Pokémon Ultramoon/Ultrasun is the newest duo of games in the Pokémon series. Set on the island chain of Alola, this is a retelling of the original generation seven games. With an expanded Pokedex and a few changes from the original games, Ultramoon/Ultrasun has plenty to explore. I selected Pokémon Ultramoon as my version, so I will be reviewing the game from that viewpoint. But know that the differences between the two versions are minor enough that they are interchangeable.
For those unfamiliar with Pokémon, this is an RPG (Role Playing Game) owned by Nintendo, though the truth of who owns Pokémon and how much is a complicated affair you can read about here. A person runs around the world and captures different critters known collectively as Pokémon. Each one of these creatures has typing (elemental affinity) that affects what attacks are most effective against them. Players capture these Mons and do battle against other trainers that have their own teams.
Generation 7 takes place on the already mentioned set Alola Islands. There are four of these different locations to explore. Don’t be tricked by the small size of each area on the map. This may be one of the larger Pokémon games in the series. There are plenty of adorable and less adorable critters to be found in this newest adventure in the franchise.
This brings us to the starters: Rowlete, Litten, and Popplio. Grass, fire, and water, respectively they all add a second type by the time of their final forms. Rowlete becomes a Grass/Ghost Type, Litten becomes Fire/Dark and Popplio becomes Water/Fairy. In my opinion, the water starter is the most powerful of the three. But all of them are more than capable of being useful through the game.
Another feature added in Pokémon Moon and added back for Ultramoon is the use of Z Crystals. Have a Pokémon hold this item and it allows for a powerful attack once per battle. There are many different types of Z attacks and it would require an entire article to properly explain how they work. Just know for the sake of this review that they are some of the best attacks in the series as far as damage and utility.
The other most well-known thing added in Pokémon Moon and expanded on in Ultramoon are the sequel game’s namesake: The Ultrabeasts. Strange creatures that don’t seem to be Pokémon at all, they are more akin to Lovecraftian Monsters. For reference here is an image of one:
Note the lack of a face. These things are weird and it takes playing through the entire story of the game to understand just exactly what the Ultrabeasts are.
The other notable feature of Pokémon Ultramoon is the lack of proper Pokémon Gyms which have become a series staple. Instead, Island Trials replace these battles alongside 4 major battles against each Island Kahuna which is very similar to a gym leader. There are challenges on each island which always end with a battle against a very powerful wild Pokémon called a Totem Pokémon.
Along the way, the player will constantly encounter Team Skull. They are a gang of ruffians that constantly cause trouble around the 4 islands. Their leader is one of my favorite characters in the series. He has a pretty large following in the fandom and there are plenty of memes illustrating him as well as his Female Admin. Both trainers of course battle you at different points of the story and serve as boss battles. Team Skull Grunts offer plenty of dialogue that leads to laughs and their antics come off very entertaining.
UltraSun and Ultramoon offer a very expansive post game to prepare for competitive battling. However, the subjects of that matter are more extensive than this review. Know that there is a battle area that is specific for post-game that allows for Pokémon Veterans to test their teams against a gruelingly difficult AI to practice for online competitive battles. The Move Tutors, a popular mainstay in the series, return after being absent in the first games of generation 7. There is also a very well-designed story mission that occurs after the main game, but to avoid spoilers I won’t talk about that here.
Now that I have reached the end of the game, I still have plenty to do. From catching em all, to battling in competitive, Pokémon Ultra Moon will keep me entertained for many more hours to come.Tweet