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AnimeFan Game Reviews: Pokemon Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon Version

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AnimeFanFTW avatar AnimeFanFTW
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Level 59 : Grandmaster Senpai
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Hello everyone, AnimeFanFTW here, finally back with a game review, kinda.

About a year ago, I reviewed Pokemon Sun/Moon, Game Freak's attempt at a tropical Pokemon world, with plenty of changes to the Pokemon formula. Back then, I praised the game for making enough changes that freshened the game up while still making it fun, and criticised it for an incredibly slow and painful start. My final verdict of 9/10 still stands, and ever since then, my love for Generation 7 has only gone up. Since then, I've been involved in the competitive side of Pokemon, the side filled with metagames, IV's and EV's, breeding tricks, and I even did a bit of SOS shiny hunting for a little bit. While some people say that might take away the fun of Pokemon, I've honestly never had so much fun in this series since I first started with the series in Generation 4, when I was a clueless idiot, playing Pokemon Pearl.

Now when S/M released, alot of people were expecting the 3rd game sequel. And it sorta arrived. Much like Generation 5's Black and White 2, we got the sequels Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon!
AnimeFan Game Reviews: Pokemon Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon Version

Some people saw it as an insult to people that payed for the first games, and as a cash grab (Which makes no sense, since Pokemon Yellow, Crystal, Emerald, Platinum and Black and White 2 did the exact same thing with less changes, and people love those games), but honestly, Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon do change the game quite a bit then the previous games. So much so, that I debated if I should make a blog reviewing it. And sure enough, I decided to.

Unlike my other reviews, I'll generally only be covering the good and bad changes made between S/M and US/UM, as to not repeat myself on a lot of points I made in my previous review. Then at the end, I'll make the final judgement if the game is worth it to buy if you already own the original Sun/Moon. So let's begin.

If you have not seen my review on the original Sun/Moon, click here.
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BEYOND THIS POINT HAS SPOILERS FOR BOTH SUN/MOON AND ULTRASUN/ULTRAMOON. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
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The Good Changes
AnimeFan Game Reviews: Pokemon Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon Version

There's actually alot of good and welcome changes/additions US/UM have that, in my opinion, make it slightly better then the previous games.

The very first noticeable change actually sorta remedy's the major problem I had with Sun/Moon, with its very slow start: You get your starter Pokemon much earlier. In the previous game, it took me around 30-40 minutes to get my starter, and between that time, there was so many cutscenes and little tutorials, and it was very frustrating. In Ultra Sun/Moon, you get your starter much earlier (around 10-20 minutes), and while the cutscenes are still there, it overall feels a little faster, now that you cut to the chase in terms of choosing your starter. That scene that plays in Iki Town with you and your starter doing a ceremony: gone. It's simpler, cuts the filler, and is better for it.
AnimeFan Game Reviews: Pokemon Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon Version

The next change is 2 brand new minigames that can be played: Mantine Surf, and Ultra Wormhole Ride.
Mantine Surf can be unlocked pretty early in the game, and it's a minigame that tasks you to ride the Pokemon Mantine, and surf to another island, landing tricks and earning Beach points which can be used for buying moves and items. With a really energetic and lively song that plays, to the actual game itself being quite fun, having to do tricks, and avoid obstacles, this minigame can be quite the timesink. The 2nd minigame, Ultra Wormhole Ride, is unlocked quite late in the main story, and is the main way to obtain alot of normal Pokemon not found in Alola, most of the Ultra Beasts and Legendary Pokemon throughout the years. Riding on the back of either Sogaleo or Lunala (you can choose, no difference except for if you ride a lion or bat), and you are tasked with going as far as possible, and going through a different coloured wormhole, collecting orange rings to go faster, while avoiding blue rings which slow you down. The further you go, the more rarer wormholes appear, and the better change you can find legendary Pokemon. Overall, a fantastic little minigame, that can let you obtain legendaries that are normally a pain to obtain online.



