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Pokemon Sun - a Pre-Postmortem

Alternate title: Whine whine whine
(I figured this might deserve it's own topic as I have a lot to say here.)

I'm in the latter sections of Pokemon Sun and despite my love of Pokemon and the franchise I'm sadly very underwhelmed. I expected a solid game. By the numbers at least but instead I can faithfully stick it at the very bottom of mainline titles. Below Diamond/Pearl, below Black and White (those being only mediocre).

The game has been fighting me at every turn. I think the biggest problem above in my opinion has been it's lack of direction. Lack of focus. Things happen and you need to react to them. This is primarily down to the change in structure. The lack of Gyms and Gym Leaders.

Regardless of your opinion on the Gym Leader structure - it's staleness etc - it did one thing correctly. It WORKED. Your progression through the game was defined and corralled by the Gyms. Clear cut challenges and smooth difficulty. Now, don't get me wrong. The difficultly has been more or less the same in Sun/Moon, but these defined points of progress just don't exist. You progress as far as the Captain Barriers let you and just sort of need to hope you have the right Pokemon to win the challenge. It got far worse towards the end, with random Story fights out of seemingly out of nowhere with little warning and even less warning whether you have the right Pokemon for the challenge.
I found myself struggling to build a decent team this time round, to stand toe-to-toe with certain type match-ups. Especially with multi-typed Pokemon. And all my old faithfuls were not only other late-game islands I just found out that my best one is locked in a post-game area*! It's just been such an uphill climb and it felt down right schizophrenic at times.

The game has been very boxed in. It never felt like I truly left the starting area, especially with the barriers in place. I'm just playing to beat it right out of obligation now because I have no hope it's going to be better (I'm on Poni Island for the record - *and that Riolu would have solved my problems handily!)
Ultra Sun and Moon need some changes.

One positive...?: The "villain" is the most madly villainous one yet. Though it was incredibly poorly set-up. I hadn't been given enough to care. It's supposed to be a great switcheroo but as a result it fell flat on it's face. And in the end there's no urgency or sense of real threat.

tl;dr


  • Poor game structure. Progression is very unfocused and leaves you under-prepared.
  • The Pokemon in the game are a pain to contend with. There are no clear cut winners and some of the better ones are far too late in the game for them to be useful.
  • Story is meh. There's no clear villain in the end. Just a bunch of freaks with no clear plans and the danger isn't given enough gravitas for me to care.
  • The Trials and everything with it crashed and burned.
  • (Here's a hypothetical question: What is a challenger supposed to do if the Kahuna is out? Like on a walkabout, as they constantly seem to be? Do they need to get lucky to challenge them and beat the Grand Trial?)
  • The SOS system need to
  • die. Yesterday. They prolong fights for far too long and you live in dread when a Pokemon "calls for help".
  • Nitpick but my old faithfuls were locked behind late/post game areas.

  • Hau and Lilie are alright. Hau was a breath of fresh air, an annoying sidekick who's self-aware and has a good story arc
  • (learning when to get serious, when he's humbled by the fact despite his good, easy-going nature he couldn't be counted on when the chips were down). He could have been a bad, character. Lilie is fine. No real opinion but I don't hate her.

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What are your thoughts? Am I mad? Am I on to something?

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