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  1. Welcome to the ninetieth 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. Meloetta is being distributed via the Nintendo Network until December 24th. -------------------------------- Quick to Learn, Easy to Master It“s been a little bit! Let“s play catch-up, before I get to anything else today. With the distribution of Meloetta going live around a week ago, and Magearna“s QR code being out in the wild for most regions, there are officially 6th Gen or later variants of every single Mythical Pokémon currently known. If you“ve been diligent in grabbing all of them, you can definitely catch all 721 Pokémon in 6th Gen with just X or Y + Omega Ruby or Alpha Sapphire. The above notion is actually one of the things I“ve been thinking about since writing my review of Pokémon Sun & Moon. I“ve been a “card-carrying Pokémon Master” since Diamond & Pearl. Game Freak has offered many forms of rewards and recognition for players who do the unthinkable, in this regard. Since Black & White, the Shiny Charm has been the ultimate “thing” you can get for completing your National Pokédex. Not many people had it, because grabbing 721 critters is just... an intimidating endeavor, to be sure. Do the thing, and the Professor who introduced you to Sinnoh, Unova, or Kalos is kind of in awe of you. When you complete your Pokédex in Alola — a mere 300 strong, if we don“t include Magearna and maybe one other we don“t know about yet — you get your Shiny Charm and all the recognition that was formerly relegated to folks who caught everything, not just everything in a particular region. For the first time since Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald... they didn“t pass along a National Pokédex in the first bits of the post-game. I know one is confirmed for Bank, but... I“m genuinely doubtful we“ll see it patched into Sun & Moon. Granted, plenty of Ohmori“s changes have been unprecedented so far... maybe I should “never say never.” I think Game Freak recognizes that 802 is too high a number, though. Moving forward, I would not be surprised to see “8th Gen” start off in a new place with only a limited number of creatures attainable, like Alola. It makes sense for your Pokédex to ignore over half of the total roster, so that “catching ”em all” is actually doable. I“m living proof it can be done in just 100 hours — I had no help from ORAS or any games that came before it. But I“m so conflicted, if this is the new direction for Pokémon. Is invalidating your most devoted, compulsive completionists in favor of making the Shiny Charm and other exclusive rewards more obtainable... really the answer? Here“s something else I“m thinking about. Data-miners (who are the reason we know no data for the National Pokédex currently exists in Sun & Moon) recently uncovered walking and running animations for all currently known Pokémon. You know... like HeartGold & SoulSilver had, because they let the leader of your team walk behind you, like Pikachu in Yellow Version. A painstaking amount of work has been put into something that was ultimately left on the cutting-room floor. Why would you put that amount of effort into something that would go unused? Unless Pokémon Stars, the rumored “third game” for the Nintendo Switch... a system that“s definitely more powerful than the entire Nintendo 3DS family... is where we“ll see this become reality. But hey, now I“m just putting on my Speculation Cap again. Anyway: if this feature was initially planned for Sun & Moon, I bet it had to be cut because the Old 3DS can“t handle the amount of power it would require. We“ll see if this juicy secret that data-miners uncovered makes itself known in future Pokémon games. Fans have certainly been clamoring for it to come back! I still have a lot to say, in my post-Alolan honeymoon. I“ll see y“all next week, to talk about why so many things about 6th Gen, in terms of mechanics and accessibility, best the games that came after.
