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Pokemon Sun/Moon PLUS ULTRA (Alola Region Games)

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44 minutes ago, Thrippa said:

Doesn't every Pokemon have 6 IVs, one for each stat?

They're referring to Pokemon that allegedly have 6 'perfect' IVs (so the stats can't go higher without EV training). People always put up Pokemon that supposedly have these IVs on the GTS, usually asking for a Legendary/Mythical/Ultra-Beast in return. From my experience, though, they barely ever have what was promised.

Speaking of the GTS, it's nice to see that Game Freak have learned NOTHING from Gen 6's incarnation. Now we can't even put a custom message with the Pokemon up for trade. Have a legit good Pokemon with great IVs, Nature, Hidden Ability and maybe some Egg Moves? Well, you'd better hope that one of those generic "This is a Pokemon I've trained really hard" messages is enough to convince others.

Thankfully, I don't think I've seen anyone asking for a Magearna (or any other Mythical that was leaked) yet, but I'm holding my judgement until the Bank update happens. Oh, and Classic Ribbon Pokemon still can't be traded (tested with Ash-Greninja).

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I've been thinking about the whole thing with people falling through the Ultra Wormholes and it just occurred to me: do you think that particular island in Hoenn is somehow connected to it?

Looker is washed up at the Battle Resort with amnesia in ORAS (many theorise that he was a faller), and Anabel, who resided at the Battle Frontier, which just so happens to be in the SAME LOCATION in her native universe, is also a faller...

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So, do you guys think GameFreak has some kind of roadmap regarding the current story in the Pokemon universe? X/Y started some interesting new plot points that were expounded on in OR/AS, which in turn had plot points that were expounded in Sun/Moon. I wonder if GameFreak has a big epic storyline planned that spans the next few gens of mainline Pokemon games and remakes. Are they thinking that far ahead, or are they simply making up crap as they go along?

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And that's that, I'm done with Pokemon Moon.  What a refreshing Pokemon game.  They really put everything into realising the setting as a unique and vibrant place rather than just a painted backdrop for the same old repetitive story, and rejuvenated the story to boot.  Just about everything in the games got a much-needed refresh here; the story's better, the setting is better, HMs have been replaced with the superior Poke Ride, the Pokedex has that nifty new evolution-view interface that's extremely stylish, there are all sorts of useful additional facilities like Poke Pelago...  It's saying a lot that this is the first game where I actually tried to complete as much of my Pokedex as I could - simply because places like the levelling island and the happiness island made it practical.  (Of course, I still have a bunch of trade-evolving Pokemon which I can't be bothered to trade, so my Pokedex will never truly be complete, but the high 80%s are more than good enough for me.  Besides, I have my backlog to think about.)

Still, it's easier to analyse the things that went wrong than the things which went right, and I intend to do so.  This game still has several flaws which could have used more polish - in my opinion, anyway.  Most of it is heavily spoilery, though, as well as rather too long, so under the tag it goes.

