Komune Media: Ultra Sun and Moon review.
Written by: rabitwarior2 Primary Editor: rabitwarior2
Secondary editor: Officially_MrDev
Written and Published: 11/24/17
A week ago today Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon came out for the Nintendo 3DS system of families, I have since played through the entire main game, and the entirety of the after story, although I have not “100%-ed” the game. I will be telling about what has been added, as well as my opinions on it based on my play-through.
I wanted to quickly mention, I will mostly be talking about Ultra Moon, as that is the one I purchased and played through, however it will still apply to Ultra Sun as well, as they are essentially the same game when it comes down to it.
I wanted to start off with the main story, I was rather disappointed by the main story it felt like a rushed half-assed semi rewrite of the Sun and Moon story line, there were about six or seven new encounters that led up to a different ending, and although the ending was quite different and was quite enjoyable, the build up to it felt rather lacking, and basically like replaying Moon. There were two new characters introduced into the game who you have around 6-7 encounter with, and their few encounters are what end up changing the story, but aside from those 6-7 encounters playing through the bulk of the main game for a veteran Pokémon player such as myself was not only easy, but frankly boring. For someone who hasn’t played sun or moon it would be a great game, as the entire thing would be new to them, aside from the core aspects of the game, like the catching, training, battling, and trading.
The after story was at least interesting, I can’t say interesting because by the time I had reached it, they opened Pokémon bank, an app that allowed external storage of Pokémon, to the Ultra games, and so I transferred my full team of level 100s and steamrolled through the after story Rainbow Rocket arc like a bulldozer through a house of cards. Although plot wise the after story was interesting, it was too easy once you got your hands on a full team of level 100s, I feel like bank should have been restricted until you beat the Rainbow Rocket arc, to give it a proper challenge. Although I’m sure even without my team of level 100s I wouldn’t have had too much issues.
Let’s move on from the story to likely the only thing that remotely saved the game from earning an abysmal rating from me, the new side features. There were several new features that they added that I’ll be at least mentioning, including, Totem Stickers, a handful of new Z-moves, and an improved Rotom ‘Dex. As well as four new larger features that could qualify as mini-games, these being, Mantine Surfing, The Alola Photo Club, the Battle Agency, and last but by no means least, Ultra Wormhole Surfing.
For the smaller things they added, there’s a new collectible called totem stickers, these are small, shiny, yellow and black stickers scattered around most of Alola, that the trial captains and Kahuna’s stick up in various places, there are 100 out there to collect, and there are several cool rewards for collecting them that happen at 20, 40 50, 70, 80, and 100 stickers. There are many guides on Youtube out there to collecting them, but I had fun just going around and finding all of them I could before resorting to guides to find those last few extra hidden ones.
As I had mentioned they also have a handful of Z-moves they added, most of these are “exclusive” Z-moves set to specific Pokemon and moves, some of these include, Lycanroc’s stone edge, Lunala’s Moongeist Beam, Solgaleo’s Sunsteel Strike, as well as many others. Although these are a cool add on, they feel kind of like something they just tacked on to say they have extra stuff, when it really wasn’t needed.
One of the coolest new small things in my opinion, was the updated Rotom ‘dex. The Rotom ‘dex can now be interacted with in a more personal manner than Sun and Moon, in the new update you can “befriend” your Rotom ‘dex by interacting with it when it gets sad and/or lonely, indicated by when it has half-lidded eyes, to cheer him up, doing this grants many great rewards in the long run though a new feature called the roto-loto, the roto-loto is a new feature unlocked through doing enough actions in a row with Rotom when he’s feeling down, it’s a basic one reel slot machine that grants you a random one use power up, it can do anything from temporarily half price all items at the Mart, to act as a max potion in battle, or even boost the money and EXP you get from a battle, as well as many other things. The other huge benefit to interacting with Rotom, is called “the Rotom z-move” which after prolonged interaction, and really befriending Rotom unlocks a second z-move if you’re having trouble with a battle, it is admittedly stupidly overpowered but only triggers if you’re against a foe that you’re obviously struggling with. There was one point in the story where I don’t think I would have beaten it if Rotom hadn’t swooped in and done that for me.
Now that I’ve covered the smaller features, I’m going to move onto the mini-games. For a refresher these include, The Alola Photo Club, the Battle Agency, Mantine Surfing, and Ultra Wormhole Surfing. This is also the order I’ll be covering them.