  2. Jonathan Higgins

    Review: Pokémon Sun and Moon

    Developer: Game Freak Publisher: The Pokémon Company Platform: Nintendo 3DS Release Date: November 18th, 2016 ESRB: E for Everyone Note: This review is based on a playthrough of Pokemon Sun, though Pokemon Moon is largely the same game with minor differences, such as its own exclusive Pokemon and the clock being twelve hours ahead. Many people call me many different things. But — without a doubt — I am “the Pokémon guy” of my friend circle. My long-running feature articulates my love, minor compulsions, and many criticisms of the series in a way that what I“m about to write... must concentrate into something much shorter, more concise. As I“m sitting down to write this, I“ve spent over a hundred hours with the game. I“ve absorbed everything the main story and the plot-driven portions of the post-game have to offer. My Alolan Pokédex is even 100% complete. It“s probably the furthest I“ve ever sunk into a game before sitting down to review it, if I“m being honest. Brevity has never been my strong-suit, in both playing Pokémon and attempting to analyze it. But without further ado, let me say this: Above all, I am very conflicted about Sun & Moon. The newest games actually have a brand new director behind them, Shigeru Ohmori. A different pair of eyes overseeing all aspects of development is likely one of the key reasons that Alola, the new region... feels like the most refreshing thing to happen to Pokémon since fan-favorites Gold & Silver. Anyone who“s been playing these games forever will likely sing praises of major and minor adjustments to “the Pokémon formula,” as it were. That“s where I“ll start. Moves called Hidden Machines used to force players who wanted to fully explore the world to build their Pokémon team around them. Want to cut obtrusive bushes that block the way to hidden items? Better raise a Grass Type Pokémon with you that can learn “Cut,” or you won“t be able to proceed. Want to fast-travel from one town to the next? Put a Flying Type Pokémon and “Fly” on your team, lest you be inconvenienced. Sun & Moon finally make HMs obsolete with Riding Pokémon. Folks who want to fast-travel can use their nifty Ride Pager to call up a Charizard on a whim, who“s happy to take you wherever you need to go. Want to Surf? Eventually you“ll get a Lapras to call on, even if you never put a single Water Type Pokémon on your team. Pokémon games used to be about collecting eight Gym Badges, then taking on the Pokémon League and becoming the Champion. It was that way from 1996 to 2013 — always the same song and dance, no matter where you were or what system you were playing on. Alola introduces something else brand new: the Island Challenge. While this concept serves a very similar purpose to the one Gyms used to... it knocks down the archetypes of four walls and eight people being the biggest trials you“ll ever overcome. I“ve personally found Gyms to be the biggest reason why each new Pokémon region and game amounted to predictable fodder at best. Their removal meant me approaching Alola itself... and the game“s story... with unpredictability and wonder. Instead of conquering gyms, I was doing things like... exploring a haunted shopping mall, taking pictures of Ghost Pokémon with my PokéFinder before they discovered me and challenged me to a battle. Instead of Gym Leaders, the biggest challenge of each Island Trial was its “Totem Pokémon” — a big, burly boss with buffed up stats. This boss could call underlings in what I would soon learn was called an “S.O.S. Battle.” More on those, which extend far beyond Island Trials, in a bit. After clearing each and every Island Trial of a particular Island I was on... I would take on its “kahuna”... a leader figure to each island that serves more like a mayor, or a defender of justice, than a mere “Gym Leader.” Riding Pokémon and the Island Trial are the two biggest changes to what longtime fans know. They“re what you“ll see in every single review, and probably what“s on the back of the box (I can“t verify since I went digital). But there are several minor adjustments that I“ve been waiting for someone, somewhere to implement too. I“ve already blabbed about the evolved GUI for the length of a full review. I could probably double that with the new things I“ve learned about it since playing. Suffice to say: if you“re brand new to Pokémon... and most of what I“ve been saying sounds like complete gibberish? The game wants to help you. It“ll tell you how effective a particular move you want to use will be against a foe, once you“ve seen for yourself what type of Pokémon it is. If you“re carrying the maximum six Pokémon you can take with you and catch another... the game will ask you whether you want your new friend to join your party, or be sent off to the PC. It lets you see a full summary of the Pokémon“s moves and Nature, as well as the ones currently with you, before you ever leave the capture screen! There“s just so much. Sweeping and small mechanical changes are just half of what makes Alola so refreshing, to me. I loved the characters and “world” more than any other Pokémon game, so far. Hau, your rival... completes every island trial after you do, is brimming with optimism almost to a fault, and deeply cares about Pokémon and the people around him. He reminds me of Pokémon Trainer Red from the Game Boy days. He“s always