Developer: Game Freak/The Pokémon Company
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
ESRB Rating: E
Release Date: November 17
After the massive critical and commercial success of “Pokémon Sun and Moon,” many fans have been eagerly anticipating the next entry in the long-running “Pokémon” series. On June 6, a Nintendo Direct presentation revealed that the games would be getting direct sequels with “Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.”
Set in the same fictional universe as the initial games of Generation VII, the games will contain a new story centered around the legendary Pokémon Necrozma and the mysterious “Ultra Beasts” that were central to the story of the previous game. The game will also contain a host of new Pokémon as well as redesigned forms of existing ones. They include the newly-discovered Ultra Beast “Burst,” which resembles a balloon-bearing clown in the vein of Pennywise from “It,” and “Assembly,” which resembles a living brick structure. There are also new forms for Solgaleo and Lunala when Necrozma combines with them, known respectively as the “Dusk Mane” and “Dawn Wings” forms. For those who purchase the games at launch, there will even be DLC with a new “Dusk Lycanroc” form to play with. Joining the “Midday” and “Midnight” forms, the new form sports new special moves as well as a redesigned appearance with green eyes and orange fur.
The games also contain a host of new features, as well as the world of the previous installments being greatly expanded. The “Z-Move” mechanics have been upgraded into the new “Z-Power Moves,” and the map of the Alola region has grown dramatically since the events of the original “Sun and Moon.” The game will have new areas to explore, including a cove that’s a paradise for surfers and secret garden of series mascot Pikachu (possibly a nod to the classic anime episode, “Pikachu’s Goodbye”).
Even with a host of new information yet to be revealed about these and other games in the series (such as an entry in development for the Nintendo Switch), these sequels can definitely be expected to build on the 15 million copies sold by the original “Pokémon Sun and Moon” and provide a good follow-up for the previous games. Keep an eye out when “Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon” launch on November 17.
Preview by Steven Pryor