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New Critters and Features for Pokémon Sun and Moon


Pokémon Sun and Moon

Nintendo revealed some more information about its latest pair of Pokémon titles, Pokémon Sun & Moon. This latest batch of information, accompanied by artbook and a trailer, features new Pokémon, new variants of existing Pokémon, plus a selection of new features coming in the games.

The first new feature comes in the form of Z-Moves. These are powerful moves, said to be the combination of Pokémon and trainer releasing their full power together, can be unleshed just once per battle. All Pokémon can do Z-Moves, but it requires the trainer to be equipped with a Z-Ring that itself has a Z-Crystal slotted into it. If the Pokémon is holding the same Z-Crystal variety as embedded in its trainer Z-Ring, then the two will resonate. A physical Z-Ring will be available to purchase separately that will light up and play sounds whenever it is used within the game.

The new region of Alola has a different culture from other regions, and this is partly reflected by the island challenge. This rite sees trainers travelling to each of the four islands to undergo that island's particular trial. At the end of each trial, players must battle a special Totem Pokémon. These are larger than the rest of its species and can summon allied Pokémon to assist them. Each island also has a final trial where trial-goers must battle the island's leader, or kahuna. Trials are overseen by captains who offer guidance to those undertaking the trials. Lana specialises in Water-types, Mallow in Grass-types, Sophocles in Electric-types, and Kiawe in fire-types. The other character shown was Hala, the kahuna of Melemele Island, where the main character has just moved to. He is also the grandfather of the rival character Hau.

Sun & Moon also introduce special Ride Pokémon. These are used in the Alola region to help humans travel to places they would otherwise not be able to reach. Ride Pokémon do not join the player's team, but can be called upon at any time.

The Alola region is home to variants of species found in other regions. The Alolan Exeggutor (Grass/Dragon-type) has an elogated neck that makes it look more like a palm tree, and comes with a fourth head on its tail. There is also an Ice-type version of Vulpix, that evolves into the Ice/Fairy-type Alolan version of Ninetales, as well as Ice/Steel-type versions of both Sandshrew and Sandslash.

Joining the ranks of Pokémon unique to Alola is the dancing bird Pokémon Oricorio. This comes in four forms, each form coming from a different island in the region. There is the Fire/Flying-type Baile Style Oricorio, the Electric/Flying-type Pom-Pom Style, the Psychic/Flying-type Pa'u Style, and the Ghost/Flying-type Sensu Style. Each has its own elemental dance, and is able to copy other Pokémon's dance moves.

Another new Pokémon is the Rock/Flying-type Minior. They form in the stratosphere, collecting debris to form an outer shell. Once they collect enough, they end up falling to earth. Minior can remove its protective shell, exposing its core body. Gumshoos is another new Pokémon, the evolution of the previously-revealed Yungoos. It is also one of the Pokémon that will feature in a Totem battle. The final three Pokémon revealed, are the Grass-type pair of Fomantis and Lurantis, plus the Ground-type Mudbray (which evolves into Mudsdale).

Pokémon Sun & Moon will be released exclusively for Nintendo 3DS in North America on November 18, 2016, and in Europe on November 23, 2016. Those interested can pre-order special SteelBook versions of the game in both regions.

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