Greetings dear readers! Disclaimer, I’ve played a little bit of Pokémon Yellow back in the day and seen parts of the original anime and have walked many kilometres with Pokémon Go, but overall I would consider myself an inexperienced Pokémon player. I have friends who’ve played most iterations of the series over the years and who have the super power of being able to name so many Pokémon and their type, who have always tried to get me to get into the series. So I made the decision while on yet another Pokéwalk to pick up either Sun or Moon depending on what one of my best friends ended up choosing. They chose Sun, so I went with Moon…
Plenty of more experienced Pokémon players have written about their adventures with the new titles, our own Mark has written about his time playing Sun. I’d like to share what it’s like to essentially play Pokémon for the first time. Like most people, I like being able to see myself inside the game. I was quite pleased that you got a chance early on to pick an avatar to represent yourself and that further customisation of your character is possible a little later on in the game. I’m not the kind of player who ever collects everything within a game either, in fact I quite often don’t even finish games! I definitely don’t see myself spending the time required to fill my Pokédex, but I relish every Pokémon I catch. I tend to rename them upon catching, primarily adjectives that go nicely with their names or natures, so Pelipper has become Beaky, Eevee is Fluffy and Mimikyu is Horrorbeast.
Horrorbeast is never leaving the Box. Never.
The story guides you through nicely, prompting you where to go and what to do which is great for a newbie but probably a bit frustrating if you are familiar with the series. I am enjoying having my hand held in an unfamiliar world. I am playing for the story and for the fun of trading with friends. If the game doesn’t want you going a particular way just yet, it puts obstacles up, often in the form of recalcitrant Pokémon who are literally blocking the road.
There are plenty of NPCs to talk to across the isles of Alola, it’s worth talking to everyone you encounter because some NPCs (including Pokémon) will give you items, from Poké Balls to Revives to Berries, you never know what you are going to get. Some NPCs will also ask you to do side quests on their behalf, the most common one I’ve encountered is catch a certain Pokémon, show the NPC your Pokédex entry and they will reward you. I’ve even had a few trades with NPCs and ended up with Pokémon I’ve yet to encounter in the wild.
The Pokémon battles, whether against NPCs or wild Pokémon, are obviously an important feature in the game. I am finding them fairly enjoyable to navigate and am getting a lot of use out of handy feature that tells you which moves are effective against types you’ve battled against. I am still learning which type to send out in which circumstances and will admit in writing that I pick my Pokémon crew based on cuteness. I picked Rowlet as my starter because of his darling little bow tie. I’m glad I chose him because he’s proven to be a lot of fun. I doubt I’ll ever memorise the best types because my brain is more devoted to remembering features of my yarn collection than Pokémon.
Pokémon Moon is proving to be a lot of fun and I’m really enjoying myself. I look forward to trading with friends when I get the opportunity and can’t wait to see where the story takes me. It has been a little predictable in parts but honestly I don’t mind. I’m playing this for enjoyment, not for a mind blowing story.