Pokemon Sun and Moon at E3: Stunning Gameplay and New Pokemon
Nintendo’s E3 coverage was mostly meant to be dedicated to the new Legend of Zelda title, but Pokemon Sun and Moon have already made a huge impact.
Information about these new titles has been steadily dispersed throughout the year, but players were finally able to see some authentic gameplay footage at E3.
The segment featured Mr. Ohmori and Mr. Masuda, the game designer and director respectively, who answered questions about the upcoming games and provided insight about the gameplay footage that could be seen.
When asked why sun and moon, Ohmori and Masude responded that the sun acts as a lifesource in our world, and the moon also has a profound effect on our lives, and they wanted the Alola region to be a land teeming with life.
It seems that now more than ever mythology will play key roles in the story of Sun and Moon. It was confirmed that the two new legendary Pokemon Solgaleo and Lunala are emissaries of the sun and moon respectively and will play unique roles in the plots of the games.
Also seen in the gameplay footage was a festival at which the player will battle Hau, their Alola friend and rival trainer. It is said that each island in the Alola region has a guardian Pokemon, and there is a mysterious spirit called Tapu Koko that was referenced briefly but not discussed in any detail yet. A quick web search will tell you that “tapu” is a Polynesian concept of the taboo, or something to be protected. It will be interesting to see where the lines are drawn between real life cultures and game lore.
Aside from some of the concepts of Pokemon Sun and Moon being further discussed, design elements were also addressed. It was noted that the proportions of the player characters are a bit different in these games than they were in Pokemon X and Y and Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby. This was in an attempt to make the characters a bit more realistic in appearance and thus create a more immersive world.
Additionally, the environment features more realistic tall grass for trainers to battle in. It may seem like a small feature, but having the tall grass naturally appear in paths makes the world that much more believable.
As players approach other trainers in the game, a shadow appears around the borders of the screen. This is to create a feeling of intensity and alert players that a battle is coming up in case they want to heal their Pokemon or avoid the battle altogether. Once spotted, trainers will not approach the player, but rather will stay put. Much to my surprise (and enjoyment!) trainers now appear behind their Pokemon in battle to emphasize the involvement between trainers and Pokemon. This means that even minor character trainers (Lasses, Youngsters, etc.) are fully animated and appear in battle.
During battle, players can check the statuses of both their Pokemon and their opponents’ Pokemon. There are also information icons on attacks that tell players what each move does. Once a Pokemon has been encountered once, your Pokemon’s moves are also indicated as being effective, not very effective, or super effective against that Pokemon.
The Alola region will feature Pokemon from other regions much like the Kalos region did. Some of the new Pokemon that were announced just today include Yungoos, a normal type; Pikipek, a normal/flying type; and Grubbin, a bug type.
Lastly, a new multiplayer battle mode, Battle Royal, was introduced. In Battle Royal, four trainers can battle each other at a time. Players can choose up to three Pokemon to use and battle with them one at a time. The player must indicate which Pokemon in the Battle Royal they will be targeting, creating the ability to strategize.
Overall, the new Pokemon games look superb. At first, I was not particularly amazed by what I saw; the games just looked to be a rehashing of the magic of X and Y. However, the attention to detail that has gone into Sun and Moon can finally be fully understood now that actual gameplay footage has been shown. I’m convinced. Sun and Moon truly is a new generation of Pokemon.
Author: Daftly Debonair
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