The Californian

‘Ultra Sun’ and ‘Ultra Moon’ improves the Pokémon experience

Photo courtesy of Polygon.com

Photo courtesy of Polygon.com

Kevin Sablynski, Staff Writer

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“Pokémon” games have been well-celebrated and successful for over 20 years now, with its newest installments last month, Pokémon “Ultra Sun” and “Ultra Moon,” being no exception.

Last year, we saw “Pokémon Sun” and “Pokémon Moon” released to high acclaim by critics and fans alike.

The “Ultra” installments are spiritual successors of the games introduced last year, recreating the narrative with a few new characters, events, and more Pokémon to be found throughout the region.

This game revolves around the player as a new, aspiring Pokémon trainer in the Alola Region, which is a Hawaiian-esque, tropical region composed of four different islands to explore.

The Pokémon a player obtains and trains along the way have unique designs like never before, whether they resemble tiki deities or a sentient, ghostly sandcastle. Players can choose whichever Pokémon to create a team that will take them to the top.

As usual for this RPG franchise, players battle wild Pokémon and other trainers to level up their own Pokémon. Anyone can customize their team to no end with various items, moves to use in battle and more.

Players must traverse the four islands through the region’s traditional “Island Trials” with their Pokémon to complete tasks or overcome challenges on their way to become the “Champion of the Alola region.” During this, antagonists and Pokémon thieves from “Team Skull” stand in the way of players.

Since this game is a remake, the main storyline is unchanged, but it’s still intriguing. The major difference from these installments and last year’s games comes in the exciting post-game content.

The post-game content is a glorious callback for any and all Pokémon fans. It contains a separate storyline that serves as an homage to all past games by bringing back past antagonists to go up against, and even all previous legendary Pokémon to capture.

Typical “Nintendo Polish” of video games shines through to these installments that help compose an immersive experience. This polish includes small details many may overlook, such as unique animations for more than 400 obtainable Pokémon. Even more so, the overworld contains completely optional charming nuances like dialogue with NPCs or interactions with Pokémon.

Pokémon “Ultra Sun” and “Ultra Moon” serve as definitive versions of their predecessors with a very similar main game, but a largely improved and more entertaining post-game content to take on that add to the Pokémon experience.

Pokémon fans may expect more change from the last installments, but they will nonetheless be taken through another unique, surprising journey. Pokémon “Ultra Sun” and “Ultra Moon” deserve a four out of five paw rating.

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‘Ultra Sun’ and ‘Ultra Moon’ improves the Pokémon experience