By Drake Tinsley
[SPOILER WARNING: POKÉMON SUN/MOON CHARACTER SPOILERS]
With Pokémon’s 20th year coming to an end, fans and new players flock to the seventh generation games of Pokémon Sun and Moon. The pokémon games are games where the player explores a world inhabited by creatures known as pokémon.
The Pokémon games are made by The Pokémon Company in collaboration with Game Freak. The games have been a huge hit since their release in 1996 and are continuing to gain traction ever since.
The term “Pokémon” is actually a combination of the words “pocket” and “monster.” This is thought to be a reference to the original title for the Pokémon games, which was “Capsule Monsters.”
The seventh generation games add a multitude of new features and pokémon to catch, name, train, trade and evolve. The addition of Alolan pokémon, pokémon solely obtainable in the Alola region, changes several pokémon well-known by experienced players.
The region itself is rather loosely based off Hawaii. The islands in the game are Melemele Island, Akala Island, Ula’ula Island and Poni Island. In Pokémon Sun and Moon, players are required to travel between these four islands throughout the game to complete various challenges.
This process of travelling between islands and beating the challenges they have in store is known as the Island Challenge. This is similar to the Pokémon League Challenge from previous games, where the player is instructed to go from city to city and beat gym leaders to collect badges.
In addition to the Hawaiian theme, there are two new locations in Pokémon Sun and Moon: the Poké Pelago and the Festival Plaza. The Poké Pelago is where players can go and collect Poké Beans to feed to their pokémon to increase their happiness. The Festival Plaza is the central hub for all multiplayer experiences in Pokémon Sun and Moon, including trading and battling players from around the world.
The addition of the Festival Plaza as a gateway to the Battle Spot, Global Trading System, and link battles/trades will definitely be a hit with tried-and-true Pokémon players. The addition eases access to online communication, which is a good thing for all players, new and old.
The seventh generation games eliminate Hidden Machines (HMs), items that were hidden throughout the world that helped the player travel. HMs are now replaced with the Ride Pager. The Ride Pager is a tool that allows the player to call upon the assistance of a pokémon to help them traverse water or fly the player back to any city they have previously visited.
The addition of the Ride Pager is likely a welcomed change for older players, as the old HM usage made it so that a pokémon only had a certain number of non-HM move slots, as HM moves could not be replaced easily.
In every previous Pokémon game, there have always been one or more teams of bad guys for the player to defend the region from. In Pokémon Sun and Moon, those people are the notorious Team Skull. Team Skull is a group of villains run by Guzma. Guzma founded Team Skull in an attempt to better himself in battle and attempt the island challenge.
Additionally, the player meets the organization of the Aether Foundation, a mysterious group run by Lusamine. Lusamine created the Aether Foundation in an attempt to, as she calls it, “rescue” the pokémon of Alola and bring them all into her care in her own personal paradise.
Overall the games have tremendous playability and replay value, with no two playthroughs being exactly the same. Some players play competitively, attempting the Pokémon Video Game World Championships each year.