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Old 02-21-2017, 03:46 PM   #276
Talon87
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So, I've recently arrived on Poni Island, the fourth of the major Alolan islands. Explored some maritime trailer homes, fought some trainers, collected some berries, and am stationed right outside some rust-colored wall. A couple of updates ...

Spoiler: show
Team Skull: Awwwww. So these guys got a massive shot in the arm last night. The game has set me up to long view these guys as bumbling idiots who, for the majority of them, might mean well but end up doing stupid criminal things because ORDERS. Well I arrive at Po Town last night, and sure enough the game goes and reveals that ...

... most members of Team Skull are ex-trial goers. Like myself, they were trying to complete the island trial. Unlike myself, they had a hard time of things and dropped out somewhere along the way. Embarrassed, ashamed, feeling worthless ... Guzma comes along and offers them new purpose, new hope. "You're not trash. Join me, and together, we will pull out your true potential."

Guzma: Now this one I'm still trying to figure out. If the Skulls have melted my heart with their sob story, Guzma just ... I dunno, man. He seems like a pretty stock cartoon villain. Laughs maniacally. Threatens to beat me up only to get beaten down himself. Doesn't seem like a nice man fighting for nice things. All I really have to work with with Guzma is, he failed to become a kahuna despite (according to himself and his followers) his immense strength as a Pokémon trainer. That strength hasn't been seen in the game, but then again, how could it be? I'm like 15-20 levels ahead of Guzma every time we fight.

Aether Foundation: "You mean to tell me the Aether Foundation were bad guys all along!? " .................. . Caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalled it.
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Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
Even before Colress was revealed, I had a bad vibe about the Aether Foundation. Something about the name, it just ... it just sounds like an evil organization fronting as a good guy organization, y'know? ^^;
Lusamine, Gladion, and Lillie: "You mean to tell me ... these three are family!? Mother, son, and daughter!? " ................... Again, , caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalled it.
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Lusamine: I get the feeling she's a villain who means well and is going to end up being redeemed and rejoining the light. Her whole schtick seems to be, she cares too much. She loves Pokémon so very, very much that she's resorting to some rather drastic measures to ensure their safety. We'll have to see.

I initially was of the impression that she was Lillie's older sister, forming a trio with Lillie and Gladion. But once it was revealed that she's over 40, it became a pretty easy slam dunk to theorize that she's Lillie's mother. Will be very surprised if she's not. Like, "Put down $100 on Lillie's mother" certain that she's Lillie's mother.

The part where she mentions that children would be okay if only they listened to adults ... sounds like something a mother whose daughter is disobeying her might say. Gives the impression that Lillie has gone against Lusamine's wishes and Lusamine is saddened and/or angered by this.
Could've sworn I wrote earlier explicitly about Gladion likely being Lillie's brother, but I guess the closest I can find in this thread is what you see above. Still: obvious family relation because LOL ANIME PHYSICAL TRAITS is obvious. Not patting myself on the back too heavily for this one.

Wicke: While we're at it ...
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Wicke seems like a nice lady. [...] When the shit hits the fan and it's revealed that the Aether Foundation isn't all it's cracked up to be [/talon theories], I imagine that Wicke will have a leading role in providing us assistance from within the organization.
Alright, enough with the back patting ... let's talk the actual game and plot, no?

Lusamine: Seeing her reactions to Lillie and Gladion, I both felt bad for her and felt it'll be hard for the writers to really redeem her. My mind keeps turning to "she's possessed by an evil force," 'cause that aside, they've got their work cut out for them to try and write around how nasty she was to her own daughter. That stated, I still feel like Lusamine has been set up to be a redeemed villain (ŕ la Giovanni), and not a condemned one (ŕ la Ghetsis). We'll just have to wait and see.

Invasion of the Ultra Beasts: Still not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, it certainly was exciting! But on the other, I feel like it's kinda silly-stupid to have aliens from another world invading our Pokémon world. I dunno. We'll see.

Large sun/moon temple on Ula'ula Island: So I found this place to the east of the field with all the red flowers (where you can find Fire-type Oricorio), but the game has carted us off to Poni Island to try and find the legendary. Sooo ... I'm not 100% sure what's going on, but I get the feeling that one of the two islands will be where I find my box cover legendary while the other island is where I can find the other box cover legendary.

Type: Null and synthetic Pokémon: Not sure how I feel about this one. On the one hand, synthetic Pokémon are nothing new. (Porygon ... Castform ...) But on the other hand, the whole idea behind Type: Null feels super like they were playing God and created an abomination that can't be considered a real Pokémon. And yet there he is, right there in my Pokédex. So like ... am I to expect that I'll eventually come into the possession of my very own Type: Null? (Of course I am.) And am I to expect that he will then evolve into Type: Full? (Of course he will.) It's just kinda weird to me. Especially since he's been plopped straight in the middle of the Aloladex, rather than being placed near the very end of it along with all of the legendaries and pseudo-legendaries.

Mohn: DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUN! So this was a plot twist that genuinely caught me by surprise. You're reading through those documents in Labs A and B when suddenly you find mention of a "Professor Mohn" who worked for the Aether Foundation. And it's like, "Mohn, Mohn ... wait a second D: ..." And you realize that Mohn is the name of the rustic-looking guy who heads up the Poké Pelago. I look forward to this being more explored in the future, but am afraid it won't be and was just a toss-away wink to the fans. We'll see though! Here's hoping he actually makes an appearance in the plot, the same way that the Festival Plaza's Sophocles did!