happy lagging behind someone more experienced, with a Pikachu no less... but with seemingly great potential, too. Lille is a character who“s got a bit of mystery around her, and undergoes the most evolution and development in the story. The Pokémon Professor Kukui, the kahunas and the trial captains, the bad folks (Team Skull), and every other major character in Alola... all help communicate this idea that Alola is a truly unique place in the world of Pokémon. If creating something refreshing and new, that feels welcoming to new and returning players alike, was what Director Ohmori endeavored to do... I“d say he achieved his goal. It“s just a shame that I feel so many compromises were made in the process. In 2013, Pokémon X&Y introduced players to the Kalos region. With it, the total Pokémon count went from 649 to 721. Of the 721 known Pokémon at the time, 450 of them were available to catch with just Pokémon X or Pokémon Y. Each time you visited a new part of Kalos, you were given a new piece of the “Regional Pokédex” that had 150 or so brand new critters to find, to help make up that total. There was never any overlap. You could never really run out of things to catch or evolve, unless you were the compulsive type like me. And therein lies my biggest problem with Sun & Moon: the Alolan Pokédex is tiny! With these games, the total Pokémon count goes from 721 to 802. The DexNav from Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire helped catalog the tons of Pokémon you could find in any given area. I suppose that feature was removed in Alola because... there aren“t nearly as many to worry about. In order to make Sun & Moon less intimidating on newcomers, it seems, the total catchable critters in the game is only 300. That“s less than the Kalos region, and less than half of the total Pokémon out there. Alola is a region of four islands. Each island has its own “Regional Pokédex”, similar to Kalos. This time, though, there is definite overlap. Upon arriving to the game“s final island... I“d already completed over 50% of its Regional Pokédex... indicating that I“d see most of the same critters I“d already been seeing, over and over again, despite being in a brand new place. Alola“s environments are refreshing and new... but its fauna doesn“t boast the same qualities. There“s not even a “National Pokédex.” For the first time in 12 years: the 300 Pokémon currently native to the Alola Region are all that will ever be recorded in your game“s Pokédex, as far as I can tell. It encourages newcomers to “catch ”em all” and be card-carrying Pokémon Masters... by actively ignoring over half of the Pokémon that aren“t in these games. But see: that“s just something I personally don“t see eye-to-eye with. The fauna of Alola, and one“s Pokédex progress, could bounce off a whole lot of you. And that“s fine. But let me get into properly explaining what“s so flawed about the concept behind S.O.S. Battles. After completing the first Island Trial of the game... normal Wild Pokémon can call for help in the same way the Totem Pokémon do. If you“re trying like heck to catch a Pikachu... you“ll have to put off catching him if he calls one of his buddies at the end of your turn. Over and over again, until the “help doesn“t appear” or it decides not to. I was trying to catch a Cubone... and I had to knock out 16 other Cubones to get to him. That“s just cumbersome, no matter how you slice it. I get trying to add an extra layer of challenge to catching Pokémon. But I think S.O.S. Battles take things a little too far sometimes. Of the 300 Pokémon available to catch in Alola, 39 of them are “S.O.S. Battle Exclusive.” This means that they only appear in the wild if a friend calls them for help... and their appearance is typically hinged on a 10% or 5% chance, if not lower. That... is how you take “a little too far” even farther, to the point where I“ve relied on trading online to complete my Pokédex more than ever before. Even outside of S.O.S. Battles — there are several Pokémon with a 1% encounter rate by normal means. Some evolution items, like Sneasel“s Razor Claw, can only be found being held by Wild Pokémon. You have a 5% chance of encountering a Wild Jangmo-o in a certain place... and said Jangmo-o has a 5% chance of holding onto the Razor Claw you need. That“s a problem! Your only solution is to have absolutely incredible luck, or to spend forever having Jangmo-o call for help in an “S.O.S. Chain” until one shows up that“s holding the item. The concept of a “rare Pokémon” or “rare item” is taken to absolutely obscene levels in Alola... making most not worth the effort to seek out without online intervention. And hey: if you experience a communication error while trading or battling online, you will be unable to use those features for “a while” — anywhere from fifteen minutes to up to 72 hours. There really is a lot to love about Pokémon Sun & Moon. I didn“t even address some of the other stuff I enjoyed: like how PokéPelago is going to be worth investing time into for the unique items and rewards it yields, with minimal effort. Trainer customization is back, too; you can style your character in heaps and handfuls of different ways. And the soundtrack, which I consider to be the best they“ve ever produced, by a long-shot. There“s at least one major “dislike” I didn“t get to either... because mentioning the changes to Effort Values and