The Nintendo Tree house went live on Tuesday June 14th and revealed much more about the upcoming Pokémon Sun and Moon games. It is surprising how much was discussed and shown on the E3 floor. Both Junichi Masuda and Shigeru Ohmori, producer and director of Sun and Moon were present to showcase first full length game play of Pokémon Sun and Moon. There was quite a lot of information and it did not disappoint. The production of the game is certainly focusing on immersion and the importance of having players become enthralled within the Alola region. The character models have a natural flow in movement and personality as they walk, run, and go through different terrains.
One clip demonstrates how the character model adapts to its surrounding terrain like walking in almost strenuous motion when going uphill in an area of the game. Both character and environment seem to be evolving together to emphasize immersion. Small changes like these really add to the overall experience of the game.
Another way that the environment will pull in players are the added features like the shadow bars that appear on the top screen. These shadows come into focus when approaching a potential trainer seeking to battle. It is a great gesture that truly adds to the tension when running into trainers along the journey. One other artistic value that was for a long time left unconfirmed are the trainers and onlookers in the background. When questioned during the QA portion, Mr. Masuda and Ohmori, confirmed that the trainer will now be present in the battle camera angles during wild and trainer battles. This is a completely new artistic direction not seen before in the series and which is a change from a behind view perspective of your Pokémon while battling. This new direction will also extend to certain parts of the game where other NPC’s maybe present in the background to cheer on the battle.
Fans of the series definitely ask for new and more challenging ways to play Pokémon, well Pokémon Sun and Moon will be adding a new game mode called Battle Royal where four trainers enter the ring with 1 of 3 of their Pokémon and have a free for all to be crowned winner of the match. Players will be forced to think even more strategically of their own battle style and the decisions on whom they choose to attack because in one turn, unknowing, trainers could choose to attack one player simultaneously. This new mode will definitely test players and make decision making crucial to winning the match in the Battle Royal arena. Interestingly, within the battle royal game play we learned with much excitement that character customization is indeed making a return to the series like that of Pokémon X & Y. As one the female characters throws out her Pokémon, the trainer can be seen showcasing some of the new clothing options not previously seen before like accessories, head ware, and outerwear. Both producer and director mentioned that they can confirm that the feature will be part of the new installment.
Moving onto battle mechanics, the bottom screen has made some changes that make menu options easier and more efficient when playing throughout the game. Some of these things include the pokeball button to easily throw them instead of going through the menu. Another is the added feature to the move selection options, which gives a trainer hints as to whether or not a Pokémon’s moves are effective against an opponent Pokémon, furthermore, the menu keeps track of stat changes like boost and drops. In relation to battling more so competitively, the menu tracking system is going to make recording and remembering an opponent’s battle strategy easier to remember making decision making about one’s next move more assertive.
Now for the Pokemon reveals, three new Pokémon were unveiled during the gameplay and they are Grubbin, Yungoos, and Pikipek. Pikipek is the woodpecker Pokémon teased back in the original announcement trailer for Pokemon Sun and Moon. It is a Normal and Flying type with access to abilities Keen Eye and Skill Link. Yungoos is known as the Loitering Pokémon and is the first Pokémon that appeared as part of the game play in the wild grass. It is a normal type with the abilities Stakeout and Strong Jaw. Its new ability stakeout allows it to make its normal moves double in strength when Pokémon switch out and in during battle. Lastly, there is Grubbin the larve Pokémon. It is a bug tyoe with the ability swarm. Apart from the new Pokémon we received more details from the Pokémon Sun and Moon site on Solgaleo, Lunala, and Magearna. Solgaleo and Lunala will be receiving new forms. It is still unknown what power these new forms hold but all that is known thus far is that the forms are called Radiant Sun Phase and Full Moon Phase. As for Magearna, its soul heart ability increases its special attack when a Pokémon faints during battle furthermore, one of its new moves is called Fleur Cannon.
The news revealed during and after E3 is exciting and is definitely adding more fuel to the hype train. I do not believe more could have been asked for and at this point in time the press on the games has been heavy handed and hope that there is still more to uncover after the games are released.
And as always, be the best version of yourself!
–Pokemon Breeder Bertii