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Individual Values: A Pokémon Feature - Week 86: Demolition Switch

Individual Values Pokémon Sun & Moon Special Demo Version Nintendo Switch

Welcome to the eighty-sixth week of my Pokémon feature here on Game Podunk! In case you missed last week's, check it out. Stay tuned for future entries coming every Friday.

Keldeo is available via the Nintendo Network until this coming Monday, October 24th. Volcanion is being distributed at GameStop until October 31st. Every single Mythical Pokémon will be distributed during a specific month for the remainder of this year. Now may be your only chance for a really long time, to actually catch them all!





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Demolition Switch



...I never would have imagined I’d be talking about the Pokémon Sun & Moon Demo and the revealed identity of Nintendo’s Codename “NX” in the same week. But here we are. Honestly, I’m a little overwhelmed. In the grand scheme of things, departing from the “Wii” and “DS” branding has be breathing the actual biggest sigh of relief. As soon as you see the preview trailer for the Nintendo Switch, you’ll see why this whole thing’s going to come back around to Pokémon in a little while.

For now, let’s get a rather big “negative” out of the way. I put that in quotes, because depending on how much you carethis news could bounce right off you. As I feared, the demo for Pokémon Sun & Moon was data-mined within hours. I haven’t sought out spoilers and won’t...and you can rest assured that my Individual Values feature will remain spoiler-free and never discuss data-mined content prior to the game’s release. But for those curious, the entire 7th Generation Pokédex is out there for the world to see now, including every new Pokémon & many not-yet-officially-known Alolan Forms. I think even more info may be out there, but...I’m absolutely living up to the metaphor of putting my head in the ground, and have since the demo released.

You all definitely don’t want to hear me waffle on about the Demo for 600 words, when you could just go grab it as we speak and see for yourself. But I’ll offer a few tid-bits in case you’re still on the fence:

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The Pokémon Sun & Moon Demo is a stand-alone experience that is separate from events in the main game. It has locations you’ll probably rediscover, but the tasks you perform will not be replicated. The story has you take a Greninja sent to you from a mysterious trainer who forgot to write his name, and participate in a quick Island Trial that primarily uses the Poké Finder. It’s got its fair share of battles, so you can see the new and improved UI in action. It’s almost inevitable that you’ll see your Greninja become Ash-Greninja through its Battle Bond Ability. And Professor Kukui lends you his Pikachu holding a Z-Crystal, so you’ll specifically get to see its Z-Move in action during the climax of the story.

The unfolding story involves menial tasks, at best. “Go do the thing! Fight the thing!” After about twenty minutes or so of content, you’ll see the trailer for the game, signifying that the demo has come to a close. But: there’s still more to do! If you jump back in after the fact, you’ll unlock Poké Ride to play with a bit, be able to catch (but not keep) critters, discover plenty of items to bring over to the full game, and more. There’s plenty of content, and it’s going to be spread out through daily events. It gives you reason to keep coming back to your tiny piece of the Alola Region before the full game.

A few things of note. The UI is even better seen in practice. You can view a Pokémon’s EVs and IVs from the conventional Summary screen for the first time in the main series, with a simple mash of the Y button. Longtime series jingles, like the “Item Get!” chime and the capture music...all have a very Hawaiian flair to them. Even beyond the graphical interface, you’ll notice right away that everything about how the game functions wants Alola to feel unique. There’s not much new in the way of music...it’s all stuff we’ve heard from the various trailers released up to this point. Team Skull isn’t evil...they’re just hard.

I’d give the demo a solid eight out of ten, personally. It’s not going to break any ground with its content, but it does a decent job of showing what’s new and returned with the 7th Generation games. You really should give it a try, if you’re not chomping at the bit for Sun & Moon. If you are though, and you don’t really care about Ash-Greninja...I might suggest waiting a bit. Some of the features the demo offers [like Poké Ride for example] feel kind of shoe-horned in. It may be better to experience these things as the actual game’s story allows, with a team you can keep and raise for yourself, instead of just one Pokémon. Don’t let me deter you though!

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The Nintendo Switch seems like everything the Wii U should have been, in my opinion. Conceptually, it’s like if the Wii U and 3DS merged together to form a beautiful demi-god console & portable hybrid. As seen in the preview trailer, you can indeed play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the go...at the park, on a plane, or in the backseat of your car. If console and portable development have truly merged into one thanks to the Switch--it’s only natural to assume that, for the first time ever, we could see a mainline Pokémon game developed with both portable and TV play in mind. By the time we see an 8th Generation of games, if the Switch has a successful market...hoo, just imagine the possibilities! The Switch certainly seems like it’s ushering a new frontier for Nintendo Gaming. This may hold true for Game Freak and The Pokémon Company as well.

Have you played the Sun & Moon Demo for yourself? How do we all feel about it? How did y’all react to the Switch reveal? I guess the “NX” is now the “NS”. Plenty to share, if you’re so inclined!


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