competitive play would keep me here forever. To most, the Alola Region, and these games, are probably going to be widely hailed as the finest hour for the franchise so far. And I“d agree with them... but only to a point. I love that Alola is the most refreshing place I“ve had the pleasure to explore in my twenty-year Pokémon journey. I“m vexed that handfuls of Sun & Moon“s more obtuse mechanical changes, and artificial means to make “rare stuff” all the rarer, make me miss the games that came before. Pros + Several long-awaited mechanical changes help to make this the most refreshing, and somewhat unpredictable Pokémon game you'll play so far. + The region of Alola is expertly crafted, with a strong sense of individuality and community that extends far beyond the narrative, to even influencing the GUI and altering traditional sound-effects. + I didn't run into a single new Pokémon I don't like...and hey, Pokémon you might know, like Raichu, have new appearances and battle styles! Cons - The Alolan Pokédex is the smallest compendium of creatures since Pokémon Diamond & Pearl, which released almost ten years ago. - The concept of a "rare Pokémon" or "rare item" has been stretched to levels border-lining the obscene. More than one Pokémon has a 1% encounter rate by normal means, Almost forty others are hidden behind "S.O.S. Battles" - "S.O.S. Battles" are extremely tedious to work with, outside of the Island Trials. If you want to catch a Pokémon, you'd better be ready to take down 2-6 of its buddies, minimum. Overall Score: 8 (out of 10) Great The Alola region of Pokémon Sun & Moon is probably the most refreshing place to hit Pokémon games in sixteen years. But some oddball design decisions may make some longtime fans miss how certain things used to be.
  3. Welcome to the eighty-eighth 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. Genesect is being distributed at GameStop until November 24th. 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! -------------------------------- Feelings on Spoilers Since February 26th, when the game was first announced, there have been 22 short videos sharing information and gameplay footage of Pokémon Sun & Moon released in North America alone. I did some rough math; all the game's videos on the Pokémon YouTube channel add up to about 50 minutes total. That doesn“t even include the special E3 bit, which would double that to almost 2 hours of recorded pre-release gameplay. Told you that to ask you this: [For you all,] How much is too much, when it comes to “spoiling” a Pokémon game“s content? Everything I“ve discussed on Individual Values since the game“s announcement has kept in line with the information revealed in the trailers thus far. We“ve seen brand new critters, we understand that old critters can take on new appearances and typings in Alola, and there are a myriad of brand new features making their debut in Sun & Moon...from Z-Moves, to an indirect return to Pokémon Snap. If you“ve never watched a single Sun & Moon trailer, though...and your first exposure to the game was playing the Special Demo Version when it released on the eShop last month...you got to see Riding Pokémon, Z-Moves, and even the PokéFinder for yourself, organically...without a specially curated trailer. If you scour the demo enough, you“d even get to see things like Alolan Dugtrio for yourself...recognizing that familiar Pokémon take on new forms in the game. With all that in mind--is it better to be in the dark? Would you rather see for yourself how much a paradigm shift the Sun & Moon games are shaping up to be, instead of being fed bits of information by an admittedly massive marketing machine? Are you completely indifferent, and you've already looked up the entire Alolan Pokédex and more thanks to leaks? For the first time since February, I“m going to reveal a potential “spoiler” about the post-game [??] of Sun & Moon...because the October 27th trailer did so. Skip to the next paragraph, if you're on "Media Blackout". I think knowing what the final evolutions of the Alolan starters are isn“t that big of a deal. And revealing new Pokémon isn“t really harmful to the experience, since there are a good number of them. But: telling me that Pokémon Trainer Red and Gary Oa--I mean Blue, are in the game and you get to fight them in a new place called the “Battle Tree” that lets you face Champions from other regions...might be taking it a bit too far, in my opinion. It kind of makes me wonder: if Gold, Silver & Crystal Version had been new releases in this day and age, would we know about the Kanto region being included in the game prior to taking our first step there? How many potential spoilers like that one are marketable and would help a game get talked about on Social Media? Is it ever going to be possible to experience a Pokémon game “like it used to be” anymore? Is knowing what starter you“ll choose plus the various bells and whistles a game has in advance...the most viable option for the modern and newly introduced Pokémon fan? I have more questions than revelations this week, so I“m certainly interested to hear your thoughts regarding any of the questions I“ve asked. But by golly, let me state for the record: I am ecstatic about what Popplio, Rowlet and Litten will turn out to be. Ye ole fire-cat is probably my least favorite of the three, but it“s not Fire/Fighting, so it“s good enough for me!
