Along with new Pokémon, there are also going to be some brand-new features in the upcoming “Pokémon Sun” and “Pokémon Moon” titles. While it looks like Trainer Customization is coming back we’ll cover it later in more details when it has been officially announced, but here’s what we know so far.
There have been various additions made to the Pokédex after Generation I, for example. Generation II had a Unown Mode. And later generations added Pokémon-to-trainer scaling, and so on. With Generation VII we have a Rotom to inspirit the new Pokédex. Aside from recording Pokémon entries it talks to you, gives you advice based on conversations with NPCs, and it shows your present location and next destination.
So getting it out-of-the-way makes it sound like Whisper from “Yo-kai Watch.” When you compare the two, their similarities are hard to dismiss (even though one uses a tablet and the other is one). While both these ghosts are parallels to each other, they have their own charm. Besides, I think some creators (such as Kazuki Takahashi) don’t mind coexisting with one another.
The new QR Scanner in “Sun and Moon” can be used to find information about Pokémon. Scan QR Patterns to find a certain Pokémon in the Alola region. Scanning a QR Pattern from a friend’s Pokédex will register the Pokémon’s entry in yours. This feels like it could be exploited, but we’ll have to see how this feature pans out after the games’ release.
GameFreak has been creating new ways to battle: Double, Triple, Rotation, Aerial (which only Flying-types or Pokémon with Levitate could participate), and Invert (elemental strengths and weaknesses are switched around) battles. With “Pokémon Sun” and “Pokémon Moon” Battle Royal brings a fresh and much-needed versus mode to the series.
In Battle Royal four players enter the match, each of them with three Pokémon for their team. The battle ends when all three Pokémon on one team faints, and the trainer with the most remaining Pokémon and the most knockouts wins. While the previous modes were nice, some of them felt like a reinvented wheel, but Battle Royals shows some promise in being fun and competitive.
It wasn’t until the current Generation VI that we had more accessibility in EV (Effort Value) training. Thanks to Super Training we had a few mini games worth of increasing base stats of our Pokémon. Now with Generation VII our Pokémon can grow even stronger by increasing their individual strengths, and through Hyper Training a level 100 Pokémon can have its IV (Individual Value) points increased, making their natural power greater.
I know. This does indeed sound more like ascension then anything training related. To get your level 100 Pokémon in Hyper Training you give a bottle cap to Mr. Hyper (not sure if it’s caffeine-related), and he’ll train it as though you have bartered for services in a Fallout game (cheap considering it’s one bottle cap). You can easily get a bottle cap from a Magearna though more details will be explained later.
It’s a bit excessive to get a Pokémon to level 100 in any of the generations. Most trainers just train to level 50 for multiplayer battles since they’re automatically level capped there since some Generations ago (unless there’s a move they can learn at a higher level). Usually, a Pokémon that has reached level 100 is one that stuck with a trainer for so long and ended up EXP Share Grinding for an entire party. However, considering that these are the partners who people either started off with or just happened to be their favorites it’s not a bad reward for veteran Pokémon.
New Pokémon Global Link
In the same vein of the Global Trade Station and the Global Link for Generation V PGL services for Generation VI (“Pokémon X,” “Pokémon Y,” “Pokémon OmegaRuby,” and “Pokémon Alphasapphire”) will be discontinued to make way for “Pokémon Sun” and “Pokémon Moon” upon its release date.
There are three different modes listed for the new PGL at the moment. Friendly Competitions are hosted by a player with set regulations of their choosing. Online Competitions allow other participants to battle with a matched rating. They can be open to all or have pre-approved trainers to compete for the best rating. Live Competitions allows trainers in the same space in real life to battle. Participants can acquire the Digital Player ID, which contains the regulations, via QR Patterns.
It’s always a shame that Nintendo (or anyone else for that matter) couldn’t keep everything online alive. It was only a matter of time for Generation VI to follow suit, though I assume the rest of the online features will remain active. And at least they’re not killing games per say, like certain companies.
