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Nonny's Nonsensical Notes
My Journal. Usually just my usual Video Game Reviews and what not.
N.V.G.R. #44: Pokémon Sun and Moon
Alright, if there ever is a reason for me to do reviews, it is for Pokémon. And let's be honest, I'm a huge fan, so you know the score is going to be high. But there is many things to consider if you have not been around in Pokémon since Gen I. Once again, I'll be providing my view of the game, what makes it good and some of its flaws.

Once again, you are walking in the shoes of a new trainer who is just starting out their Pokémon journey. This time, you are in the Alola region, an archipelago region based off of Hawaii, my homeland. Honestly, I was super excited to see the game take place here. To be honest, they captured a lot of Hawaii's cultural aspects and even did a pretty decent job having some character speak Hawaiian Creole English. Not perfect, but passable. I also applaud Game Freak/Nintendo for really laying in the Hawaiian words in the cities and even in the cries of Solaleo and Lunala.

Anyways, for the first time, you are not conquering 8 gyms in order to battle a Pokémon League. In fact there is no Pokémon League until you complete this Generation's literal rite of passage. You will be traveling to each of the Alolan Islands completing Island Challenges. In these, you will be performing tasks like searching for ingredients for a dish, memorizing differences in dances, and even taking spirit photography. At the end, you battle not a Gym Leader, but a Totem Pokémon, which are formidable enemies that not only have stat boosts, but also summon helper Pokémon to stand in the way of having the rite to challenge an Island Kahuna, which is essentially the closest thing to an Alolan Gym Leader. For the most part, the Trials were super fresh and were both fun and challenging. Though a few were particularly frustrating, there was a sense of joy of actually having to plan out my battles carefully and even watching as my Pokémon faint a few times. The Kahuna battles were just like Gym Battles so in that sense, I'm glad in some form, the previous gym style lives on.

Along the way, you will also be facing Team Skull, a group of thugs who steal Pokémon from the Alola inhabitants, all while rapping and showing some cool gangster dance moves. There is also the Aether Foundation, an organization dedicated to the preservation of Pokémon. However, there seems to be more behind this organization as it seems. Without going much into detail about the story, I personally felt that this was an attempt at correcting X and Y's rather lackluster story. It felt like this is how they wanted to present Team Flare while still having that depth of care and emotion behind Team Plasma and N. It is considerably more darker than X and Y was and as mentioned, rivals Black and White as possibly my favorite Pokémon main series story.

But of course, with every new Generation, we look forward most to the new Pokémon. And my verdict? It's kind of a meh generation. As usual, I followed my usual Fire/Water/Grass/Electric/Flying/Dragon/MYSHARONA! team. But when I thought that XY was limited, boy this generation did a doozy on me. With another generation with less than 100 new Pokémon itself, it is a very small pool. Still, as usually, there are a lot of cool new Pokémon, my personal favorite being Golisopod.

However, like X and Y, this generation introduced new life into old Pokémon. Instead of new Evolutions or Mega Evolutions, we got regional variants, the Alolan Pokémon. 23 of your favorite Generation I Pokémon got new Hawaii Alola adapted forms. Its a fresh take on them that could possibly make them relevant in the meta or give them new life. Some a great (Ninetales), some are hilarious (Exeggutor), and some are disappointing (Persian).

Overall, the game feels much harder than previous generations and I genuinely found it to both exciting to be presented with an actual challenge throughout the games. I prepared for each battle, but was often presented with a good struggle for victory that made it sweeter. It's not a game I would ever Nuzlocke, but in terms of the general gameplay, it is the most fresh and entertaining spin on the Pokémon mainstream game formula while staying true to the source. I am glad too that there is a lot of post game content, especially with the Guardian Deity and Ultra Beasts to find and Battle Tree.

Nonny's rating: 9/10. It may not have the best story overall, but its an enjoyable one. The gameplay feels new and not just another rehashing of the 8 gym formula. I personally enjoyed every moment of this generation's game and I would recommend it easily for any Pokémon fan, new or old.

Nonny's Sun Team:
*Alolan Raichu
*Alolan Marrowak

Nonny's Moon Team:
*Alolan Raichu
*Lycanroc (Midnight)

Spoiler thoughts
Boy do I love how they handled the story this time around. Unfortunately, Hau got stuck with your overly optimistic rival and is overall, pretty boring. Lillie, while not a rival, has become one of, if not the best written ally character in the franchise ever.Her story arc is compelling, her involvement in the story is great. She has great moments, both funny, charming, and interesting throughout. Her relationship with her mother, Lusamine, is great.

Speaking of which, Lusamine is an interesting Villainous team leader. She's not over the top evil or in the traditional sense in Pokémon. Her actions do not really affect the world as a whole as many Villainous team leader has. I wouldn't say evil per se, but certain cruelty in her. She grieves for her lost husband and eventually goes mad in her research of Ultra Beasts to find him again, eventually getting possessed and controlled by one. Her treatment of both Lillie and Gladion shows how cruel and malicious she has become even to her own family. The climax where Lillie stands up to her mother comes together and ends on a great note.

For me, the saddest part is that Lillie departs from the Alola region after completing the Pokémon League. I sincerely hope she returns at some point in a future game. For a great character, me, like many others, should feel that her departure is bittersweet. You understand why, but you don't want her to go. If this happened to any of the XY rivals, I'd probably shrug and go "eh, well they're gone". Game Freak outdid themselves with the story of Sun and Moon. Like I mentioned above, it easily has become one of my favorite Pokémon stories. Even potentially being better than Black and White.

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