  4. Welcome to the seventy-ninth 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. Victini will be available via the Nintendo Network until September 24th. 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! -------------------------------- Choose Your Buddy The Nintendo Direct that happened yesterday brought some interesting Sun & Moon news. The Alolan Rattata is almost certain to become a meme in its own right -- that mustache makes it kind of resemble an old-timey comic book villain. And there“s the poor Ditto on the receiving end of Snorlax“s special Z-Attack, Pulverizing Pancake. Interesting that they chose to pack in a special kind of Z-Move as the "Launch Window Mystery Gift". In the past, it“s been a Pokémon -- like Genesect & Victini in the Black & White days, and Torchic and Shiny Beldum from 6th Gen. With the versatility you can see in , it looks like Z-Moves are going to be a competitive game-changer, in my opinion. There“s not a whole lot else to get to this week. Pokémon Snap didn“t come out today, like I thought it would -- likely because of both Axiom Verge on Wii U & Skyward Sword wildly overshadowing it. Maybe next week? Oh, and more Pokémon Sun & Moon news is confirmed for September 6th -- so maybe next week“s IV will be much more jam-packed. One last thing of note, though: something interesting was datamined from Pokémon GO. A future update could see the addition of “Buddy Pokémon” -- a concept that borrows a bit from HeartGold & SoulSilver, in practice. As per the findings: if I select a Pikachu I caught, it“ll walk beside me and gather Pikachu Candy, using the same method as one does to hatch eggs. This would feel most welcome, honestly -- as it allows folks who have only seen one kind of a certain Pokémon [like me and Vulpix] to let that one walk beside them and get its respective candy to help evolve or power it up. It also addresses something I did about a month ago -- it gives you the opportunity to interact with your Pokémon after you catch them, outside of gyms. While it“s a subtle thing at best, and it“s not actually here yet -- I think the whole concept of Buddy Pokémon is absolutely a step in the right direction. Here“s to more updates that move to better communicate the philosophies of the main games. GO still feels a little too much like a departure, to me personally. That does it for this week! How do y“all feel about the Alolan Rattata, or this reported “Buddy Pokémon” deal? What news awaits us in just a few days?