Another change I love is the addition of the side story that plays in New Game+, "Episode RR", which in a nutshell, is the grand return of Gen 1's bad boy, Giovanni, and his brand new Team Rainbow Rocket.
To not spoil too much, Giovanni, goes through wormholes, teams up with every single main bad guy in the series in all the regions, forms Team Rainbow Rocket, and attempts to take over the Aether Foundation. And so you, Lillie, and even Guzma, must team up, to do what Red did 20 years ago: kick his ass. It's a great nostalgia trip seeing the main bad guys return (Seeing Cyrus and Ghetsis in 3D was too good for me to comprehend), it's nice seeing Lillie actually use a Pokemon, and seeing even the Grunts put up a good fight was great. And don't even get me started on the fight with Giovanni...
Overall, a fantastic story that hints at more to come. Which is pretty hype.



Another great change is the brand new Pokemon, and new form changes to existing ones. A Pokemon sequel has never introduced new Pokemon to play with. Only form changes, like Giratina Origin Form, or Kyurem-Black and Kyurem-White. But Ultra Sun/Moon goes ahead and adds 5 brand new Pokemon (4 Ultra Beasts and 1 event exclusive) and 4 brand new form changes (A new Lycanroc Dusk form, and 3 new forms for Necrozma, Necrozma-Dusk, Necrozma-Dawn, and Ultra Necrozma). Compared to previous sequels, that's a lot of new stuff. And they're all pretty good. Some welcome additions to Pokemon's growing total number or creatures.


Some final good changes are some broader, little changes. For one, 6 new exclusive Z-Moves are given to Necrozma, Sogaleo, Lunala, Lycanroc, Mimikyu, and Kommo-o. The Ultra Beasts and Necrozma are also given alot more lore. For Necrozma, instead of just been lazily thrown in, not doing much in the original Sun/Moon, it's been given a main role in the story this time, making it alot more likeable. And for the Ultra Beasts, the previously mentioned Ultra Wormholes give nearly each UB a home they live in, and each world has so much potential in them, I could make an entire blog talking about it. (Special shoutout to Guzzlord's world. That world is a creepypasta waiting to happen, and the things that world hides and hints at is legitimately terrifying). I also love how Tutor moves make a return, letting lots of Pokemon have access to powerful moves. One change I love is beating the champion doesn't take you to an unavoidable legendary Pokemon battle after a 5-10 minute cutscene unlike the previous games. Makes nature farming it 100x more easier. And finally, the Ultra Recon Squad are a very interesting and likeable group, and their battle theme is easily my all time favourite song Pokemon has ever released. Also, Zossie is a cutie, and I love her.


The Bad Changes


Alas, with all good things, some bad things were overlooked, or even made worse, and US/UM have them.

The first major thing I absolutely hate is the Rotom-Dex. My god, the Rotom-Dex...what did Game Freak do to you...?
In the previous Sun/Moon, I kinda liked Rotom-Dex. It wasn't too annoying, was kinda helpful, and when you were in New Game+, Rotom-Dex never got in the way, and let you go about your business.
In Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon, Game Freak ruined him. While it did help alot more, letting you recharge Z-Moves once you use it in a battle (not in multiplayer, thank the heavens), and giving you Roto-Power items that can help you with stuff like stat buffs, or money multiplying or EXP multiplying which helped me a ton, it's negated by the fact Rotom-Dex never shuts up. Every minute or so, Rotom-Dex feels the need to give you very obvious advice that so many people already know. He even taunts you, saying, and I quote: "Here's advice you didn't ask for!". It gets so annoying, that you can't turn this advice off in a options setting, and you can't even skip the text, meaning you have to wait. And the worst part is, because you can't skip it, it overlaps the map on the bottom screen, meaning if you wanted to use it, you had to wait for this thing to be quiet until you could use it. He also asks if you should save every so often, or asks you to go into your bag to heal any injured Pokemon. I honestly don't see a need for this. If you're gonna give advice, do it in a tutorial at the start of the game. If I need to save or heal, let me do it instead of hassling me. He even talks too much in New Game +, saying the same advice I've heard a hundred times over and over again.
What was something I once kinda liked, is now the most unlikeable thing Game Freak has ever made. If I wanted to be annoyed at all times playing, I would listen to Navi in Ocarina of Time. At least Navi is a lot less annoying in that game.


