By ALBERT JIA
Pokemon. That one made up word brings up so many childhood memories for plenty of UHS students. Although the original games, Red and Blue, came out in 1996, 20 years and seven generations later, Pokemon is still going strong, with Pokemon Sun and Moon anticipated for release by November 18th of this year. A short demo of the games dropped October 18th and features the new region, Alola (the Pokemon worlds equivalent to Hawaii), and a story completely separate from the main story but still involving many of the same characters. Pokemon regions that are supposedly based off real world locations are quite accurate, and Alola is no different. The people there, including your new rival Hau, greet each other by saying “Alola” and enjoy a popular Hawaiian donut known as a malasada.
When playing through the demo, I found myself enjoying the Hawaii-inspired music that accompanied the island vibe of the game, as well as the 3D world, as opposed to the 2D worlds of past games. Personally, I was most excited for the special Pokemon “Ash-Greninja,” but ultimately felt it was fairly underwhelming after battling it. The new regional evil team, Team Skull consists of a bunch of wannabe thugs that cower in defeat once they get dispatched in a quick Pokemon battle.
In the demo, a pair of Skull grunts show up, and once I defeated them, their leader Plumeria comes to get revenge. Plumeria comes to battle the player after the player completes an island trial in which he had to photograph 4 Pokemon: 2 Jagamo-o (Dragon) and 2 of its evolution, Hakamo-o (Dragon/Fighting). In the fight with Plumeria I caught a glimpse of a new mechanic which will be introduced in Sun and Moon, Z-moves, which are exceedingly powerful abilities to power up ordinary moves. The battle with Plumeria comes to a quick end as the player is lent a Pikachu which has access to “Gigavolt Havoc,” an absurdly strong electric-type Z-move. In the Pokemon catching challenge which follows, the player can find Pikachu as well as three new pokemon: Pikipek (Normal/Flying), Yungoos (Normal), and Rockruff (Rock); however, these pokemon are not the players to keep. The last major thing to do is to mount a Tauros and ride all the way to the top of a hill while smashing rocks that are unfortunate enough to be in your way. While the idea of riding Pokemon was originally introduced in Pokemon XY, the system has been developed and expanded to a point where any Pokemon a player wants to ride will be available in a heartbeat.
There are so many new things that are being introduced in Sun and Moon, and the demo does its job perfectly by teasing just enough of the new features to make people want to buy the actual game (which I plan on doing). For now, the demo will quell the incessant need to play the real game, and it is free on the Nintendo eShop for anyone who owns a 2DS or 3DS console. I would recommend that dedicated fans and anyone who enjoyed Pokemon as a child or is new to the series to pick up the demo to get a glimpse into the many new exciting things Sun and Moon are bound to bring.