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Pokémon Moon Review. Two Decades of Pokémon Captured Beautifully
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The Pokémon franchise moves into its 7th generation with the release of Moon. The core features of previous titles such as the Gym Leader system, badges, and the location have been replaced.
The presentation of Moon is superb, to say the least, and fully captures the decades-old Pokémon spirit. The battles and power-ups are tastefully presented, and the character variety from different Pokémon to island inhabitants and bosses means you never get bored with just one scene. I did suffer occasional framerate dips, but this was very limited in extent. Most importantly, the visual recreation of Hawaii as Alola is perfectly effected.
Taking place on the fictional island of Alola, a few changes have been made since the previous releases, the key one being the replacement of the Gym Leader system. You move around Alola’s four isles completing trials and battling ‘Kahunas.’ Concurrently, you’ll be fighting against Team Skull led by Guzma and Gladion, and will also encounter the Aether Foundation, which shelters ultra-rare Pokémon.
In the initial build up, you fight against Pokémon of the same type and afterward battle a Totem Pokémon, which is basically a leveled-up version of the same Pokémon you were previously fighting. The boss Totems that you fight in Sun differ from those in Moon though not by the widest margins. Alola is 12 hours ahead of the real-time world in Pokémon Moon, and these differences are reflected in the game meaning if you play at night, it will be daytime in Alola. There are specific versions of Pokémon, Totem and Ultra Beasts that are exclusive to Sun but not to Moon and vice versa.
The streamlined gameplay mechanics are aided by the fluid controls, which haven’t changed at all since Omega Ruby and Sapphire, and X and Y. Running, interacting with other characters and Pokémon, toggling your display or switching Pokémon, engaging in combat, and a whole host of other functions all remain the same with dedicated action buttons. This is effective for both new and experienced players of the franchise.
Replay Value: 5.0
While Pokémon Moon switches the storyline and gameplay, the mechanics are still the same and always feel familiar. For newer players who might not exactly be conversant with the different Pokémon, the new battle system takes away a looming learning curve. Pokémon utilizes a different formula here, but everything from the battle, hunting for Z-crystals, to the feel of interacting with Alola’s inhabitants and new Pokémon feels organic.
For gamers who might have started to feel like they were losing out on the original Pokémon experience with earlier releases such as Black and White, Moon does a great job of making the earlier generations of Pokémon accessible. The hundreds of new Pokémon still feel familiar. Changes such as the new battle system which lets you see how effective your moves are against Pokémon also make the game a little easier on new players.
Game Freak definitely got it right with Pokémon Moon, and the millions of copies sold are a true testament to its quality.
Pros : Improved UI.
Changed gameplay to include Kahunas and trainers feels fresh.
The inclusion of ability effectiveness is welcome.
Cons : The storyline is a bit checkered.
Replay Value 5.0
Average : 4.6
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