Pokémon Go blew up this summer with an average of 9.5 million player according to recode.net. But, does this mean that all of those people are now actually interested in Pokémon or just the popularity of the app? How many of those people own a 3DS? And ultimately, how many of those people will spend $40 on the new Pokémon Sun or the alternate version Pokémon Moon coming out November 18.
There are twenty two Pokémon main games (including the the four director’s versions). Pokémon releases the games in sets of two. Generally it’s the same games with minor differences and a different legendary options. For example, Pokémon Diamond and Pearl released in 2007. In Diamond one could capture the legendary Pokémon Dailgia along with 19 other exclusive Pokémon, while in Pearl one could capture the legendary Palkia and 19 other exclusives. The exclusive Pokémon were available only through trade with a player who had the opposite version. Until now, that has been the extent of the differences between versions besides minor text differences and a different NPC here and there, but in Pokémon Sun and Moon there are major differences.
Pokémon Sun takes place during the day and it is theorized to always be day in this game. There are some Pokémon, such as Umbreon, who can only evolve at night, which doesn’t necessarily make them version exclusive, but impossible to obtain any other way. Pokémon Moon is the same way, theorized to always been night, running into a similar problem with Pokémon such as Espeon, who only evolve during the day. While this is pretty cool, it can throw some people off.
In one of the commercials released, it is said that certain events will take place differently. It is unknown where and when these different events will happen and how the will affect the game, but it raises a question for major Pokémon fans. “Will I have to buy both versions?” While some may have already planned for this, most don’t have the $80 to throw at Nintendo.
Pokémon Sun and Moon introduced a new Pokémon, Rockruff, who will evolve into Lycanroc (Midday Form) in Pokémon Sun and Lycanroc (Midnight Form) in Pokémon Moon. Solgaleo (Sun) and Lunala (Moon) are the version exclusive legendary Pokémon available. Another new legendary Pokémon, Magearna, is rumored to appear. A legendary trinity of Pokémon known as the ultra beasts (UB) we don’t know much about, UB-01, UB-02 Absorption and UB-02 Beauty. UB-02 Beauty will only be available to those who have Pokémon Moon and UB-02 Absorption will be exclusive to those with Pokémon Sun.
The PokéAnime, introduced in the Pokémon XYZ series, will be a feature in this version as well, but there is now the PokéPlago where players can interact with the Pokémon they’ve stored in the PC. Also introduced is the Festival Plaza where players can interact with each other. There will be new powerful attacks called Z-Moves, which can only be used once per battle. Instead of Mega Evolutions some Pokémon will take an Alola form. If you would like to read more about Z-Moves or Alola forms, you can here.
There will be several lovable characters present in Pokémon Sun and Moon, including the cousin of the beloved Professor Oak, Sampson Oak. Others include Professor Kukui, Hau, and Lillie (who is rumored to be UB-01 due to her resemblance of the figure and the known fact they can change forms). Players will be able to choose between eight customizable base characters (four boys and four girls) stepping it up from XYZ’s six playable characters.
Perhaps the biggest change from any other Pokémon to Pokémon Sun and Moon is that there are no gyms. A Chinese magazine released some unconfirmed information earlier this year. Most of the things that this magazine claimed turned out to be true and you can read about them here. This magazine claimed that there will be no gyms. Instead there will be challenges called “trails.” When the player arises victorious they will come across something called a “totem Pokémon.” While this is intriguing, it is a huge change. In every single Pokémon game there are eight gym leaders the player defeats to get a badge. Once all eight badges lie within the possession of the player, they go on to defeat the final the challenger(s) and become “the best like no one ever was.” Even though this is strange and new, it’s intriguing and it puts a new twist on a old game.
Finally, here are the starters, Rowlet (the grass type), Popplio (the water type) and Litten (the fire type). Rowlet seems to be the favorite and Popplio is getting the most hate due to its resemblance to a clown. Personally, I don’t think Popplio looks like a clown. I think it looks Shakespearean and Popplio is the obviously the best starter. If you disagree with me, cast your vote here. The starter evolutions were released on October 4. Popplio will evolve into Brionne, Litten into Torracat, and Rowlett will become Dartrix. Though it’s not official, to the seasoned player, these look like middle evolutions (normal starters will evolve twice making three total forms). The final forms have not been released yet, but there are a bunch of rumors. The most popular being that the final evolutions will result in Rowlet becoming an archer, Popplio becoming a siren, and Litten a wrestler. The concept art for these has been leaked but not confirmed as official.
The game will be available on November 18, but there will be a special demo released on October 18 in the Nintendo e-shop that people can play through with the Pokémon Greninja. It will be a special version of Greninja known as Ash’s Greninja. If players finish the demo, when the game comes out they can transfer the Greninja to their copy of full game.