  5. Welcome to the sixty-sixth week of my Pokémon feature here on Game Podunk! In case you missed the last one, check it out! Stay tuned for future entries coming every Friday. Now is your chance to grab Darkrai at participating GameStop stores. The last day to do so is May 24th. 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! And hey, if you're reading this on the day it's published, you can grab a Shiny Xerneas from the Nintendo Network with your copy of XY/ORAS. -------------------------------- Aloha, Alola! I had a Pokémon Snap-related feature ready to go for this week, but then The Pokémon Company decided to have E3 come a month early--likely because Zelda won“t share much of the stage in Los Angeles. For those of you who haven“t heard, or who want to hear it again--this is the part where I say Aloha to Alola, the newest region in the world of Pokémon. We“ll get a chance to explore it for ourselves in Pokémon Sun & Moon when they release on November 18th, 2016 in most parts of the world. I have many things to say about both new trailers--the English and Japanese ones, that is--which you can see below. Let“s get the big part out of the way. The new starter Pokémon of the Alola region are Rowlet, Litten, and Popplio. Rowlet is a Grass Quill Pokémon that can attack without making a sound--it“s an owl with a bowtie. Litten is a logical, but also passionate...Fire Cat that has Ember hairballs. And Popplio is a Sea Lion Pokémon that can...snort out bubble attacks. Check out the official artwork of these new starters by clicking on their corresponding links there. I honestly haven“t been this wholly satisfied by the new set of Pokémon starters since seeing Johto“s for the first time. All three seem to be brimming with personality, which both the official art and even the footage we see in the Japanese trailer seem to highlight. I“ll be very surprised if my fiancédoesn“t end up with Rowlet as her starter, but me? I genuinely can“t decide. This may be the first time in a very long while that I wait until release day to make my Big Decision. Okay, now for the other big part: The English trailer and box arts both reveal two brand new Legendary Pokémon, which don“t have official names just yet. Pokémon Sun boasts a white lion very similar in appearance to Entei, while Pokémon Moon has a lunar bat whose closed wings form a complete circle that kind of reminds me of a clock. There“s a lot to love about both--they join the three starters, Magearna, and the two “wire-frame Pokémon” as the first handful of brand new Pokémon ushering in what is now unmistakably 7th Gen. Here“s an interesting thread about the subtle nods The Pokémon Company has made to more than one generation of Pokémon on specific hardware. Now then. There“s definitely talk of there being more to Alola than meets the eye...e.g. more than what the trailer has shown so far, which seems rather tiny in comparison to other regions. Here“s one school of thought that paints Alola as being several islands, like Hawaii itself. I, for one, think that the reason the trailer seems to have this obsession with showing just the southern parts of the region, hiding the rest behind mountains and clever camera angles, is because Alola is directly connected to Kalos, as discussed here. Only time will tell if one or both schools of thought are right, though. If 6th and 7th Gen are directly connected like Kanto and Johto, will it be a surprise revealed in the game, or will Game Freak heavily market it? It“s going to be interesting to watch this unfold. The Japanese trailer is so much more sentimental than the English one. It feels more like a natural extension of the that focuses on our own personal connections to the world of Pokémon and the real one. Here“s some things of note: 1) The Japanese trailer is listed as “#1”, so this is probably a “real life journey” that will continue a few more times until the game releases. And 2) There are a bunch more CoroCoro issues coming before the game“s release, and arguably no major Pokémon presence at E3, so...information could come a few more times, just like it did today. I know there are people out there who play differently than I do--but I“d honestly prefer to know as little about these games as possible, going in. I hope they keep new information to a minimum! And hey, here“s one last thing. Could the more sentimental Japanese trailer be hiding allusions to the new games, like the Super Bowl ad did? That settles it. The first major bit of news for Pokémon Sun & Moon is behind us. Have you decided which version you“re going to get based on its Legendary Pokémon alone? Which starter are you the most excited about? Be sure to let us know!
