It’s been a long, cold week, so what better way to warm up than enjoying that Alola in Pokemon Sun?
The last time we were here, I only managed to have ONE Pokemon on my team. So hopefully that’ll change after this time before I face off against any Kahuna. (Also, I recommend watching the opening sequence for the game because it is absolutely fascinating.) So back to our Pokemon Sun adventure!
Time for us to find out what Kukui wants to show us en route to the festival. The professor is already waiting, so best to run after him to see whatever he’s so impatient about. We can finally go that alternate route that we couldn’t see the other time, so I’m suspecting this route along the island will be more Pokemon-heavy and not so much story-building, but, then again, I could be very wrong.
As suspected, he’s going to be the one to teach us about interacting with wild Pokemon in the grass. Here’s the sequence most of us veteran players could really do without, but it is helpful to the younger players who are venturing into the Pokemon world for the very first time. It’s the generic thing most of us know: attack the wild Pokemon, try to get it as weak as you could, throw the ball and hope for the best. The biggest surprise I’m getting from his speech is that he recommends just heading home if my team gets weakened, I’m sure there have to be some sort of Pokemon Centers in this game, right?
We get 10 Pokeballs and five potions to help build our team, which seems like a solid supply to get us started. So, after Kukui leaves, it’s time to catch some Pokemon!
This new screen while in battles fascinates me. I was already aware of the fact that you can find out how the moves will match up against opposing Pokemon, but you can see how your stats have been affected in battle and have an easier route to retrieving Pokeballs to capture Pokemon. It’s a little change, but much appreciated to me.
My first interaction is with a Level 3 Pikipek. I’m just going to try to catch this little thing first before anything else. It may be only a Level 3, but some of my strongest allies I trained from Level 1. But, after testing my luck with hoping that I don’t knock out the little guy, I now have TWO Pokemon in my team!
While en route to a shiny item in the distance, I get stopped by a Caterpie. Now, I thought I heard the battle cry of the iconic Gen One bug, but this just confirms its presence. Also, this helps me realize that this won’t be a generation where you have to experience Pokemon Sun fully once before you can obtain Pokemon from other generations.
After an easy catch of a Caterpie, I noticed that a “Care” option showed up on my screen. So, after the battle, we can give our Pokemon some nice Tender Lovin’ Care. This is a cute addition to the game. As you go through the intro screen, it tells you that, after battles, grooming your Pokemon can actually heal their poison or paralysis — so a good incentive to get those happiness levels up with your Pokemon, which I also suspect are important for those Z moves, whatever they may be.
I will confidently say that this is a cute upgrade from the interaction screen trainers could have in the past with their Pokemon. This aspect of Pokemon Sun honestly reminds me of Nintendogs, because you can groom and clean them, and they get really cutely happy about it afterward. Before I venture too much further, I see that a youngster is up the hill. I’m suspecting he’s ready to battle while I am not. So more team building we go!
I quickly find myself squaring up against a Yungoos, a Pokemon I have little knowledge about, but it seems like it could be helpful down the road. It is the hardest capture thus far because my Litten is a lot stronger than I anticipated and could have easily knocked it out by accident. But, now, I’ve got four Pokemon on my team, and it’s training time. Ideally, I’m gonna try to get at least half of the team up to Level 6, with my starter being the strongest, naturally.
Well, that’s surprising, I just ran into a Level 2 Ledyba. I should have figured the bug type might show up, but it still caught me off guard. Side note from this capture: I think the effective notice shows up for your battle screens ONLY IF you’ve previously captured the opposing Pokemon. So, if this is true, I suspect you could use this more for when battling your friends rather than in the game.
Fun fact: when Litten does its action when attack, it reminds me of a Cyndaquil, where the fire on its body shows up occasionally — not necessarily all the time.
A quick rest up at home, and now back to the training! As I keep running around Route 1, I also want to note that I’d usually expect the graphics of the game to change to nighttime, since it’s already evening in the real world. I’m curious if the entire game will just be during the day time, and never actually go into the night.
The biggest struggling of leveling up my team is easily the fact that their overall defense — other than my Litten — leaves a lot to be desired. The wild Pokemon they match up against seem to be taking a lot out of their health, so I might have to resort to having these lower level Pokemon start but doing the actual work with the stronger Pokemon, just so things can move along a bit faster. This isn’t my usual method of training, but I don’t want to spend forever on training; I do want to at least make it to the festival.
After a lot longer than I’m used to, I’ve got two Pokemon at Level 6 to support my Litten at level 8. I may have also used a lot of time because I was really working on that close bond with some of my Pokemon. It seems, if they have that initial base bond, they level up a little bit better than normal, so it’s an investment I’ll gladly put into constantly grooming them after battles.
But, finally, time to move along after a quick rest and battle some trainers. Of course, the youngster says the iconic “When the eyes of Pokemon Trainers meet, it’s time to battle!” Well, Youngster Jimmy, let’s see what you’ve got.
Of course, he’s got a Alolan Rattata. My team should be more than fine; I’m just a little worried that the Rattata is rather larger than what I’m used to expecting in the tiny rat Pokemon. Well, Jimmy or Joey, this youngster is overpowered easily by my team. It’s interesting to note that, anytime you get in the vicinity of an unbattled trainer, the screen makes sure to focus on it. A short walk away shows you could either battle this girl up this hill or take the grassy route, I’ll pick a battle.
Lass Audrey has a Caterpie at Level 3. It’s not a difficult match up but another opportunity to note that we get to see characters who aren’t gym leaders or big characters be animated during battles as well. After another win, and, grabbing a Pokeball, it’s time to move forward. Going up the hill, we can see a path past the Route 1 sign is literally blocked off, so I guess that isn’t much of an option here. Even a little kid blocks another route, so I guess on the way to Iki Town!
Before I get there, there’s another battle from a preschooler apparently. Surprisingly, the Preschooler had the highest level Pokemon out of the three I’ve battled thus far. Another win for my team! The stairs are mighty tempting, but there’s been a significant number of random items around, and I can’t help but wonder if they’ll be useful sooner rather than later.
The sounds of drums — not in the ominous Doctor Who type of way — are calling me up the stairs. So I’ll leave off here for the next part!
Time Played: 2 hours 45 minutes
Pokemon Captured: 5
Do you have any tips for me? What do you think of the game? Let us know!