ByKen McDonnell, writer at
Now Loading's sentimental Irishman. I can't stop playing Overwatch, please send help.
Ken McDonnell

Pokémon Sun and Moon are close at hand. These two highly anticipated games have been dazzling fans every since their announcement, promising to keep the series relevant in the modern gaming world, to transform how we see some of our favorite mons and to reinvent how we perceived previous move sets.

And now that its worldwide release date is a mere two days away, reviews have started to pour in for the latest instalment. Ladies and gentlemen, I think you're going to be very pleased with the verdict.

Pokémon Sun And Moon's Review Roundup Paints A Beautiful Picture

Haven't seen the final evolutions of Sun and Moon's starter Pokémon? Then be sure to check out the trailer below!

But before I delight you with the review scores and summations of Pokémon Sun and Moon, I thought I'd give you some context in the grand scheme of things. Let's look at the review aggregates for previous generations in order to get a glimpse of how well these new titles have performed when compared with what's come before.

Generation I: Pokémon Red and Blue

The games that started it all. Though Metacritic wasn't around to aggregate review scores when these titles released in 1996, GameRankings rate them at a solid 88%. That may seem unfair considering how these titles became cherished by a generation and ignited a passion and tradition that's continued for decades, but reviewers couldn't see what was to come. However, they were quick to commend Nintendo's achievements!

IGN awarded the game 10 out of 10, concluding that, "Even if you finish the quest, you still might not have all the Pokémon in the game. The challenge to catch 'em all is truly the game's biggest draw." Indeed it was.

Generation II: Gold, Silver and Crystal

Arriving in the West four years after Red and Blue, these three were to test whether the formula established by Generation I could be expanded upon while still feeling fresh and relevant. The answer was a resounding yes. Pokémon Gold, Silver and Crystal received a final score of 89% from GameRankings, a Gold by their standards. Critics were tripping over themselves to praise its design.

IGN once again rewarded these games with a perfect score of 10, stating,

"As awesome as the original Pokémon edition was, Pokémon Gold and Silver blow it away in gameplay elements, features, and goodies. There are so many little additions to the design it's impossible to list them all".


Generation III: Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire

The reception of Ruby and Sapphire dipped slightly in comparison with what came before. GameRankings concluded with a score of 84%, whereas Metacritic, now stepping in, finished with an average score of 82%. While IGN continued to lavish the games with praise, ultimately awarding them 9.5 out of 10, the likes of Eurogamer were less than enthusiastic, maintaining that the mechanics "[get] very tired, very fast." A bit of a dip for Game Freak.

Generation IV: Pokémon Diamond, Pearl and Platinum

Released in 2006, these three enjoyed a slightly healthier reception than the previous generation of Pokémon games. GameRankings and Metacritic gave the game a finishing score of 85%, and critics who were despondent with Ruby and Sapphire seemed to warm to these three. While IGN's score dropped down to 8.5, Eurogamer's shot up to 9 out of 10! GameSpot were also quick to call them "the most well-rounded Pokémon games to date." Do you agree?

Generation V: Pokémon Black and White

The next games arrived in 2011 with promises a plenty. Concluding with a score of 87% on Metacritic, these games demonstrated that Nintendo and Game Freak knew what fans desired from a new generation of Pokémon games. IGN's score jumped back up to 9, GamesRadar and Nintendo Power shared this final score and VideoGamer wrapped up by saying, "rest assured in the knowledge that Black and White are damn fine games; the best the series has to offer."

Generation VI: Pokémon X and

Released just three years ago, Pokémon X and Y demonstrated that the developers desired to reinvent the series in ways we hadn't anticipated. The results are in the ratings, as critics and fans alike were quick to commend the updates. Pokémon X and Y enjoy 88% ratings on both GameRankings and Metacritic. Eurogamer and IGN awarded the titles 9 out of 10, with Polygon concluding that X and Y were, "one of the best portable role-playing games ever created." Can't get higher praise than that!

Generation VII: Pokémon Sun and Moon

Now the moment we've all been waiting for. How do Pokémon Sun and Moon stand up to what's come before? Can they match the innovation of X and Y while carrying forth the great tradition laid out by Red and Blue? Here's your answer:

  • IGN - "After 20 years of slow but steady evolution, Pokemon gets a bit of a reinvention in Sun and Moon. An engrossing and rich new region makes the Alola journey — along with all the changes Sun and Moon make to the existing formula — enjoyable throughout the main adventure, and small interface and variety of upgrades along the way make a few of the things that stayed the same feel better than before." 9/10
  • Polygon - "Pokémon's 20th anniversary year has been all about celebrating what's great about the series, but the newest pair of games prove that the series is ready and able to make big changes without sacrificing that original spirit. Without the heaps of content of series-defining entries like Red, Silver and X, Sun and Moon don't quite stand as endlessly replayable classics, but they're a wonderful testament to why Pokémon is still so special all these years later." - 8.5/10
  • Destructoid - "For every issue I found with Pokémon Moon, whether it was an old problem that just caught up with the series or something new — I found solace in the indomitable likability of a cast member, or the thrill of finding another party member that I would battle with for years to come. I’m already seeing myself playing for several hundred hours before the end of 2016, and I haven’t even fully experienced all of the online features yet." 9/10
  • GameInformer - "You’re still collecting monsters by throwing Poké Balls and taking on the competition in turn-based battles, but Sun & Moon feels like a brand new Pokémon game in some fundamental and worthwhile ways." 8.5/10
  • GameRant - "Sun and Moon are the biggest changes that the core Pokemon series has ever attempted. Removing gyms, Hidden Machines (HMs), and altering original Pocket Monsters was a huge gamble – and all of it has paid off. Honoring the franchise’s past while looking to the future must have been a difficult ideal for Nintendo and The Pokemon Company to nail down, but the end result of this undertaking is a pair of lovingly-crafted, must-haves for fans new and old. Truly, this is the celebration of Pokemon that gamers have been waiting for." 4.5/5
  • Eurogamer - "The world of Pokémon is finally, exactly that: a world, with charming, textured characters not just in the named friends and foes you meet, but the random people on your journey, the region you live in, the music, the Pokémon themselves and the very soul of the journey. At long last, Pokémon is not just back. With Sun and Moon, it feels fresh again." Essential Badge.

Pokemon Sun and Moon's Metacritic aggregate score currently stands at 88 making it one of the highest rated generation of games in the franchise's history.

Are you excited for Pokémon Sun and Moon now, or what?!


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