I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I purchased this game, I went with Pokemon Moon. Is it because I’m a night owl and love the stars? Or is it because I’m a werewolf with a deep connection to the moon? Just like the number of licks it takes to get to the center o a tootsie pop, the world may never know. With my allegiance to Pokemon Moon fully confirmed, (the werewolf bit is just a rumor, you guys can’t prove A THING.) let’s get down to business!
(To defeat. The huuuunnss.) Forget everything you think you know about Pokemon. Gyms, Gym medals, bike-riding, even Team Rocket – none of those things are relevant in this region. There ARE similarities, for example: Pokemon fights are more or less the same, as is encountering other trainers on routes. The rest of it? Well…you’ll have to find out as we get into the story!
You, dear player, are moving from the infamous Kanto region to a small set of islands that make up the Alola Region. (It’s fairly similar to our Hawaii, in the United States.) The local professor, Prof. Kukui, video-calls you to let you know that he looks forward to meeting you. He helps set up your passport and as you head downstairs to help your mom finish packing, the scene changes. Somewhere across the regions, a girl dressed in all white is frantically running through a high-tech facility. She clutches to a duffle bag, and we can see the innocent eyes of a mysterious Pokemon smuggled within. She’s cornered by guards, but the Pokemon breaks free, and the duo vanish in a bright flash of purple light.
As you settle into Iki town in the Alola region, Prof. Kukui tries to introduce you to the region’s Kahuna; in this region, you face off against city Captains – the equivalent of gym trainers. Once you’ve faced them, you face the region Kahuna. As you search for Iki Town’s Kahuna to introduce yourself to, you run into the girl in white. Her mystery Pokemon is being attacked by a group of Fearows and you rush across a rickety old bridge to save it. It tries to defend itself, but upon doing so, destroys the bridge. When you and the Pokemon fall, you’re suddenly saved by Iki Town’s guardian Pokemon, who gifts you with a z-stone. The local Kahuna transforms the stone into a bracelet, and as you face off against Captains and defeat them, you get awarded with Z-Power Stones. The Z-Power allows you to syn up with your Pokemon and bring forth an amazing special move – usable only once per battle, so make it count! The Kahuna asks you to pick between three starter Pokemon: The grass Pokemon Rowlet, The fire Pokemon Litten, and the water Pokemon Popplio. I’m a fire-Pokemon-lover at heart, so Litten was my obvious first choice. (Perhaps it has something to do with my being a red-head, who knows.)
Once you’ve chose your starter Pokemon, you embark on your “island challenge,” where you and other Pokemon trainers go island to island and work to defeat the Kahunas. But, as with many adventures, things aren’t always as they seem. A group known as Team Skull are harassing trainers and Captains alike, and while they don’t seem to pose a huge threat, things can always change. The features of the game aren’t the only things that have changed. Along with an entirely new region to run rampant in, the game also removed the ability to ride bicycles. Instead, you can ride Tauros, Stoutland, Charizard, and Lapras, each with their own special abilities. Many Pokemon from the Kanto and Johto regions make appearances, but they have obvious differences in the Alola region. For example, the Rattatas in Kanto are purple and sit on four legs, while those native to Alola are black and stand on their hind legs!
The game is refreshingly new, and it has become one of my all-time favorite games. It’s like you’re playing Pokemon for the first time, and as a die-hard Pokemon fan, that’s all I can ask for from new games! If you haven’t tried Pokemon Sun and Moon out for yourselves, please please PLEASE do so, and as always, thanks for reading!