Spoiler
  • The game sequence is extremely linear.  Actually, in context I felt that they sold it, and the device of the Island Challenge made the linearity feel natural, but I'd be anxious about it persisting in future.  This is probably partly a condition of having been playing the series from the early days, where things would occasionally open up and allow you to tackle gyms in different orders; still, it really is more fun to be able to decide where you want to go for yourself sometimes.
  • While several of the trials were great, with the Ghost-type trial as a clear winner, I felt that others were a bit of a letdown.  Lana's Water-type trial, for instance, was technically just the Totem battle (the joke of which was spoiled in pre-promotion, completely undercutting the moment), and while the introduction to Lapras Paddle that occurs beforehand is clearly unofficially part of the trial, I would have liked it if it was properly integrated and we had to jump through some hoops or something.  Or why not give us the fishing rod to start with, make it the fishing tutorial, and then reward us with Lapras Paddle at the end instead?  Kiawe's trial likewise could have benefited from sending us up the mountain through multiple different stages rather than just sitting in the same place completing what's set up as a puzzle but is actually two-thirds a joke.  The Fairy-type trial doesn't even exist!  So I feel that more could have been done there.
  • The Dragon-type trial is pretty prosaic, but given that it's kind of an "unofficial" trial, I think it gets a free pass... but I would've liked it if there'd been similar unofficial, optional trials to get things like the Flying, Psychic, and Ice-type Z-stones.  That would also add an illusion of non-linearity that would help ease the apparent lack of freedom I mentioned earlier.
  • Considering the emphasis on the Pokemon League being under construction, and Mount Lanakila being blocked-off until the endgame, I was assuming there would be an actual Victory Road, and was honestly disappointed by its absence; you could've framed it as the "Ultimate Trial" or something like that.  An honestly pretty ordinary trio of areas felt like a letdown, and it simply wasn't clear why they couldn't have let you go in there earlier.  Vast Poni Canyon I think was probably meant to be a sort of substitute Victory Road, especially being capped by the Dragon trial, but it could've done with some puzzles and being a little more maze-like, if that was meant to be the case.
  • Related to the above, but why were some Pokemon evolution-locked for so much of the game?  I'm referring specifically to those which level up in Vast Poni Canyon and Mount Lanakila.  It's silly that you have to wait until basically the end of the game to get a Vikavolt or Crabominable, when the electrical area could easily have been around the Hokulani observatory (you know, where there's an Electric-type trial with a Vikavolt Totem), and they could've just let you into Lanakila as soon as you got there - and the Pokedex numbering kind of assumes that that's how it works, in fact!  And poor Glaceon, having to wait until the third-to-last room before the Pokemon League to evolve, while you can get a Leafeon on the second island.
  • The elephant in the room which I've seen surprisingly few people mention: There really are not many new Pokemon in this game.  At all.  People gave XY a lot of flak for this, but I let it slide as it actually made up to Johto/Sinnoh numbers if you included Mega Evolutions (which I think you should).  The same's true of Sun/Moon if you include the Alola forms, but there are a number of issues there.  One of them is that the number of Alola forms is in itself pretty low.  I think there are eighteen?  I genuinely did not believe that there would be fewer than twenty, and was hoping for more like thirty (like the near-on thirty Mega Evolutions in XY, in fact); as it stands, the Alola forms are frankly lost among the sheer numbers of past-generation Pokemon wandering about - and I honestly wonder if they're outnumbered by standard-flavour Kanto Pokemon, even.  The concept feels like an afterthought which existed more for publicity purposes than for gameplay ones.  So there's that, but the bigger issue for me is this: In XY, legendaries (including mythicals) numbered 6 out of 71 new Pokemon.  In SM, legendary-like Pokemon - and yes, I am including the mythicals, the Tapus, the Ultra Beasts, which are absolutely legendaries in presentation (and I'm being generous in leaving out Type: Null and Silvally, if we're honest) - number a whopping 17 out of 80.  Nearly a quarter of the new Pokemon are legendaries!  Back in the day, Sinnoh got flak for having 13 legendaries out of 106.  Forget Alola Forms being lost among past-generation Pokemon - Gen VII Pokemon are lost among all the past-gen Pokemon, too!  Playing the game, they seemed to show up so very sparsely among a sea of familiar faces, while the plot lingered on a lot of admittedly very interesting Pokemon which nobody's ever going to use in their party.  And this paucity is, in fact, exacerbated by the below:
  • A huge amount of the Pokedex was given away in pre-release publicity.  Way more than I would have liked.  Very rarely did I come across an unexpected new Pokemon that I'd never met before; so rarely was I surprised by a new Pokedex entry.  And while the Pokemon which were revealed early were still interesting, I nonetheless already knew a lot about them by the point at which I first found them in the game.  This really undermined the sense of discovery - especially for the Alola Forms, which were thin on the ground even before they revealed all but a single evolution line.  My impression of the pre-release promotion was that they were revealing so much because they had a lot of secrets still in hand; I don't think that was an unreasonable belief, either.  Turns out: They didn't.  I'm going to have to seriously consider attempting to go into the next game not spoiler-blind but publicity-blind, if they're going to amount to the same thing.
  • Pokemon game plots have rarely had good pacing, and it's gotten worse as the series has gone on, with the games succumbing increasingly to the temptation to pack as much plot in as possible between the seventh and eighth gyms.  Sun/Moon messes with the formula enough that its pacing errors are forgiveable, but there's still some awkwardness in this regard.  For instance, the plot was introduced so slowly that, while the first island is quite unabashedly an island-sized tutorial, they managed to also make the entire second island feel like part of the first act as well!  Most of the plot just sandwiched the last island rather than being more spread-out, and it frankly felt like they could have shifted a lot of the plot events forwards by a whole island.  Gladion in particular needs this; the publicity sold him as a rival character, but you barely ever meet him and the vast majority of his appearances are as an ally, which means that you see very little of Type: Null, for all that Gladion's dialogue places emphasis on its importance.  Bring him in more and earlier!  And ditto Hau, but later, instead; he drops out of the game for a long time.  This kind of amendment would also have allowed them to do a bit more with the Ultra Beasts - which I'll get to in a moment, but consider the following: Going purely on the main storyline, then in terms of Ultra Beasts you basically just see Nihilego over and over; it's your first encounter with an Ultra Beast, they're the only ones you see in Ultra Space... except then there's this one tiny cutscene when the Ultra Wormholes open up all over Alola when we get to see Buzzwole/Pheromosa... and that's it, the whole plot thread is effectively dropped until the postgame.  They introduce the sudden influx of Ultra Wormholes and Ultra Beasts as a great danger, a huge disaster encompassing the whole region, and then they don't touch it and the plot seems to be all about Lillie reconnecting with her mother.  This is incredibly strange.  Which leads me (after a brief detour) to my next point
  • (Also, just as a side-note: What came of that business of the Ultra Beasts resembling main characters?  If it was just Nihilego and Lillie, I could pass it off as simply a parallel; Lusamine transfers her affections from her daughter to this weird space monster.  But I don't think anyone was wrong in drawing connections between Pheromosa and Lusamine, Buzzwole and Gladion, or Xurkitree and Guzma... but then the pattern just falls apart with Kartana, Celesteela, and Guzzlord.  If Pheromosa, Buzzwole, and Xurkitree had also been involved in the main plot, then again, the parallel theory would hold up; Lusamine transfers her affections from these various humans to a bunch of twisted alien Pokemon.  But with the non-Nihilego Ultra Beasts irrelevant to the main plot, then these design parallels aren't doing anything.  They just look lot like a dropped plot point.)
  • So, why is a lot of the postgame material in the postgame at all, rather than the main game?  It's a question I've raised about, I think, both Gen V games, but it's equally true here.  I don't understand why half of Poni Island is locked off until postgame, for instance, by no more barrier than a random guy who says it's for champions only despite all the non-champion trainers hanging about behind him.  It's weird that, for all the emphasis on the Tapus, we only see Tapu Koko in the main game - all the time, in fact - but we never even glimpse any of the rest of them until we go to catch them; could they not have put in an appearance somewhere?  And I really don't understand why the Ultra Beasts, some of the stars of the pre-promotion with a seriously intriguing plotline, are relegated to the postgame if you want to catch them or even simply know about them.  I'm certain that some of this could have been integrated into the main game; that the Ultra Wormholes appearing across Alola could require you to go beat an attacking Ultra Beast somewhere, showing why they're dangerous and then setting them up for capture in the postgame.