Current team:
  • Lv.57 Decidueye
  • Lv.51 Ribombee
  • Lv.50 Gumshoos
  • Lv.48 Pyukumuku
  • Lv.47 Stufful (soon to evolve)
  • Lv.41 Minior (was deposited for a bit, so has fallen behind the others)
I swapped out Minior for a Goomy for a little bit, just 'cause I had happened to catch a Calm one and I figured "Why not?" Then I remembered I wanted a team of all Alolan Pokémon and Heather mentioned Shell Smash for Minior. So I opted to bring Minior out of his early retirement.

Toxapex has caught my eye but unfortunately it looks like a really bad partner for Story Mode the way I enjoy playing it, brute force sweeping through everything as quickly and mightily as possible. I'll investigate it more once I complete the game and start playing people online.

Alolan Exeggutor is one of the few Alola forms I like, but unfortunately I don't really have room for a second Grass type on the team when Decidueye is already front and center. (Was the same reason I passed over Fomantis and the Gen 7 Cherubi, both of whom look adorable.)

Gumshoos has really been pulling her weight but the love still isn't there. ^^; Makes me feel like a bad person. 'Cause she's been really, really swell whenever I've bothered to send her out. Strong Jaw STAB Hyper Fang is nice.

Lack of new Pokémon: I'm starting to feel it. I wasn't sure at first, but I'm on to Island Four now and still I haven't been presented with too many new shopping options. (Or I have, but SO MANY OF THEM have been Water, Grass, or Ghost type and I'm like, "I don't need more of you. :\") Kinda wondering if I've been rushing through grass too much. I hate going into the tall grass in Alola. Because every time I do, I end up spending 30 minutes just to see repeat after repeat after repeat of Island One creatures (like Gumshoos, Raticate, or Pelipper) and then I'll see oooooone new thing and it isn't even something I want. (Like an Oricorio or a Mudbray.) It feels really punishing, in that sense, to enter tall grass and spend time looking for new partners when I could be advancing the plot. But I dunno ... :\

Lillie's new look: I much preferred her old look. But unlike with Serena and the hair cutting in the Gen 6 anime, I'm okay with Lillie and her new sporty look with the tennis skirt and ponytail. It works well here with the plot. It's not just a new look (like with Serena in the anime). It's practical here. She's about to go on a rugged adventure, so she needs her clothes and hair to be ready for such a thing. That means a skirt instead of a summer dress, ditching the summer hat, and tying up her long hair in a ponytail that won't get in the way or caught on much.

Trepidation about my first obligatory legendary fight: This is the part of the game where I have to be OCD and soft reset a ton until I catch a legendary with the right nature. It happened in XY with Yveltal (and I HATED it! ), and it's gonna have to happen again here. Only problem is, the story of Sun and Moon seems to be setting up for a shitton of Story Mode legendary captures. Any number of the Tapus, definitely Solgaleo and possibly also Lunala, Cosmog ... I count at least three that I feel the game is sure to throw at me and say, "CAPTURE! BEFORE YOU CAN MOVE ON!"

If anyone knows anything about natures being fixed for these guys, or about tricks for getting ideal natures quickly, please help a brother out. I have yet to encounter any Pokémon with Synchronise. Where would I go to get one? Better yet -- can I use Pokémon Bank before beating the game? Or do I have to beat the game first? Because if I can use Bank, I can export some Synchronisers from Omega Ruby to help out with this.
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Old 02-21-2017, 04:30 PM   #277
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Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
If anyone knows anything about natures being fixed for these guys, or about tricks for getting ideal natures quickly, please help a brother out. I have yet to encounter any Pokémon with Synchronise. Where would I go to get one? Better yet -- can I use Pokémon Bank before beating the game? Or do I have to beat the game first? Because if I can use Bank, I can export some Synchronisers from Omega Ruby to help out with this.
There's Abra on the first island, but you can use Bank to transfer as well. It's a one way trip though, so be sure that you only transfer Pokemon you don't still want/need in Gen 6.
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Old 02-21-2017, 05:07 PM   #278
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There's Abra on the first island, but you can use Bank to transfer as well. It's a one way trip though, so be sure that you only transfer Pokemon you don't still want/need in Gen 6.
specifically in the patches of grass in Hau'oli City
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Old 02-21-2017, 06:02 PM   #279
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Given what a pain in the ass Abra can be to catch, and given how hard I worked in Gen 6, I think it'll just be easier for me to pair an XYORAS 6V parent with an XYORAS 5V Synchronize Ralts, produce a clone, and import that clone via Bank. But I appreciate the pointers about Abra availability in Gen 7.
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Old 02-22-2017, 04:18 AM   #280
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Old 03-02-2017, 11:11 AM   #281
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In the week since my last post, I made quite a bit of progress pretty early on and then ground to a screeching halt for the past five or so days. I think you can guess where I am in the game. ;P But just in case you can't, and are wanting to avoid spoilers -- the following discussion is safe to read if you have returned to the Altar of the Let's Put Extra Letters On The End Of The Word For An Old-Timey Feel for a second plot-driven time. (Best I can do.)

