Unpopular opinions

How the heck can ANYONE hate gen 7? They weren't perfect perhaps, but putting them amongst the worst in the franchise is complete and utter horseshit. In fact, I firmly believe the opposite: Sun and Moon are tied with Black and White 2 for my favorite mainline Pokemon games, with the mediocre postgame being the only thing holding them back from being better, because aside from that, they did every other conceivable thing right:

Region: Holy crap Alola is an amazing region. It's a radically different direction the point where I've seen people compare it to spin-off regions like Orre, and in my opinion it completely paid off. Unlike XY, GF fully took advantage of the leap to 3D this time around to deliver to us one of the most fleshed-out, visually varied regions yet, teeming with beautiful, interesting locales and bits and pieces of world-building.

Main Story Gameplay: Not super difficult, but far from the breeze that was XY. Some battles were actually really freaking tough: I picked Litten, and I still ultimately had to bank on potion spam to take out Totem Lurantis! Oh yeah, the totem battles are awesome. That's one of the things I love about SM: It shakes up the formula in various semi-subtle ways while staying true to the core structure of a Pokemon game. Trials over Gyms, multiple evil teams, multiple potential Champion fights, the E4 being composed of previously introduced characters to make the fights with them more impactful, probably other things I'm forgetting about.

The Story Itself: Considering how much of an Alola fanboy I am, it may come as a surprise that the story didn't capture me the same way it did others. That said, I can understand why some people love it so much, and I enjoyed some parts as well, more specifically Gladion, who fulfills the need for an asshole-ish rival people have been asking for while also having some great character development. Also his theme is likely a partial remix of a Pokemon Mystery Dungeon track, and any references to PMD make me a happi boye

Quality of Life Changes: Regardless of how you feel about recent games, you should at least be able to give SM credit for being the games that finally put HMs out of their misery in favor of the infinitely more convenient Pokeride system and derivatives in later games. Also Poke Pelago is great for making EV training less of a time waster, and I hope it returns in some form in SWSH.

New Pokemon: Look, you can think whatever you want about Sun and Moon. You can think I'm looking back on it too fondly, that none of the pros I listed make up for the cons assuming they are even valid at all, and that's fine. But I will forever stand by the belief that Alola is home to the best new Pokemon in any game period. I could make an entire post gushing about how much I love the Alola dex and everything it gave us, but the basic gist is this. XY saw the roots of a new trend for modern Pokemon games: A dramatically smaller list of new Pokemon compared to previous titles, opting for quality over quantity. While XY gave birth to this interesting idea, Sun and Moon took this concept to new heights. Every Pokemon in Alola does something brand new, something fresh and totally different from what came before, no matter how small. We've had Water/Psychic types in the past, but not a physical attacking one like Bruxish. We've had Regenerator Water types before, but not one with Poison immunity and hazard setting potential like Toxapex. Decidueye and Dhelmise are both physical attacking Grass/Ghost types, but they take that basic skeleton of a role and approach it from different angles, with neither truly outclassing the other in that function. Some do this better than others, but even the worst Alola mons have something to their name to where they can firmly say "nobody else can do what I do". Of course, the designs themselves are absolutely stellar, whether it be the noble, regal warrior Kommo-o, the unique blend of animal and profession the Starters take on, the totally alien and experimental Ultra Beasts and of course my beautiful baby boy Drampa, the perfect blend of cute and cool that the rest of the dex aspires to be. Oh, and by the way, Regional Variants are the best idea Game Freak has ever had, basically accomplishing what Mega Evolution tried to do on a smaller scale while feeling 100% natural and continuing to provide some sorely-needed revitalizations to old favorites, whether it be making Exeggutor an entertainingly silly meme icon or transforming Muk into a UU-level competitive threat. If these things don't return with new additions in Sword and Shield, I will honestly be pissed. I wouldn't even care much if it was Gen 1 only again, just please don't abandon this gold mine of potential Game Freak!

Wew, that was a long diatribe. Be warned though: you might see an even more nuclear take from me very soon on this thread, but right now it's late.
 
I do not like Lavender Town's theme and I don't get why it's fans' number 1 choice for creepy music, it's just irritating to listen than anything. The other creepy music that Pokemon has to offer such as Distortion World provide a spookier vibe than it.
I find Lavender Town's theme to be more sad than creepy. The Strange House in Black/White 2 is much more unsettling, along with D/P/Pt's Old Chateau.

