Our exclusive editorials about the 3DS and its games, as well as Nintendo as a whole.
As you know all, a new trailer for The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild was released at the Nintendo Switch Presentation a couple of days ago. Here’s the video again, in case you haven’t seen it:
As you can see, it shows an awful lot more of the game than we saw previously. There are villages, NPC species/races like Gorons and Zora. New enemies and bosses are shown. And much more besides.
However, those are only some of the obvious things! Yeah the Gorons appear here, but did you know the Gerudo make an appearance too? That at least one character has a connection to the Fierce Deity from Majora’s Mask? Or that the Deku Tree may make an appearance?
If not, then step right up, and find out more about these cool details from the new trailer!
10. The Molgera Like Sandworm in the Desert
Such as the Molgera like sandworm in the desert area. Looks pretty similar to the Wind Waker boss, doesn’t it?
And that’s not all, it also fights pretty similarly too. You’ve got smaller creatures attacking Link around it, like the Molgera spawn from The Wind Waker. The creatures jaws open in that really wide style that make it seems like he tries to eat Link from underground. And heck, the character even seems to be flying through the air when he exits the sand! Like say, both Molgera and the Twinmold from Majora’s Mask!
So yeah, I guess this guy might be throwback to earlier Zelda titles, and appear as a dungeon boss at some point in the story.
9. The Ominous Darkness in the Water
But while it’s clear that guy is a boss, the darkness in the picture is a little less easy to decipher.
Seriously, what is that?
It looks like glowing Dark Matter (from the Super Mario Galaxy series) in Calamity Ganon’s colour scheme. Or in other words, a physical embodiment of his evil encountered as an obstacle in the overworld or something.
And that’s not all that’s interesting in the picture. Oh no, look at that rock formation a bit more carefully.
Looks an awful lot like a dragon type creature, doesn’t it? Or perhaps more accurately, the skeletal remains of a dragon type creature.
So perhaps Ganon’s evil essence might be heading to revive the critter, with Link having to get there quick before things take a turn for the worse. Or maybe I’m just overthinking this.
It’s pretty hard to tell.
8. Glimpses of Dungeons?
What’s a tad less hard to tell though is quite what’s going on in the background of scenes.
That’s because they seem to show something we’ve never seen before in Breath of the Wild. Namely, the actual dungeons you explore throughout the story.
Think about it. You’ve got a giant ominous lava cave with twisted platforms and metal floors, which doesn’t any location we’ve seen as of yet. There’s a tomb like room with a Sheikah Warrior (which gives Ancient Cistern vibes).
And there are two enemies which seem a little tougher than the ones you see on the overworld. Aka the Dinolfos and the Sheikah Warrior.
That gives me the impression that they’re found in the ‘proper’ dungeons’. Like how in Zelda 1 and 2, the monsters in the underworld were much stronger than those on the overworld.
So it seems like we now have a few glimpses at the actual dungeons in this trailer too.
7. The Sheikah Warrior
But talking of the ‘Sheikah Warrior’, that’s another interesting thing in the video. Have a good look at this guy’s ‘face’:
Yeah, it looks a lot like the Mask of Truth from Ocarina of Time. It’s got the Sheikah Symbol prominently visible and looks very close to the Gossip Stones you see throughout that adventure.
So is this guy an artificial construct by the Sheikah? Perhaps some sort of golem or something?
I’m going to say yes here. He looks like a Sheikah built Iron Knuckle equivalent, so that’s what I’m going to assume he is for the time being.
6. The Helix Sword?
And it’s not just the warrior himself who’s the interesting one. Oh no, look at those glowing swords he’s fighting with.
Don’t they look familiar to you?
I’m sure they do. Because as any Zelda fan knows, their shape is identical to that of the Double Helix Sword that Fierce Deity Link uses in Majora’s Mask.
Which makes me wonder: is this perhaps what the Fierce Deity’s tribe looked like when alive?
Or do the Sheikah have some connection to the ancient tribe that created the mask? Either way, it seems like we could be seeing some interesting Majora’s Mask ties in this game’s lore.
5. Another Skull Rock?
Still, onto something a bit less ‘important’ now. Do you see this skull shaped rock here?
It looks very similar to one we’ve seen earlier, doesn’t it?
Yep, that’s because it’s the same design as another skull shaped rock in the E3 demo. That one acted like a sort of enemy base, where you’d get some rare equipment by defeating enemies in the cave there.
But it wasn’t located in this area. It was on the Great Plateau, embedded in a grassy hillside. So
So what’s it doing here too? Why is this one identical landmark found in two separate places in Breath of the Wild?
Well, that’s a good question actually. Maybe it’s the design for Bokoblin hideouts in the game? Perhaps it replaces the sea towers from The Wind Waker (or the submarines from the same game)?
Or maybe it connects to the storyline somehow. And like in the Wind Waker’s Triforce Quest, it ties into a late game collectathon quest that has you finding a secret stored in these places. Guess we’ll have to wait to find out!
4. The Glowing Castle Towers
Another neat thing about the trailer is in the scene with the Calamity Ganon and Hyrule Castle.
Note the pillars there. Or more precisely, how this time they seem to be lit up with the same malevolent looking glow as Calamity Ganon itself, as well as the darkness in the earlier item on the list.
This seems to ‘confirm’ the old theory that the pillars around the castle aren’t just for show, but actually do something to restrain Ganon’s power. Kind of like how the Spirit Tracks work in the DS Zelda game of the same name.
3. The Gerudo Fortress?
We also see evidence the Gerudo are in Breath of the Wild too.
Well, I wasn’t just referring to this Gerudo character.
Oh no, look closely at the desert ‘oasis’ type area earlier in the trailer. Or more precisely, the door at the start.
You’ll see the Gerudo symbol clearly visible there and then. So not only are they in this game, but this area seems to be their headquarters. And well, based on the water and fancy architecture, it’s actually quite a nice looking area too.
So that also implies the game is perhaps set before Ocarina of Time and other such games. Before Ganon’s ‘land’ became a lifeless desert. Perhaps the war in this game is what screwed the area up to begin with. Maybe Ganon’s evil actions in Breath of the Wild are why he’s so depressed in the finale to the Wind Waker.
Or perhaps it’s all just a coincidence. Eh, I’m going with the former.
2. Another Glimpse of a Desert Dungeon?
Additionally, the desert also seems to be the location of at least one major dungeon in the Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild.
After all, what else could this mysterious building with the metal towers nearby be? There’s a cutscene nearby, with Link and multiple friendly NPCs in the vicinity. It’s large enough to cover multiple floors with what looks like areas to explore inside and out. And hey, just about everything here screams ‘this area is plot important’.
So it seems that’s one dungeon location in the game.
And I think I know another one too. Namely, this area:
Yeah, that Sphinx statue is again, way too big and suspicious looking not to be plot relevant here. Hence I suspect it too hides a dungeon entrance of some sort. Presumably the mountain area dungeon to go with the desert one?
I guess so. But where are the other two dungeons the game is likely to have?
1. The Return of the Deku Tree
Well, maybe this location from the trailer may give a hint there.
That’s because as you can see, it seems to be the base of the operations for the Koroks across the Hyrule in Breath of the Wild.
And you know what that usually means, right?
Yep. It usually means the Deku Tree is round the corner somewhere. In fact, it seems to be right here!
Can you see it? Yep, that seems to be the same Deku Tree design from Ocarina of Time, just rendered a fair bit more realistically and in less detail. What’s more, it seems the video narration could well be from him as well!
So yeah, another old favourite from Ocarina of Time returns in Breath of the Wild. Neat eh?
In almost every generation after the third, an older set of Pokemon games have been remade. Gen 3 had FireRed/LeafGreen, which revisited the original titles with new colourful sprites and extra areas. Gen 4 had HeartGold and SoulSilver, which reimagined Johto in the style of the modern titles (complete with online multiplayer). And then generation 6 got Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, reimaginings of the generation 3 titles with full 3D graphics and worlds.
So with Sun and Moon being generation 7, and the Nintendo Switch likely getting a new Pokemon game of some sort, it’s quite obvious we’re due for another set of games.
But here’s where it gets complicated.
Basically, there is almost equal amounts of evidence available for both Diamond and Pearl remakes and Red and Blue ones. After all, lots of things (like Lillie’s story and Pokemon GO compatibility) point to Kanto, and lots of others (like Type: Null point to Sinnoh).
So let’s have a look shall we? Let’s weigh up the evidence for Kanto and Sinnoh, and see which comes out on top!
Pokemon Red and Blue (Generation 1) Remakes
Starting with the reasons why Nintendo might decide to revisit gen 1 all over again…
It’s a Milestone Celebration
Such as the game being a sort of milestone celebration for the franchise. What do I mean by this?
Well, if future Pokemon games are coming to the Nintendo Switch, then that technically means it’s the first ever time a main series Pokemon game has been released on home console! No, we’re not counting Colosseum or XD here. They were good games, but they weren’t really traditional Pokemon in the gameplay department.
These games would be. And so it only seems logical for them to revisit the region everyone remembers in glorious HD graphics with an orchestrated soundtrack blaring in the background. To deliver the definitive version of the Kanto region for the people who grew up with it.
But it’s not just timing and nostalgia on its side. Oh no, there are story reasons for a generation 1 remake too!
Here at Gaming Reinvented, we’ve been a bit too Nintendo focused recently. We’ve talked about the Nintendo Switch like it’s going out of fashion (despite not even being out yet). Written legions of articles on Pokemon Sun and Moon (plus various other major Nintendo titles). And focused perhaps a bit too much of the site on fan games and projects.
Either way, we think it’s about time for a bit of a change. So here’s my thoughts on an interesting little indie game called Psycutlery, whose latest demo was released today!
So what is Psycutlery? Why am I writing about this game rather than so many others?
Well, have you heard of Psycho Waluigi? That awesome Mario fan game where Waluigi goes around conquering kingdoms and defeating enemies with his newly gained psychic powers?
The one that’s considered by many on Mario Fan Games Galaxy as the best Mario fan game of all time?
If so, then Psycutlery is basically the game’s spiritual successor. Developed by Eyes in Everything (a new indie studio founded by Psycho Waluigi creator Thunder Dragon), the game has many similar elements to it, complete with mind control mechanics and interesting puzzle platformer gameplay. In other words, it’s basically an expanded sequel to Psycho Waluigi, except with the character and world being completely original and non Nintendo based.
And dear god, it is a great game. Seriously, have a look at this video I recorded of the title earlier:
As you can see, it works perfectly. The physics are rock solid, with the main character moving exactly where you want her to. The psychic powers work well, with their mouse controls working just as expected with no flaws or delays. And what’s more, the sheer level of depth the game has in its mechanics and design is outstanding:
For example, not only can you shoot telepathic arrows at enemies in all directions (by aiming with the mouse and pressing the attack button), but you can also pick up enemies and chuck them around the screen from a distance too, kind of like a 2D version of the Gravity Gun from Half Life. Or pick up rocks and send them catapulting across the screen, doing multiple bits of damage every time they whack into an enemy.
And then there’s the whole ‘extra powers’ thing. Basically, you can collect special power ups in mid level which give you a second attack if you click the right mouse button.
These attacks include:
- The ability to breathe fire in any direction, like the watermelon effect from Yoshi’s Island
- A tornado move, where your character can dash across the screen in all directions with the mouse and right mouse button
- An electric shield, that can be activated the same way and destroys both enemies and blocks with ease
Plus all manner of others too! So not only do you have full mind control/levitation abilities, but you also have fancy temporary power ups and abilities too, all of which open more puzzles and possibilities.
Also of interest is the unicorn power up, which acts exactly like Yoshi does in the Mario series (or the Animal Buddies in Donkey Kong Country). Hop on, fly around the screen like a maniac. And take an extra hit if you touch an enemy, since the horse absorbs it and runs away for a bit.
Either way, it’s a nice deep gameplay setup for a 2D platformer, and one that will open up a lot of possibilities in the full version.
However, what about the rest of it? Do the graphics, music or other presentation aspects compare?
Well yes, and no.
On the one hand, the graphics look fairly decent. Are they amazing? Eh, I wouldn’t say so. They’re nice, and they’re on par with Psycho Waluigi’s original sprites, but I wouldn’t exactly go as far as to say it’s the prettiest 2D platformer I’ve ever seen. Just decent. Clear, crisp and with a nice consistent art style.
And the menus are professional enough. Lots of decent options (like screen size, control scheme + remapping, etc), all of which offer more control than a lot of indie platformers do.
But I’m not a fan of the music. Okay, it doesn’t hurt your ears. It’s tolerable enough to listen to as you’re playing through the test level. And it does fit the scenario the game is going for.
However, it’s just not very memorable or catchy. Instead, it’s just ‘generic’ sci-fi music. And it doesn’t give the game its own identity.
Meanwhile, contrast how catchy say, the Donkey Kong Country music is, or how catchy the Wario Land series music is:
Feels like those games have much more of a unique style to them in the soundtrack department, and it works really well as a result. Still, it’s only one level song so far, so I’ll judge the soundtrack again when the full game is complete.
Finally, there’s one gripe I have with the mechanics, and that’s how the controls work with both the mouse and keyboard.
Put simply, it can become a bit disorientating, given how often you have to switch between the keyboard and mouse when playing.
And I think that’s where the game probably could have worked better with a very different input method. One which Nintendo has (somewhat unfortunately) scrapped in recent years.
Yep, I’m talking about the Wii Remote. I believe that’s the control input this game was designed for. You’d move around with the nunchuck, press A or B to use attacks, and then use the remote’s IR pointer to pick up and aim enemies. That feels like an input method that fits this game’s setup.
But hey, that’s probably not possible now. The Wii and Wii U are dead, and the Nintendo Switch likely isn’t going to have any form of motion controls included. Eh, I guess the dual control sticks might work as a substitute here, right?
Eh, I guess so. Either way, we’ll see what happens on that front when the game is finished and (maybe) available for other platforms.
Either way, regardless of those issues, Psycutlery is a great little indie 2D platformer, and a title that’s well worth checking out when it’s released in full. So make sure to follow Eyes in Everything on Twitter (or their official site), and get ready for what could be one of the best indie platformers of all time!
2016 was a mix of extremes. There were some great games and announcements, like Pokemon GO and the Nintendo Switch. There were terrible failures, like Mighty No 9 and No Man’s Sky.
And with the political firestorm that was the 2016 US Election and Brexit, it’s been a year that’s certainly divided opinions. Heck, some might even say it’s the most controversial year on record! For both gamers and non gamers alike.
But hey, let’s look towards the future shall we? Because as per the norm, we’ve decided to write up our list on predictions for what could be happening in the gaming world in the coming year. And so here is our list of predictions for the gaming world in 2017!
Here are our predictions for the gaming world in 2017!
Nintendo Switch Related
Starting with a couple about the Nintendo Switch, the company’s new hybrid system coming in March 2017…
1. The console will do better than the Wii U, but will not become a phenomenon like the NES or Wii
Yeah I know, a bit of controversial given we haven’t seen a lot of the system and its games yet. But either way, I predict it won’t do amazingly. It’ll do well, and it’ll certainly blow the Wii U out of the water (a decent name will do wonders here), but I just don’t see it revolutionising the video game industry.
2. It will not get a lot of third party games
And just like the Nintendo 64 onwards, I don’t see it doing too well with ‘triple A’ developers. It’ll probably get a few games (mostly ports in its early lifecycle), but these companies seem to care more about tech and ‘power’ than they do about interesting mechanics and gameplay opportunities. And hey, they know that their audience is likely not going to be on a Nintendo system any time soon.
3. Super Mario Switch will be a Super Mario 64 style 3D platformer, with less linearity in its level design. It’ll also have an ice theme
This is all based on that early footage we saw, which shows areas with lots to see and do (like in Mario 64 and Sunshine) as well as suspicious traces of ice and snow in what should otherwise be a desert environment.
4. The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild does really well in terms of review scores and sells excellently for a Zelda title (I’m guessing about 5-6 million plus).
As for Breath of the Wild, I see it doing well. However, I’m not sure how much the actual Zelda fanbase will like it, given that it seems very different from the typical ‘modern Zelda formula’ and dispenses with any heavy plot focus.
5. Mario Kart is announced for Nintendo Switch, and is based on Mario Kart 8.
Yeah, this is pretty obvious too. However, I do fully believe that we’ll get an ‘ALL NEW’ Mario Kart game as far as tracks and battle areas go, just one minus any new major ‘gimmicks’ or introductions. Maybe a bit like how Super Circuit was basically Super Mario Kart 1.5?
6. Splatoon sequel announced and released
It’s a successful new IP, and was hinted at in the Nintendo Switch trailer. Nothing more to be said.
7. Super Mario Maker gets a Nintendo Switch port.
As for this game, I suspect it’ll just get a port rather than a sequel or major reimagining. The special costumes will probably all be on disc by default, and it’s possibly a few other minor additions might be made too. Like the Challenge Mode from the 3DS version.
8. Gamecube games are announced for eShop.
Again, it’s pretty obvious isn’t it? Every new generation brings more classic Nintendo games to the eShop, and the Nintendo Switch seems like the perfect system to bring Gamecube games over.
9. Super Mario Sunshine gets a HD port/remake.
I don’t know why, but I can really see this getting a port or remake at some point. Probably because they could both fix a few minor flaws with the game and use all kind of modern shaders and lighting effects and what not to make it look truly gorgeous on the new hardware.
