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Alola! Welcome to the Island – A Look at the Pokemon Sun & Moon Demo

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*Ash sold separately

Though the ever awaited release date of November 18th lies on the horizon still, this Halloween month has provided us all with the chance to briefly visit the brand new world of Pokemon. With a stealthy companion by our sides and a ukulele tune in our ears, let us all explore a fraction of the Alola region. That being said, given the nature of a demo, I’ll throw down a TLDR for all those who want the meat, without having to tolerate me chewing the fat.

  • The city featured is known as Hau’oli City
  • A Trial is tasked at Ten Carat Hill, in which you must photograph two Jangmo-o and two Hakmo-o (one of whom is a Totem Pokemon)
  • Z-Move strength changes based upon its utilised move – Gigavolt Havoc is shown to posses a power of 175 (Thunderbolt), 160 (Electro Ball) and 100 (Nuzzle) – as does its position as Physical or Special
  • Z-Crystals may be given to multiple compatible Pokemon at once
  • Battle Bond is also increases the power of Water Shuriken (which is now a Special move)
  • Re-entering the demo after completion unlocks Poke Ride – Tauros acts analogously to the Bicycle (able to be ridden in anywhere outside) with the benefit of plowing through tough rocks
  • A Capture Challenge allows you to catch Pokemon and receive a Nugget you may trade to the full version of the game
  • Defeating and Ace Trainer will net you a Star Piece, similarly tradeable to the full version of the game
  • A Mysterious Old Man will gift you three Stardusts upon meeting, yet another tradeable item to the full version of the game
  • Defeating a Pokemon in battle reveals the effectiveness of all moves/type matchups for future encounters (such as labelling Water Shuriken super effective against Rockruff)
  • During battle, sprites on the lower screen may be tapped to reveal a Pokemons status, including lowered/raised stats and current status effects
  • Specific references are made to 5, 12, 18 and 24 days from the day of the demo’s release, hinting at future included events (most likely new Pokemon, a some have devised from delving into the demo’s coding)
  • Ash-Greninja is cool

Okay, so that last one was my personal opinion, but I can’t be the only one who thinks that. I mean, have you seen that giant shuriken? Regardless, said froggy dude is the only Pokemon who will continue on with you in your new Alolan home, as those caught in the Capture Challenge are immediately released back to nature upon completion. The manner in which this occurs however, leads me to believe the full game may allow you to immediately add captured Pokemon to your party, with the “Return to Nature” option being replaced by the tried and true “Send to Your PC” that we all know and don’t think twice about. Curiously, the Greninja provided may also be levelled from 36 to 37, but no more. Any attempts beyond this net 0 EXP, to which I have zero ideas why. Still, the transfer process seems simple enough, so you may just have an anime inspired companion pretty early on. I’d say he would reject your commands for some time as well, but, without Gym Badges, I have no idea how true that is. Guess we’ll all find out together. I would also like to make brief note of the demo’s, and by extension the game’s, attention to detail. Upon entering battle upon Tauros, the Trainer’s in-battle sprite will be wearing their riding gear. Does it affect the gameplay in anyway? No. But it serves as a nice touch that keeps you in the moment, even if subconsciously. Speaking of battle, the slightly altered insitgation does wonders for intensity. Upon entering a trainer’s area, the screen letterboxes and the background music becomes muffled. In addition to serving as an early warning system for those looking to avoid battle, it adds a certain impact that ramps up the event of meeting a Trainer’s eyes significantly. Plus, it makes you feel cool.

The demo also seems to include some element of random chance, as news has struck the internet detailing the appearance of one Alolan Dugtrio. Despite visiting the supposed area multiple times, this particular event never appeared for me, though I do not doubt those who have seen it, multiple corroborating sources and all that journalistic jazz. So, despite my alck of firsthand experience, I shall now include a picture of this stylin’ Pokemon, as I feel you all need to see it and I cannot think of a better way to end this piece. Other than to say how much I hope it can learn Surf…which is a lot. I hope a lot.

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Lather, Rinse, Magnitude 8

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