It's likely that Lavender Town's theme is so popular because of all the creepypasta surrounding it (which are known to be completely bogus).

Anyway, I have a possibly unpopular opinion: Pokemon X and Y are not necessarily any easier than previous titles. Yes, it probably will be if you leave the EXP Share on and battle everything you can along the way, but you can go into the bag and turn it off without taking a step past where Alexa gives it to you.
 
Wew, that was a long diatribe. Be warned though: you might see an even more nuclear take from me very soon on this thread, but right now it's late.
Guess I should follow up on this before I go missing for a few days. That might've been a decently hot take, but what I'm about to say next is, as I said, nuclear.

I am hyped for the national dex cut.

No, this is not bait, nor is it a troll. I didn't make a typo. You aren't tripping, and you aren't dreaming. Lemme restate it:

I am actively looking forward to the national dex cut.

First off, I'm going to admit something: a good chunk of is for incredibly petty reasons. Simply put, I think at this point the people still spewing the #bringbacknationaldex horseshit on their twitter.com are whiny, delusional idiots and I do not want them getting any sense of satisfaction or god forbid feeling like they actually accomplished something in their lives. Yes it's petty, borderline scummy, and you can call me out for it all you want and I won't try to retort at all.

But on a more serious note: Competitive play. If you've been keeping up with the SWSH discussion thread, you know just how hard I've been shilling the speculatory metagame. Because my god, this is the best competitive Pokemon experience I've had in ages outside of pet mods, and I've been playing with like 3 other people tops. Yes it's incomplete, but I barely care because at the end of the day this is a COLOSSAL improvement over Gen 7. A self-contained pool of mons is a concept LGPE toyed with, and with SWSH we will see the fruits of that change, which based on this first impression I have no doubt will be amazing. Don't forget how this'll affect both variants of Battle Spot and our lower tiers: Old titans may get a chance to reclaim the glory they once had, and after years of ever-mounting power creep, this could- no, WILL be the breath of fresh air competitive Pokemon has been yearning for. Every generation from this point on will be a radically different experience, and I can't wait to see what it yields.
 

Ryota Mitarai

Shrektimus Prime
is a Smogon Media Contributor
Guess I should follow up on this before I go missing for a few days. That might've been a decently hot take, but what I'm about to say next is, as I said, nuclear.

I am hyped for the national dex cut.

No, this is not bait, nor is it a troll. I didn't make a typo. You aren't tripping, and you aren't dreaming. Lemme restate it:

I am actively looking forward to the national dex cut.

First off, I'm going to admit something: a good chunk of is for incredibly petty reasons. Simply put, I think at this point the people still spewing the #bringbacknationaldex horseshit on their twitter.com are whiny, delusional idiots and I do not want them getting any sense of satisfaction or god forbid feeling like they actually accomplished something in their lives. Yes it's petty, borderline scummy, and you can call me out for it all you want and I won't try to retort at all.

But on a more serious note: Competitive play. If you've been keeping up with the SWSH discussion thread, you know just how hard I've been shilling the speculatory metagame. Because my god, this is the best competitive Pokemon experience I've had in ages outside of pet mods, and I've been playing with like 3 other people tops. Yes it's incomplete, but I barely care because at the end of the day this is a COLOSSAL improvement over Gen 7. A self-contained pool of mons is a concept LGPE toyed with, and with SWSH we will see the fruits of that change, which based on this first impression I have no doubt will be amazing. Don't forget how this'll affect both variants of Battle Spot and our lower tiers: Old titans may get a chance to reclaim the glory they once had, and after years of ever-mounting power creep, this could- no, WILL be the breath of fresh air competitive Pokemon has been yearning for. Every generation from this point on will be a radically different experience, and I can't wait to see what it yields.
This reminds me of some opinion I have and that is I don't want to have a game with all mons available. I have played few Drayano60 hacks, where all mons are available. However, I still don't get the feeling of variety in these games, because you can't just put everything early in the game and we gotta admit that only half the national dex is actually worth something competitively and a lot of them are obtained late in these games, so it's not like you can experience this variety for the whole game.

