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Pokémon Sun and Moon: Aloha, new Trainers!

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     Pokémon GO took over our summer, having us traveling all throughout neighborhoods in search of that ever-elusive Abra and Hitmonlee. Since everyone’s summer was occupied by playing Pokémon GO, this new Nintendo 3DS Pokémon adventure takes the player to the Alola region with Pokémon Sun and Moon!

     The new game was first announced via Nintendo Direct on the 20th anniversary of Pokémon Red and Green’s releases (commonly referred to as Pokémon Red and Blue in America). The generation seven 3DS game brings many new features and Pokémon to the table, freshening up the experience of previous Pokémon games. The game also boasts that it will be playable in new languages, such as Simplified and Traditional Chinese.

     The player starts in the region of Alola, a region based off of the popular and exotic U.S. state Hawaii. With sunny skies and beautiful water as its environment, Professor Kukui advises the player to go around Alola’s four islands to complete the “Island Challenge”, which includes defeating its Trial Captain and facing off against a special Totem Pokémon. After these tasks are completed, the player goes against the Island Kahuna and then moves onto the next island.

     New Pokémon forms (dubbed ‘Alolan’ forms, which are specific Pokémon that exclusive to the Alola region only) seem to be a very important change in this new region. A fan favorite is the new Alolan Exeggutor, which has a tall neck similar to a palm tree. The growth of this creature’s long neck is because of the “environment of the Alola region, where strong sunlight pours down all year round” (pokemon-sunmoon.com). Another Pokémon that has an Alolan form is Vulpix, which moved with humans to the Alola region, but moved towards its snowy mountain to avoid other Pokémon. Now, it takes on a white, snowy-like appearance instead of its usual brown fur.

     The new villains in this game are dubbed Team Skull. Not much is known about them as of yet (as information about the game is still being released), but their leader, Guzma, knows that both he and Professor Kukui haven’t been able to become Trial Captains after many attempts in the past.

     On September 20, version-exclusive Pokémon were announced for Pokémon Sun and Moon. In Sun, a new fighting-type Pokémon named Passimian will only be in that version of the game. A similar Pokémon, named Oranguru, will only be available to Moon players. There many other version differences between the two games, such as Pokémon Moon being set twelve hours ahead of Pokémon Sun. This will allow for an even more unique experience, and the player should be aware of this before picking up a copy of these games. Does the player tend to be free during the day or rather be a night owl and play then?

     The starters of this new generation of Pokémon have fans both old and new ecstatic. Rowlet, Litten, and Popplio resonated with players mostly due to their simple and outright cute designs. There were some favorites picked out as well, but overall, everyone seemed to be enjoying the new starting Pokémon. However, many pondered for weeks about their next evolutions as many leaks were spread around that detailed their second and final evolutions (along with their final typings as well). Nevertheless, at least part of that question was answered on October 4, where a trailer was released that featured Dartrix, Torracat, and Brionne in action. The same effect could be applied to this with the first time the world was introduced to the first evolutions of the starters. Everyone loved them and chose their favorites, showing no hate to just one starter. This ordeal shows that Pokémon Sun and Moon is building up to something that any Pokémon fan can enjoy, whether they be a veteran or someone who’s jumping in the series due to the infamous Pokémon GO app.

     A special demo version of Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon that has released on October 18 will have players journeying throughout the Alola region early. This demo should give insight into how the game and its new graphics will run, which brings excitement to many as players play these new games.

     With so many more new features and Pokémon that these games are bringing, Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon are shaping up to be wonderful games in their own right, as this is a perfect way to celebrate the series’ 20th anniversary. Both of these games hits store shelves on November 18, 2016.

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