Welcome to my adventure log for Pokémon Sun! If you’ve been following the site for a few years, you might remember my adventure log for Pokémon Y, which you can find right here. It chronicled my impressions as I traveled through the Kalos region, and contained absolutely no spoilers until after I warned you about them! I’ll be doing exactly the same thing this time – I definitely feel like this is a game that you’ll be able to appreciate even more if you come in knowing nothing. I tried to avoid reading spoilers leading up to the game’s release, but considering my position as NintendoFuse’s resident Pokémon expert I was subject to all of the information that they’ve released via trailers and press releases. With that said, there’s still plenty of stuff that surprised me, even though I’m only two hours into the game at the time I’m writing this.
First thing’s first: this is the most cinematic Pokémon title to date. The scene where you choose your avatar is very different from the ones we’ve seen in previous generations, and right after I picked my character I was treated to an additional cutscene featuring a mysterious person that I imagine will be very prevalent in the story. This cutscene featured dynamic camera angles, an interesting twist on the information that Nintendo has already provided us with, and some excellent music to set the mood. This continued throughout my first two hours with the game; the camera moves dynamically with your character in free-flowing 3D space (no more tile-based gameplay)! Cutscenes presented different perspectives (including those of Pokémon, which stood out the most to me). Regular gameplay might still (mostly) be at a high angle, but the cutscenes have certainly gotten me excited to see more of what the game has to offer.
Gameplay, so far, has been pretty much what I expected, with the exception of the aforementioned lack of tile-based movement. Pokémon Trainers can challenge you as soon as you enter their line of sight, and as you approach that ‘line’ the camera focuses in on the two of you, indicating that a battle is about to start. Pokémon battles also feature Trainers in the background and you can see them shouting out attacks to their Pokémon partners. It adds another layer of realism to the world, as well as to the cinematography that I already love so much.
The story is REALLY standing out to me as far as Pokémon narratives go. I always felt that X and Y were the pinnacle of storytelling as far as the franchise goes (even though it didn’t really get exciting until near the end), but this game has already presented me with so many unknowns that are driving me forward. The cinematography definitely helps, but the way the entire game is laid out seems to be very different from previous Pokémon games (the idea of beating eight gyms and then challenging the Elite Four has been turned on its head). Not only that, but the NPCs seem to be better-written and more interesting. Usually they will just spout off useless nonsense (and there is still a fair bit of that here), but there’s also plenty of backstory about other characters, the world, and how it relates to other Pokémon titles.
The wild Pokémon themselves have been really well-balanced between new Pokémon and classic Pokémon, although I still haven’t seen very many between generations 3 and 6 (this is Generation 7, in case you have been out of the loop for a while). I’ve found that the distribution of Pokémon has been really great across the different areas; from one route to the next city, I can find completely different Pokémon.
So far Pokémon Sun has proven to be incredibly cinematic and varied in the Pokémon I’ve encountered. I’m hoping to be able to comment on more of the story and gameplay at a later date – the demo definitely showed off a lot more than I’ve seen so far.
I don’t honestly feel like there is very much for me to go through in this section this early in the game, but I’m definitely interested to find out more about Lillie, since she was the focus of the cutscene after you choose your character. Cosmog is also a very interesting Pokémon, considering it seems like members of the Aether Foundation (which I always imagined to be good) were trying to steal it from Lillie.
I’ve chosen Rowlet as my starter Pokémon (who could resist that bow tie?) and am about to start my first Island Challenge – stay tuned for more!