10. Pokemon Stars is announced as a Pokemon Sun/Moon sequel
It will have Necrozma as a main part of the story, and involve a new villainous team (since the last two both got reformed/disbanded). I can sort of picture Faba turning to the new villains, given his somewhat arrogant personality after generation 7, and I can also picture a lot of the older characters becoming trial captains and kahunas this time around. Like Hau standing in for Hala. Or Guzma getting a new kahuna type role.
11. Pokemon anime quickly changes to integrate new storyline
God, you almost feel sorry for these guys, don’t you? Not only do they have to adapt a brand new game every three years or so, but they’ve recently had the series throw more and more curveballs in their face mid generation. The gen 5 and 6 anime seasons both had to be completely retooled in how they presented Team Plasma and Team Flare…
12. Necrozma gets a new form, like Zygarde did.
And talking of Pokemon stuff, I think it’s pretty obvious by now Necrozma is getting a new form. Trio legendary with base stats of about 600? Design that looks like a dragon’s head? Yeah, this guy isn’t at his most powerful at all.
13. Retro’s game isn’t Metroid Prime 4. Fans sob.
But hey, enough Pokemon for now. I’ll bet anything that Retro’s next project isn’t either Metroid or Donkey Kong related.
14. Super Smash Bros for Switch port gets announced, with more ‘comprehensive’ Smash game promised for the future. Inklings are main new characters, with Ice Climbers returning.
No Source Gaming, they’re not just gonna release ports of old games and pretend they’re sequels. But it is quite probable some sort of Smash for Wii U port will be done to get some quick interest going, and that it’ll have a few minor additions made.
15. Mario RPG/Rabbids game is officially announced too.
Nothing more to be said here. It’s predicted by everyone at this point.
16. But Mario & Luigi will still get a game
Probably with more original content like Dream Team, given that Nintendo considers this the ‘canon’ Mario RPG series now, and given that AlphaDream is willing to tell Miyamoto where to stick his ‘suggestions’.
Unlike Intelligent Systems.
17. Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door comes to Virtual Console, does really well.
Still, at least Paper Mario fans will probably get this much. And like the original Paper Mario, it’ll sell really well on the eShop.
18. Fire Emblem announced for Nintendo Switch
Because hey, it’s gonna get another game after the success of both Awakening and Fates. Wonder if any censorship controversies will follow it?
19. Pokken Tournament gets Switch port with new characters from arcade version.
Forget the Wii U owners, you’ll need to pay out for a new version of the game if you want to play as Empoleon kids!
20. Analysts Proclaim Console Doomed
Finally, someone will claim the console is doomed and Nintendo is going to go bankrupt because of it. This ‘someone’ may or may not be Michael Pachter.
So yeah, those are the Switch related predictions out of the way. But how about the general Nintendo ones?
General Nintendo Related
Such as Super Nintendo World, the theme park deal they’ve got going with Universal Studios? Well, we’ve got predictions for that stuff too…
1. Super Nintendo World will not just have a Yoshi, Donkey Kong Country and Mario Kart ride.
Yeah, those will be obvious inclusions. But here’s the thing; the concept art may have been referring to the Japanese park.
And do you know what the obvious difference between the Japanese and American parks is?
The latter are much, much bigger. How much?
Well, Universal Studios Japan is apparently 108 acres according to Wikipedia.
Universal Orlando (with its theme parks, hotels and other stuff)… is apparently 840 acres.
They have eight times as much room for Nintendo attractions in North America. So it’ll get quite a few more rides and attractions there than in Japan.
2. It’ll blow ‘Avatar Land’ out of the water
I mean, really Disney? You now decide to make an area based on Avatar?
That was 7 years ago. You’re basing a whole theme park land on a popular movie that was a fad for a couple of months 7 years ago.
Either way, it’s pretty obvious that Nintendo’s theme park attractions will prove the more popular ones. No one gives a toss about Avatar in the long run.
3. Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem will be free to play on mobile
With money being used to buy in game items and abilities. This will partly be in response to Super Mario Run’s criticism and investor expectations for their games.
4. WarioWare will get a mobile game
Come on, the very format just screams ‘this will be awesome on smartphones’. It’s a very safe choice for a possible third Nintendo smartphone app.
As I made clear in my recent review, Pokemon Sun and Moon are generally good games. They’ve got a decent art style and soundtrack. The story is a lot more interesting than previous games in the series. And well, a few of the new additions here (like the Island Trials and Ride Pokemon) work really well. Indeed, they may well be some of the best Pokemon games in the last few generations!
