It is far easier to review a quick four hour game than it is to review such an adventure as the thirty hours it took me to complete Pokemon Moon. I’m still working on being able to consolidate my thoughts and get started with such a project so Bewear with me. That’s a Pokemon in Pokemon Moon that looks like a bear. Ha. Having just wrapped up the post game content, my initial feeling is refreshed. Maybe it’s the tropical atmosphere, maybe the incredible amount of new variation to an old formula. Regardless, I can honestly say this is in my top 3 for Pokemon games I’ve played.

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This new found journey starts just like the rest. It’s you and your mom in a brand new place and it’s about time she kicked you out to start your Pokemon quest to become the best. You have 3 starters to choose from and you better pick Rowlet because the rest are garbador. Anyway, you set off to complete every trial (gym) and earn every z crystal (badge) and eventually to become the champion. Along the way, you’ll meet new friends and take down major corporations/gangster mobs. Typical kid stuff.

It may seem like a simple reskin of existing mechanics but it doesn’t truly feel like it. Game Freak put their heart into making this game so much more accessible and unique than the previous installments. Here’s a short list of improvements that added so much to the quality of life:

-Increased mobility and fluidity to movement

-Great graphics that push the 3DS to its limits

-Alola forms of old Pokemon (the Pokemon have adapted and changed due to the climate)

-Z moves: extremely strong moves that you can use once per battle

-Unique Z moves for certain Pokemon

-Each trial is different and requires you to do something unique and fun

-Each island feels like a new culture or environment to explore every crack of

-They don’t handhold your exploring and make you venture to new places on the map

-After you’ve fought a dude, you can see what is super effective against it

-NO HIDDEN MACHINES, ride Pokemon are called that do HM’s for you!

-Cut scenes to display story elements

-A rival and gangster team with personality and likeability

-As your Pokemon grows in friendliness, special circumstances and dialogue can occur

-Tons of bonus side stuff to do with your Pokemon

-Little references to generation one of Pokemon

Like seriously guys, if you like Pokemon, this game adds an incredible amount to the series and has a semi-decent story to follow while you adventure.

So here’s what happens during the course of the game. As you are going around and collecting the Z crystals for each type to give to your Pokemon, a mysterious girl, Lillie, asks you to help her protect Nebby, a Cosmog, that she found. She wants to return it home but it seems that the head of Team Skull, Guzma, is after her to steal it. Turns out Guzma is working with the Aether Foundation who we thought protect and catalog Pokemon but end up experimenting on Pokemon and attempting to open wormholes. What’s inside the wormholes you may ask? Well these things called Ultra Beasts that each have a codename. The president of the Aether foundation, Lillie’s mom, ends up going through a wormhole to merge with an Ultra Beast after she steals and uses Cosmog’s power to open it. Cosmog turns into a weird thing that you find out later is his second evolution so you and Lillie go to the altar to restore him but he turns into Lunala (the legendary) who opens the portal again so you can save Lillie’s mom. You fight Lillie’s mom in her merged state and after you defeat her, Lillie takes care of her while you go defeat the Elite Four. Oh and Lillie’s brother is there the whole time but he sucks and learns his lesson too. Then you capture all the Ultra Beasts and get mad money for doing it. Congrats you’re the champion of the Alola region! The Pokemon game series isn’t known for its complex story but this one tries its best to create something engaging for the player and to build characters that have motivation.

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Overall, there is SO many good things I could touch on when it comes to a thirty hour game like this but I only have one real complaint. The framerate hitches pretty bad and there is a good amount of slowdown when it comes to double battles or using some Z moves. It’s very noticeable and was hard to overlook. If those had been smooth, this game would be a perfect score but because it fails in that regard I have to bump it down a bit. I give Pokemon Moon on the Nintendo 3DS a 4.5 out of 5 malasadas.

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