Gaming review: Pokémon Sun and Moon

Now if you’ll excuse me, Cecil the Decidueye and I are heading back to Alola to catch ’em all. It would be a lot smoother, and less tedious, if there were difficulty levels like a lot of other games. It mixes throwbacks to the Kanto region from Red, Blue and Yellow, along with some familiar faces, with a compulsory Pokémon School you have to go through before you can really play it. Movement has finally been overhauled to a full 360 degrees of motion, just four games – one generation – after the analogue stick was introduced on the 3DS console. In the past generation, the only scenes in 3D were battle and cut scenes, and even then it was horrendously laggy. Overall though, the graphic overhaul has worked. Four stars. Instead you’re forced to resort to player-created challenges, such as the Nuzlocke challenge for a bit more difficulty, and even then this game is so cruisy it’s not that much tougher. And now there’s new and improved tech, instead of improving the 3D, it’s been cut out almost completely. But once you get past the first chunk of forced tutorials, it becomes less boring-cruisy and more holiday-cruisy, which makes sense seeing as how Alola is inspired by Hawaii and all. But despite the release of the new Nintendo 3DS in 2014 – a gruntier, fresher version of the 3DS – Sun and Moon are disappointingly lacking in 3D. You could choose whether you wanted to play on Easy, Medium or Hard. If X and Y were Easy Mode, this is Easy Mode on steroids. And once you get past that painfully slow intro, it’s quite an enjoyable game. Pokémon Sun – and as a result, its sister game, Pokémon Moon – is this weird mishmash of trying to appeal to all the nostalgic adults who played the very first Pokémon, and also those young children getting into it for the first time. With the removal of HM slaves (you will be missed) and the overhaul of the gym structure (how am I supposed to judge my self-worth without those beautiful, shiny badges?), Sun and Moon are definitely the most refreshed the series has been in a very long time. Tiny details like seeing your opponent in the background, and retrieving your ‘mon after it’s fainted but before it’s hit the ground – that’s what really pulls it together.