Pokemon Ultra Sun Review

I have been a fan of Pokemon ever since I was little. I have most of the games and I enjoyed playing most of them. My favorite Pokemon game of all time is Soul Silver (with the Gen 5 games as a close second). However, I don’t really replay games since I know I won’t get the same enjoyment as I did when playing it for the first time.

I played Pokemon Moon last year. It was an okay game. It wasn’t the best game or the worst. Pokemon Ultra Sun, on the other hand, just felt like a rehash of S/M. It was basically the same thing except with changes. I have mixed feelings about these changes.

For starters, I’ll go over the changes I liked. First is the shortened beginning. In Pokemon Sun and Moon, the tutorial and the segment from where you move into your house to when you get your starter is the longest beginning I’ve have ever experienced in a Pokemon game. I do like that it’s a bit shortened, but, at the same time, I felt like the long tutorial gives a bit of flavor to the new environment that surrounds the player character as he/she moves into the new region of Alola.

There’s also the addition of new Pokemon. There aren’t new Alola forms, but I did like the inclusion of older pokemon. I caught a Buneary, which I never used, and he helped me a lot. I think that the inclusion of more Pokemon from the older games does make it different from the previous games.

I also like that there are new locations like the Pikachu Forest and Mantine surfing beaches. It shows that there are more places to explore.

I think the change that I really liked was the increased difficulty in battles. Oh boy, I lost a lot of battles in Ultra Sun and Moon. Trainer AI’s are smarter and use items to prevent their pokemon from being knocked out and prolonging the battle. I like that. If battles are too easy, then it wouldn’t be fun. There are also changes in Totem Pokemon for some trials…and they are difficult.

If you thought Totem Lurantis was hard in the previous game, say hello to Alola Marowak. I lost to this Pokemon twice! I lost to Totem Lurantis twice as well in Pokemon Moon, but I feel like Alola Marowak was more of a challenge since it’s faster. I remember having to use my Cottonee’s Poison Powder (Bless the Prankster ability) to poison it because I didn’t want to lose to it again. It was frustrating, but it was exciting. Totem Araquanid was quite tough too.

I also like how the Trial Captains are more involved in the story too. For example, Ilima appears more and there are some side quests that involve around him. Mina also gets a trial and a Totem Pokemon too.

Hau is more involved in the story too. His team is stronger than in Sun and Moon. Instead of Professor Kukui being your opponent in the Elite Four, Hau is your opponent.

Speaking of which, the family dynamic between Lillie, Lusamine and Gladion was something I liked seeing in Ultra Sun. In Sun and Moon, the family deteriorated over Lusamine’s obsessions with Ultra Beasts. In Ultra Sun and Moon, the family bond wasn’t as bad, but I can sympathize with Lusamine for her actions (because they don’t revolve around Ultra Beasts, but rather with Necrozma) unlike her original counterpart. I do like how the family was able to mend their bonds again in Ultra Sun and Moon while in Sun and Moon, Gladion seemed to be left out most of the time.

The inclusion of Necrozma is a bit hit-or-miss for me. Having Necrozma as the antagonist instead of Lusamine is interesting because the main villain is a Pokemon rather than human. Necrozma was the focus of USUM and Ultra Beasts were reduced to nothing more than post-game captures. I think it’s interesting because it shows that the story can be changed if the primary focus shifts.

What I didn’t like was the Ultra Recon Squad. Despite the fact that I lost to Dulce on my first try, I think that having the Ultra Recon Squad and the Ultra Megapolis stuff was a bit of wasted potential. I thought the Ultra Recon Squad was going to be antagonistic, but they’re allies.

I do think that the inclusion of Necrozma also made the story jumble a bit. Even if Necrozma was the main antagonist…it didn’t really do that much villainous things. I feel like the plotlines became a bit scattered that Game Freak and to readjust a lot of things.

Other than that, Ultra Sun and Moon…just feels like an expanded Sun and Moon. Actually, that’s what it is supposed to be. I do love the Team Rainbow Rocket episode because it makes the post-game feel like there’s more out there. Sun and Moon’s only important post-game content was the Ultra Beast capture (and the Battle Tree, let’s not forget that). Other than that, there wasn’t all that much to do. In USUM, there’s Team Rainbow Rocket, capturing Zygarde, Ultra Warp Ride, Legendary Pokemon capture, and etc.

Overall, Ultra Sun is…an okay game. It’s not OMG amazing or extremely awful, but if I were to give it a scale from 1 to 10, I’d give it…5.9 out of 10. It’s not great to be a six yet it’s not that bad to be a five. It’s enjoyable to an extent, but I think it’s a game that’s probably good if played the first time and boring in consecutive play throughs.

Also, my Pokemon team:

  • Decidueye
  • Lopunny
  • Lycanroc (Dusk Forme)
  • Sylveon (My second favorite Pokemon of all time–this one was newly appointed)
  • Lanturn (My favorite Pokemon of all time)
  • Alolan Ninetales

Also, Happy New Year! May today be the start of a great day and year for all of you!

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