My wife and I bought Pokemon Sun and Moon when it first launched because Pokemon is bomb. We had fun for a short while but ended up putting the games down because they felt weird. Gone are the gyms of Pokemon past, being replaced by Island Trials. HMs have been replaced by the ability to call Pokemon you can ride that will perform the tasks for you, e.g. a Tauros that can smash through boulders, or a Stoutland that replaces the Item Finder. All of these changes did not sit well for us.
A little over a year later, a buddy of mine decided it was time to pick up a 2ds and Pokemon Sun. He asked for my advice, and I told him that Sun/Moon weren’t bad, just VERY different from the older Pokemon games. He had only played Pokemon Yellow, but his gameboy color was broken and figured he’d just jump right in. I hadn’t touched Sun in a while, and him talking about it prompted me to dust it off for another try.
Loading up a file that I had somehow managed to put 16 hours into, I had no clue where I was in the story. After checking story synopsis and looking for the red flag “quest marker” on the map, I was back up to speed pretty quick.
After an hour or two of plugging away, I realized that all the things bothering me about the game had gone away. Which got me thinking “why did I not like this before?”
A Step Back, A Step Forward
Admittedly there are a lot of games that try to change too much and fall flat on their face. When I first played Sun/Moon I couldn’t help but compare it to Pokemon Crystal, which is my favourite entry in the series. Why would they change so much about a game that has always just worked? Then it hit me. I had played Pokemon X/Y in preparation for Sun/Moon. While there were changes and additives to X/Y, the base game was generally the same. But after giving my mind some time to reset the Pokeclock so to speak, I was able to have a genuinely good time with Pokemon Sun.
I feel like this happens with a lot of things in life. You like something so much, that you look for similar things to extend that good feeling. Sometimes it works out, but more often than not, you end up wishing the new thing you found was more like that first thing. Appreciating something for it’s own individual qualities not only makes the new thing stand strong on it’s best qualities, but grows that good feeling from one thing to the next.
Pokemon has always been a huge success around the globe, and rightfully so. In using the same formula throughout the game series, Game Freak amassed a tremendous following that shows no signs of stopping. When Pokemon Sun/Moon hit the shelves, it was a hard pill for a lot of fans to swallow, because it is SO different from all those fond memories. Being a life long Pokemon fan myself, I was one of those people. But taking a step back from the entire series for a while made it almost too easy to pick up Sun and play with no issues.
If you’ve played Pokemon Sun/Moon and didn’t like it, give it another shot. This is a completely different Pokemon game from what we all know and love, and that’s a good thing.