Game Review: Pokémon: Sun & Moon (Special Demo Version) (2016)

Release date: 2016
Version played: Nintendo 3DS XL in 2016

(I’m not sure if the version of the 3ds you are using will make a difference. Mine is just a normal 3DS XL.)

One month before the release of the game proper, Pokémon: Sun and Moon versions are given a demo, available from the Nintendo 3DS eShop. It will require 3,055 blocks of storage, and will take approximately half an hour to play through. I’ve not kept up with news of this, as I wanted the game (and this demo) to be new and exciting, so some of this may be new knowledge to someone devouring all the news tidbits.

+ the handful of available pokémon to capture and fight were generally nice; Rockruff (a small Ground-type dog) was an early favourite
+ new gameplay mechanics (such as pressing A to enter buildings, and a free movement circle) are fantastic. I used to always accidentally enter buildings, so this new system is great for the clumsy folk among us. The introduction of a Pokemon Snap style camera mini-game is much appreciated, at least until we can get a proper remake of the (highly underappreciated) Nintendo 64 title
+ gosh darn, the team skull goons are hilarious. Their “walk” is much more like a hip-hop dance, which was funny every time I saw it

– even for a demo, I did feel it was quite short. With only a handful of buildings to go into, most of which had nothing interesting inside, you could probably speed run through the whole thing in ten minutes if you felt so inclined. Only having one Pokemon to control (aside from a borrowed Pikachu)  meant there was little room to experiment in battles
– similarly, limiting the game to a single city and two or so beach/cave areas meant there wasn’t much of a chance to show off the sparkly new graphics promised

> a handful of people talk about events occurring in upcoming days (such as a Pikachu’s birthday) and ask you to return. I’ll update this with what happens!

Update 1: talking to the man to the right of the Pokemon Center (after waiting one day) gives you ten Pretty Wing items to transfer across the main game, when available.

Update 2:
going to talk to the girl in the sunhat and dress will have her show off her friend: a Machamp. After she introduces the two of you, she and her Pokemon will walk off. Head on down to the masalada store to find Hau waiting, where the two of you can have some of the tasty treat, to end the week in style!

Update 3: head over to City Hall to celebrate with the man in the corner and his pikachu – it’s pikachu’s birthday! After a quick cutscene the man will give you a Balm Mushroom to send to the main game.

Update 4: on November 5, you can head down to the marina to help a policeman stop a deal from going down. When two men appear, you’ll see the shady deal is… slowpokes? The officer notes that slowpoke tails are a delicacy among collectors, but these two men don’t seem interested in eating them… some things are best left alone. Unfortunately, the officer won’t give you any items for helping him out, and there is no battling to be done. Oh well.

Update 4: for the final of the demo’s timed events, head over to the ferry terminal to wish the lady there a safe trip on her travels. She is not fond of boats, so she is very grateful for some kind words before she leaves. As a token of appreciation, she will give you a Comet Shard as a reward, which can be sold to certain collectors for a high price. A final cutscene will show the lady walking towards the terminal, and disappearing in the passing of a Machamp.

And that’s it! No more timed events to wait for, and no more updates here. Pokemon Sun & Pokemon Moon will be released in just one more week. I can’t wait.

Should you play this game: As far as demos go, this certainly could be worse. As the games are now in generation seven, with 11 pairs (or trios) of games released so far, having played any of the previous games will let you know what you’re in for. The few new details were bare bones, but I suppose they lay the groundwork well enough for Pokémon: Sun and Moon proper later this year. You’ll want to play this solely to transfer a handful of items across to the main game.


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