan specific QR codes to meet new PokéMon.

In the past, trainers rely on using Hidden Machines to their PokéMon to do specific tasks, but here in Sun and Moon, there's a brand new Poké Ride feature which allows users to summon certain PokéMon to get through hard to reach areas by land, air, or sea. Convenient, isn't it? Beats HMs of the past by a long shot so feel free to summon them when you need it.

PokéMon Trainer battles usually comprised of Single, Double, or Triple battles, among many other ways to battle, but here in Sun and Moon, there's a new battle feature called Battle Royal and by far this new battle format will be the most unpredictable format ever because you never know who will strike first and telling the difference between a friend and a foe. But still, it's everyone's game so take some time to learn and master this difficult battle format by yourself or with your mates.

Also new in Sun and Moon is the brand new Hyper Training. In the past, PokéMon grew stronger by increasing their levels and their base stats but their stats are affected by the individual strengths. With Hyper Training, any PokéMon that reached the max level will be able to train their specific strengths beyond limits. All you need is a Bottle Cap and bring it to a specific someone who can train your PokéMon beyond limits with Hyper Training. Be warned though that results might not be typical to your averaged maxed-out PokéMon.

Since this new installment is comprised with two different versions, you can expect differences between the two games, Of course, the legendary Solgaleo is exclusive to Sun while the legendary Lunala is for Moon, apart from the 12-hour differences, there are PokéMon exclusive to each version, especially the Ultra Beasts you will encounter later on. One bizarre difference is how Rockruff evolves into Lycanroc and that's because in Pokemon Sun, Rockruff evolves to Lycanroc in its Midday Forme, while in Pokemon Moon, Rockruff evolves to Lycanroc, this time in Midnight Forme. So, because there are differences between the two versions, one major way to complete the Alola (and later National) Pokédex is by trading, either here or online via the GTS.

In honor of the launch of the two games, there are three special PokéMon in store for the fans. First, there's the pre-order bonus Munchlax which comes with a Snorilum Z crystal. Once evolved to Snorlax, you can unleash Snorlax's signature Z-move, Pulverizing Pancake. Second, there's the mythical PokéMon Magearna, the star from last summer's PokéMon The Movie: Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel. If you're in Japan and if you got a special Magearna card for use in the PokéMon Ga-ole arcade game, use the QR Scanner (when unlocked post-game) on the card's QR code to get the mythical PokéMon. For international users, wait for further instructions on how to get Magearna via QR code. And lastly, there's Ash-Greninja from the recently concluded PokéMon The Series XYZ TV show. First played on the special demo, it can now be transferred to the main game. Ash's Greninja comes with a signature Battle Bond ability. When Greninja knocks out the enemy PokéMon, it transforms into Ash-Greninja and its Water Shuriken attack's becoming more powerful. Just be sure to have the cleared Special Demo data in your 3DS in order to do so.

Next year, the PokéMon Bank app will be upgraded and the PokéMon you worked so hard to train on XY and ORAS can now be transferred to Sun and Moon. Which means, its time to complete the National PokéDex once again! Who's up for the challenge? Well, don't rush though because while this is a new game, take your time to fill up the PokéDex while training them to be battle-ready.

So, I think that's all to say about the new installment and I didn't realized it was that long to tell you about Sun and Moon. Because this is the biggest birthday gift for the PokéMon franchise's 20th anniversary, this is more than enough to celebrate two decades of catching them all. From trading, battling, and sharing their favorite PokéMon moments, these moments have been the hallmark of the PokéMon franchise and with PokéMon Sun and Moon, a new chapter is about to be written to the history books as twenty years of PokéMon payed off to deliver a brand new experience for fans, veterans and newcomers alike.

Say Aloha to your next PokéMon adventure to the Alola Region. Everyone's waiting for you.

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