Another bad thing, while not actually that bad, I just found to be pointless: The Photo Club.
These buildings will let you take pictures of you and other Pokemon in different poses, place stickers and the such, and just make a bunch of cute little scenes. While I don't hate it, it's such a pointless addition. I will admit, being able to pose every single Pokemon and make little scenes with your character and that Pokemon is a content-filled addition, but it adds next to nothing. You gain nothing from it, and I see it as a waste of time. In the 200+ hours I have in Ultra Sun, I used the Photo Club once. I have never looked back since.


Another thing I was disappointed in with this game was the addition of useable Totem Pokemon. For those you don't know, Totem Pokemon were these gigantic versions of regular Pokemon that you fought at the end of some Trails (basically gyms for Gen 7), and they were powerful, starting the fight with a certain stat boost, and summoning a Pokemon to help them in the fight. Some Totem Mons, like Totem Lurantis, give me war flashbacks...
So when I heard that US/UM would let you obtain alot of these Totems if you collect a total of 100 stickers scattered around Alola, I was hyped...and them I obtained them. I mean, they weren't terrible...but they basically had the exact same stats as the regular sized versions. The only difference was that...they were big. And while the fact they are big is hilarious (Totem Togedemaru made me laugh for a solid 2 minutes), I was hoping they would be different then just regular Pokemon. What a missed opportunity.


The final thing I didn't like is an extremely petty and dumb reason: The Grass trail changed. Before fighting the Totem Lurantis (*shudder*), the scene before it was the most awkward and hilarious scene I had ever seen in my life. And in US/UM, it's gone completely. Press A to Pound pay respects.


Conclusions - Is Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon Worth It?


Overall, US/UM is a definite upgrade then S/M. For the exception of Rotom-Dex, alot of previous features were improved and made better, and plenty of the new additions are very welcome additions. If I were to grade it out of of 10, I would still say 9/10 (Would have been 9.5 if Rotom Dex wasn't annoying lol).

So with that all being said, is US/UM worth getting?

Kinda...?

If you still haven't dived into Generation 7, US/UM is absolutely 100% worth it. I still stand by my comment I made in my Sun/Moon review, where I said Generation 7 is the best generation of Pokemon to date. 20 years of the formula being improved on, and changed enough to make it fresh, has made me love the world of Alola. And US/UM is slightly better in terms of everything. So to not dive into this game would be doing you a massive dis-service.


But what if you already own the original Sun/Moon? That's where it gets tricky.
Honestly, if you think the good changes are something you really like, and are willing to pay for it, go ahead. But if you think 60 bucks may not warrant the purchase of what is basically Pokemon Sun/Moon Director's Cut, then getting this game might not suit you fancy. Personally, I think it's worth it, but 60 dollars isn't exactly something you can just throw around. So I can't blame anyone for not getting this game.

Regardless, this is another great addition to the Pokemon series. And now to wait for either Generation 8, or a Sinnoh remake. Please let it be a Sinnoh remake. I wanna see Cynthia in all her glory in 3D!

To end this blog, let's laugh at a Nebby Bag meme. For old time's sake.


Until the next review...

This is AnimeFanFTW, over and out!
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1
01/23/2018 10:33 am
Level 57 : Grandmaster Fox
Foxy
Foxy avatar
US/UM weren't really sequels so much as they were expansions like Yellow, Emerald, and Platinum. Black 2 and White 2 were full sequels since they were continuations of the story from Black and White and not just a revised/improved version of them.

People were practically asking for expansions with Z and Delta Emerald, but we never got them, so the fact that Nintendo listened to the market and made an expansion in this gen only made sense.

That being said, I think people would be complaining about US/UM less if there was another entry in gen 7 besides just the new game and its expansion so people would have more time before revisiting Alola, or if US/UM were sequels rather than expansions. The only other gen that didn't have a remake game was 5, and the second games in it were at least completely new games so people didn't feel like they were buying a game they had just bought. They had A TON to work with to make a full sequel which is what makes it sorta annoying.

