I’m Not Feeling Pokémon Sun and Moon
I’ve been getting a feeling everyone is getting sick of the constant stream of Pokémon Go news. I actually enjoy the game, but I find myself worn down more and more with each post on social media and gaming sites. However, reliving the original generation in this glitchy mobile app has actually made me lose interest in the upcoming Pokémon Sun and Moon.
Now before you pick up your torches and pitchforks, I will say that it does have some interesting features like Hyper Training and Poké Ride (simply because I’m hoping I won’t need to carry as many HM slaves). I like the idea of Z-moves,but they look beyond stupid. Granted, that might just be the cringe-inducing animations before each attack.
I’ve been playing Pokémon since before I could read, which made getting past Viridian City surprisingly difficult, so I’ve gone through most generations both good and bad (admittedly I skipped Diamond and Pearl and Black and White 2). And the problem with this new generation is the same as White and Black, the new monsters designs in Pokémon Sun and Moon aren’t impressing me. They all just seem so lackluster with a couple of gems spread out in between. They simultaneously feel bland and overdesigned. Just look at Bruxish, an ugly ’70s-themed fish; Drampa, a Never Ending Story dragon rip off, and Togedemaru, another Pikachu clone.
The trick to a well-designed Pokémon is striking a balance between simplicity and being recognizable yet intriguing and this is where Pokémon Sun and Moon fail. Most can’t find the right balance. Many of the new designs feel forced in a way like there almost should have been one more person to turn down bad ideas. Is Comfey, a lei Pokémon (flower necklace), really something that couldn’t be improved upon? And the rest seem almost too familiar. They’ve announced a koala, dog, donkey, fruit (is it cannibalism if Bounsweet eats a berry?) and they feel so boring and lack any imagination.
You know there’s a problem when the new versions of Vulpix, Ninetales, Sandshrew and Sandslash (I left out Exeggutor for a reason) made me and a lot of people more excited for Pokémon Sun and Moon than any of the newer Pokémon. While the names of the new typing ruins torture the grammar nerd in me, I couldn’t help getting a little excited for the new games until the rest of the roster brought me back down. I don’t even care that Game Freak is playing on people’s nostalgia because I’ll take an entire game of redone gen 1 Pokémon over a burning Trubbish-can fire like gen 5.
The new spin on old Pokémon and the poor new designs give weight to the claim how Game Freak is running out of ideas. While I disagree with that statement (gen six and Rowlet and Mimikyu are examples that support me), the Pokémon revealed so far are less than impressive. And the colorful cast of diverse critters is the main draw for me. While there have been crappy designs since Red and Blue (who seriously likes Mr. Mime?), the trick is making sure the good outweighs the bad. When there’s too many poorly designed Pokémon, then people will be turned off from the game and that shouldn’t be the case for a unique area like Alola.