We’ve spent what feels like an eternity salivating over each new detail revealed about Pokémon Sun & Moon, but what if they don’t meet the enormous expectations fans have built up around the pair of titles. I’m not necessarily saying they won’t, in fact I’m quite optimistic that they’ll be great games, but today let’s look at three worrying signs that these games may not get the amazing reception we hope they will.
1. They revealed too much
Ever seen a movie trailer that reveals an important twist about a movie before its even out? We’ve been seeing those kind of trailers for about 9 months now. There are details we may not know about Team Skull or the Aether Foundation, but it doesn’t seem like there are many characters we haven’t at least glimpsed.
One of the most entertaining aspects of the Pokémon franchise has been discovering and catching new Pokémon, but this time around there won’t be many new faces that haven’t already been used in promotional clips. After Game Freak handed ROM hackers the information on a silver platter it confirmed that we’ve basically seen everything.
Even what could have been a great post-game secret for longtime fans was revealed in the last Sun & Moon information release; imagine how many mouths would have dropped to suddenly see Red and Blue stroll up for a battle, looking older just like the players themselves.
2. Island Challenge still untested
Many fans have wanted some sort of change to the typical gym setup that Pokémon games have been using for the last 20 years, but it remains to be seen whether or not the new Island Challenge format will be an actual improvement. One of the things I’m personally most worried about is the potential for overusing fetch quests which simply require players backtrack and grab an item without much real gameplay.
We’ve already seen that the Pyukumuku “sidequest” lacked any real animation and Mallow was seen asking the trainer for not one, but four items that need to be gathered. Maybe each requires a battle to get, but I want to train Pokémon, not kill 10 rats.
3. Z-Moves are meh
The first time seeing your favorite Pokémon pulling off a special Z-move: amazing. The hundredth time? Probably significantly less so. These once-a-battle attacks have a unique premise, but it isn’t quite clear why players will care to use them if they have to sit through 5-10 seconds of animation when a regular attack would probably wipe the floor with an NPC’s Pokémon.
Apparently these are supposed to give currently non-competitive Pokémon a fighting chance to stand up to top-tier threats, but I’m still unconvinced Eevee will suddenly be able to go toe-to-toe with its Extreme Evoboost (although Baton Passing those stats is a bit mouthwatering).
Judging by the way Mega Evolution was treated, we may not even want to invest ourselves in the system too deeply for fear of it getting yanked away a generation later.
There are other things I could have mentioned, such as shoehorned typings (Lycanroc… Lurantis…) or the lackluster Alolan Forms (Meowth, Rattata), but I think the above three are what worry me the most.
Hopefully these will all be unfounded fears and the games will have enough content to blow our minds. We’ll see in two weeks!