Pokémon Sun and Moon are a revelation, the most-perfect realization of what the series has always been about. Put more simply, they’re the best Pokémon games ever. But ‘best ever’ and ‘most perfect’ are not the same as ‘actually perfect.’ Like all games, Pokémon Sun and Moon have their aggravations, some of them major. None are dealbreakers; all are frustrations. Two stand out in particular as the biggest issues Pokémon Sun and Moon has yet to fix.
The Biggest Problems Pokémon Sun and Moon Don’t Fix
Pokémon Sun And Moon
The Game’s Speed
The Pokémon games have always been a little too slow on the granular level. The basic progression of the plot is perfectly fine; indeed, Sun and Moon breeze along nicely, with a pretty fun storyline. But battles themselves still take far too long, even though the new games are something of an improvement over X & Y. The opening battle animation takes a few seconds too long, changing out Pokémon or using items takes a few seconds too long; wild Pokémon summoning allies takes too long, and adds greatly to the overall length of battles, even the new Z-moves feature lengthy animations. All of these animations are fun the first few dozen times, but eventually they get old.
In short, Pokémon Sun and Moon aren’t efficient. The bells and whistles and aesthetic of the game takes up a lot of time. For many players, this is totally fine and part of the game’s fully realized charm. For us older veterans, all the extra time simply adds up to frustration. Battles are too slow-paced, and Nintendo should improve this area even more.
The Game’s Mechanics
The festival plaza is a new feature in ‘Pokemon Sun and Moon’
Pokémon Sun and Moon comes with the obligatory 30 to 40 minute tutorial that starts every Pokémon game, although the new one at least teaches the same old concepts in a new and much less annoying way. But, although such tutorials are a perennial source of complaint among older Pokémon gamers, they’re not what I take issue with in Pokémon Sun and Moon.
In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The games actually under-explain many of their mechanics, especially the online features and older mechanics from other games. Friendship and affection—which are different things, by the way—aren’t really explained at all, nor are other mechanics that affect Pokémon evolution. Online and trading features are also under-explained—even figuring out how to trade or fight online isn’t exactly intuitive (but our guide has you covered). This from someone who has played the series since Gen I. New players coming over from Pokémon Go are going to be very confused. Believe it or not, Pokémon Sun and Moon needs more tutorials, not less. These games may target kids and adults alike, but they’re still quite complicated.
Luckily, these gripes about Pokémon Sun and Moon ultimately aren’t deal-breaking problems. The new games do so much right that it’s easy to forgive where they fall short. For this player, the most important change is the difficulty. These games are no longer the total cakewalk we’ve come to expect. They are challenging without being frustrating, and that alone makes the new Pokémon games worth it.