  6. Welcome to the sixty-third week of my Pokémon feature here on Game Podunk! In case you missed the last one, check it out! Stay tuned for future entries coming every Friday. Now is your chance to grab Jirachi via the Nintendo Network. No trip to GameStop necessary this time; just get your Mystery Gift via any Internet connection. 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! -------------------------------- Over the past year I“ve put together this feature, I“ve only vaguely addressed what I look for in Pokémon games. There“s a lot to be gleaned from my old Region Spotlight bits, I“m sure. But this week and next, I“m going to get down to the nitty-gritty. First and foremost, I“d like to discuss what my ideal Sun & Moon will be like, since those are games we know are coming. Next week, I“ll depart from what we know -- where I base my predictions, expectations, wants, etc off what little information is out there -- in favor of discussing what my ideal Pokémon game would be like, no holds barred. Without further ado: Reach for the Sun (and Moon) Like I mentioned last week: there is so much more to Pokémon than adding a hundred new creatures to the roster and distributing handfuls of them throughout the land. First and foremost--I want to state for the record that I would absolutely adore if there were only a few new additions to the overall total of Pokémon. If they brought the number from 721 to 750 [possibly 752 or 755 to account for brand new Mythical Pokémon, like always], plenty of people would be upset. But not this guy! There“s so much they can spend time refining if they don“t spend as much time coming up with new critters. Sure, give us a new Box Legendary (like Ho-Oh, Kyogre, and Palkia), a few brand new additions to each major type of environment in the game, and maybe a few extras. But there are plenty of folks out there who find 721 Pokémon is already a little overwhelming. A Generation that dropped heavy creature design in favor of tightening plot, characters, settings, and even battle type would be cool with me. Let“s talk about the things I“d like to return before I take a look at the bigger picture here. First and foremost, like I mentioned in my review a long time ago: The DexNav is quite possibly the best thing to ever happen to the “Pokémon catching” aspect of gameplay; I want and expect its return. I don“t mind if it takes a new form, since Hoenn is where the various “Nav” bits come from. But as long as its structure is still in place for Gen 7, I“m a happy Clamperl. Definitely want Horde battles to come back [possibly improved?], for my EV training ways. And here“s my “it“s a long shot, but you know [some of us] want it”: Make walking with your Pokémon a “big thing” like it was in HeartGold and SoulSilver. I“d be the first time we saw that feature return in almost six years, and would make an excellent nod to the Big Anniversary Ideal that caters to and celebrates fans. You could even release a separate Pokéwalker app on the 3DS, similar to Pokémon Dream Radar to get folks active without necessarily cannibalizing Pokémon GO! Moving on: I“m still wondering about the “flowers” hint that a Pokémon guy gave us a long time ago. This was prior to the announcement of the XY&Z anime, as well as Sun & Moon. If those games take place in a region directly connected to Kalos...I“m hoping we get a plot that“s centered around the resurrection of Team Flare, and borrows tons from Gold & Silver in how it“s connected, accounts for a passage of time, and maybe even features returning characters and a battle against “yourself” like Red, back then. If I“m really reaching, maybe it can feature three regions: Kalos, “New Kalos”, and Hoenn [or a bunch more?]. Since it“s the Big 20th Anniversary Game, I“m not really counting anything out. I“m really curious about how transferring Pokémon from Red, Blue and Yellow will work. It“s going to make a few Pokémon gain some crazy traction if there“s no restrictions in place. The example I“ll keep mentioning: Machamp learns Fissure in RBY... and gains the No Guard ability in current day. That“s a One Hit KO Move with 100% accuracy. I think it would be enough of an alteration to the metagame if there were no restrictions in place when it came to transferring. It would let Pokémon unable to learn certain moves gain them in a “transfer only” capacity, and whatnot. I“m sure there will be other battle mechanics added on that I can“t even imagine, but that“s a good enough starting point for me. And hey -- if you don“t want to give us the ability to have 750 potential Pokémon walking behind us, Game Freak: what about flagging the starter Pikachu from Yellow to be Special and letting it follow behind us! I think that“d be a neat touch. Last but not least -- and this stresses more potential ties to Kalos: it“s time for a fully customizable trainer again, and the chance to make your narrative that much more personal. Give folks an even wider variety of presets to use, even more clothes to buy, and possibly some costumes that make you look like Red, Gold, Brendan, Lucas, or their lady counterparts. Let folks decide if they want a male or female rival for themselves... and let us name that rival, instead of giving preset names like May and Serena. I think that should cover most of the bases! It“ll be fun to look back on this when we know [much] more about Sun & Moon in the coming months. Next week will be a departure from the confines of Sun & Moon to describe my ideal Pokémon experience from the ground up. In the meantime -- what do you want out of the games coming this holiday? Please do share!
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