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To Ash,

Alola!

This is how you say hello and goodbye in the Alola region, buddy. How are you doing?!

I am sorry it took me so long to write to you, a lot has happened in the past few weeks since moving to Alola. It’s been a crazy change for sure, moving to a new region so far from Kanto, but it’s been great for the most part! Alola is gorgeous, with scenic ocean views, tropical weather, and open-faced areas. It just looks amazing, even the way the Sun and Moon sit high in the sky giving everything a warm glow. It’s even prettier than that time I went to Kalos on vacation! I can’t wait for you to visit here!

My cousin, Professor Kukui, has been great with helping mom and Meowth settle in, he even gave me a chance to get a brand-new Pokémon! Sadly, I won’t be able to get the Charmander I always wanted like we talked about, but I made new friends out here with my Rowlett. Alola has a lot of rare Pokémon, although most of them I have seen before. That’s ok though, the ones that are here more than make up the numbers of the entire Alola region. You would think that all four islands would be too small to contain so many Pokémon, but they do quite easily.

Pokemon Sun and Moon Screenshot

Here is a snapshot of the three starters. I picked the owl named Rowlett!

Now I know why the older kids always loved to be Pokémon trainers, the thrill of battling is amazing! They even have new battle types here, something called a Battle Royale, where you need to use strategy and prediction to win, it’s quite a challenge. Professor Kukui was also setting up a Pokémon League and Elite Four here, which I got to challenge and became the champion! It wasn’t easy beating them, believe me- I had to use something new called Z-moves to stop them.

Z-moves are cool finishing moves. It’s kind of like that Mega Evolution thing I told you about when I visited Kalos, but all Pokémon can use them. Some like my Rowlett get their own Z-moves too, which makes me wonder how many Z-moves are out there. They definitely add new strategy to Pokémon battles, that’s for sure, and without them, I don’t know if I would be able to have beaten the League here.

And get this; to get to the league I needed to complete challenge trials! They have no gyms out in Alola but they have small mini-challenges by several captains. Each of the challenges were really simple though- I feel like the gym in Viridian City would have been a better choice really; the challenges were kind of boring but they were at least different- had to find ingredients for a stew or take pictures of ghosts, the variety was nice but it felt flat overall.

Maybe I will feel differently if I had straight up gym challenges like you did, though. The biggest problem with these trials is they were really easy; although the only tough part was these totem Pokémon, which were big and mean-looking. They had beefed up stats and called allies to battle with them, which made fights harder at times. Heck, one of those totem battles was a giant fish that tried to swallow me whole!

Pokemon Sun and Moon Battle Royal

The Battle Royals are crazy sometimes! You should see them in action.

I noticed that a lot too; wild Pokémon calling allies to help them fight. It gets annoying but I have caught rare Pokémon doing this. Better than being attacked by a horde of Pokémon though, but it does make some wild fights hard to deal with.

It was also hard because of other problems, but not due to the trials or the battles. I don’t know how much I can say about it because I’m working on some things now, but I got involved in some world-saving events! Yeah. I am not kidding. I saved the world!

I swear this is all true. There was this girl I met, her name is Lillie, and she along with a local boy named Hau traveled with me to do the island challenges. Lillie only had one Pokémon with her, and a lot of bad guys were after Lillie because of it. It was weird, to be honest, and it involved a lot of stuff that didn’t make sense to me, such as Ultra Wormholes or something like that which had super-powerful beast Pokémon fall from the sky and attack people.

Oh, they didn’t attack me, though! Well, only once but otherwise they sort of just roamed around the island. There were these thugs that kept bugging us. Team Skull they were called, and man were they weird, kind of like a street gang with no purpose. Later though they became really nasty when their leader showed up, but for the most part, they were annoying to me- not like the rumors of Team Rocket back in the day to say the least!

It almost felt like those stories we were told as a kid, with me becoming the hero and saving the world from an evil force. We fought a lot of bad people and a lot of heavy feelings came up between my companions and myself.  I think some stories were better, like that one about the champion of Unova against Team Plasma when we were younger- that one was better. Since then, it’s been a race to stop those beast-like Pokémon from running wild across the Alola region.

Pokemon Sun and Moon Battle Screen

What the battle screen looks like…wait until you see Pikachu’s Z-move!

In fact, a lot of things happened after I finished the trials. I get to face challengers for the Pokémon League now, I have been fighting those beast Pokémon, I even working on building up this place called Festival Plaza. We totally got to try to get on their together, it’s one of the few places in the Alola region where we can connect with people around the world! We can trade, battle, participate in trivia challenges, and earn tickets to upgrade the plaza. We can also trade in bottle caps that seem to make our Pokémon look stronger, although it’s only for show I think.

There are also a few small islands out here too for Pokémon only. These islands grow beans around here, and I use those beans to buy upgrades to other islands to level up Pokémon and grow berries! We can also search for treasures on one island, which has made me rich with poke-dollars, so much so I will send you a few pearls and nuggets I find to prove it! Wild Pokémon sometimes visit the islands too, which helps fill my Pokedex. There is a lot of stuff to do in Alola, whether the Sun or the Moon is lighting up the sky at least.

I was at first sad about moving here because I knew it would be hard to talk to friends like you again. It is always hard to move on and try something new, but after the experiences I had, roaming Alola whether the Sun or Moon are up in the sky, I should say the experience has been great. It doesn’t quite match the Pokémon experiences we have read or dreamed about, but maybe every journey we go on will always be different like this.

We can’t expect it to stay the same forever, but meeting friends and exploring the islands has shown me what a real journey with Pokémon is all about. I only hope that 20 years from now I still feel this way about my Pokémon and what we did.

I bet we will!

Miss you bro, hope to hear from you soon. Oh, and thanks for the Greninja, it was a big help at times in showing me the ropes around here.

Alola!

Your Pal,

Sun

This article is an alternative look at Pokemon Sun and Moon. For a more traditional take on the game, check our official scored review. If you like what you see here, let us know in the comments below!

8.0
 

Great

Summary

It is always hard to move on and try something new, but after the experiences I had, roaming Alola whether the Sun or Moon are up in the sky, I should say the experience has been great. It doesn’t quite match the Pokémon experiences we have read or dreamed about, but maybe every journey we go on will always be different like this.

Pros

  • Improved Quality of Life Features....
  • Excellent World...
  • Strong Post-Game...

Cons

  • ...Lot's of Slow Down in Double Battles.
  • ...Mediocre Storyline

Robert Grosso

Staff Writer

A game playing, college teaching, erudite-minded scholar who happens to write some articles every so often. Have worked as a journalist, critic, educator and blogger for over five years now, with articles published (as user editorials) on Game Revolution and Giant Bomb as well as a contributor for the websites Angry Bananas and Blistered Thumbs. Now making TechRaptor my home.


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