Pokémon Sun & Moon Special Demo Impressions

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

This year Pokemon has seen a resurgence of interest over the summer, with the amazing but short lived popularity of Pokemon Go the public have been reminded of these adorable little buddies. Well some of us never forgot and the release of the mainline games is always a must play for any true Pokéfan. On November 23rd (November 18th outside Europe) a brand new adventure will be released; Pokemon Sun and Moon. In anticipation of this a demo version has been released with a totally separate story than the main game. So this evening I booted up my 3DS and curled up under a cozy blanket to see what we can expect in a months time.

  Source: Game Freak / The Pokemon Company

The new adventure takes place in the Alola region. Loosely based on Hawaii, the Alola region is bright colourful and filled with sandy beaches and blue seas. At the start of the demo you recieve a letter that informs you that your about to start your new life after moving from the Kanto region. They also give you a Greninja - who will be your main buddy through the experience - that is more than powerful enough to tackle anything you will find in the demo. The demo itself is a pretty guided experience, and takes you to see very particular areas/features without much room for exploring. 

For the first part of the demo you are being given a tour around town and getting to see all of the sights you would expect, like a Pokémon center and the new - and very shirtless - professor. Also while your in town you have your first run in with the big bad for this generation; Team Skull. This is the first time I realised how good the animation looked. The grunts moved in a very fluid, cartoon-like way and the actual character design has been the most interesting in a Pokémon game for a long time. 

Source: Game Freak / The Pokémon Company

Later on after battling some Pokemon in tall grass, comes one of the biggest changes Trials. Trials are going to be replacing the gym battle system of progression that has been so reminiscent of the series in previous iterations. In a trial you are given a certain task to accomplish, after the task has been completed you will then get challenged by a powered up version of a Pokemon. This super powerful Pokemon - called a Totem - also has the unique ability to call in another Pokemon to help out. This essentially makes it a 2 v 1 fight. 

Source: Game Freak / The Pokémon Company

The last big change is the introduction of Z-Moves. These are super powerful moves that are collected and equipped by your trainer and can be used once during a battle. As well as these main gameplay changes the new UI is super colourful, clear and stylish.

From what has been shown in this demo I feel like this new Pokémon release is shaping up to be a very good experience. I cant wait to get stuck into this bright sunny world, especially as the winter months are closing in. I think the removal of gyms is going to benefit the story greatly, because without being shackled to the old gym structure we can finally get new and interesting storytelling techniques baked right into the progression system. Who can tell what the final product will be like, but the good news is that we wont have to wait too long to find out.

If you want to try the demo yourself it's available for free on the 3DS eshop, and should take you about 30 minutes to complete.

Are you going to play the new game when its out?
What Pokemon are you looking forward to catching?


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