Spoiler: show
The Fourth Kahuna: I felt this was strange and anti-climactic by their own making. First they imply that Hapu is a captain from some other island. Then after a long while you start to consider that maybe she's actually the fourth kahuna. (Ding ding ding ding!) Then you arrive at Poni Island and people tell you they don't have a kahuna. Then you arrive at Hapu's home and she tells you they don't have a kahuna. (Okay ...) AND THEN LIKE TWO SECONDS AFTERWARD YOU FIND HAPU AT A TEMPLE AND "HEY GAIZ GUESS WHAT? :3 I'M THE NEW HAKUNA! " and it's like ... I'm supposed to care now? ^^;; Sorry, but like ... you made such a big deal about there not being a kahuna here, after a long time of hinting that Hapu is important as either a captain or else a kahuna, that it then becomes silly to pull this 180 so suddenly. Like ... either don't hint at her importance before the plot twist, have her be this minor character who doesn't show up too often and certainly isn't portrayed as being that strong and kahuna-like ... or else do hint at it and just own up to it and have her be the kahuna out of the gate. Let the plot twist be a much more simple one, one where we find out Hapu's the kahuna of Poni Island shortly after landing there. At the very least, don't have her deny being the kahuna if she's been powerful all this time and you indeed plan on having her be the kahuna in the end -- not even if what she says is technically true at the time she says it.

Poni Canyon: The Final Trial Site: This was like a neat Victory Road-style area that felt super the opposite of claustrophobic. Claustrophobic being how Victory Road (RBY) and most other such places feel. Not since BW2's Victory Road have I felt this opposite-of-claustrophobic. It was a really welcoming, really easy cave. For better or for worse!

"YOU get a Z-Crystal! And YOU get a Z-Crystal! And YOU get a Z-Crystal!": Frickin' LOL at how the game just starts to throw Z-Crystals at you left and right in the closing chapters of the game. I remember when at the beginning Z-Crystals were basically the equivalent of gym badges, only received upon defeating a kahuna or a captain. Now it's like, "Have a Z-Crystal by rummaging through Guzma's bag! Have a Z-Crystal because Plumeria feels like it! HAVE A Z-CRYSTAL BECAUSE THIS HIPPIE TRIPPING ON PIXIE DUST DECIDED TO JUST GIFT YOU ONE!" It's like ... all I can do is laugh at how fast and heavy the Z-Crystals are pouring down on me right now. It's kinda ridiculous. ^^;

Ultra Space: This was a pretty interesting area to explore, all things considered, but we really didn't get to explore it much. The Nihilego were simultaneously cute and scary. I wish we had gotten to see more Ultra Beasts there than just them but oh well. Maybe there's a plot explanation for it.

Lusamine: My feeling here in the end is, Game Freak took a swing at the ball and hit a foul. They didn't miss! I don't want to say, "Swing and a miss :')" because they didn't miss. But they didn't knock it out of the park either. They didn't even get a line drive. This was a foul ball. They tried to write a complex, interesting villain ... and at the same time they tried to redeem her ... and in the end it was too much for the team's writers and they couldn't pull it off. Lusamine's redemption comes far too easy ... and honestly, it's not even clear that she's changed as a person whatsoever. The "redemption" is more a forgiveness from Lillie and the player character than it is anything else. Lillie does something to make her appear beautiful in her mother's eyes ... and her mother, her beauty-loving mother, she has a change of opinion on Lillie and returns to loving her rather than hating her. It's not like her worldview's changed. And perhaps that's realistic in some sense? But it doesn't provide our villain an arc. Nor does it really justify why the player character (and law enforcement on the other side of the portal) should let bygones be bygones with this character.

I dunno. I haven't beaten the game yet, so maybe I'm jumping the gun here. Maybe we're not done with Lusamine. But it sure feels like we are. That fight in the Ultra Space sure seemed final.

Lillie: On the other end of the spectrum, I feel like Lillie ... they really knocked the ball out of the park. She's not my favorite Pokémon character, but she is probably my favorite Sun & Moon character. She's not the best-written character in the history of the games, but she probably is the best-written character in Sun & Moon. She has a clear arc, it's written well (by Game Freak standards), it has a satisfying conclusion ... everything they wanted to do with this character, they did it right. That final confrontation she has with her mother, while I might not have felt the strength of the writing from the Lusamine side of things, I was really feeling it from the Lillie side of things. Everything had been building to that moment and when it came it was delightful. Lillie is delightful. She's a good character, and I'm glad to have her added to the team.

Nebby: The plot twist that Nebby is Solgaleo was out of this world. It was one plot twist I sure as hell did not call. Talk about blowing my mind when I found out!

Now I have to nickname my Solgaleo "Nebby". I just have to. Forget that it's not original -- it wouldn't be right to have it be any other name. Solgaleo is Nebby. That's his nickname. It's Nebby. The nickname given to him by Lillie. I'm not about to overwrite that. It makes absolutely zero plot sense to do so.

Solgaleo: So I'm saved right now in front of Solgaleo. Been saved there for the past five or so days. I'm soft resetting for a 31/31/31 who has the 31s where I want them, either in HP/Atk/SpDef or else in HP/Atk/Spd. (I'll take either/or.) I understand that it's somewhat pointless to be doing this given Hyper Training, which is why I'm not sweating about resetting when I encountered a Solgaleo with IVs of roughly 31/29/31/5/31/28 the other day. ("He doesn't have a 31 in Attack, so ... ") But because we don't know what the future holds in store for us -- because in a future generation the effects of Hyper Training could disappear and we're right back to our true blue IVs -- I'd like my Solgaleo to at the very least have his three 31s where I want them to go. I don't think that's asking too much. I'm just gunning for my ideal 3V and then I'll happily rely on Hyper Training to patch up the rest.

Over the last five or so days, I've made roughly fifteen to twenty capture attempts. I've yet to get either of my two will-settle-for ideal 3V spreads. The best specimen I've encountered is the one I mentioned earlier.

Poké Pelago: So I've been doing a lot of Poké Pelago during my impromptu downtime. As in, I have over 300 berries of each of the six EV-reducing berries right now. ^^; (To be fair, I started several weeks ago on starting up the game again. It's just the last few days have been particularly plentiful.) I think I must have over 100 bones and over 100 of each of the other rare treasures you're meant to sell for cash. (Been trying to get a gold bottle cap but no luck yet. Is it something restricted to post-game players?) I have 500 or so normal beans, about 300 of the striped beans, and over 100 of the rainbow beans -- despite daily usage of bean wheelbarrows. I'm sure those last few numbers (the bean ones) don't come even close to half of the players on this forum, but it's not really the point: the point is, I've been getting stupidly rich in the Pelago over the past few days in between attempts to get a good Solgaleo.
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Old 03-02-2017, 03:23 PM   #282
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I agree with you on a lot there. Personally I loved that

Spoiler: show
Lusamine was manipulating the other characters, using what they wanted against them - Guzma's need to be recognized as powerful and worthy of respect, Team Skull's need to belong, Plumeria's need to protect others, Lillie's need to be loved.

I think she was a much better-written villain than the others we've seen. Not a great character, and with a really unsatisfying conclusion, but she's better than the shitty Lysandre, Cyrus, N, etc. arcs where they basically just ran evil companies. Lusamine ran a good company but was a fucking terrible person. I like that balance of good and evil much better than I liked Team Plasma's good/evil dynamic. It was a lot easier to go "oh they're just fucking mental" with Team Plasma but with Team Aether it was a lot more of a "well shit these are like, genuinely decent people why do I have to fight them "
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Old 03-02-2017, 09:41 PM   #283
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Responding to Shuckle. Because of the quotey nature, just placing my entire reply inside of a spoiler box.

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I think [Lusamine] was a much better-written villain than the others we've seen. Not a great character, and with a really unsatisfying conclusion, but she's better than the shitty Lysandre, Cyrus, N, etc. arcs
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold on a second. I can understand "shitty Lysandre." I can maybe even understand "shitty N", despite all of the fangirls. But "shitty Cyrus"? No way, man. Cyrus, while he may fit a rather simple template, is a really compelling villain for me. He's "the villain who wants to save the world, the hero who wants to destroy it." He's [person] from Watchmen. You know the one. He's that. Cyrus is fascinating because his goal is noble -- to create a world without suffering -- and he comes to realize a fundamental truth about our existence -- "to live is to suffer" #buddhism -- and he reasons, "Alright then: time to make a new Creation." If the rules of our universe preclude existence free of suffering, then our universe has to go, he reasons. It's not out of malice. On the contrary! It's out of love for his fellow man that he ... that he ... goes in the extreme direction of deciding to wipe out everyone and everything there is. Is he maniacal? Yes. Is he wrong? Maybe. But he's doing it out of a genuine, heartfelt desire to do good.

Lysandre was cut from the same cloth as Cyrus, but he's just a shittier version and so we all questioned why we were given him. Shittier design, shittier backstory, and shittier criminal group + criminal group agenda. "Rid the world of suffering by creating my own Creation and serving as its Creator" (Cyrus) ........ and then "Rid the world of ugliness by creating an exclusive club of 'NO UGLIES ALLOWED' and laser blasting everyone else." (Lysandre)

(And for what it's worth, I personally wouldn't call either N or Ghetsis shitty villains. You're better off to put Colress under that label, but anyway ...

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where they basically just ran evil companies.
I wouldn't say that either of Team Galactic or Team Plasma 1.0 were "evil companies." Team Plasma and the Aether Foundation are very much cut from the same cloth. (THERE'S A REASON COLRESS IS IN BOTH! ) You can hardly call Plasma "shitty" and in the same breath celebrate the Aether Foundation. Both groups are groups trying to do good work for a good cause but led by a bad guy who's misled them. The only discernible difference is that with the Plasmas, even the 1.0s, they were still kidnapping other people's Pokémon and that's no good! But it's not as though the Aether Foundation is 100% blemish-free either. You've still got the workers who are compliant in subjecting Cosmog to suffering (before our game begins, as well as later when Cosmog is re-kidnapped). You've still got the workers who worked on the Type: Full project. You've still got the questionable Zygarde Cube and how we're goin' around Alola suckin' up Zygarde cells and sittin' on 'em.

Team Galactic, I think the case for their goodness is even easier than Plasma's, to be quite honest. The Galactics were fighting for what they believed was a noble cause. (To create a world free of suffering. They adopted their leader's goal.) They didn't kidnap yours or others' Pokémon, unlike the Rockets and the Plasmas. I'm not saying "Team Galactic = good guys" or something. I'm just saying, I wouldn't call the organization or its members "evil" either.

