This is almost becoming routine but we once again have another huge information dump about Pokemon Sun & Moon and there are some really awesome features announced here as long as a demo with a decent reward for those who beat it. I’ll cover everything revealed in the latest video (which can be viewed in full at the bottom of this article) as well as any additional relevant information from the official website and other versions of the trailer.
First up we have our first look at each starters first evolutionary stage. Dartrix, Torracat and Brionne are the Grass, Fire and Water starters evolved form respectably and it doesn’t seem like any of their typing or ability has changed from their original forms.
New game modes up next. The big online initiative in this game is called Festival Plaza and is where trainers from all around the world gather to earn Festival Coins by completing missions. These missions seem to be created by players and can also be tackled in teams. There will also be global missions designed by the devs, with the first one revolving around catching lots of Pokemon. You can also battle and trade with other trainers you meet. Missions seen so far include a type match-up test and a mini game involving Tauros smashing through rocks.
Festival Coins can be spent on in all kinds of stores in Festival Plaza such as goody shops where you can get deals on items, bouncy houses for Pokémon to train in (which seems to be replacing Super Training from the previous game as the means of increasing your Pokemon’s EV’s outside of battle), and dye houses where you can dye your clothes new colors. You also have a Festival Rank which goes up based on the amount of coins you gather. This in turn gives you more things to do in Festival Plaza.
Now for the Poke Pelago, a mode that has been introduced to take advantage of all the Pokemon in your PC Boxes that you might never ever use. Basically what the Poke Pelago is a bunch of different islands that each have a different use, with more becoming available as you ‘develop them’. The first island is Isle Abeens and allows you to set beans down that will then attract wild Pokemon. If these Pokemon take a liking to you they may join your party instantly, seemingly without having to be captured.
The second island is Isle Aphun and will allow your Pokemon to search for rare items such as evolution stones. Speaking of evolution stones, a brand new ice stone has been introduced, most likely allowing you to evolve Alolan Vulpix and Alolan Sandshrew into their new Alolan forms. Another Island is Isle Evelup which allows your Pokemon to drink special drinks that increase certain EV’s or can even level a Pokemon up. The final revealed island is one where you can grow berries and cultivate them like in past games.
In fantastic news Pokemon Sun & Moon will be receiving a demo. Launching exactly one month before the game on October 18th, the demo is a self contained story not found in the main games that you play through using a Pokemon in a special Poke Ball provided by a certain someone. This Pokemon seems to be none other than a level 37 Greninja that has the new ability of Battle Bond, allowing it to transform into Ash-Greninja from the anime once it defeats a Pokemon in battle! Even better news, when the full game releases you will be able to transfer Ash-Greninja to it once you complete the demo. The demo is 400MB large requiring 3100 blocks to download.
In a surprise I didn’t expect personally Mega Evolution will be making a full fledged return in Sun & Moon. The Mega system will work the same way it did in previous games but it seems you just use the Z-Ring to activate it this time around. It is not clear if a player will be able to Mega Evolve and use a Z-Move in the same battle.
Using Mega Evolution as a segway, the full rule set for the Video Game Championship 2017 format was also unveiled today with the main rules being:
- Double Battle format is limited to Pokémon that appear in the Alola Region Pokédex (excluding some Legendary and Mythical Pokémon).
- Use of Mega Stones is not allowed.
- Only Pokémon that can be obtained in Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon may be entered.
- Each player now gets 10 minutes of their own time in VGC 2017 rule battles. Players have a maximum of 60 seconds per turn but if you run out of time you lose the battle automatically.
These changes are sure to bring a lot of fresh strategies and new competitors to the Video Game Championships. The individual time rule in particular is very interesting and seems to be a way to get battles to be faster paced and eliminate the concept of timer-stall.
In another positive change, this format will be available to play online all year round as opposed to past games where it become the special rule set every other month or so. Unfortunately this announcement also semi-confirmed triple battles and rotation battles will not be returning in Sun & Moon, making this the first time they are absent since Pokemon Black & White.
Speaking of online, the Global Link features for Pokemon X, Y, Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire will cease to function on November 1st. This is to give time to update the service for Pokemon Sun & Moon. Features such as GTS, Wonder Trade and Free Battle on Battle Spot will however remain accessible.
One of these great new features is the ability to scan a QR code which allows you to ‘rent’ a players team based on that QR code. You can take part in Link Battles and certain Rating Battles using a Battle Team you’ve rented and special teams may even become available such as former World Championships!
Battle boxes have also received a huge upgrade. In Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, you can register Pokémon that you often use in Battle Teams which replace the Battle Box. You can set up a maximum of six Battle Teams, and the same Pokémon can be registered to several Battle Teams simultaneously. That means the Battle Team is more of a copy of a Pokemon rather than the actual Pokemon itself and the Battle Team will remain valid as long as you have that Pokemon somewhere in your PC.
Pokemon Sun & Moon is sure looking to be the most ambitious Pokemon title ever created. Our coverage is not over yet though with another trailer being scheduled for October 14th at 22:00 Japan time. You can check here soon after that for all the latest news and be sure to check out our extensive backlog of Pokemon Sun & Moon coverage if you’ve missed anything or need a refresher. The new games release on November 18th exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS.