Posted by Conor Caulfield
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Conor Caulfield

A whole new pile of information on story, gameplay and characters for the next generation for Pokémon has arrived; new narrative hooks, some of the coolest looking designs in a while, plus a new battling technique all join the fray.

Most notably, there are no gyms on show, with them potentially being replaced with The Island Challenge. Called a Rite of Passage, the aim is to become the Island Champion.

There are four Trial captains, each of whom appear to have a gameplay based puzzle to solve, rather than offering a simple battle. One mentions finding flowers, another has some sort of observation puzzle. Once all four captains on all four islands are defeated, the player can face the Island Totem Pokémon. Which is basically a boss Pokémon, with an "aura" to modify stats, and the ability to summon other Pokémon to battle with it. Cool idea, often seen in other RPGs, but new for this series.

Once each island is clear, the Island Kahuna can be battled, which provides an even stronger battle challenge. So, technically there are 8 gym battles, but with some caveats and tweaks to the formula.

Freshness is definitely a good thing here, not least in the new forms revealed for Classic Pokémon...

Exeggutor is shaped more like a tall palm tree with a tail, taking on dragon grass typing. This may be the goofiest looking thing I've seen in a long while.

Look at this goofball
Look at this goofball

Vulpix and Ninetails have taken on white colouring and Ice or Ice/Fairy typing respectively. Ninetails looks gorgeous in this form.

That hair is so precious.
That hair is so precious.
Regal and fierce
Regal and fierce

Sandshrew and Sandslash, Both Ice/Steel.

Literally a moving igloo
Literally a moving igloo
And then stalgmites became mobile
And then stalgmites became mobile

On to the brand new Pokémon:

Oricorio. Dancing bird. Has 4 forms, each is a different dance style, ~

Baile Style (fire), Pom-Pom Style (electric), Pa’u Style (psychic), and Sensu Style (ghost); one for each island in the game. Revelation Dance is new move which matches the typing of the form in question.

New ability: Dancer. Gets to copy other Pokémon’s dance type move. E.g., Quiver Dance/Swords dance. So free stat buffs for this one.

Baile
Baile
Pom-Pom
Pom-Pom
Pa'u
Pa'u
Sensu
Sensu

Minior, Rock/Flying Spiky orb Pokémon. After taking damage, the ability Shields Down kicks in, revealing Minior’s Core, which has differing colouring depending on islands, will presumably be weaker in this form.

Minior
Minior
Minior Core with Swirly Eyes
Minior Core with Swirly Eyes

Previously unveiled Yungoos (or Trump-mon) evolves into Gumshoos, who is styled to have a little trench coat and hat.

In theory a Private Detective. But Trump though.
In theory a Private Detective. But Trump though.

Fomantis, Evolves into Lurantis, a Flower mantis Pokémon. Pure grass typing, with new grass move, Solar Blade. Seems to be a high level move with the aim of making grass types more viable.

Fomantis
Fomantis
Lurantis
Lurantis

Mudsdale (the big Clydesdale style horse) has a previous evolution: Mudbray. A tiny, adorable donkey. Ground typing.

The littlest Donkey Mudsdale
The littlest Donkey Mudsdale

I must say, all of these new creatures are delightful designs, with the use of colours in particular being a standout.

A new sequence involving the ability to ride your Pokemon was also shown, maybe to continue the idea of replacing HM slaves? The rideable beasts are player controlled, and can be used to reach otherwise sealed off areas.

Finally, a new form of attack, Z Moves, join the familiar Pokemon formula (A name I think gives credence to the idea that Pokémon Z has been recycled into elements of this game).

Available to use once per battle, specific Z moves will deal massive damage. A stone activation sequence similar to mega evolution is supposedly in play.

They feature very fun looking animations as the trainers dance and then the Pokémon attack in cinematic fashion.

What's your favorite new feature in Pokemon Sun and Moon?

[All Images Sourced from Bulbapedia]