In regards to this, I liked the approach BW took, both in Team Rosters and availability of mons. The dex was made in such way that every Gym Leader (excluding Striation trio with their Lillipups) can use a team solely of their type, without Sabrina/Lorelei/Koga/half the Sinnoh leaders shenanigans. Despite being only 156 mons and not all 800, the game succeeded in giving me the feeling of variety.

Also in regards to this, I disliked the DP dex, as you can see in most Gym Leaders' Team Rosters that it is lacking (Volkner literally uses an Octillery and Ambipom, Candice uses a Medicham out of everything, etc.). Platinum did fix this issue to an extent, but both BW and DP prove that a high number of mons in your dex is not needed for variety, as the former was able to bring it despite having mons from only one generation, while the latter has from 4 gens and is lacking. Distribution is the key here.
 
Guess I should follow up on this before I go missing for a few days. That might've been a decently hot take, but what I'm about to say next is, as I said, nuclear.

I am hyped for the national dex cut.

No, this is not bait, nor is it a troll. I didn't make a typo. You aren't tripping, and you aren't dreaming. Lemme restate it:

I am actively looking forward to the national dex cut.

First off, I'm going to admit something: a good chunk of is for incredibly petty reasons. Simply put, I think at this point the people still spewing the #bringbacknationaldex horseshit on their twitter.com are whiny, delusional idiots and I do not want them getting any sense of satisfaction or god forbid feeling like they actually accomplished something in their lives. Yes it's petty, borderline scummy, and you can call me out for it all you want and I won't try to retort at all.

But on a more serious note: Competitive play. If you've been keeping up with the SWSH discussion thread, you know just how hard I've been shilling the speculatory metagame. Because my god, this is the best competitive Pokemon experience I've had in ages outside of pet mods, and I've been playing with like 3 other people tops. Yes it's incomplete, but I barely care because at the end of the day this is a COLOSSAL improvement over Gen 7. A self-contained pool of mons is a concept LGPE toyed with, and with SWSH we will see the fruits of that change, which based on this first impression I have no doubt will be amazing. Don't forget how this'll affect both variants of Battle Spot and our lower tiers: Old titans may get a chance to reclaim the glory they once had, and after years of ever-mounting power creep, this could- no, WILL be the breath of fresh air competitive Pokemon has been yearning for. Every generation from this point on will be a radically different experience, and I can't wait to see what it yields.
One thing I am curious about is how VGC is gonna change because of the limitations. Normally the formats would be Regional Dex first, then National Dex 2nd, then GS cup. Of course, next year will be Galar only Pokemon, but what about the other years? National Dex is gone so I wonder how they are going to handle formats after Galar-only.
 
One thing I am curious about is how VGC is gonna change because of the limitations. Normally the formats would be Regional Dex first, then National Dex 2nd, then GS cup. Of course, next year will be Galar only Pokemon, but what about the other years? National Dex is gone so I wonder how they are going to handle formats after Galar-only.
My guess is that like other games, Galar will have not only a regional dex but also give the player opportunities to catch ~100-150 extra Pokemon postgame, just without dex entries ie SM. SWSH VGC season 2 will probably allow these extra Pokemon on top of the regional dex.
 

Merritt

literally the textbook definition of a tsundere
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Moderator
Platinum did fix this issue to an extent, but both BW and DP prove that a high number of mons in your dex is not needed for variety, as the former was able to bring it despite having mons from only one generation, while the latter has from 4 gens and is lacking. Distribution is the key here.
This is a flawed equivalency. Both Diamond/Pearl and Black/White have exactly 150 Pokemon in their regional dex available prior to postgame (not excluding the version exclusives but excluding events like the Liberty Pass - so excluding Kyurem, Landorus, Keldeo, Genesect, Meloetta, Victini, and Manaphy).

It's perfectly valid to say that BW's dex is better balanced but it's very disingenuous to phrase it the way you did, suggesting that the Diamond and Pearl dex had a larger number of Pokemon than BW. It's also valid to say that DP had a harder task with regards to wild mon distribution, having to cover the 23 routes prior to postgame in comparison to BW's 13.
 
This reminds me of some opinion I have and that is I don't want to have a game with all mons available. I have played few Drayano60 hacks, where all mons are available. However, I still don't get the feeling of variety in these games, because you can't just put everything early in the game and we gotta admit that only half the national dex is actually worth something competitively and a lot of them are obtained late in these games, so it's not like you can experience this variety for the whole game.

