Pokefans rejoice! As promised, the Pokemon Company released more information about the new installments to the franchise, Pokemon Sun and Moon. Earlier this year we were introduced to the new region's starter Pokemon and we caught a glimpse at the new legendary Pokemon and box mascots. And now, more pieces of the puzzle are filled in! If you haven't seen the new video yet, feast your eyes on the glorious new developments!
Is it November 18th yet?! Because I am dying to get my hands on one of these games! The obvious bits to this video are the name announcements. The game mascots for Sun and Moon are officially revealed to be named Solgaleo and Lunala, respectively. On top of that, we get a sneak preview of their signature movies, Sunsteel Strike and Moongeist Beam. Further more, we are getting some names to human faces as well, Professor Kukui, his assistant Lillie and a probable foe, Kau. But what I'm more focused on is the region itself, Alola.
Say Aloha to Alola!
Each region thus far has been inspired by real life locations. For example, Generation Six region, Kalos, was inspired by France, while regions like Kanto, Johto, Hoenn and Sinnoh are based on portions of Japan. This time around, it's pretty obvious that the Alola region is inspired by the island state of Hawaii. The tropical, mountainous terrain, the new professor being named after Hawaii's state tree, the region itself being an archipelago; all signs point to Hawaii. While this is all fun to think about, what will this mean for the game play? Well here are some things that we can gather from the handful of clues in the teaser trailers.
Heavy Use of Surf, Fly and/or ferry systems
This one seems fairly obvious but still seems like it should be acknowledged. Geographically, Alola will probably be the most heavily water-based region to date. Mind you, the last three (Sinnoh, Unova and Kalos) did not garner the need to travel across a vast sea or large body of water. Most if not all the routes were land based and if you did have to cross over water, there were the use of bridges, particularly in Unova (which is based on New York City).
Even in the artwork of Alola, we can see a few boats cruising around the islands. Safe to assume these will be vital in traveling between the islands much like that of the Sevii Islands in FireRed and LeafGreen. It will be interesting to see if these boats will be simple cut scene transports or if will we get S.S. Anne style boats where we get a slew of battles on the way to different islands. This also brings up the question of whether or not these islands will be accessible via Surf? Players were not able to Surf between the Sevii Islands but in cases like traveling to Dewford Town in the Hoenn region, we are allowed to choose between taking a boat or surfing through and training along the way. With more added every generation, I wouldn't be surprised if the waters of Alola will be Surf-able despite the apparent long distance between the islands. Which could mean a lot of people might gravitate more towards choosing Rowlet (for flying and type advantage over water) or Popplio (a quick water-type to sail the world). Sorry Litten....
No Lack of Ice Types
I admit, when I first noticed the tropical setting for the new game, I was a little worried about the kinds of Pokemon we would get in the new region. I imagined that there would be a heavy influx of water, ground, fire, grass and flying types. Logically this would make the most sense. Alola is surrounded by water, most of the game play shows hills and varying terrain and the climate would probably garner Pokemon that can be acclimated to warmer environments. With being said, it seems odd to imagine Ice-type Pokemon to make an appearance in this area.
But fear not ice lovers! That seems to not be the case! Looking back at the artwork, one of the islands seems to have a snow-covered mountain top. I'm curious as to how they are going to explain why this particular part of Alola can sustain a colder atmosphere. It's possible they could use the Ice Rock to emit a cold radiation over that entire mountain. If that were the case, it could mean that trainers could get all eight forms of Eevee-lutions. That would mean they would include access to evolution stones, time of day (which is confirmed in the teasers), the Moss Rock and Pokemon-Amie. Since the switch over to Nintendo 3DS, these options have been available.
Longest List of HM's?
With every region comes a new set of HM's needed to navigate all areas of that region. Moves like Cut, Fly, Strength, and Surf have been around since the very beginning while others like Flash, Waterfall, Whirlpool, Dive, Defog, Rock Climb and Rock Smash have been filtered in and out depending on the game. But with this being an island based region, it is possible that ALL the HM's could be needed in this game. The main four will more than likely come back like all the other games. And with the copious amounts of seas, the three other water-type HM's (Whirlpool, Waterfall, and Dive) could easily make their way into the list. As for the other four, let's break it down a bit more.
With Alola being based on Hawaii, the need for Rock Climb and Rock Smash to get around the mountain portions seems fairly plausible. Flash has been downgraded in the past to a simple TM and with the relatively recent feature of repeated use of TM's, there is a chance that Flash could remain as a TM but necessary to get through a cave or two. That leaves Defog, a move that only made the HM list once in Sinnoh (Gen. Four). BUT, the need for this move might come up again in Alola. Hawaii is known to have volcanic smog, or vog, produced from one of the five volcanoes that make up the islands. If the game creators do decide to include a volcano or two in their design, there's a chance Defog might be needed to clear up some of the visibility in these areas.
Will the creators have an HM list 11 moves long? Probably not. Even if you try to spread them out amongst your line up, that's 11 moves out of 24 dedicated to "permanent" techniques. While some can be very useful in battle (Fly for example), it does severely diminish the variety of techniques a player can utilize. I would assume they would limit the HM list down to eight and my guesses would be the main four (Cut, Fly, Strength, and Surf) as well as Waterfall, Dive, Defog and Rock Climb.
With the release date slated for November 18th, there are still lots of things that still have to be revealed in the next coming months. I, for one, am looking most forward to what the starter Pokemon final forms will look like. Also, I would love to see what new features the game will have that will set the Generation Seven game apart from it's predecessors. Whatever the case may be, I'm sure Pokemon Sun and Moon will definitely be a great addition to the Pokemon franchise.