The Alola Photo club is similar to the feature introduced in Sun and Moon of taking pictures of Pokémon at set spots, except instead of wild Pokémon, you’re taking photos of your own team inside a specialized facility located somewhere on the map, it’s unlocked rather early in the game through the story and they make sure you notice, and at least try it out. It’s a wonderful feature with tons of customization you can do to get a really cool photo, and decorate it afterwards, bonding with your Pokémon as you do so, but it just personally wasn’t for me, I found it too tricky and time consuming, and frankly confusing with the many different controls and options. Although again I’m not saying it’s a bad feature, in fact it’s really cool, but it just wasn’t for me personally.
Next there’s the Battle Agency, this is located in Festival Plaza, and is unlocked fairly early in the game, and is honestly a really unique idea, they have admittedly done it before back in Pokémon Platinum in generation 4 of Pokémon (who’s remakes are theorized to be the next installments in the main series franchise), with the Battle Factory doing something quite similar. Although the Battle Factory had you choose each Pokémon whereas the Battle Agency gives you one of three teams to choose from, with only the first Pokémon in that team revealed, it’s a great challenge for the Veteran players to have to improvise based on what they’re given, having to come up with new strategies every time.
Next we come to what is, in my opinion, the second best new feature added to the game, and that’s Mantine Surfing, although there admittedly isn’t much to it, I found it very enjoyable, essentially, you’re surfing between islands on a Mantine, while riding a wave that varies in height as you go, there are some obstacles as you go, but you ride up and down the wave to gain speed, and then ride all the way up the wave with enough speed to get some major air time, and do tricks like Gorebyss Spiral, Lanturn 360, Starmie 720, and the “Mythical” Over-The-Gyarados, some tricks are hidden until you progress farther, while others like Magikarp Splash are hidden but just essentially a one time fail-pillow in case you goof on a trick but still want points. There are four Mantine surf spots, one located on each island, and becoming the “Mantine Surf Champion” on all four leader boards will unlock an EPIC reward that is an homage to the original Trading Card game cards, Surfing and Flying Pikachu. It’s your very own Surfing Pikachu! Surfing Pikachu is a Pikachu that knows the move surf, there was also a flying Pikachu handed out at the 2012 Pokémon world championships, but look into that if you want, it’s called the WORLD12 event. On top of that, becoming the champion of the surf spots unlocks the “Mythical” move Over-The-Gyarados move. Both of these things are gotten by talking to the man inside the Mantine Surf Association’s headquarters in Heahea city on Akala Island.
WARNING: THIS NEXT PARAGRAPH MAY CONTAIN MATERIAL SOME MAY VIEW AS SPOILERS.
Now to move onto what has so far been my favorite feature added, Ultra Wormhole “Surfing”, although surfing isn’t quite the word to describe it. This feature is unlocked once you beat the main story, this does not include the Pokémon league, just the physical story part. What it is, is an expansion on the Ultra Space side of Pokémon touched upon in Sun and Moon, you jump into the Ultra Wormhole at the Altar of The Moone /Sunne and ride Solgaleo or Lunala through the Wormhole, and collect golden rings to maintain speed, while avoiding electrified orbs, and get to exit Wormholes of varying colors and rarity, it’s difficult for me to summarize without going into almost an entire paragraph of it’s own, so here’s a link to Serebii who does a wonderful job of not only explaining it, but also a guide to it. Ultra Wormhole Surfing It’s a wonderfully fun, but also challenging mini-game that can have amazing rewards in the form of legendaries, and fairly easy shiny Pokémon, yesterday alone I got a shiny Magcargo and Yanmega. For most people who have never even seen a shiny, they appreciate just how stupidly overpowered that is. On top of being a quick thing, taking 1-4 minutes each, depending on how fast you move, and how far you get, it’s a reasonable challenge that requires good focus and reflexes without being stupidly difficult, although the twists and turns you encounter once you pass around 2000 light-years can be disorienting and throw you for a loop, it’s definitely something you’ll need to practice to get good at, but legendaries and shiny Pokémon are waiting for you once you do.
END POSSIBLE SPOILERS
To wrap up I’m giving the game several different ratings that will be combined into an average score out of 100
For new content main story wise for returning players I give Ultra Sun and Moon a 30/100 it felt VERY lacking in this department.
For players who hadn’t played Sun or Moon I give the main story an 85/100
For the after story I give it a 90/100
For new side content I give it a 95/100
This leads to an overall rating of 75/100
It gets a good rating despite the slog it takes to get to the good content for returning players, mostly because once you finally did get to all the new content, there was enough there to thoroughly enjoy yourself, they could have improved on how long it takes to get to the truly good stuff but overall they scrape by with a still good game.
This has been a review and look into Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, thank you for taking the time to read, if you liked this and want more special content like this, please share it, and give us feedback on our discord here.