Pokemon Sun & Moon are finally here, ready to take us on a journey across the Alola region. After months upon months of trailers, reveals, and leaks, it's time to dive in and prove yourself to be the very… well, you know. Our Pokemon Sun & Moon review (opens in new tab) gave the newest entry in the 20-year old franchise high praise, but is our opinion unique, like Mewtwo, or one of many, like Unown? Let's see what other critics had to say.
Destructoid (opens in new tab) on the bad guys:
"While the interactions and the locales were fun, the world-ending narrative really wasn't. I won't spoil too much but it once again deals with an impending threat with some obvious twists and turns, and Team Skull, effectively the Team Rocket of Sun & Moon, is laughably bad at times. I like how a lot of the antagonistic clans from past games were legitimately insidious, but Skull is played off as a black sheep gang of sorts, and it never really pays off. The whole 'yo yo yo, dawg' dialogue doesn't really help their case either."
IGN (opens in new tab) on the game's challenges:
"Bringing the challenges out into the world, rather than keeping each step toward becoming a champion segmented in its own gym, helped Alola feel more like a place where things happen instead of an overworld map. It also kept the Island Challenge from becoming mindless — I couldn’t autopilot my way through it like I could with a lot of X and Y, for example. I didn’t always know when or where a trial would start or what exactly would happen when I got there, and that kept me on my toes."
Game Informer (opens in new tab) on using new tactics:
"Z-Moves act like a guaranteed critical hit, and each is accompanied by a dance. Maybe performing a dance to pull off an ultra move sounds dumb, but the excellent animation makes the dances fun to watch. The Pokémon-specific Z-Moves are also entertaining, as it gets your pocket monster involved in the often-absurd display. They function as a give-it-all-you-got attack to finish off a powerful foe, give yourself a strong lead, or to get you out of a tough situation. Using one is always an important decision and it’s a fun tactical play to use the only you can against the right enemy at the right time in a difficult fight."
Digital Spy (opens in new tab) on the annoyance of Pokemon calling for help:
Imagine, you're battling a Pokémon that you're trying to catch. You whittle it down to a tiny sliver of health, get ready to throw that Pokéball and then boom, they call for help and another Pokémon appears to help them in battle. You can't throw a Pokéball if there's two of them, so you'll have to beat the other one if you want to catch the original critter – and you will, as the help is usually of a lower level. But, the wild Pokémon can do this several times in a single battle, meaning a quick battle with a wild critter may not be as quick as you originally anticipated.
Polygon (opens in new tab) on the new user interface:
"The most affecting change made to the series here is a great quality of life improvement. A type effectiveness indicator bakes into the gameplay what I've had to regularly look up on my own since I first played Pokémon Red in 2000. After facing off against a Pokémon once, the game automatically charts whether a move will be effective or not. This is fantastic for newcomers, but it's also a relief for people like me who have had to juggle the specifics of an increasing number of Pokémon types over the year."
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