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Lusamine ran a good company but was a fucking terrible person. I like that balance of good and evil much better than I liked Team Plasma's good/evil dynamic. It was a lot easier to go "oh they're just fucking mental" with Team Plasma but with Team Aether it was a lot more of a "well shit these are like, genuinely decent people why do I have to fight them "
I dunno! The way you felt about the Aether Foundation, I didn't feel about the select members we were tasked to fight. (Because fucking lol at their "I'M CLEARLY EVIL, MYAA HA HA!" facial designs in the before/after battle art! ) And the way you felt about the Aether Foundation, I felt about the Plasmas. (And the Skulls too.) "Aw man. D: These are nice people who are just misguided. Why does it have to be like this?" You feel bad curbstomping Poké-PETA because, at the end of the day and much like actual PETA, it's the top brass who suck, not necessarily all of the peons. Sure, there are plenty of peons who also suck. But there are those who don't. Those who are nice people trying to do good things who got roped up in something stupid or, dare we say it, "evil".
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Old 03-03-2017, 05:28 AM   #284
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N is probably one of the best written characters in any Pokemon game.
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Old 03-03-2017, 10:43 AM   #285
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I have to take personal offense to anyone calling Colress shitty.
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Old 07-03-2017, 07:01 PM   #286
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I beat the main story of Pokémon Sun several days ago. Where I last left off, back in early mid-March, I was saved in front of Solgaleo, soft resetting until I managed to capture one who was Adamant with 31s in HP, Attack, and Speed. I put the game down to bunker down on some Japanese studies ... and I was so engrossed in my studies that I couldn't really justify to myself going back until the North American Internationals was on top of me and I suddenly felt overwhelmed by how left out I would be if they were doing things there that I couldn't partake in because I hadn't beaten the game yet. While I didn't end up doing much with my game there in the end ^^; , I did at least manage to clear the main story before I drove down to Indianapolis later that same day.

I thought the game was okay. The game has never captured me the way it has so many of you. Even at the very end, I was underwhelmed by quite a lot. For me, it's easy to classify Sun and Moon as a "bottom half" Pokémon game, lumped in with GS and BW1. It's not only not my favorite Pokémon game of all time: it's not even close. But that doesn't mean I thought it was a bad game. It was okay.

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The Kalos Connection: So, what happened? This game shows so many signs in its early to mid-phase that it's going to tie in grandly with X and Y ... and then just utterly forgets about them in the final act, culminating in absolutely nothing. What gives?

You had the Ash-Greninja promotional release during the demo period ...

You had Sina and Dexio visiting Alola, making references which to the experienced player were obviously references to people, places, and ideas in Kalos ...

You had the entire Zygarde cells & cores sidequest, one which affects just about every single visible area of the game's islands ...

And perhaps most importantly of all, you had the backstory from X and Y. When I played those games, I was a literalist who stuck rather close to actual world history. I imagined in my head that the rival nation to PokéFrance was going to prove to be PokéBritain or PokéGermany, and that we were headed there next. Each nation has a rich history and culture. Each nation has many heritage sites recognized by citizens from all corners of the world. When the company revealed we were going to Hawaii next, of all places ... I felt betrayed at first. Denied. "What? You mean we're not going to follow up on the story you started with AZ in Pokémon X and Y?"

But then I got to thinking about it. And it clicked for me, as headcanons are wont to do ...

"Hey, wait a second ... What if the same way France and Britain didn't exist 3,000 years ago, much less be at war with one another back then ... What if the geographical position of France's ancient enemy is nowhere near the borders of modern-day France? What if ... What if Ancient France, the kingdom that AZ commanded, was a vast empire that covered literally the whole of continental PokéEurope? And what if the Kalosians' enemy ... what if they lived in a similarly-large empire that was antipodal to France? Now, Hawaii's not perfectly antipodal to France, but ... it's damn near close! France's antipode is off the east coast of New Zealand. It's functionally "the Polynesians" of the Pacific Ocean. What if ... what if Hawaii was France's rival 3,000 years ago? "

The gears kept turning. "What if ... when AZ fired his laser ... What if we're dealing with an Atlantis situation here? :o What if Proto Hawaii was this advanced civilization, an empire spanning thousands of miles of the modern-day Pacific ... and then AZ blasted them into the ocean? Atlantis. The lost civilization. AZ won the war ... France, Kalos, lived on ... but the war between France and Hawaii passed into legend ... And people lost all recollection of the great empire that once spanned the Pacific Ocean.

"What if ... one thousand years later, the first Polynesians showed up on PokéHawaii. The island fragments of a once great continent. And these settlers formed the primitive culture that would one day lead to Hawaiian, Alolan, civilization?"

With these thoughts in my head, I was eager to see where the story would lead. I hungered for more Kalos. I desperately wanted for these games to be to X and Y what Gold and Silver were to Red and Green/Blue.

... But in the end ... nothing happened. In the end, I didn't get my wish. All I got was a shallow, one-and-done civilization story that has little to no tie-ins with any of the other civilizations in past or present PokéEarth.

Seriously, what gives? You have this passport where the player receives a stamp every time he reaches a major milestone ... This passport has fifteen pages, and I've beaten the game and you've still only filled five of the fifteen pages. I would be excited for a boat getting ready to take me to Kalos ... if it weren't for the fact that I already know we're not going. Because try as I might, you can't avoid spoilers forever. And I'm pretty fucking sure that if we were going back to Kalos in this game, as we went back to Kanto in GSC ... I'd have heard something by now.

