Pokemon Sun & Moon

Pokémon Sun and Moon (2016)

No psychiatrist has ever managed to catch me and pin me to their long sofa yet, and if I valued my continued liberty to live outside of an asylum that I’d better keep it that way. I will give you one psychological nugget (surprisingly _not_ the best type of nugget) though, not because I’m terribly arrogant enough to believe you really care, but just to give the police a bit of a clue if ever I’m wanted for murder – I am introverted to an incredible degree.

Anyone with any level of introversion will recognise at once the idea of recharging after social interactions. Being introverted doesn’t mean you have to be a shrinking wallflower, a strong silent type or even, God forbid, a boring prat. You can be the life and soul of the party if you like, but you better believe you’ll need that recharge period, that blessed bit of alone time when it comes.

Finding yourself a partner who can understand your need for alone time without questioning their own insecurities and wondering why you hate them, is the most wonderful thing in the world. Caring for your introvert is a nuanced talent, a bit like caring for your cat or your particularly precocious dog really. You mustn’t expect one to make the first move, to lead the charge among the extraverts, or to “put themselves out there” as they say. Neither should you expect to find us in sales, the performing arts and probably in a court of law – or at the local funfair, whichever of the two house smore clowns.

Where you might find us is behind the scenes, beat into a computer, well away from any schmoozing, handshakes and the worst of all, networking. I don’t even know what networking is. It strongly brings LinkedIn to mind, and we all know how awful that site is (link to Ninja Gaiden). This is why working from home was like manna from heaven to me, the Secret of Mana even, and if they ever try to bring me back into the office then they shall have to forcibly pull me screaming away from my house.

YOu know how fishes sometimes will suck and clamp onto the glass of the tank? That’s me, and I cling on pretty stubbornly whenever somebody tries to make me leave the house. I don’t want to be out there, do I, the place is full of bottom feeders. I’m aware that the world and its boardrooms and podiums belong to the extraverts, but they can have it. After all, it’s a cruel world, and I’d rather stay in my ivory tower (grab more from introversion piece)

It wasn’t ivory or any other kind of colour, gem or even material that provided the subtitle for the seventh generation of Pokémon games but rather the Sun and the Moon. It really is just a cse of picking some general, iconic duo isn’t it? I can’t wait for Pokémon lAUREL & Hardy, Pokémon Penn & Teller or even Pokémon Mulder & Scully. Al lI can say is that this isn’t the game for introverts, because you’ll barely get a chance to get your breath back, much less recharge your batteries.

Why, because Game Freak really have let Pokémon get to the stage here that you cannot get five feet down the road without your character coming across another group of bores, before the screen heartbreakingly/gut wrenchingly fades to black and oh no, another social interaction is about to begin. If it’s not a social greeting or some other useless story development then it’s some forced tutorial text, not even a hint of it being optional or skippable.

Every child in the world knows how to catch a Pokemon for goodness sake, it’s become an inbuilt instinctive trait like rooting. You don’t have to explain every little thing via the characters of the week who you’d much rather do without. Even the Pokedex has a voice, a cheeky Rotom that butts in incessantly and anime watchers will know how bad that thing is.

It is fair to say that a number of things genuinely have changed for this outing of Pokemon, most notably the setting which brings you to the tropical archipelago (word I learned from Pokemon, that) of Alola, which is obviously meant to be a send-up of Hawaii. Although it also reminds me of the Greek Islands – now there’s a beautiful place for an introvert to go t, maybe hop around a few of the islands. A BIG GLASS Of Mythos, a cheeky Pita Gyro for lunch and a lovely clear pool or sea beside you and you’re away, where the only unwanted interactions may come from the (lucky lucky man). You won’t be visiting regular gyms either but rather challenging trials, although really it boils down to the same thing.

The graphics, as you might expect, are a continuation of the 3D stuff placed into X and Y, but I think it all looks really good, especially for the 3DS. We know that not much extra work went into the eighth generation from here, but that’s another story. I should imagine that the 3DS is secretly creaking under the hood though, not because it lacks grunt but moreso because Game Freak aren’t the most gifted of programmers.

You have to chuckle at how they almost entirely disregarded the 3D feature, you can use that slider all you want but you won’t get a result. And no way can I get sanctimonious about it, because I SHOW SIMILAR apathy towards 3D, as do most other customers and Nintendo themselves, hence the 2DS. Amazing how they managed to take a dimension away and make it a selling point, isn’t it?

Anyway, back to the Sun, the Moon, but curiously never the Stars – some of the bells, whistles, windchimes and tutus (? Hawaii items or instruments, steel drums) have changed, sure, and there’s a bit of story, but it’s ame old derivative Pokkmeon. Not automatically a bad thing, they still haven’t reinvented the wheel after all, but I doubt this’ll knock your socks off. It’ll never get about “good”, or maybe “quite good”.

It is definitely worthwhile to note that these games and their subsequent expansion sequels represent the crest of the Pokemon wave in terms of quantity, before that all crashed and Gen 8 only gave us 400 plus a few more polygonated rejects in the DLC. What I’m saying is, this’ll be the trickiest game to catch ‘em all in, 802 (?) in total, but the islands aren’t _that_ big.

Hence you’ll be catching, trading, evolving, getting gifts, getting fed up, looking up trees, looking down the backs of sofas and collecting crisp packets to get them all. YOu’ll even have to spend honest to God money to transfer your precious bytes of data over from earlier generations. I do sometimes wonder why these ransomware attackers don’t target something like Pokemon Bank. Charge an extortionate fee, Game Freak tell everyone they need crowdfunding and suddenly everyone’s dropping mad paps to rescue their non-hacked, competitively bred shiny Blastoise.

If that sounds fiendish, then there’s an even more egregious way of getting Pokemon here -scanning QR codes. Well, I used to make a living scanning items on the till, and that wasn’t one iota of fun either, apart from that one occasion when the most impossibly proportioned Polish lady I’d ever seen was buying vodka and condoms together, and little else. I was more self-conscious about it than she was. Anyway, it’s just one of those silly features that game Freak always comes up with, and probably not programmed in an afternoon, that take up a menu option but never get seen in any future games.

Apart from QR Codes, there are all manner of social features. But ew, yuck, not for me thanks. Leave that one for the extraverts who probably won’t be playing this anyway. For us introverts, there’s a perfectly playable game here, so long as you have a strong enough thumb to skip through the mountains of text. Really though, if you’re after a Pokemon adventure where you can do your own thing, you’ll probably be looking at least 4 Pokemon generations earlier. Just make sure you get some rechargeable batteries for when you need to switch off, eh?

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