Pokemon Sun/Moon Demo Impressions

After a hard day of work and dealing with a freshly vaccinated 4-year-old, all I wanted to do was come home and spend some time with the brand new Pokemon demo. Fifteen minutes later, I was done, but I did learn a few things about the newest installment in the popular monster collecting series.

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The first thing I noticed is that this game isn’t on a grid anymore. Of course, we already knew that was going to be the case, but it honestly feels weird saying this is a feature of an RPG being released in 2016. In a time when most RPGs have long abandoned grid-based navigation in favor of free-form movement, Pokemon has always stubbornly clung to the former. Breaking away from this goes a long way toward making Pokemon Sun/Moon feel like the modern RPG it is.

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The game has a really slick interface. As someone who only somewhat liked the menus of X/Y and really disliked those of Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire, the new menus are welcome. Another small thing, but aesthetic goes a long way with me.

Battles are standard Pokemon one-on-one fare. I really like the touch of having the trainer be behind their Pokemon on the battlefield. It adds a touch of realism to the battle. Mega Evolution was nowhere to be seen, but the new Z-moves were present and really cool. The demo only lets you use Pikachu’s Z-move, but it was a really cool attack that I can definitely see being useful in battle. They seem to work like a sort of limit break. It’s a cool mechanic.

Professor Kakui gives you a trial in the demo. He wants you to take pics of some Pokemon in a Pokemon Snap-esque mission. During this, we’re introduced to a Totem Pokemon. I found this to be a really cool concept. It was basically a boss Pokemon found in the wild. This isn’t something the series is typically known for, and it was cool to see.

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Overall, I really enjoyed the Pokemon Sun/Moon demo. It feels like Pokemon is breaking out of its shell without compromising what makes it addicting and fun. November 18th can’t arrive fast enough for me.


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