Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon

Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon

Pokémon continues its gradual advance into the 21st century with its seventh generation, to mixed but eventually positive resultsThe first ten hours are marked by comically contrived railroading, interminable dialogue, and an obsession with unwanted communication features and minigames. After the initial slog, though, this is easily the smoothest Pokémon experience to date. The new setting is the most unique and interesting one in the series, and the new battle types use a variety of tricks to make single-player combat satisfyingly difficult for the first time ever. As usual, Game Freak continues to add unorthodox new creatures, moves, abilities, and battle mechanics to spice up the competitive scene, although the systems pileup has gotten so gargantuan that some features are inevitably neglected.

I could take or leave the changes made to these two Ultra versions. They improve the gameplay with some quality of life tweaks and an expanded Pokédex, but their remixed story is a huge missed opportunity. Sun and Moon’s unusually in-depth narrative was well-meaning but flawed, and rather than fix its bewildering habit of sidelining nearly every important Pokémonthis version just does it again in different ways. The heavily marketed Ultra Space, while larger, is still a series of glorified hallways, and the postgame mission Episode RR is, just like Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire’s Delta Episode, an incredibly cool idea with an incredibly watered-down execution.

6.5/10
6.5/10

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