I was avoiding the leak thread when story spoilers started to spill out, but it doesn't look like there was a lot of discussion of those after all. I guess most people here aren't playing it?
I'm pretty absorbed in it myself. It has a lot of issues, but I can't help but be sucked in by the game. I've spent 40 hours on it so far, thanks to a lot of time spent catching Pokémon, and am only just entering the endgame. While I enjoyed both X/Y and Sun/Moon, this one definitely has its hooks planted further in me.
It's a shame that so much of the game is only skin deep, since I love the region. Trains should have served as a battle facility, because they don't add anything more than a little flavour. Towns feel small, lacking in content and at times under-populated, while none of the cast feel fully fleshed out. Camping as a concept works so well for the series, yet there's very little reason to actually utilise it. The Wild Area is such an exciting step forward for the series, allowing you to traverse the world and battle alongside other trainers, but there are so many caveats to it. GF clearly struggled to make it work technically and conceptually. Gating off higher level Pokémon behind badges doesn't work well when your team is a mere few levels away and it would have been a much more elegant system to have them just not obey you instead.
That said, I'm still having a lot of fun, enjoying it as much as I have any other Pokémon game. The story is almost non-existent, but I can't think of any game in the series where it's been particularly memorable anyway (although some aspects of Sun/Moon's worked for me). The execution of gym battles is so far above any other gen, with the stadium atmosphere, progression of the music and the gym leaders' animations more alive than ever. As someone who really didn't care about it pre-launch, Dynamax is actually kind of fun in this context, as they really help sell the idea that these are an event. The gym challenges beforehand are hit and miss, much like the Alola trials, but there are a couple that surprised me.
I think the roster of Pokémon may be my favourite to date with its impressive variety of ideas and designs. Some I wasn't so fond of during the leaks just look so much more appealing in motion, making many of those from early generations look mundane by comparison. Far too many are rare encounters though. Why make some of your biggest selling points so hard to discover? It's also a shame that many of the clothing options are late-game, even if I appreciate how quickly the game introduces you to customisation in general. It was definitely a step forward in terms of choice in any case.
I really hope that, going forward, they continue to expand and improve upon the game's strengths. The Wild Area, as well as the new presentation of gym battles, absolutely needs to stay. I'd love to see camping become a more robust, series staple as well.
If you think of anything you want, let me know. I can be online between 4pm-7pm for you. Is that any good?