In regards to this, I liked the approach BW took, both in Team Rosters and availability of mons. The dex was made in such way that every Gym Leader (excluding Striation trio with their Lillipups) can use a team solely of their type, without Sabrina/Lorelei/Koga/half the Sinnoh leaders shenanigans. Despite being only 156 mons and not all 800, the game succeeded in giving me the feeling of variety.

Also in regards to this, I disliked the DP dex, as you can see in most Gym Leaders' Team Rosters that it is lacking (Volkner literally uses an Octillery and Ambipom, Candice uses a Medicham out of everything, etc.). Platinum did fix this issue to an extent, but both BW and DP prove that a high number of mons in your dex is not needed for variety, as the former was able to bring it despite having mons from only one generation, while the latter has from 4 gens and is lacking. Distribution is the key here.
I'm not really sure this is an unpopular opinion; I've never seen a single person say they've wanted every Pokémon available in the wild in SwSh or any other game. Everyone arguing for a reversal of dexit I've seen is arguing for the situation we've had for every past generation, where every Pokémon is within the coding and can be transferred. I don't terribly want to see a game with all mons available in the wild either, but I don't really think anyone would greatly disagree with me on that.
 
Guess I should follow up on this before I go missing for a few days. That might've been a decently hot take, but what I'm about to say next is, as I said, nuclear.

I am hyped for the national dex cut.

No, this is not bait, nor is it a troll. I didn't make a typo. You aren't tripping, and you aren't dreaming. Lemme restate it:

I am actively looking forward to the national dex cut.

First off, I'm going to admit something: a good chunk of is for incredibly petty reasons. Simply put, I think at this point the people still spewing the #bringbacknationaldex horseshit on their twitter.com are whiny, delusional idiots and I do not want them getting any sense of satisfaction or god forbid feeling like they actually accomplished something in their lives. Yes it's petty, borderline scummy, and you can call me out for it all you want and I won't try to retort at all.

But on a more serious note: Competitive play. If you've been keeping up with the SWSH discussion thread, you know just how hard I've been shilling the speculatory metagame. Because my god, this is the best competitive Pokemon experience I've had in ages outside of pet mods, and I've been playing with like 3 other people tops. Yes it's incomplete, but I barely care because at the end of the day this is a COLOSSAL improvement over Gen 7. A self-contained pool of mons is a concept LGPE toyed with, and with SWSH we will see the fruits of that change, which based on this first impression I have no doubt will be amazing. Don't forget how this'll affect both variants of Battle Spot and our lower tiers: Old titans may get a chance to reclaim the glory they once had, and after years of ever-mounting power creep, this could- no, WILL be the breath of fresh air competitive Pokemon has been yearning for. Every generation from this point on will be a radically different experience, and I can't wait to see what it yields.
I am a fan of the competitive rebalance. I don't necessarily think Dexit needed to happen to get there but yeah I'm okay with the Tapus and Genies out of the metagame.

Honestly, if Game Freak just retconned and cut the bottom third of uninteresting/useless/poorly designed/unpopular mons and took the other 2/3rds and made them even more unique or interesting or niche than they already are I wouldn't complain. Problem is that it super subjective. I would love it if they looked at some Gen 1 and 2 pokemon and buffed the Rapidash's and Dewgong's of the world.

What I don't like about it is that I can't transfer over my entire collection and instead I have to pay for them to be in purgatory in Pokemon Home.
 
What I don't like about it is that I can't transfer over my entire collection and instead I have to pay for them to be in purgatory in Pokemon Home.
Am I missing something here? I've been seeing this argument a lot, and I don't get it. Who said that you couldn't just keep old mons in their respective games until an opportunity arises to transfer them?
 
  • If you have a favorite team that you don't want split up for sentimental reasons
  • If you do it by accident or unknowingly (especially likely if you're a fan who only speaks Japanese*)
  • If Bank gets shut down eventually (speculation)
*GF/TPC has never published an official statement to their Japanese-speaking fans, which is infuriating. The June 28 message was only published to their English Pokemon.com site despite being in Japanese, the Famitsu interview is a non-first-party magazine, and the Treehouse stream was never published to Nintendo's Japanese Youtube channel, only the English one. If you're in the majority of fans who only look at primary sources, and you only speak Japanese, then you'd have to navigate to a foreign Youtube channel for no reason, skip past the Pokemon Direct and the E3 Direct, then watch the primarily-English Treehouse video, beyond the gameplay, all the way to the end to hear Masuda's announcement.
 