That's probably my No.1 disappointment with this game. Probably an unfair one. But one I can't help either. I'm disappointed that the game didn't live up to my perhaps wild expectations, that it didn't deliver me the epic tie-in I so desperately craved.

Catching Solgaleo: After 20+ failures back in March, this ended up going surprisingly quickly. I think I ran into the Solgaleo I ended up capturing after maybe ten or so tries here in June. 31s in HP, Attack, and Speed; also a 31 in Special Attack ^^; ; and then two 20-somethings in the two defense stats. Not bad. I can bottlecap those two stats up but even without bottlecaps this is a pretty solid Solgaleo.

HEY KID IT'S TIME FOR THE POKÉMON LEAGUE!: As soon as you catch Solgaleo you're whisked off to the Pokémon League. What the heck. I know you guys said I was nearing the end of the game but holy fucking shit I did not expect it to be this close. I thought for sure I was at least at the part where you defeat Groudon/Kyogre and then have to fight Wallace, surf a long ways east, and make your way through Ever Grande. Something like that. Not necessarily Dialga/Palkia on Mt. Coronet, but something like RuSa's relatively close-to-the-end-of-the-game legendary capture. But no. Wow. Sun and Moon sets an all-time record for shortest gap between capturing the box cover legendary and fighting the Elite Four. Man.

Victory Road: Kind of a joke. ^^; Hooray for not wasting ours the players' time? But boo for not giving me more to do between Solgaleo and the E4? I've got major whiplash here, and your Icium Z ain't helping. Oh, which by way ...

Rushed Endgame: The last quarter or so of this game feels really, really rushed from a project POV. Like ... the first two-thirds or three quarters, all of these are going at one speed; and then in the final third or quarter, they all switch over to a drastically different one:
  • narrative pacing
  • narrative delivery
  • receiving Z-Crystals
  • meeting new important NPCs
Incomplete list, but I want to move on. There's just so much that feels ... rushed about the end of this game. Like ... take the Z-Crystals, for example. Early to mid-game, they essentially function as gym badges. Late mid-game, they start to drift away from their unofficial role as gym badges and start becoming items you also gain from important NPCs like Guzma after completing narrative checkpoints just as important as any gym. Late game, Z-Crystals are just given away like water. I mentioned this last post, but it's just as true here, now. Why the fuck is Icium Z just sitting there in a quiet, unassuming altar in Victory Road? What's the point of that? It doesn't even make sense from within the narrative of this game's own universe, which is why I believe I am so right about my suspicion that this game was rushed. The entire point of the Z-Moves is that you can't use them if you don't know the dance! You can't just have the stone. You can't just have the ring. You can't just have the dance. You gotta have all three. Stone, ring, do a little dance. Do all three and you get your Z-Move. So who is there to teach the protagonist the dance move he needs for Icium Z, huh? No one! Like, at least do what you did in the (still pretty bad and pretty rushed) Poni Island scene with that hippie painter girl on top of the cliff, the one who hands you Fairium Z and teaches you the dance for it. Just have someone be there to hand the player character the stone and teach him the dance. Leaving the stone in an unattended altar, and then my player character taking it and putting the stone to immediate use, it just makes no goddamn sense whatsoever.

The Elite Four: Another great example of the rushed game symptoms I'm talking about. Just look at this mess. All game long, the game has been hinting to older players and to bright younger players that the Kahunas are probably going to end up being the 1st generation Elite Four of the Alolan Islands. You've got four Kahunas, four Elite Four. Makes perfect sense. So our hero goes and fights his first Elite Four opponent ... "Ah, Hala! What a surprise! [/sarcasm]" Then he goes and fights our second Elite Four. "Why, hello, Miss Olivia? Didn't expect to see you here! ;P" Then he goes to fight our third Elite Four. "How you doing, Dark Maste--" ... hey, wait a second ... Am I remembering wrong? Was Acerola, the ghost girl, really the kahuna of the third island? "Hey, wait a second ... " So she explains why she's here, and you the player go, "Well this is dumb. Combo breakers are stupid. Everything's ruined. But that's okay. Because at least I can count upon the fourth kahuna to be--"

Nope. Not only is the fourth Elite Four member not the fourth kahuna, but it's even worse this time than the situation with Acerola. At least with Acerola we're keeping the "These are all your old friends you met along your journey! ^-^" theme going. But with the fourth Elite Four, we get this ... golf-playing bitch who only has snide things to say about Professor Kukui? Who the fuck is she!? And why has she got such a stick up her ass about coming out here to be an Elite Four member? If you didn't want to come out here, honey, then stay back on the Unovan mainland and keep raking in those big dollars!

The Elite Four is a perfect example of this game's weird and schizoid final act, development-wise. You can see the remnants of the original plan. ("Let's have the Elite Four be the four Kahunas! ") You can see where someone interjected. ("No, that's a stupid idea. Let's not do that.") And then you can see where time ran out before they had finished coming up with a suitable solution. ("Well, does anyone have any good ideas for who we can replace the four kahunas with? ") In the end, the team could only come up with two ideas for kahuna replacement ... and they're just a gym leader trial captain (LAME) and some bitch NPC with nothing endearing about her at all (EVEN LAMER). At least if instead of being Winona Woods she had been like, an epic Pokémon trainer ... But she's not even that. She gave up on competitive Pokémon in favor of a life of golf. I just ... UGHHHHHH! ^^;

Easy Game is Easy: The game had been easy all the way up until Solgaleo; and then after Solgaleo, the game was doomed to continue to be easy -- because I had, while soft resetting constantly trying to get a Solgaleo, been making use of Poké Pelago to fix my Story Mode team's EVs. ^^; And you know what they say about EVs: EV training during Story Mode ends up making Story Mode a joke. It was already easy even before I EV trained everyone the right way, but yeah ... The Elite Four really didn't stand much of a chance.

Nebby: I ended up nicknaming my Solgaleo Nebby, as I had said I would. And because of his significance to the story, I wanted to complete the game with him by my side. So without any fear of condemnation for using him -- "What? You think the game would have stopped being Easy Mode had I not used him? " -- I decided to have fun and use him on my final team.

Lillie: Nebby and Lillie are two more examples of the rushed development I see in this game. They both start off really well ... even going into the Solgaleo capture, things are decently fine ...

... But then, something unbelievable happens. Lillie declares she's becoming a Pokémon Trainer going on a journey to Kanto. And she doesn't say a single word about Solgaleo. And it's at that moment that ... Lillie's handing Nebby over to me makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Because think about it:
  • Lillie says Nebby says he wants to get stronger
  • Lillie says the only way for Nebby to get stronger is if he goes with a strong trainer
  • Lillie gives Nebby to us. Not on loan or anything. Gives gives.
  • Lillie then runs away ... to become a Pokémon Trainer. "I want to get stronger."
Okaaaaay ... sooooooo ... the ONLY WAYS this plot progression can make ANY SENSE WHATSOEVER is if you either:
  1. have Lillie trying to become a Pokémon Trainer so that she can become a master worthy of Nebby; and once she gets that strong, she'll come back to Alola and ask the player character to hand Nebby back over
  2. BACK UP A STEP and don't have her give Nebby away in the first place. Because she's going to Kanto to become stronger. TO BECOME STRONGER. STROOOOONGEEEEEER. So there's no reason for her to have to give Nebby away due to her own inadequacies. She's actively pursuing getting stronger so as that she can fulfill Nebby's desires.
I just ... once again, I feel like you see shadows from the development process and what we got in the end is an incomplete product ^^; :
  • someone on the development team brings up a problem -- "How are we supposed to justify the Player Character getting control of Nebby when Lillie is his de facto master? "
  • they brainstorm ways to justify why Lillie would give Cosmog/Solgaleo up
  • they come up with the tired old excuse of "I'm not strong enough to support you, but this trainer is :')"
  • someone else on the development team brings up Lillie's personal narrative arc, how she's grown from being a timid weakling to being a self-assertive, stronger-willed young woman ...
  • "Y'know, we need to give Lillie a proper ending ..."
  • the idea the team ends up deciding on is to have Lillie become a trainer, following in the Player Character's footsteps, and to have her go to a far-off region to train
  • "... But wait a minute, guys ... Doesn't that mean, that situation with Nebby ...? "
  • and this guy gets cut the fuck off. "FORGET ABOUT IT! 8D IT'S TIME TO SHIP THE GAME!"
  • *game ships prematurely*
Honestly, the player character's ownership of Nebby is something that doesn't really even make any good sense, Lillie or no Lillie. Because, like ... the way the story was written, it makes the most sense for the protagonist to let Solgaleo go home (to Ultra Space) where he can continue to serve as a guardian of the portal who prevents the Ultra Beasts from raining down into our world. The player character's ownership of Nebby just feels like one of those ungainly vestiges of the early Pokémon games where legendary ownership made more sense. Gen 1: "we have three unicorn birds and a unicorn cat in this world. See if you can find the unicorns. " Gen 4: "CHILD, I THE CREATOR OF ALL THAT YOU KNOW AM NOW YOURS TO COMMAND." Pokémon has gotten really weird ever since Gen 3 with the whole "capturing the Titans" thing, and like ... I get that it's cool and all to have Groudon and Arceus and Solgaleo in our stories, but like ... shouldn't we be past the point where we own these guys? Shouldn't we have arrived at a point in the franchise where it is okay to NOT "catch 'em all"? *sigh*

A few final criticisms before I wrap this post up ...

Hand Holding: Not sure if I brought this up before, but just in case not: this game holds your hand way too much and I really dislike that. I understand that Pokémon games are more linear than many other JRPGs, but holy fucking shit did this game turn Pokémon into an RPG on rails. Veeeeeeeeeery boring to constantly be told by the RotomDex where I should be going next at every possible turn, and to even have a little flag on the map to spoil the surprise of just how near or how far I am from my destination. For as beautiful of a setting as Hawaii is, this game just utterly lacks any sense of adventure whatsoever.

No WiFi Co-Op? : I don't know for a fact that there isn't but, again, this is one spoiler I'd be very surprised to have not been spoiled on by now, so ... I'm not holding out much hope at this point that Sun & Moon let's you play with cooperatively with friends online. Is this to forever remain a curiosity of Gen 4, the very first generation to even give us online play? T_T Please bring it back, Game Freak. I miss taking on NPCs at the battle facilities with Morg and others.

