Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon are enhanced versions of last years incredibly popular and fantastic Pokémon Sun and Moon game. Set in Alola, a Hawaiian looking region, these new enhanced versions add slight changes in the storyline with new gameplay features and Pokémon to capture. With the recent announcement at E3 this year by Game Freak that they are developing a new Pokémon game for the Nintendo Switch this will most likely be the last mainline Pokémon game for the Nintendo 3DS. Do these games offer a proper farewell to the 3DS or do they leave room for more to be desired?
The game takes place in the region of Alola, which is inspired by the real-world island of Hawaii. There are four islands in total each with their own unique character making it exciting and fun to explore. Most of the storyline is unchanged from Sun and Moon as gone are the gyms and in their place players must face trials on each of the four islands. Each trial is different and makes the whole experience feel less bland and more diverse and different. In place of the gym leaders found in games past you fight against Kahuna’s, which are the island leaders. Once defeated they help to unlock the next island.
One of the big additions to the storylines for Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon is the Ultra Recon Squad. This weird and quirky duo will pop in and out of the storyline and throw curveballs to the plot that will keep you hooked. Another new addition is the Totem Stickers which are golden stickers that can be found all over the Alola region that can be exchanged with Samson Oak for Totem-sized Pokémon. These are hidden almost everywhere and help in the exploration of the game.
Also new is the addition of over a hundred Pokémon to the Alola region allowing for over 400 Pokémon to be caught without trading. This helps to make each battle feel more exciting as you wait to see which Pokémon you find as well as make the region overall feel more alive. There are still, of course, version exclusives as some Pokémon can only be caught in Ultra Sun and some in Ultra Moon. As well once you reach the first Pokémon Center you can trade directly from Sun and Moon making it worthwhile for those who played Sun and Moon previously and built up a Pokémon there to be able to use them in your main team immediately. In terms of the Pokémon battles, they are still top notch. I love having the battles use the game’s environment as part of the battle scene making it feel more lifelike. The UI when in battle is also great in being able to choose your move and access more information about your Pokémon and the effect of their moves during the battle.
Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon is the ultimate Pokémon experience and a great farewell to the Pokémon series for the 3DS. For players who picked up Pokémon Sun and Moon last year there is enough extra content in this game to keep you coming back and for newcomers to the seventh generation of Pokémon games, this is a must-have title to own. Changes made to the storyline are worthwhile and the addition of extra Pokémon to the Alola region make the experience more fun and engaging.