The end of S/M saw you finish setting up Alola's pokemon league, and there were those 8 construction sites that everyone was predicting would be gyms because it just made sense, but they just ended up being pointless buildings like photo clubs which, like you said, are pretty meh.


Overall I thought they were solid games by themselves and definitely improved upon S/M a lot (the story and cutscenes actually flowed well this time and didn't seem super forced). Would say I'm a little disappointed with Nintendo rather than the games, but then again they did say these were more just side projects while they were developing the Switch Pokemon rpg.
1
01/23/2018 10:37 am
Level 57 : Grandmaster Fox
Foxy
Foxy avatar
On another note though, I loved how Rotom Dex actually did something this time.

If you used the event Rockruff's Happy Hour move, put an amulet coin on it, and used Roto Prize Money, you'd get x12 the payout from battles.

I do agree though that it probably would have been a good thing if players could turn off advice in options though, but the only times I ever really used the map were when I was flying somewhere, which you didn't have to wait for him to finish talking to do.
1
01/23/2018 3:11 pm
Level 59 : Grandmaster Senpai
AnimeFanFTW
AnimeFanFTW avatar
I wish I had the patience you have, I can't stand Rotom-Dex lol.

I did completely forget Black/White 2 had a completely new story. To be fair, I never did play that game, just the first games. I just see people complaining about US/UM a bit weird, since games like Platinum are absolutely loved in the franchise.

lol people thought the construction sites would be gyms? Why would they replace trails tho?
1
01/23/2018 6:32 pm
Level 57 : Grandmaster Fox
Foxy
Foxy avatar
The entire thing with Kukui trying to set up a legitimate pokemon league in alola and the fact that there were 8 or 9 of them scattered around the world with most being inside towns. It seemed kinda weird if Alola's entire story finished with the league opening and you never got to see how it ended up turning out.
The island challenges could have been gen 7's version of the kanto gyms in g/s/c/hg/ss: a higher level post-story challenge separate from the 'battle frontier/maison/tree' area.
1
01/23/2018 8:19 pm
Level 59 : Grandmaster Senpai
AnimeFanFTW
AnimeFanFTW avatar
true, true
Honestly couldn't see Game Freak replacing a very unique thing about Alola like that, so something like a New Game + things makes sense.
1
01/22/2018 7:55 am
Level 41 : Master Steve
Bureine
Bureine avatar
the game feels like it’s too similar to sun and moon, so I feel as if it’s not worth getting it. I might get it once all the people convert to it though who knows
1
01/22/2018 3:05 pm
Level 59 : Grandmaster Senpai
AnimeFanFTW
AnimeFanFTW avatar
I honestly think it's worth getting.
Although again, as I said in the blog, can't exactly blame anyone for not wanting to pay 60 bucks to play a story they already kinda went through.
1
01/22/2018 12:04 am
Level 47 : Master Enderdragon
The FaiyaBLAST
The FaiyaBLAST avatar
Ultra Moon is my first ever Pokemon game and I absolutely love it! I agree with pretty much all you say except for the Photo Club: I love using it when I have nothing to do in my game. I haven't gotten so far to the villainous team/legendary ultimatum but it sounds really cool! The only thing that's actually bad about Ultra Moon is that I need to wake up at 5:00AM to get my Dusk Lycanroc... which I feel like is a necessity for my team.
But please do appreciate this set of games as much as possible as I heard that they are the last of the Pokemon series (hence the great gathering of villains/legendaries)
1
01/22/2018 12:09 am
Level 59 : Grandmaster Senpai
AnimeFanFTW
AnimeFanFTW avatar
Glad to hear you started the series with this. When you can, I would recommend the previous gens. All of them have their strengths, and place in the series.

I did say I didn't find the Photo Club that bad or anything. I just don't see a use for it lol.

You could just fiddle with your console's timer in the settings. ;)
1
01/22/2018 12:37 am
Level 47 : Master Enderdragon
The FaiyaBLAST
The FaiyaBLAST avatar
and also getting rid of Press A to Pound didn't do much considering how it morphed into absolute dirt.
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