Pokemon Sun and Moon are quite a divergence from the traditional Pokemon formula. Rather than traveling to various gyms, collecting badges and defeating the Elite 4, Sun and Moon take you on a tour through the Alolan isles. Modeled after Hawaii, Alola is a series of islands each with its own unique habitats and Pokemon. However, each island also has its own Island Challenges, a rite of passage for any aspiring Pokemon trainer in the region. The goal this time around is to complete each island challenge and prove your strength as a trainer.

In addition to this change of format, Sun and Moon also introduce Z moves, powerful attacks that can only be used once per battle. If a Pokemon is holding a Z crystal it will have access to a Z move. There’s a crystal for every Pokemon type, and some crystals specific to various Pokemon (like the new starters). Each crystal gives access to a different move, meaning some Pokemon have unique Z moves that only they can activate. Personally I much prefer this Z move system to the Mega Evolution system introduced in the previous generation, however Mega Evolutions are still present (but you have to complete the game before gaining access to them).

There’s also a number of quality-of-life changes that any hardcore Pokemon fan can greatly appreciate, specifically relating to IV breeding. Also done away with are the HM moves that have been a long standing staple of the series. These moves are replaced with the new Poke Ride system, which allows you to call various Pokemon and ride them to pass certain obstacles. This is fantastic as it means no more carrying around an HM slave or having to sacrifice one of your favorite moves just to progress!

Pokemon Sun and Moon are a great change of pace for the series and introduce a lot of new features that I hope become mainstays of the games to come!

Time Played: 40-50 hours

Would I recommend it?: Absolutely!