The huge phenomenon started by a simple Mobile game has taken the world by storm. Far be it for Nintendo to fail to capitalize on that success. Pokemon Sun Edition is a third game added to the original duo of Pokemon Red and Pokemon Blue. It contains most of the same gameplay. Now the hero of the game’s starting Pokemon is Pikachu (naturally), and some elements of the storyline have been modified to reflect the cartoon more accurately. The role-playing game has tremendous depth of play. It will appeal to any serious role-playing fan, as well as to children interested in the Pokemon content.
The few things Sun does differently, it does well. Pikachu follows Ash (or whatever you decide to call your character) throughout the adventure as a constant companion. Just as in the cartoon, Pikachu isn’t exactly fond of Ash at the beginning. It’s only after several battles and adventures that Pikachu really begins to warm up to the hero of the game.
For those who haven’t played the previous versions, the idea is pretty simple. You control the young Ash Ketchum as he sets out on a quest to become the best Pokemon trainer in the world. Pokemon are, of course, little critters that wander the world. In Japan, they’re called “Pocket Monsters”. In order to walk safely through the wilderness, young Ash must have a tame Pokemon he can use to fight the wild Pokemon that will attack. You can capture these wild Pokemon by weakening them with attacks from your tame Pokemon, then tossing your pokeball at them. Once they’re caught, they’re immediately tamed. Ash must wander through the expansive world defeating the trainers at Pokemon Centers in many different towns in order to gain enough badges to enter the Pokemon Championships.
The game works a lot like other Mobile role-playing games see it for youself. You see the action from a third-person perspective. Combat starts randomly (unless you are challenged by another human). You can only have six Pokemon with you at any given time. You can access the Pokemon you don’t have stored on a computer from just about any town. Deciding which Pokemon to carry with you is a big decision. There are 15 types of Pokemon, from Fire to Dragon, and each type is stronger or weaker against certain other types. Sort of like Rock, Paper, Scissors, you have to figure out which Pokemon are more appropriate for certain battles.
The non-violent nature of the game understandably appeals to kids, as well as their parents. Rather than killing Pokemon, or getting your Pokemon killed, the little guys just faint. You never actually fight another human. You can only lose if Ash’s Pokemon are all defeated. Luckily, you can simply walk to the nearest Pokemon Center to heal all your little buddies, free of charge.
The game has tremendous depth, and collecting all 150 Pokemon is a serious challenge. Of course, you can’t collect all 150 on your own version — each version contains Pokemon the other versions don’t have. Using the link cable, you can trade your rare Pokemon for other players’ rare Pokemon. That means, of course, you’ll have to trade with someone who’s gotten as far as you have in the game. Considering the popularity of the game and the frenzy the license has inspired, that shouldn’t be too terribly difficult.
Our only real gripe with the game is the repetitive nature of the combat. You’ll get rather tired of fighting Pokemon after Pokemon. With the random combat, you never know whether or not you’ll make it to the other side of the grassy area before being attacked again. However, repetition aside, the game contains a great story and plenty of elements that make it a blast to play.