Pokemon Sun and Moon introduced players to the Alola region, a beautiful series of islands inspired by real world Hawaii. With Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon Game Freak is bringing us back to Alola to explore an alternate version of the region and story found in the original. It is exciting to see the potential that Game Freak could bring forward with an alternate timeline and universe. With that in mind, I have decided to write about the five things I want to see in Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.
I loved Pokemon Sun and Moon. The narrative was beautiful and the Pokemon were quite enjoyable, but the game did have numerous flaws and frustrations. Among these is the omission of the classic Victory Road, a huge cave in which the game offered one final challenge upon beating all the regions' Gyms. In here you and your team were tested on your strength and your skill before you could take on the Pokemon League.
I know why Sun and Moon omitted this. The Pokemon League didn’t exist prior to you taking on the seven Trials of the Alola Region. But as a gauntlet before the final challenge Victory Road is significant. In Sun and Moon, there is no Victory Road, just a mountain pass.
This pass, Mt. Lanakila, has zero charm and enjoyment. It’s bad when the best thing about this path was the chance to battle my rival and pseudo rival. Otherwise I was disappointed with the lack of challenge. It was just a generic mountain path that was there so you could reach the Pokemon League. I almost wish Game Freak had replicated Red and Blue’s Mt. Moon or Rock Tunnel so at least there would have been some form of the final challenge I crave on the closure to my journey. So if Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon are set in an alternate universe, could the Pokemon League exist? If it does then Victory Road will have been built to challenge trainers and prove themselves. Otherwise, we're stuck with Mt. Lanakila.
I mean it Game Freak - stop teasing Kanto. If there is another thing I hate about Pokemon Sun and Moon it is the references to the Kanto region. Let us go there! In Sun and Moon's defense, they were anniversary games with a lot of connections to Red and Blue. But only ever teasing Kanto got annoying. The character Lillie mentioned she was headed to Kanto, the player-character came from Kanto, yet we couldn’t go back there and nobody would shut up about it.
Just let me go to Kanto! I want to know if that building in Vermillion has finally been finished.
Alolan Forms are awesome. That is all I need to say - could we get more please? It was great getting to see new interpretations of Pokemon that we had known for such a long time. I loved seeing Persian re-imagined, a key member on my team. So if we are in an alternate reality could we see some new designs, perhaps even some different Pokemon?
I would like to see Game Freak get creative with these different Pokemon and expand beyond the first generation. The Pokemon regions Johto, Hoenn and Sinnoh are in a similar climate to Kanto so let’s see Pokemon from these regions with some much needed changes. Ultra Sun and Moon could make a lot of Pokemon exciting again as they redesign the way we know them.
The chances that Game Freak will bring us new Pokemon in Ultra Sun and Moon are low, but the minimal footage shown demonstrates notable changes in the Alola region so it’s plausible that some new Pokemon exist.
Within an alternate timeline some Pokemon from Sun and Moon may not exist and could be replaced with something brand new. I still don’t think Game Freak would have such insight or want to consider such heavy concepts. If Game Freak tries, there could be some serious changes which would be cool for the new games’ take on Alola. But I accept it's more likely that the regions’ Pokemon distribution will be the only thing that is different.
Trials, Gyms, and captain battles
The Pokemon Trials were a nice change for the series, removing the classic Gyms in favour of small challenges. Whether you liked them or not I don’t think you could deny the brilliance of the change and how daunting Totem Pokemon, a specially trained boss Pokemon that was stronger than others of its type, could be. But in looking back over Sun and Moon during a recent playthrough, I realized how dull some of these Trials were. Where is the challenge beyond the Totem Pokemon?
When I looked back I remembered the first Trial we had to complete and, while it is not special, it was the fact we had to battle the captain before the Trial which made it better. With the first Trial you were given the chance to understand the trainer. They were something to overcome rather than a guide pushing you to the Totem Pokemon. The Trial captains that followed were all one-note characters. They appeared across your journey but you were never forced to battle them. I did not even know there was an option to battle them until recently.
For this reason I want Ultra Sun and Moon to feature pseudo Gyms as a before-or-after challenge to the Trials. This would force players to prove their skills not only against the challenging Totem Pokemon but also against the captains. It would add more reason to these characters’ existence beyond just telling you how to complete their challenge.
There you have it - the five things I want to see from Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. Will any of them happen? I am not holding my breath, but with the minimal knowledge we have on the upcoming games who knows what Game Freak could have in store. We should just be excited for whatever gets brought to the table and meanwhile have fun providing our theories.