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Mace & Crown | March 22, 2018

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'Pokemon Ultra Sun' and 'Pokemon Ultra Moon' bring new features to last year's games

Audra Reigle | Technology Editor


Another Pokemon game hit shelves on Nov. 17 with the launch of “Pokemon Ultra Sun” and “Pokemon Ultra Moon.” The 3DS games bring new features and Pokemon to the Alola region introduced in last year’s “Pokemon Sun” and “Pokemon Moon.”


For the most part, many of the features introduced in “Pokemon Sun” and “Pokemon Moon” return to these games. Much of the game is similar to its predecessor, but there are some differences. These differences include the introduction of the new enemy teams, the Ultra Recon Squad and Team Rainbow Rocket, and how you receive your starter Pokemon.


However, while many old features returned, new features were also introduced. Totem Stickers have been placed around the Alola region. If you played “Pokemon Sun” or “Pokemon Moon,” they are like the Zygarde Cores. If you collect certain amounts of them, you can receive Totem Pokemon from Samson Oak.


Mantine Surfing is introduced in these games as well. It is not available to the player until after they complete the first trial. Players can surf between islands. They can also ride the waves and earn points by doing aerial tricks. The more points you earn while surfing, the more Beach Points (BP) you’ll earn. The BP can be exchanged for new moves for your Pokemon or battle items.


Roto Loto is a new feature available when your Rotom Dex’s eyes turn yellow on the bottom screen. You spin a wheel to earn Roto Boosts. These boosts can boost the stats of your Pokemon. There are also Roto EXP Points that allow you to train your Pokemon faster by giving them bonus EXP. This bonus only lasts for a limited amount of time.


Players receive a photo album after completing the first grand trial. You are tasked with visiting the Alola Photo Club to take a commemorative photo with your Pokemon for completing the first grand trial. There, you learn that you can take photos and share them via the Festival Plaza and add stickers to your photos. More features are unlocked as you play the game.


Rockruff’s evolution, Lycanroc, received a new Dusk Form in these games. This new evolution can only be obtained through evolving a Rockruff received through an event. You will have to evolve it into Lycanroc between 5pm-5:59pm if you’re playing Ultra Sun or 5am-5:59am if you’re playing Ultra Moon. The Rockruff can be obtained through Mystery Gift until Jan. 10.


The Dusk Form Lycanroc wasn’t the only Pokemon introduced this generation. Four new Ultra Beasts were also introduced in these games.


The game is very tutorial heavy. While it is a Pokemon game and geared towards younger audiences, it is still frustrating to have to go through the tutorial information if the player already knows what they’re doing. It can be beneficial for new players to the series, but for older players, it can feel like a chore.


The game also feels as if it is holding your hand while you play. During battles, it will tell you which moves are super effective, not very effective or do no damage to the Pokemon you’re battling. However, the catch is you have to encounter them in a previous battle before you can get that information. The EXP Share, which now splits your EXP among all of your Pokemon if it is turned on as of “Pokemon X” and “Pokemon Y,” also makes the game easier in that it keeps all of your Pokemon at the same level and eliminates the need for grinding to prepare for important battles.


There is also little need to buy items in the game. Trial captains and other characters in the game give you Poke Balls and other items. These items, in addition to the ones you can just find on the ground, make it to where you don’t really have to purchase items in game unless you really want to.


Overall, the game is okay at best. Much of the story is very similar to “Pokemon Sun” and “Pokemon Moon” with some changes to accommodate the new features. While the new features are nice, it would have been nice to have more than just new features.