My Thoughts on “Pokemon Sun” (Spoiler-Free)

pokemonsun

I’ve now had “Pokemon Sun” for over a week and only recently made it to the third of four islands that make up the game’s region of Alola. While others have beaten the main game at this point, I’ve chosen to play at a casual pace while also making sure to continue collecting Pokemon for my living Pokedex. Today, I want to talk about a few things I like and dislike about the game. Of course, I won’t be discussing specific plot beats, trainer battles, or generally things not shown in the trailers as I know there are people who won’t have either it or “Pokemon Moon” until at least Christmas or later.

One thing I enjoy is the tone and atmosphere presented here. The tropical, friendly setting is pleasing to the eyes and I’m glad Game Freak took inspiration from Hawaii for both it and some of the newer Pokemon as well. The story is also presented in this cinematic way that, oddly enough, has me invested in it. Maybe it’s the tone of it, or the characters involved, but I haven’t actually cared about a Pokemon game’s story like this since at least “Pokemon White.” There’s even a sense of progression in your journey thanks to the cinematic feel that I didn’t notice as much in the previous games.

I’ve enjoyed many of the little tweaks made to old standbys as well, such as breeding Pokemon being a bit less of a pain and gaining experience from battling being not quite as simple as I felt it was in “Pokemon X.” This game actually feels like a challenge from time to time, and I can only imagine how tough it might be if you preferred to keep the Exp. Share off completely. I like how the AI in battles actually seems strategic this time around, and it makes it all the more important to plan out your team and what moves they should have to help you progress. I also love how they streamlined the PC in this game, and the new Rotom Dex is quirky but cute. I even prefer this gen’s “Pokemon Refresh” to last gen’s “Pokemon Amie.” Not only does it let me continue to take care of my Pokemon, but it’s extremely useful post-battle. It’s helped me out more than once and I find myself going back to it way more than I ever did with “Amie.”

I have been a little iffy on the inclusion of this generation’s new “Z-Moves”, however. I do like using them myself occasionally, even if you are limited to one per battle. But I also think they’re a bit overpowered and give the player a crazy advantage. For example, I was able to destroy a Pokemon that had used the move Protect just by using a Z-Move. That’s pretty insane and has only made me decide to use them lightly as a challenge to myself. There’s another side to Z-Moves that I won’t mention here due to spoilers, but I think it can also be a bit unfair as well.

The one thing I can say I almost completely dislike is the Festival Plaza. This area is where you go to have battles with people, either locally or online, and also make local/GTS/Wonder trades as well. I’m not a fan of the lack of customization on messages this time around (mostly because I follow GTS giveaways sometimes), but they did fix some problems with finding the Pokemon you want. Of course, people will still try to trade weaker Pokemon for legendaries, but that can’t be helped. I haven’t bothered to try battling online yet, but there IS a handy option to keep people from requesting that of you (which happened to me often in X and Alpha Sapphire). As for the rest of the Plaza, I’m just not a fan of it. The interactivity feels a bit lackluster without the PSS screen and the game tends to lag a bit whenever lots of people are in your Plaza.

All in all, though, I think “Pokemon Sun” might just be my favorite game of the 3DS ones so far. While I have a soft spot for “Pokemon X” getting me back into these games in a big way, and I learned to appreciate Gen 3’s Hoenn far more in “Alpha Sapphire”, I feel that “Pokemon Sun” improves on most of the stuff I had problems with in either game. If there’s one feature I wish they’d brought back, and maybe hopefully will some day, it would be the Dex Nav. Despite its absence and my dislike for Festival Plaza, I can only see this game continuing a trend of improvements for future Pokemon titles. Now I just have to try to wait patiently for the new PokeBank to be unleashed in January.

Nerdy Goals

94bb0ba2e0b6ad748f375082c807eacd

Now that I’m back in Canada once more, I could easily use this week’s blog to talk about all the preparation I have to do before I inevitably head back to the States next year to marry my fiance. Instead, though, I’d rather do something light and fun. For example, some of the more nerdy goals I’ve decided to set for myself.

Because Christmas is coming up soon and I tend to avoid spending nearly as much money around this season in general, I made most of my gaming purchases during my visit with my fiance. I bought a couple amiibos and a long-overdue NFC reader for our 3DSes and his Wii U, added three more Wii U games to our collection (shame the Nintendo Switch won’t be backwards compatible but what can you do?), and finally purchased “Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice.” I’m actually in the middle of it right now, though I’ll no doubt have to set it aside or play it simultaneously with my other major game purchase: “Pokemon Sun.” I’m really excited for it and it should be delivered to my house tomorrow. I’m hoping I’ll beat both it and PW: SoJ before the end of the year. Aside from those two major titles, anything else I might end up picking up probably won’t be until next year, so at least I can save up in the meantime.

While I don’t have much I’m personally looking forward to movie-wise, I AM excited for Disney’s “Moana.” It looks cute and gorgeous and generally just a good time. I may also check out “Rogue One” when it comes out in December or possibly at a later time. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” got me enjoying that universe once more and I’m at least curious enough to give it a chance. And while I’ve seen pretty much everything I care to see from Netflix so far this year, I’m already looking into what will come out in early 2017. I still find I watch mainly internet shows/series and gaming videos far more than “real” TV, but who knows? Maybe I’ll also find some shows that, even if I can’t watch them on TV itself, I’ll at least keep in mind to check out later. However, I’ll still be tuning into the TV alongside my fiance to watch “Doctor Who” and “Orphan Black” like always.

These are only some of my short-term nerdy goals, but I also want to try to read more (as usual) and maybe even get around to some older shows/movies that I missed out on yet. While it might be tough to do so next year when I finally get to live and be with my fiance, I find it gives me something to look forward to in the meantime away from the usual work, chores and obligations I have (especially during the holidays). And hey, the year’s not over yet, so I might discover a few surprises or potential goals before it ends.

Taking the Bad with the Good

Well, the US presidential election is over and the one thing I didn’t want to happen ended up coming true: Donald Trump won the presidency. As someone who knows a few people who could easily be affected by his policies, I worry. I’ll get more into that in a bit. But as for myself and my goal to move to the States to be with my fiance, not so much. Considering we have paperwork about to be sent off once I leave next Monday, I’m confident our plans will still come to fruition.

Speaking of, things have progressed really well for us so far. We met up with an immigration lawyer before Halloween and followed up with her last week as well. She’s super nice and is well-versed in the whole visa process. Even better, she’s extremely confident that we’ll have little to no issues since I’m only coming in from Canada and have been in a long relationship so far. She was even surprised by the amount of photographic and written evidence we brought her to support it. Unfortunately, everything else from the time I leave is up in the air and basically step by step, but it feels so good to finally have it started. We’re expected to potentially get married in the next three to six months if things go well.

And that brings me back to Trump. I don’t know just how much influence he’ll have, especially given his lack of government and military knowledge, but as long as my plans remain secure I’m not worried about myself or my fiance. However, it’s the potential of what COULD happen that has me concerned for many of my US friends and acquaintances. So much progress has been made over the years, and if the Republicans decide to back-peddle on some of it, it could cause an uproar never before seen. We’ll see how his term affects both the US and other countries, but I’m hoping he’ll have someone backing him that knows how to make smart, safe decisions.

You can agree or disagree with me on politics, but at the end of the day, I still want to live and work in the US with my fiance by my side. So, hopefully by next year, I’ll be officially starting my life away from my parents and the small town I’ve always called home.