Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Pokemon Sun & Moon Trailer and Announcements

Because Pokemon hype wasn't high enough already.
For those of you who have been hiding under a rock for the past couple of days, Nintendo dropped a bomb of a trailer yesterday for the upcoming Pokemon Sun & Moon games. Here's the trailer in case you haven't had a chance to see it, yet.

First things first. When the trailer opens, we see an... interesting new form for Exeggutor, of all creatures. This long-necked variant is now a grass/dragon... for some reason. Okay. We see more alternate forms of gen 1 pokemon with an ice & ice/fairy type Vulpix & Ninetales as well as Ice/Steel Sandshrew & Sandslash. These five pokemon are known as their "Alola" forms. Oddly enough, Vulpix becoming an ice type will make her weak against her normal form, but I suppose the ice/fairy Ninetales will be a dragon-wrecking machine. We don't yet have any info on how exactly these new forms will be achieved, but pokemon fans love nothing if not to speculate over such details. Perhaps all Vulpix and Sandshrew native to Alola will already be in their icy forms? It would be awkward for the fire stone to continue to work on such a Vulpix, so perhaps there will be a new method to trigger their evolution? Maybe any Exeggcute evolved in Alola will attain the new Exeggutor form? Maybe transferred Vulpix and Sandshrew will retain their default typing.

Moving on we see a new bird pokemon, Oricoria, with a dancing theme. It has four different forms, based off the four islands of Alola, with each form giving it a different primary type (while being fying secondary) and a design based on a different type of dance. Similarly, Minior has four different forms. However, it has a default rocky form and only turns into one of its four other forms in battle, so catching one of each is likely to be more involved. Beyond that, we see a couple new pokemon, Gumshoos, with a stance and name suggesting a detective/holmes theme, grass pokemon Fomantis & Lurantis and horse pokemon Mudbray.

As far as features, it seems they'll be expanding on the ability to use pokemon as vehicles, something fans were speculating about since the initial reveal of the games. At one point it seems the player is riding a Sharpedo and having it use Rock Smash to break some rocks in the ocean to move on. Many fans are speculating this may mean the end of HMs, or at least the traditional way HMs have been utilized. I'm more intrigued by the the opportunity to finally ride Charizard!

The next part of the trailer deals with a group of trainers known as the "Trial Captains." Fans were quick to point out the similarities between these and the Orange Island storyline from the anime, which was never officially adapted into a game. Whether these are replacing the traditional gym leaders as a means to obtain entrance into the pokemon league at the end of the game or are an additional challenge more akin to frontier brains, Nintendo hasn't said yet.

Finally, we see something called "Z-Moves," which appear to be... limit breaks? We're told that these are super-powerful moves that can only be used once per battle, a similar restriction as that imposed on mega evolution. There is one Z-move per pokemon type. Does it take up one of their 4 move slots or are they universal moves and any pokemon can trigger their primary type's move when the proper conditions are met?

Well, between everything revealed yesterday and the previous talks of Pokemon's IVs being "trainable" post-level 100, I'm getting really excited for these games. I want those Icy Vulpix and Sandshrew... Pokemon Sun and Moon are set to release November 18th, 2016.