I feel like if you've done everything you can to increase your chances of running into a shiny - especially when that can be a very, very trying process; requirements involve completing the Pokédex and catching very many of the same species - your chances of running into a shiny at that moment should be at least 1 in 100. I think this is fair since catch combos have to be built back up the moment you break them, so it'd hardly be like you'd be running into shinies all the time. You've put in the work so you deserve a tangible possibility.

As-is, shiny hunting is just... a very boring and dull process when at best you can make the chances 1 in 300. It at some point just becomes a time sink, which is frustrating especially when you've done everything you can to increase the chances.
 
I feel like if you've done everything you can to increase your chances of running into a shiny - especially when that can be a very, very trying process; requirements involve completing the Pokédex and catching very many of the same species - your chances of running into a shiny at that moment should be at least 1 in 100. I think this is fair since catch combos have to be built back up the moment you break them, so it'd hardly be like you'd be running into shinies all the time. You've put in the work so you deserve a tangible possibility.

As-is, shiny hunting is just... a very boring and dull process when at best you can make the chances 1 in 300. It at some point just becomes a time sink, which is frustrating especially when you've done everything you can to increase the chances.
I agree with this, but not just with Shiny Pokémon. It should be the norm with pretty much every "bragging rights" mechanic. Be it shiny hunting, be it catching rare Pokémon with 1 Poké Ball, be it breeding for good IVs, it takes way longer than it should even if you do things the most optimized way. And it's boring.
 
I agree with this, but not just with Shiny Pokémon. It should be the norm with pretty much every "bragging rights" mechanic. Be it shiny hunting, be it catching rare Pokémon with 1 Poké Ball, be it breeding for good IVs, it takes way longer than it should even if you do things the most optimized way. And it's boring.
I feel it does get to the core of what I feel is wrong with many aspects of Pokémon -- a lot of it is just a time sink. It takes all the flaws of grinding and applies them to so many things to ridiculous degrees.
 
Guess I should follow up on this before I go missing for a few days. That might've been a decently hot take, but what I'm about to say next is, as I said, nuclear.

I am hyped for the national dex cut.

No, this is not bait, nor is it a troll. I didn't make a typo. You aren't tripping, and you aren't dreaming. Lemme restate it:

I am actively looking forward to the national dex cut.

First off, I'm going to admit something: a good chunk of is for incredibly petty reasons. Simply put, I think at this point the people still spewing the #bringbacknationaldex horseshit on their twitter.com are whiny, delusional idiots and I do not want them getting any sense of satisfaction or god forbid feeling like they actually accomplished something in their lives. Yes it's petty, borderline scummy, and you can call me out for it all you want and I won't try to retort at all.

But on a more serious note: Competitive play. If you've been keeping up with the SWSH discussion thread, you know just how hard I've been shilling the speculatory metagame. Because my god, this is the best competitive Pokemon experience I've had in ages outside of pet mods, and I've been playing with like 3 other people tops. Yes it's incomplete, but I barely care because at the end of the day this is a COLOSSAL improvement over Gen 7. A self-contained pool of mons is a concept LGPE toyed with, and with SWSH we will see the fruits of that change, which based on this first impression I have no doubt will be amazing. Don't forget how this'll affect both variants of Battle Spot and our lower tiers: Old titans may get a chance to reclaim the glory they once had, and after years of ever-mounting power creep, this could- no, WILL be the breath of fresh air competitive Pokemon has been yearning for. Every generation from this point on will be a radically different experience, and I can't wait to see what it yields.
I totally agree with you! Furthermore, with such a limited dex, those who are responsible for movesets/strategies/niches/etc might get less of a headache because with so many Pkm it would be increasingly hard trying to find a way for each new and old Pkm to be (still) useable in the competitive scene. The amount of role compression we have in this gen is so unreal compared to previous gens, so it would be really cool to see a new metagame where most Pkm could shine.

On another note, I also agree with your opinion on the Alola region. The amount of love and detail they put into this game was very enjoyable, similar to ORAS where I spent quite a lot of time. To me, playing SM and USUM really felt like having summer holidays. Since they promised SWSH would be a great experience for us, I can't wait to see and discover all the things they have in store for us. I still hope the postgame will be long and satisfying.

