Pokemon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon - Nintendo 3DS Review

4-Pokemon-Ultra-Sun-Ultra-Moon-Capture-500x443 Pokemon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon - Nintendo 3DS Review

The game that should have been a DLC

Game Info:

  • System: Nintendo 3DS
  • Publisher: Nintendo Co., Ltd., The Pokémon Company
  • Developer: Game Freak
  • Release Date: Nintendo 17, 2017

Who it Caters to

The latest edition of Pokemon has been released with Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon are the paired versions to their partners, Sun and Moon that were released one year prior. If you are a fan of the Pokemon franchise or you enjoy RPGs that are simple yet fulfilling, Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon are for you. It’s an even better game to play if you had previously skipped out on Pokemon Sun and Moon as you do not need to have played the previous game in order to understand this one.

What to Expect

4-Pokemon-Ultra-Sun-Ultra-Moon-Capture-500x443 Pokemon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon - Nintendo 3DS Review
If you’re a fan of capturing them all, as the motto has always been, you’re in for a treat in these games. In the newest installment of Pokemon, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon feature three new Ultra Beasts. On top of that, we get to see two new forms for Necrozma, which are attained by absorbing our legendaries to become either “Dusk Mane” or “Dawn Wings” forms. Don’t forget that all the legendaries will be available in either Ultra Sun or Ultra Moon as you will need to find a partner to help you capture every legendary that you can remember from the old games!

Of course, if you’re not into capturing all of the Pokemon—Why are you even playing? Just kidding—there are a few new activities that we’ve received in this new installment. First, we have Mantine Surf, in which you try to score as many points as possible while doing tricks as you surf on Mantine. Then there’s the Alola Photo Club. And let’s not forget the most important: The Ultra Warp Ride, which you will use to travel through wormholes to encounter as many rare Pokemon as you possibly can!

On top of all that, certain Pokemon will be joining the growing list of Pokemon with Z-moves and Rotom has even been upgraded to include a boost rewarding feature called Roto-Loto! This way, you will be sure that your gameplay will not be exactly the same as the previous game.


Pokemon Ultra Sun & Moon Trailer

Like their predecessors, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon start off with an eleven-year old child moving to Melemele Island, Alola. Despite being new to the island, the child immediately sets off for an adventure of a lifetime to complete the island trials, fight Totem Pokemon, and butt heads with Team Skull, The Aether Foundation, and the Ultra Recon Squad. Along the way, the young trainer will come across some children who will prove to be great friends and rivals throughout the game.


4-Pokemon-Ultra-Sun-Ultra-Moon-Capture-500x443 Pokemon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon - Nintendo 3DS Review
Upon starting out in Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, you can notice right away how much faster the game dives into the important stuff unlike in the previous Sun and Moon. You get your starter Pokemon and get into your rival battle much more quickly without the long drawn out dialogue that was present in Sun and Moon (which may or may not have bored this reviewer to sleep originally). Then, you’re pretty much thrown into your adventure before you can blink an eye.

While the game does start relatively faster, that doesn’t take away from the fact that Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon plays almost the same as Sun and Moon, at least at the beginning. Unless you are blazing through the game out of sheer will, the first 20 or so hours will bore you as it plays exactly like Sun and Moon, probably forcing you to take your time with the game as there’s almost nothing new minus a few features that add small touches to your gameplay. It’s the plot that really makes the game drag as you aren’t exactly incentivised to keep playing with nothing new occuring.

However, towards the end is when things begin to change. You finally get a better idea of what is going on with the Ultra Recon Squad, which just seem to be observers until now, and you can travel through wormholes to find rare Pokemon. It is at this point that we actually see a noticeable difference between Sun and Moon and Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.

Aside from the changes in the overall plot, you will notice in the game how much more depth there is in NPCs and gameplay. Game characters will mention how they wish to see one Pokemon or how they want to see if a Pokemon evolves upon being traded. One NPC asked to trade a Phantumps in hopes of seeing them evolve post trade! There are so many NPCs who give you these sort of “quests” that you are sure to keep occupied even after you finish the main story. Now, how will you ever remember where everyone is?

