Monday, December 5, 2016

Pokemon Moon for the 3DS--First Impressions

Let me just preface this by saying that I haven’t played a Pokemon game to completion since I played Pokemon Yellow as a tween. I have other Pokemon games, and I’ve played other Pokemon games, but I lost interest in them after a few hours of playing. I didn’t much like the new generations of Pokemon, save a few of them so I guess I wasn’t invested in the experience.  

I bought the new Pokemon games simply because my daughter has been playing Pokemon and I thought that buying Sun and Moon would give us the opportunity to play together, trade together and so on. I was also going to wait to play it, because my daughter won’t receive her Pokemon Sun until Christmas. I thought I would just pick I up, play it for a little bit and see what it was like… but I found it hard to put down.

Now I’m 8 hours into the game, I just made it to the second island, and I’ve been enjoying it so much. I thought I would share some of my thoughts about it. I know that seems like a long time to only have made it to the second island, but I like to spend a lot of time leveling my Pokemon equally and trying to get some through the first evolutions.

I love the customization. At the very beginning I was disappointed by the lack of customization available because I thought that was it. However, once the game gets rolling you can buy different clothes to wear, cut and/or color your hair, apply lipstick, and colored contacts to change your eye color. These little things made me much happier! I feel that customization in any game is a good feature.

I’m also happy to see some of the old generations of Pokemon, the ones that I can recognize, come back to life. Growlithe, in particular, gave me a happy surprise! Meowth got an Alolan version, and I actually prefer the Alolan version to the original! That sassy grin, and prideful attitude is perfect for Meowth. I had heard about the Alolan versions through the grapevine, and I like them for the most part. Ratatta’s little mouse-tache makes me chuckle.

Source: Nintendo Wire

I think my favorite new bit in these games is being able to ride Tauros. After defeating the first Kahuna, you are given a pager to summon Tauros to ride around. He can break through rocks by charging, giving you access to new areas on the island. I saw that some gamers were upset that this rid the game of HMs, but I really like it! It’s a clever idea that puts that Pokemon’s skills to good use! Plus you don’t have to worry about keeping the Pokemon with the right HM in your party, which I appreciate.

The power-up with the Z crystals and unlocking hidden power moves for Pokemon is also a concept that I enjoy. Though, I would have liked to see more variety, or Pokemon specific power moves. "Breakneck Blitz" is a charging power move for normal-type moves. But it just doesn't suit my Meowth to be charging down opponents. A move with him utilizing his claws, utilizing some part of his personality(maybe stealing an item from an opponent, maybe?) or something would have been more fitting.

The new... enemy? It strange using that word in a Pokemon game, but I don't know what else to call them--They're called Team Skull. I don't know what their goals or anything are yet, but like always, they are out to steal Pokemon and cause trouble. The grunts I have run into are... goofy. Almost to the point of seeming annoying. They are like ridiculous gangsters. I've only had a couple run ins, and maybe I will learn more soon.

Just one more thing, the trainer battles are too easy! Most trainers only carry one Pokemon on them, and save for maybe once or twice when I was trying to level up my weaker Pokemon, It was over in seconds! I know that Pokemon can't be too difficult because kids will be playing and you have to ease kids into it, but I want a challenge! Even the Kahuna on the first Island was so easy! Maybe Game Freak should implement a difficulty setting or a challenge area? Make me work for it!

I’m looking forward to getting to play this game more and exploring more of Alola. I doubt I’ll do a full in depth blog entry about Pokemon Moon, and I don’t feel I’m qualified to do so since I haven’t played a Pokemon game in so long so I can’t make accurate comparisons. I highly recommend, however, that if you enjoyed Pokemon at any time, pick it up to give it a try. You might be surprised! If you play, let me know what you think about it!

Happy Gaming, Friends!

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