Last but not least, I don't mind people using legendary Pkm as everyone should use what they want. However, if I were to view myself as a trainer like the one from the anime who is unlikely to have one, let alone several legendary Pkm on their team, such a limited dex might give a satisfying and authentic feeling to some people as if they were a real trainer growing up with the Pkm they got during their journey. It would remind me a bit of old generations where you would often see only one or two legendary Pkm on a team.
 
Am I missing something here? I've been seeing this argument a lot, and I don't get it. Who said that you couldn't just keep old mons in their respective games until an opportunity arises to transfer them?
1. If you sell/break your 3DS or game carts
2. kids who don't know/understand how transfer works
3. what if it takes multiple games to have the chance to transfer, like with trashmons
 
My insane ramblings, not exclusive to discussing pokemon:

I do not focus on story, presentation, or any competitive implications. My primary concern is the ability to produce an interesting, specialized unit for every member of a team. This is where much of my enjoyment, and playtime, often ends up.

Balance is a useful consideration only as far as it can increase the number of unique, viable options. If it prompts homogenization or removal of unique options, viable or not, it has gone too far and should be reined back.

A push for well-roundedness is a nuisance at best. The efficiency of a generalist is defined by how many different specializations they can choose to have, not by their ability to perform multiple roles within a single unit.

It is nicer to play defensively, letting both parties use their suite of tricks, than to play offensively and have the match end before somebody can do something cool.
 
unpopular opinion: all pokemon or event items obtained via dns exploit, void glitch, or event cartridges after the time period of the event should be considered 100% non legit
 
unpopular opinion: all pokemon or event items obtained via dns exploit, void glitch, or event cartridges after the time period of the event should be considered 100% non legit
Pretty sure they are illegal using those methods. On a similar note, I hate the distribution of mythical Pokémon, because for those events that are discontinued, like NavelRock, the only way to do it is via hacking these days. And all the good methods like QR code and StreetPass only were done once before being discontinued. There’s no reason not to WiFi or Free DLC updates, but GF continues not to do try them and stay with the old methods forever.
 

Codraroll

Cod Mod
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How the heck can ANYONE hate gen 7? They weren't perfect perhaps, but putting them amongst the worst in the franchise is complete and utter horseshit. In fact, I firmly believe the opposite: Sun and Moon are tied with Black and White 2 for my favorite mainline Pokemon games, with the mediocre postgame being the only thing holding them back from being better, because aside from that, they did every other conceivable thing right:
Not to disagree with the points you brought up, but I thought I'd give some reasoning for why I consider Sun and Moon absolute bottom-tier among the Pokémon games. In short, I find the presentation lacking, and what could have been really good games for reasons you stated, are marred by some highly questionable design choices. That's the gist of it, now let's dive into the details:

For a start, I think it's fitting to consider the beginning of the games. While a mandatory tutorial has been a staple of Pokémon games for ages, Sun/Moon takes the cake and runs with it. The amount of hand-holding in the early-game is excruciating. I haven't sat with a stopwatch to measure it, but it really takes a couple hours' worth of playtime before it feels like you can go explore anything. There are long, unskippable dialogues and cutscenes everywhere in the beginning of the game, which really hurts replayability. It takes forever to get to the point where you're left to your own devices. Until you battle Ilima for the first time, you're always told to follow a specific character to a specific location, following a specific route, where there will be more cutscenes. Only then does Route 2 open up and you're free to go to Verdant Cavern at your own pace. Of course, once you get there, there are more cutscenes. Granted, the story is better than what we've seen in Pokémon games so far, but it's presented in such a tedious way. Lots of mandatory dialogue, lots of cutscenes you can neither skip nor speed up.

And that really sets the tone for the entire game. It feels like the entire overworld gameplay of Sun/Moon consists of "go to the spot marked with a flag on the minimap, where there will be a cutscene and maybe a battle". There are no traditional dungeons to explore or overworld puzzles to figure out, it's always "Go to flag, then cutscene". It doesn't feel like you're exploring Alola, you're given a guided tour. And it's not like you can branch off the path much; if you even find a side area, it's usually blocked off with a very immersion-breaking fade-to-black roadblock. "Oh no, you didn't go to the flag, we will have to reset the area so you face the right direction. There, now go to the flag!"