However, as you can tell by the title, they’re not perfect. So here are their more annoying/poorly done aspects, in one easy to read list!
10. The constant screen reloading
So hey, let’s start with a small issue that becomes apparent about 10 minutes into the first island. Basically, Pokemon Sun and Moon has no idea how to animate your character doing anything.
Why? Because every action he or she takes, reloads the screen. Crawled through a hole in the wall? That’ll be a full screen reload with fade out. Opened a gate? Same deal, despite the fact the area on both sides on the wall is part of the same map.
Heck, even a character leaving a conversation causes the screen to reload. Because hey, apparently Game Freak don’t like animating someone walking away into the distance. It’s pretty ridiculous, and it slows the game down to a halt for no logical reason whatsoever.
Still, that’s nothing compared to…
9. The Complete Lack of a Rebattle Option
Cause damn, it is a PAIN to level grind in this game. Why? Because aside from the Elite Four, Battle Buffet and that guy from Game Freak, there are NO real ‘high level’ battles you can repeat for EXP here.
No, the Battle Tree and Royal don’t count. Those give no experience at all. The wild Pokemon? Okay, but they’re pretty useless for grinding when you reach about level 60 or so. And heck, even two of the things I mentioned (the Game Freak staffer and the Battle Buffet) are once per day deals. So for the most part, your only level up method is to fight the elite four almost endlessly.
But what would fix this?
Well, being able to rebattle other trainers for EXP. Like say, recording their phone numbers in the menu and calling them up for another battle with higher level Pokemon. Or say, having a general option to rebattle the Trial Captains and Kahunas, or to revisit the Island Trials at will. You know, like in Pokemon Gold/Silver/Crystal and just about every generation prior to generation 6.
But no, it doesn’t exist. So hey, enjoy doing the same five fights over and over again!
8. The Aggravating Battle Royal/Battle Tree Systems
Still, as bad as levelling up may be, the Battle Royal and Battle Tree are another level of frustration entirely.
Because dear god, it seems like the AI is cheap as all hell.
Seriously, they seem to know exactly what you have planned, and have prepared a perfect counter for it despite all the odds. Got a bulky water type, like I had up first recently?
Well then, enjoy a ‘free for all’ where the other three teams all coincidentally happen to be leading with either grass or electric types!
Picked a Pokemon that’s really fast but with glass cannon stats? Well, your opponent will just happen to be one that’s even faster with a good type match up and maybe a mega form thrown in for good measure.
And hey, let’s not even talk about the accuracy and other stats! Those seem to go every way except yours, with otherwise near perfect accuracy moves missing far more times than seems probable and the opponents low accuracy moves somehow nailing it every time.
It’s an aggravating pain in the ass.
What’s more, it gets worse still. Want a special item to power up a certain Pokemon? To hold for a trade evolution? To activate its mega form?
Then you’ll need to slowly plod through these matches for the tiny BP payouts you get as a result. 64 BP for a Mega Stone? Are you having a laugh man? That’s either a crap ton of attempts or a 64 win streak without a single mistake.
Makes me long for the days of Pokemon Stadium and that games simple format. Even that bullshit worked far better than these modes do.
7. The Constant Cutscenes
Still, moving on from the Battle Tree now, we then get to perhaps the biggest issue with the single player mode of this game:
The constant cutscenes, handholding and railroading.
Seriously, that first island is pretty much entirely ‘go follow the dotted line’ without even the slightest bit of meaningful exploration involved. You have Kukui telling you where to go, Hau telling you where to go, Hala telling you where to go… and hey, even the most basic things (like gates) are locked away behind a message saying “Warning, wet paint” or a random barrier/object/Tauros blocking the road.
It’s just annoying, especially when you’ve actually played another Pokemon game in the last 20 years and would rather be left to figure things out for yourself. And here’s the other thing:
Even on island 2 and 3… the game still seems it tries to tell you where to go and what to do at all times. Dude, give it a break already! We’re not three, we do actually know where we want to go here!
It reminds me of Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon and Mario & Luigi Dream Team, where your ‘partners’ (Professor E Gadd, Starlow, etc) just never learnt when to shut up and leave you alone for three minutes of your time. Still, at least they learned their lesson with Zelda and Mario & Luigi, so maybe Pokemon will follow suit with the Nintendo Switch instalment…
6. The New Fishing System
But it’s not just the cutscenes and handholding they need to look at. Oh no, the fishing system here needs to be scrapped entirely do.
