Scarlett Shiloh ’19 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Pokemon Sun & Moon came out about a year ago, providing a fresh look for old time players of the series who’ve been loyal since ‘96, along with a fantastic introduction to new players who just picked up their first 3DS. Pokemon Sun & Moon took some huge risks; replacing Pokemon Gyms with Island Challenges, for instance, along with reintroducing the characters Red and Blue from the original games of the same name, as well as old champions such as Cynthia from the Sinnoh region.
Sun & Moon also brought on incredible graphics, a slew of new Pokemon as always, variants of old Pokemon, lovable characters, and of course, a new competitive scene, especially with the addition of Z-Moves. With that said, Pokemon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon are an improvement, to say the least. In terms of plot, Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon introduce the Ultra Recon Squad, a mysterious group who seem a bit (read: very) interested in the energy that comes from battles, and especially take interest in Lillie’s precious Nebby. And who can forget about Team Skull? The boys and girls (or anything in between or outside) return in the aftergame, where you team up with Guzma to take down Team Rainbow Rocket. That’s right, Team Rocket is back, along with Giovanni, and he has brought along all of the games of the past’s top tier villains! Fans were extremely excited to see a villain that seemed to have been lost to time brought back to life. Beyond that, Mantine Surf is another fun addition to the game that doesn’t rely on your knowledge of Pokemon; it’s just another fun minigame that takes the pace off of the normal gameplay.
Unfortunately, much of the criticism towards Sun & Moon‘s younger siblings has been towards the vast amount of similarities, despite the amount of differences. Many people have voiced their opinions on how Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon would be better as DLC for their predecessors. Despite the introduction of new plot elements, the main plot is largely the same, which is different from something like Pokemon Black 2 & White 2 that introduced an entirely new plot as a sequel to Pokemon Black & White, or other series mainstays like Pokemon Emerald and Pokemon Platinum.
However, in terms of gameplay, the addition of classic Pokemon alongside Alolan Pokemon was a huge improvement over the old games, given many new Pokemon from the Alola region move incredibly slowly, kind of like a brick moving forward in the midst of a windy sandstorm. Also, it can make your Pokemon team a heck of a lot more diverse, especially when bringing back powerhouses such as Gyarados and Alakazam. On top of that, everyone seems fond of the addition of Necrozma, a new Ultra Beast who fuses with Solgaleo and Lunala to become even more powerful!
Regardless of whether or not you’ve played Sun & Moon, Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon are a welcome addition to the family. Play it for a fresh taste of Alola that mixes nostalgia with innovation!