I don't think the region itself is particularly engaging either. You're usually following roads with the sea on one side and cliffs on the other. There is one way forward, and one way back where you came. Branches in the path are either blocked off until later (That obnoxious Stoutland guy, Haina Desert, Route 11) or contain very small side areas (Seaward Cave, Ten Carat Hill). As mentioned before, the region hardly has dungeons to speak of. The trial sites are very small, the caves are linear, the forests all but absent, and even with two evil teams we still don't have a labyrinthine lair to explore. The four Tapus each have a temple, all of which contain one Strength Machamp Shove puzzle, that's it. All in all, the region feels small and cramped, not particularly helped by the fixed camera angles (which, to be fair, is probably a hardware restriction. Then again, Super Mario 64 DS had a free camera in a 3D environment, so eh).

And this is just the broad strokes, the setting and principal concept of the game. Other, minor design decisions really made me question the competence of the game director. For instance, greenlighting the Rotom Dex. Or the godawful Pokémon distribution, where the Rattata, Yungoos and Wingull families make up a combined total of 60 % of the wild Pokémon encounters in several routes all up to the postgame areas of Poni Island, while the new and interesting Pokémon are near impossible to find without a guide. Unless you knew beforehand where to find Bruxish, Mareanie or Dhelmise, you sure as heck weren't going to find one through normal play. And even when you know where to find them, it's still a repetitive, grinding slog to obtain them. Speaking of repetitive and grinding, somebody had the good idea to make key battles more challenging (a decision I wholeheartedly applaud), but many of those challenging battles are preceded by cutscenes you have to watch every time you attempt the battle again. The worst offenders are Kiawe's trial (requiring you to climb the volcano and do the same photo riddle every time) and Po Town Guzma (where you have to walk from the Route 16 Pokémon Center up to and through all of Po Town [including 12 fade-to-black loading "screens", I counted] plus a lengthy Guzma speech before every rematch). Those are legit difficult battles an inexperienced player might attempt half a dozen times or more, but every attempt has to include three minutes of unnecessary fluff before you can get to the battle itself.

PokéRide was a nice mechanic in theory, but its implementation was somewhat iffy. Consider for instance Machamp Shove, which I think is used a whooping total of five times throughout the entire game, four of which are in the Tapu temples and all of which only have to be done once. At that point, one might as well not make the puzzles dependent on Machamp and just ditch that Ride Pokémon altogether. Mudsdale Gallop is even worse. You use it to cross rocky fields, none of which are accessible until the moment you get Mudsdale. The fields and Mudsdale both have the sole purpose of justifying each other. There is no challenge in that mechanic, no skill, no element of chance, no lore, no "how do I get past this?" riddle. It's all just "remember to mount Mudsdale before walking here". Mudsdale is two button clicks away from the moment you see the first rocky field. Worst thing is, they put a roadblock right before that, so even if you sequence break you can't get to the obstacle and wonder how to get across it. I don't know what to call that, but it's certainly not competent design.


But I could go on and on about details (and I believe I already have), it's not the main point. All in all, what really killed the enjoyment of Sun/Moon for me was how it appeared to refuse to take after previous games. How so many of its aspects had been done better already, how many areas it failed to improve on, and previous successes it failed to embrace. It didn't have XY's or Platinum's fantastic Pokémon selection, the snappy early-game of RBY or GSC, the DexNav of ORAS, BW's great level of polish, the sprawling landscapes of Kalos, the wilderness of Sinnoh or any of the postgame facilities or daily battles/events of multiple earlier games. The popular Mega Evolution mechanic was all but ditched, there were no Secret Bases, Festival Plaza was a strange and barely coherent mess compared to the smooth and convenient PSS, there were no trainer rematches at all, and I could go on and on. It's not that these aspects in themselves make the games worse, it's how it all seems to convey a refusal to learn from past mistakes (or successes) and how progress is held back for the sake of doing things differently. In short, it reeks of poor direction.