All of which rather brings us to the prophesied Stars, doesn't it?  I wonder what we can expect from that?  In truth... I don't expect it to be very different, simply because, if it is on Switch, then all they need to do is advertise it as "the first HD mainline Pokemon game!" or some such, without worrying about having to distinguish it from Sun/Moon; the selling point will be that it is Sun/Moon.  It's perfectly possible it could do things like rework the plot, remix the trials, add new forms - and in a limited respect they'll have to... but, much though I'd like to expect a more ambitious polishing of Sun/Moon, I suspect it'll be pretty much the same thing.  (I'd be more than happy to be proven wrong.)

Still, I am crossing my fingers for more Alola Forms - and I think it could happen; look at ORAS introducing around twenty new Mega Evolutions, which strikes me as a very similar process.  There are plenty of Kanto Pokemon which obey the unwritten rule of not having Mega Evolutions or non-Gen I evolutions; some of them are even pretty conspicuous, in fact.  Spearow play a significant role early in the story; the villain uses a Clefable.  Alola Forms for those and others could really stand out and help to sell the Alolan Pokedex as new and different rather than just a procession of greatest hits.

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@FFWF: that was a very good and properly thought-out review on the newest entry in the series. I finally beat Sun Version and was about to write a little review by myself but you pretty much summed up everything I was going to say, and even more. Even with all the little flaws here and there, I really enjoyed this game.