Ever since Generation I, we have always relied on Pokémon to get us around the regions. From Kanto to Kalos we constantly needed Pokémon to use HM moves like Flash, Surf, or Strength. This essentially leads to creating HM Slaves for the purpose of getting around. Then GameFreak let us soar through the air with either Latios or Latias. So there is no need to teach them a move or have them in the party. Just have them hold their Mega Stones and have the Eon Flute on hand. Not sure if everyone felt the same but to many trainers and myself; I saw this as the eventual liberation of HM Slaves. And it looks like Poké Ride is the feature that will do just that.
As part of Alola’s unique culture of people and Pokémon living together the Poké Ride service was established for trainers to get around the region’s islands. With Poké Ride trainers could hop between islands by riding a Sharpedo, or fly to another town and city soaring on the back of a Charizard, or go off-road on the rocky terrain on a Mudsdale. These Pokémon will get you where you need to go. I’m not sure whether or not this will completely remove the HMs or the need for them (unless there are plenty of extra dungeons that need them), but now we can have a Pokémon party without forcing one or three to be just transports.
I have good news for pessimistic game theorists: “Pokémon Sun” and “Pokémon Moon” will have nothing to do with Pokémon Réburst. The crystal in the Japanese logos is a Z-Crystal, which is used for the brand-new Z-Moves, powerful attacks (or Soultimate moves if we keep going with the Yo-Kai Watch comparisons) used in battle. With the new Z-Ring and a Z-Crystal a Pokémon that corresponds to that crystal will release an explosive force. There are a few conditions for the new feature to work. First, you need a Z-Ring and a Z-Crystal, much like Mega Evolution with its Mega Ring and Mega Stone. Next for the Pokémon to use the Z-Move it must first learn the move and hold the Z-Crystal during battle.
The Z-Moves are one shots per battle like Mega Evolution, but they seem to be pretty powerful. It’s possible that Mega Evolutions will come back, but if that’s going to be the case. Then it might boil down to choosing either use a Mega Evolve or a Z-Move.
There’s also going to be a Toy To Life Z-Ring that will connect with the Nintendo 3DS. This accessory from Tomy will be released along with “Pokémon Sun” and “Pokémon Moon.” It will light up, vibrate, and play a sound along with the game. It’s kind of a neat toy to bring your Pokémon experience closer to real life along with Pokémon GO‘s experience.
Even though Mega Evolutions had a somewhat short list (even with the additional Pokémon added with “Pokémon OmegaRuby” and “Pokémon AlphaSapphire”) Z-Moves could make every Pokémon special. So let’s make like JoJo and strike a pose!
The Island Challenge
A part of the Alola Region’s culture that separates it from the rest of the world are The Island Challenge Trails. And between the four islands young people go through these trails in order to grow and become Pokémon Trainers. Each island has a different set of trails to perform. Not all of them are Pokémon battle related; these trails would also involve some tasks that would have a resolve outside the ordinary, as though you were solving a puzzle on Monkey Island.
At the end of each trail a Totem Pokémon will want to battle. These Pokémon are larger versions of their species with a special aura surrounding them. They could summon allies to fight with them, with the addition of the increase their own power. Furthermore, it is hinted that wild Pokémon will also have this ability to call for allies.
Once all have been said and done it is time for The Grand Trail. These are the final trails where trainers have a battle with the kahuna of an island. Upon winning the trainer is recognized for completing the island’s trails, and thus is allowed to advance to the next destination.
I have the suspicion that this is going to replace the Gyms we knew and grew with since the GameBoy era of Pokémon. I’m not sure about the next fan, but I feel this could be a good change. We’ve been doing Gyms for years: sure they have changed some styles and came up with some creative puzzles. However, it’s still the same-old song. This sounds like a better change to the formula if this is what I believe it to be. It may even be a bit epic. So no wonder why we needed a Rotom Pokédex to help us out.
There are plenty of new features to get excited for. I’m not sure what’s left but there’s going to be more news on Friday, August 12th. Train on.
Robin Ek – Editor
The Gaming Ground
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