(Editor’s Note: Remember when I said that the tutorial for Pokemon Sun and Moon was long? Well, it turns out that it was even longer than that! In fact, almost a month later, I’m still learning how ride that darn bike!)
Okay, so the last part of that note is included for humorous effect. These games don’t even have a bike as far as I know, but you can ride a Tauros and that’s way cooler! But, the tutorial of the game goes on forever. Thankfully, it integrates seamlessly into gameplay, so it isn’t nearly as tedious as many games make their tutorials. Granted, I’m an old man gamer who doesn’t even think that there should be a tutorial mode or, at the very least, it should be voluntary. You dang whipper snappers should read the instructions. Either that, or man mode the game. If you die because you didn’t know about a certain mechanic, you die. Learn from your mistakes or suffer the consequences.
But, we live in a time when tutorials are a mandatory part of the game. So, in true old guy gamer fashion, I’m going to complain about the younger generation not being able to adapt to changing circumstances while I exhibit the same tendency myself. When I was your age, we didn’t need tutorials to introduce us to the mechanics of games. Sure, you might argue that when I was your age, we only had a single joystick and button configuration, so it wasn’t like games offered that much in the way of mechanics. Hell, Grandpa, you could say, Pac-Man didn’t even use the button or any diagonal motion in its moves set.
Okay, now that I’m done arguing with myself, I can continue my review of Poemon Sun. Admittedly, I haven’t had as much time to play it recently because Quinn discovered it. Similar to his older brother, he stole it from me and played through a significant portion. However, that happened after I was able to play through the first two trials. He got me pretty far into the island with the volcano trial. In fact, he got me so far that I was disoriented when I picked up the game and started playing again.
Let’s be honest, though. It’s not like Pokemon gameplay is that involved, either. Once the initial shock of waking up miles from where you fell asleep wears off, you go back to walking in such a way that yo avoid any contact with other people because your social anxiety extends even into fiction worlds. Oh, is that just me?
When Quinn wasn’t playing and doing whatever it is that five year old boys do…okay, and let’s unpack that statement a little bit before I continue. We converted what might have been attic space into a playroom for the kids. We carpeted it, painted it twice (once because Aiden wanted to use it as a bedroom), and bought an absurd amount of packing crates and shelving units to ensure that things remained in their place. All noble endeavors, right?
Well, the carpet is covered with all manner of dried paint and Playdoh, the paint job is chipped right down to the primer in several places, and the crates and shelves remain empty even as Lego pieces, Pokemon cards, Minecraft mini figures, and my various loot items from all sorts of loot crate type subscription boxes litter the floor and make travel through the room dangerous at best and quite often nearly fatal. So, what exactly is it that 5 year olds do? I’m not entirely sure. But, it would seem that everything that they do results in chaos and misery for everyone else involved.
Luckily, Quinn’s adventures in my Sun game weren’t quite so destructive. Unlike real life, he understands and appreciates just how important Pokemon can be to a person, so I don’t think he wanted to upset the apple cart too much. In fact, he actually helped quite a bit and got me several new Pokemon, advanced the story almost to the point where I can attempt the next trial, and generally treated my digital life with the utmost respect.
When I finally got the game back from him and was able to play more than he was, I got back into the groove of the game. At the risk of sounding like a broken record or a shill, or a shill that was recorded on a broken record, I really enjoy the game. I mean, this shouldn’t come as a shock because I’ve been a fan of the Pokemon series since the beginning, but I haven’t played a Pokemon game seriously since Diamond. I’ve wanted to pick up a few that Liam got, but I didn’t want to delete his only save file.
So, I honestly couldn’t say going in that I was going to enjoy the game. I can now definitively say that Pokemon is still a fun game series even if you’re 40 years old. I got a taste of that when Pokemon Go released, but like many mobile games these days, they knew that they could release an unfinished product and get millions of free beta testers as they worked on things behind the scenes. I’m not sure who to blame ultimately for this development, but I know that Blizzard has done this sort of thing for years and took it to a new level with Hearthstone. I honestly don’t think they do any in house testing on that game.
However, while Pokemon Go was undeniably unfinished at release, Nintendo and Game Freak have had a 2 decade track record with the Pokemon franchise on their mobile consoles. It shows. While the basic gameplay hasn’t changed, they have done some quality of life improvements that aren’t big, but they add to the game and keep you coming back for more. Also, the story and setting are different enough and engaging enough that you want to keep playing to advance that aspect of the game. Overall, I’ve been enjoying the game. It has accomplished several goals of getting me back into the Pokemon world and even considering buying some of the Sun and Moon cards to see what the game adds to that aspect of the world.