Edit: If I had not mentioned before, this game also had some of my all-time favorite music in the Pokémon series.

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14 minutes ago, Forte-Metallix said:

So I just became the Champion, but...

  Hide contents

I accidentally knocked out Tapu Koko. Am I screwed out of it? Does the game autosave after you become Champion? Will I ever forgive my Pikachu for squandering this opportunity? (The answer to that last one is no)

 

Spoiler

You're fine. You can go back and fight it again. I actually wish I did that myself, so I could reset for a favorable nature. 

 

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Chained for a while the other day and killed a Shiny Oricorio while my brain was on autopilot. Then yesterday I caught a Shiny Raticate and was going to nickname him Rat Man and accidentally left it as "Rat M." His stats are shit and he has a careful nature.

I think that whole series of events is a pretty good summary of my Pokemon experience. 

 

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I finished Moon like 2 days after I got it, I just played it constantly. I might replay it again after the pokemon bank update comes along. Lillie is literally my fave. She's a cute lil cinnamon roll. The only frustrating thing is there's not much to do post-game. I got all the ultra beasts and I got a couple other legendaries. I also got all the tapu. I tried doing the battle tree a couple times but it's incredibly frustrating. And I don't usually complete the pokedex..so I have not much to do postgame now.

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So Serebii's gotten details on the Pokémon Bank update:

Quote

Nintendo Hong Kong has put out some details about the upcoming Pokémon Bank update, specifically in regards to the Generation 1 transfer. First, transferred Pokémon will likely have at least 3 max IVs. Their nature will be random and there is a chance that the Pokémon will have their Hidden Ability. It will also have a unique GameBoy mark.


The National Pokédex will sync up with the games you use with Pokémon Bank, listing the Pokémon you have seen/caught in each game and combining them. It will list the games that you have each Pokémon in. You don't need the Pokémon to be deposited into your Bank in order to register them in the National Pokédex. Finally, it confirms that you can send Battle Points again. Finally, it shows that you can track a variety of stats from your games such as Eggs Hatched, Pokémon Captured etc. through Pokémon Bank, crossreferencing between all 6 games.


No date has been given but we'll provide full details as they come so keep checking back.

bankup1.jpgbankup2.jpg  bankup3.jpg

Boy howdy, I can't wait to send my Gen I Pokés over and have them generate with the worst possible Nature for each and every one of them :U

also please don't block off Mew lord knows the event only bullshit needs to die off forever

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It's live.

Quote

This update adds compatibility for Pokémon Sun & Moon in Pokémon Bank and also updates Poké Transporter for the ability to send Pokémon from Green, Red, Blue and Yellow up to Pokémon Bank. It requires 496 blocks to download and a requires a full redownload of the software rather than a patch. In addition to this, Poké Transporter Version 1.2's patch requires 420 blocks.

Also this update is the only way to get the Mewnium Z-Crystal.

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I'd just like to remind everyone that Mew glitch'd Mews can't be transferred, meaning that shiny new Mewnium Z you have is very likely useless.

Also there's still no non-Battle Tree Mega Stones because Game Freak is Game Freak and they can't use an oven without throwing it out and replacing it with a campfire.

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To be fair, Ranch is pretty far back and less obtainable for someone looking to get one around now. You have to have gotten My Pokemon Ranch back on the Wii, transferred it to Diamond/Pearl/Platinum, then kept transferring it gen by gen until you could transfer it to the bank in Gen 6. 

I speak as someone who still has that and the Manaphy Egg from Ranger which was equally as tedious. 

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19 minutes ago, VEDJ-F said:

Uh, the 20th Anniversary Mew is still a thing. 

True, but if someone couldn't get it when it was a thing (you had to be able to go to a retailer for starters), they're shit out of luck until the next time Game Freak decides to drip feed it.

(also both my Mews have neutral Natures and in retrospect I probably should've gone with a better one :U)

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The fact that the update still allows transferal between Gen 6 games and the overal interface still being the same briefly got my hopes up that maybe transferal between Gens 6 and 7 would work both ways.

But nope, once a Pokemon caught in Gen 6 is saved into a Gen 7 box, it becomes forever toxic to Gen 6 boxes and will kick it out again if you dry to drop it in one.

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