In conclusion, Sun and Moon either felt rushed or stubbornly different for differences' sake. It had some great highlights, you mentioned some and there are others as well, but some really questionable lows too. And in many cases it felt obvious that these lows could have been done better, either by putting in a tad more work (the Pokémon distribution for instance - it would not have taken a day to tone down the rodents and seagulls and fill the routes with more interesting 'mons) or simply by doing what had already been done well before (anything on the bottom screen). I applaud the games for ditching the HMs, giving us more fleshed out characters, making pretty environments, and the battles are more interesting than ever, but there are certain aspects of Sun and Moon that aren't just bad, they are worse than what Game Freak had already presented in previous titles. The old adage about Game Freak - One step forward, a few stumbling steps to the side, one step back - is nowhere clearer than in the Gen VII titles.
 
Speaking of repetitive and grinding, somebody had the good idea to make key battles more challenging (a decision I wholeheartedly applaud), but many of those challenging battles are preceded by cutscenes you have to watch every time you attempt the battle again. The worst offenders are Kiawe's trial (requiring you to climb the volcano and do the same photo riddle every time) and Po Town Guzma (where you have to walk from the Route 16 Pokémon Center up to and through all of Po Town [including 12 fade-to-black loading "screens", I counted] plus a lengthy Guzma speech before every rematch). Those are legit difficult battles an inexperienced player might attempt half a dozen times or more, but every attempt has to include three minutes of unnecessary fluff before you can get to the battle itself.
I would also like to add something on to this -- the SOS mechanic for boss battles? A brilliant inclusion that's one of a few elements that made said boss battles actually difficult and a clear step-up from previous efforts (it certainly makes things like Kyurem-W/B even more comical in retrospect).

... but then someone had the idea to apply it to every wild battle outside of totem Pokémon, and it is extremely excruciating. Every time I try to catch a new team member, or not even that; just try to catch something new for my Pokédex, I'll inevitably get locked into a cycle of a Pokémon called over and over again which makes throwing the goddamn Poké Ball impossible. I can understand what they were going for and it's certainly good for aftergame chaining, but surely there was a better implementation of it? Maybe it could have been locked to Adrenaline Orbs only, or at the least you could have made it a lot less likely to happen until you use an orb? As-is it's just an annoyance that became a further pointless time-waster on top of the game's already large amount of cutscenes.

And I'm actually saying this as someone who generally enjoys Sun and Moon and its story, but what you brought up about the cutscenes is 100% true. I recall watching an LGPE speedrun once where they were discuss this, and apparently it was calculated that if all the cutscenes in the game were taken out; the average S/M speedrun would be cut in half. Now obviously that's a speedrun and not a normal playthrough, but I found the implications illuminating. The aforementioned LGPE seems to have learned from this and actually added in a cutscene skip! ... but the game only has, like, 4 cutscenes; all of which are very short and actually nice to watch. I really do wonder sometimes how much of a better game S/M would be if encounter tables were fixed and the cutscenes were skippable. I feel it'd do wonders.
 
I would also like to add something on to this -- the SOS mechanic for boss battles? A brilliant inclusion that's one of a few elements that made said boss battles actually difficult and a clear step-up from previous efforts (it certainly makes things like Kyurem-W/B even more comical in retrospect).

... but then someone had the idea to apply it to every wild battle outside of totem Pokémon, and it is extremely excruciating. Every time I try to catch a new team member, or not even that; just try to catch something new for my Pokédex, I'll inevitably get locked into a cycle of a Pokémon called over and over again which makes throwing the goddamn Poké Ball impossible. I can understand what they were going for and it's certainly good for aftergame chaining, but surely there was a better implementation of it? Maybe it could have been locked to Adrenaline Orbs only, or at the least you could have made it a lot less likely to happen until you use an orb? As-is it's just an annoyance that became a further pointless time-waster on top of the game's already large amount of cutscenes.

And I'm actually saying this as someone who generally enjoys Sun and Moon and its story, but what you brought up about the cutscenes is 100% true. I recall watching an LGPE speedrun once where they were discuss this, and apparently it was calculated that if all the cutscenes in the game were taken out; the average S/M speedrun would be cut in half. Now obviously that's a speedrun and not a normal playthrough, but I found the implications illuminating. The aforementioned LGPE seems to have learned from this and actually added in a cutscene skip! ... but the game only has, like, 4 cutscenes; all of which are very short and actually nice to watch. I really do wonder sometimes how much of a better game S/M would be if encounter tables were fixed and the cutscenes were skippable. I feel it'd do wonders.
Well, they did acknowledge that issue in USUM, where wild Pokémon would only SOS once at most if you don't use an Adrenaline Orb.
 

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