Because for whatever reason, they decided to take a perfectly good system that worked fine for six generations… and completely toss it in the rubbish bin. Remember how before, you could just go up to the edge of a lake, press A and start fishing?
Well, that’s too simple apparently. So now you can only fish at certain holes.
But hey, it gets worse! Because not only are you now limited in where you can fish, but you also don’t have multiple rods to choose what Pokemon you encounter either! So where you used to be able to say, use an Old Rod to get Magikarp and a Super Rod to get decent Pokemon, now you have a chance of getting crap like Magikarp from every body of water in the game!
Did I mention it’s now super common too? So about 70% of your fishing encounters are now Magikarp encounters, with another 20 or 30% being the same common Pokemon like Wishiwashi?
Cause that’s the case too.
Which means you then have about… 1% chance of finding something good.
Like say, Dhelmise in Seafolk Village. Corsola in any area of the game. Or Sharpedo on Poni Breaker Coast.
Now admittedly, this then goes up to 10% or more if the water is bubbling. However, this too doesn’t make up for it, since the water only bubbles in one specific spot on every route. Which goes away if you move too fast near it. Or once you find absolutely anything in said spot (including your common Pokemon of choice).
And then if that happens, it means you’ve got to exit the area, re-enter the area, find another bubbling spot and try again.
Which is made no better by how you can also fish up bloody items too. Cause hey, I’m sure you really wanted that bubbling spot to give you a Pearl, Big Pearl or Pearl Necklace, right? No? Me neither. Those items literally exist to be sold and have absolutely sod all use in game.
So yeah, let’s hope the next game just scraps the ‘new’ system and replaces it with the one that worked fine for the last 6 or so generations instead. Additionally, let’s also hope it scraps the concept of…
5. Collecting Zygarde Cells
Cause dear god, these things are a pain in the ass to collect.
Firstly, if you don’t have a Zygarde already, that means you need to collect a massive ONE HUNDRED of them to get its final form. This means one hell of a scavenger hunt across all the islands and locations, looking for tiny (and rather hard to spot) green glowing spots.
But hey, don’t expect it to be too easy there! Cause it turns out some Zygarde cells only appear at certain times of day. So not only do you have to scour the whole region for cells, but you have to do it at least twice; once in the day and once at night.
And well, you’d better not miss any here either. Why? Because for whatever stupid reason, the game gives you no checklist at all to help you figure out which ones you have and which ones you don’t have. No, not even a hint to which ISLAND you’re missing cells on. So that last one cell will mean scouring the whole region again. Likely twice to be sure.
Finally, you then have to remember where the lab is so you can assemble the perfect Zygarde. Turns out it’s on the third island (route 16 in fact), somewhere between Tapu Village and Po Town. Yeah, nice if we had that written down somewhere convenient. Or if flying actually put you next to it rather than a fair distance away.
Still, Zygarde isn’t the only Pokemon that’s a pain to deal with here…
4. Various Unintuitive Evolution Methods
Cause actually getting some of your other Pokemon to evolve is a pain in the neck to. For example, how do you evolve Charjabug or Crabrawler?
By levelling them up at a certain location of course.
Where are these locations? Well, Great Poni Canyon and Mount Lanakila of course.
Or for those who haven’t played the game… the fourth island and the equivalent of Victory Road respectively.
For Pokemon you get about 20 hours earlier and who seemingly have no real connection to the location. Real smart move there guys! I’m sure I would have realised my Pokemon would only evolve minutes before the final boss rather than at a reasonable point in the story!
No, no I probably wouldn’t.
Nor would I realise that Steenee only evolves if it levels up while knowing Stomp as a move. Or that Rockruff’s evolution is actually version based rather than time based, and completely pointless given how both forms are catchable on their own in Great Poni Canyon.
Salandit needing to be female to evolve is pretty annoying to figure out too.
Really, you pretty much need a guide to 100% complete this game’s Pokedex. Though hey, I guess that is a running theme with this franchise…
3. The Rarity of the New Pokemon
And it’s a theme that’s not helped by how damn rare the new Pokemon in this game are. I mean, I already said how rare Dhelmise is earlier, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Mimikyu? 5% spawn in the Abandoned Hypermarket. Mareanie? Chance SOS battle encounter (more on that hell later). Drampa? 10% encounter rate in last area in the game.
Basically, if it’s not Yungoos, Wishiwashi, Pikipek or Salandit, it’s far rarer than it should be in this game.