4-Pokemon-Ultra-Sun-Ultra-Moon-Capture-500x443 Pokemon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon - Nintendo 3DS Review
Let’s also not forget the fact that you can collect Totem Stickers throughout Alola. While not a particularly exciting feature of the game, especially since some stickers require that you go back once you attain a Pokemon you can ride on or use to get the sticker, it still adds another nice feature to the gameplay. When you collect enough stickers, you are able to receive various Totem Pokemon. Sometimes you’ll find a sticker in the most random places, but it can still be a bit fun to do as you travel through Alola.

To add to that, we are reminded of the interactable Pokemon that you will encounter along your journey. These Pokemon will allow you to play with them. As you build up their affection, they will run up to you as you run by in order to play. While nothing is known about this feature, it is still pretty cute to have them turn your way and follow you around. We should also add that there are a few extras in-game that you may notice like characters who have their own backstories like the poor abandoned Stufful that just wants to melt your heart! Be sure to check back in with them postgame to see how they are fairing.

Of course, our favorite feature has to be the larger Pokedex in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. We enjoyed being able to catch all sorts of Pokemon this time around and took advantage of the Island Scan feature to fill our party with some of our favorites like Bulbasaur and Charmander, which were available fairly early on in the game. This helped to round out our parties in anticipation for future battles.

Before we forget, we should talk about the Mantine Surf, which is fun in itself. If you liked the Pokeathlon from HeartGold and SoulSilver, you may enjoy doing the Mantine Surf, especially beating all of the records that other NPCs have set. Of course, this may not be your thing if you’re not into the sports from the Pokeathlon or minigames like them. This is a rather novel feature that can be fun, but we must admit, we were more than happy when we realized we could take the ferry to other islands until we received Charizard to fly on.

Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

4-Pokemon-Ultra-Sun-Ultra-Moon-Capture-500x443 Pokemon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon - Nintendo 3DS Review
Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon is the latest installment and while it seemed to play very similarly to Sun and Moon, we think it is a much improved upon version of the original game. To be honest, we think it would have been better had Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon been a DLC rather than a brand new game as it didn’t warrant the market price of $39.99 plus tax. This is hardly a brand new game, although we do understand that some aspects of the new storyline flowed early on in the game, making it difficult to be a postgame DLC. Still, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon is a much better game than Sun and Moon so if you haven’t played the original, we do recommend playing this version. Otherwise, you will need to brace yourself for some really repetitive game play.

Honey's Pros:

  • New additional features are great making the gameplay seem less redundant/repetitive
  • Lots of cute additions like Pikachu Valley and interactable Pokemon throughout Alola
  • There are various quests all over the island which will keep you busy even after finishing the main story
  • Great new plot and alternate timeline which tops Sun and Moon’s plot
  • All your favorite characters, and villains, come back for this alternate timeline of Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon

Honey's Cons:

  • A hefty price for what is essentially a DLC-type of addition to the original Pokemon Sun and Moon game
  • Ultra Recon Squad/Team Skull plots seem disjointed and unnatural together at first
  • The new features in the game add cute touches but may not always be the most thrilling additions
  • It takes a lot of willpower to power through the first part of the game, which is essentially the same as the original Sun and Moon games

Honey's Final Verdict:

While we here at Honey’s Anime definitely have our reservations about calling Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon a worthy predecessor or partner to the original Sun and Moon game, we do not wish to tell anyone to avoid this game. We had our fun with it and wanted to share our take on it with all of you wonderful readers. Now, has anyone out there played Pokemon Ultra Sun or Ultra Moon? How do you feel about the game? What is your opinion about all the new features? Please feel free to share in the comments below!

4-Pokemon-Ultra-Sun-Ultra-Moon-Capture-500x443 Pokemon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon - Nintendo 3DS Review


Author: Jenangelx3

California based workaholic. Current mottos are “I don’t care” and “I’ll try almost anything once”. Interests include traveling, eating, video games, and weightlifting. Currently living life to the fullest, pursuing my happiness, and conquering my fears. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!

Previous Articles

Top 5 Anime by Jenangelx3