|The Digital Spy||5/5|
Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon comprise the first paired release in the seventh generation of the dominant Nintendo handheld series, which also coincides with the series’ twentieth anniversary. Sun/Moon bring with them the classic gameplay by now familiar to anyone who has owned a GameBoy or DS.
Metacritic: Sun/Moon – exclusive to 3DS – earned ‘generally favourable’ reviews and a total score of 88/100, making it a definite must buy for the platform. Sun/Moon will release in Europe on 23 November 2016.
IGN had a glowing review to give Pokémon Sun/Moon, rating it a 9/10 and saying that the well-worn formula is innovative enough to carry it above its predecessors. With an ‘engrossing’ story, set in the new land Alola, the new changes brought to the games make Sun/Moon ‘a surprising and engaging tropical adventure’. IGN’s reviewer felt that the equal attention paid to both roleplaying and battling allowed Sun/Moon to ‘honour the twenty year legacy’ while also reinvigorating the franchise somewhat.
IGN: “Sun and Moon greatly improve upon Pokemon’s formula and craft a world worth exploring.”
Polygon’s review came to a similar conclusion, although they gave a slightly lower rating of 8.5. “The newest pair of games prove that the series is ready and able to make big changes without sacrificing that original spirit,” Polygon said. In their opinion, the changes and refinements brought by Sun/Moon were ‘risky moves’ for a beloved franchise, although they end up with ‘the most memorable Pokémon journey in years’. The more serious focus on story, the ‘fascinating’ setting, and the multiplayer and gameplay were all applauded, although Polygon were disappointed by a lack of replayability.
Polygon: “Pokemon Sun and Moon makes big changes”
GamesRadar. Rating Sun/Moon slightly lower at 4/5, GamesRadar called the games ‘classic callbacks [with] cheerful changes [that] are super-effective’. The reviewer enjoyed aspects such as the highly maintained standard of presentation in the Pokémon games, the utopian setting and the Island Trials – which ‘rejig a two-decade-old formula’. Cons included the sometimes fiddly camera and a potential lack of accessibility for newcomers. ‘It’s familiar enough and different enough’, GamesRadar concluded.
The Digital Spy: “We can’t wait to see where the series goes next, because with Pokémon Sun and Moon it’s clearly the beginning of a new Pokémon era, not the closure of the last.”
Pokémon is just one of those franchises that will almost always please its fans, achieve market success and earn high critical praise. Sun/Moon have continued that tradition, having been given a variety of positive reviews.