That’s ridiculous, and it means that 90% of your time will be spent using Pokemon you’ve encountered throughout the 6 generations before this one. And for a new game where the new species are the focus? It’s really disappointing.
But hey, there are two more annoying aspects, and they are really, really aggrevating…
2. Hyper Training
Like the promised Hyper Training, which lets you ‘IV train’ your Pokemon.
Sounds good, right? You can overcome Pokemon genetics and give them better stats than otherwise possible. Nothing wrong there, right?
Well, no, in theory.
In practice however, it (and the IV stuff that goes with it) is a genuine pain in the backside.
I mean, for starters, you can’t even tell your Pokemon’s IVs without getting the option from a man in the Battle Tree in the postgame. Who… wait for it, needs you to hatch at least twenty eggs before waking up and giving you the option. Thanks Mr Guy. I never would have figured that one out. Especially given how maybe about three Pokemon in the Alola Dex require breeding to get…
And once you do know, you then have to actually train them. Which requires:
1. At least one bottle cap per stat, or a gold bottle cap for all stats. These are super rare and only available in certain places at random.
2. Said Pokemon to be level 100 beforehand. Which means working with the awful lack of levelling up possibilities in the generation as a whole (read, endless Elite Four fights).
As a result, what could have been a fun and useful option is now a massive guide dang it/pain in the ass, with the results only being viewable by another guide dang it on top of the first one.
But hey, it could be worse. Like say, the old SOS Battles…
1. The SOS Battle System in General
Because this very mechanic is equal parts frustrating and confusing all at once.
For instance, it means if your Pokemon can’t one shot the opponent, they can keep calling it reinforcements and prolonging a simple, easy battle. Sounds bad enough?
Well yes. Yes it is.
But it gets far worse.
Because what the game never tells you… is that certain Pokemon are ONLY found during SOS battles. As in, they only appear when a completely different species calls for help.
For instance, that rare Mareanie I mentioned? Oh, it only appears if a Corsola calls for help in battle. But wait, there’s more!
Because Corsola itself… is a rare spawn with a 1% encounter rate. So you have to encounter a super rare Pokemon, then have it call for help, then hope a species it’s opposed to spawns at random. Sound painful? It sure is. And it gets more annoying.
Cause not only do some Pokemon only spawn in SOS battles, but some require certain WEATHER to be present before they appear. Want a Gabite? Well, you have to be in a sandstorm in Haina Desert and have another Pokemon call for help… and it’s still rare. Goomy? Then hope a Pokemon in Lush Jungle calls for help… while it’s raining. You might have to set up the last one by the way, since it only sometimes rains in the area (unlike in the desert, where there’s always a sandstorm at night). Similarly, Castform only appears if you change the weather in a certain area and have a Pokemon call for help.
Yes, it’s annoying.
Yet guess what?
There’s STILL more to the mechanic! Indeed, let me introduce you to this mechanic called ‘SOS Chaining’.
What’s SOS Chaining?
Well, basically, every time a wild Pokemon receives backup, the counter goes up by one. So by having it call for backup and knocking out any that appear, you can raise the counter up to different levels.
And based on how high it goes, the Pokemon has either different abilities, better IVs (read, genetics) or a higher chance of being ‘Shiny’ (this is usually 1/8192). So the more Pokemon you call and knock out, the better the Pokemon that show up will be (stat wise), and the more likely they’ll be to be Shiny (aka have a different colour palette).
Which means to get the best outcome, you need to have the wild Pokemon call/then quickly knock out… more than 70 Pokemon in a single battle. Did I mention that there’s only a certain chance it’ll successfully call in a new Pokemon at any point in time? Because it will, and that chance goes up the lower its health is. Or if you use the Adrenaline Orb. Which only works once in a battle for three turns.
So yeah, it’s an utter pain to figure out, and is hence perhaps one of the most awkward, annoying additions to the entire franchise.
And that concludes my list of gripes with Pokemon Sun and Moon. For the most part, they’re more features that annoy completionists than anything else (since hey, you don’t need to complete the Pokedex or take on the Battle Tree), but they’re still aggravations that Nintendo and Game Freak could have fixed/changed if they wanted to.
But what do you think? Are you annoyed by these elements in Pokemon Sun and Moon? Or do you somehow think the SOS Battle System, Zygarde Cell Hunting and Hyper Training were actually implemented well?
Post your thoughts on the Gaming Reinvented forums or on social media today!