Inter-Generational Cloning: One thing I am really hoping that they fix between Gens 7 and 8 is ... they need to make it so that the Bank let's you one-time clone your Pokémon that it can detect are older, and that way you can leave the original copies behind while taking the clones with you onward into the future.

VGC Restrictions: Another thing they really need to address is the investment required to compete in VGC. Right now, you're asked to re-invent the wheel every generation. (Because anything hatched or caught pre-Gen 7 is illegal in VGC. The same thing was true in Gen 6 for things hatched or caught pre-Gen 6.) This takes way too much effort, and ultimately rewards only cheaters. It punishes good, honest players who go about doing things the honest but difficult way, and rewards cheaters who gen their entire VGC teams in just five minutes. Game Freak. Please. Make a choice and stick with it. Either say we have to put in a lot of effort, but then say that our effort will be rewarded for all time because the things we worked on shall forever be VGC enterable ... or else say that you want to force a reset between generations, but then also make it so that we the honest players can easily regenerate all of our lost effort. The future of a healthy and vibrant competitive Pokémon scene depends on this.

Obligatory Rankings: For what would our fandom be without rankings?

As of this writing, my personal rankings would go something like this:

RBY-FRLG = XY > BW2 >= HGSS > ORAS-RSE > DP > SM > BW1 > GS

I thought that Sun and Moon, while fine, were too kid-friendly; not ambitious enough; and ultimately too rushed-feeling. Perhaps Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon can address many of my complaints. We'll have to wait and see.
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Old 07-03-2017, 07:16 PM   #287
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Wow it's almost like you're being critical of difficulty because you were overlevelled as fuck and fully EV trained and forgetting the demographics of this game is for actual kids.

>aren't we at that point in the franchise where it's not okay to catch 'em all?

...what's the slogan for this franchise again, was it something about catching things?

Your complaints about difficulty are what really pisses me off though. Saying the games are easy? BULLSHIT. They're easy if you never put the Exp Share off, and grind like hell so you're like level 70+ by the end of Poni Isle, then of course they're going to be fucking easy.

If you play casually and with the curve? Oh hell no, the games are brutal. The movesets may not be competitive, but when you're running into things with maxed IVs AND fully EV trained, you know you're in for a challenge.
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Old 07-03-2017, 07:22 PM   #288
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I mean, the games aren't that hard. I was pretty underlevelled for most of the game, just cause I was getting sick of fighting every damn mon that popped up, and the only time I felt any real difficulty was when I get RNG fucked by Lurantis and with the sudden level gap in the Elite 4. Like pretty much every pokemon game, it actually isn't that difficult of a game.
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Old 07-03-2017, 07:32 PM   #289
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>E4
This really depends on what level you were going in to it. Level-matching them is usually enough for some sort of challenge. I ended up level-matching them without serious grinding until straight before the E4, even with the exp share on.

As for the composition... it makes sense. It was supposed to be the kahunas. Nanu refused so Acerola stepped in, and the then-kahuna of Poni died before the game begins and so they went for 'Generic strong trainer who's a friend of Kukui' instead of the brand-new kahuna of Poni who literally got made kahuna days before the league's launch.

>Lillie
Lillie leaves primarily to take care of her mother. That's the main reason she gives for leaving. She mentions getting stronger as something she plans to do, but the primary reason is that Lusamine's going to Kanto to talk to Bill, and Lillie's practically her carer.
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Old 07-03-2017, 08:03 PM   #290
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Wow it's almost like you're being critical of difficulty because you were overlevelled as fuck
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[The games are] easy if you never put the Exp Share off, and grind like hell so you're like level 70+ by the end of Poni Isle
You don't even know what my team's levels were, or what my final team even was. But since you've "asked", my two highest levels were 62 (Decidueye) and 60 (Solgaleo) respectively. And Solgaleo was only at 60 because I had to feed five Rare Candies to my Lv.55 capture in order to verify his IVs before I could safely save my game. (Mine is a true 4V, but a 3V with 31 SpAtk and 30 Atk or Speed can easily resemble a 4V at Lv.55.) Had it not been for the candies, Solgaleo would have been at 55, and my second highest level would have been Rimbombee at Lv.57 or 58.

My ceremonial team consisted of Decidueye (starter), Rimbombee (good ally), Bewear (rarely used in practice but I like it in theory), Minior (used a few times), Solgaleo (story reasons), and Pyukumuku (team mascot).

I would not agree with you that Level 62 is "overleveled as fuck." The lowest level an Elite Four has is apparently Level 54. Eight levels beneath my highest level. Right around where my lowest level was. "Overleveled," maybe ever so slightly. But this was nothing at all like Gen 6 where I went to the Elite Four, without even trying, with a team in the mid-80s ...

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and fully EV trained
I think you missed the part where I said that I didn't do any EV training whatsoever until after Solgaleo was captured. In other words, I only ever fought six trainers with an EV-trained team. One at the foot of a mountain, four in four chambers, and one atop a building. Now of course you're entitled to your opinion that I only had an easy time of things with the E4 because of EV training ... but I can assure you that I would have had just as easy of a time with them without EV training. Because with EV training, I didn't even have to use any items. Without EV training, I would have likely only needed to use potions in between battles to ensure no KOs -- because I don't like being wasteful, including with EXP. I am 99.99% confident I would have one-shotted this E4 without any EV training and without any item use if I would have also had to suck up some KOs. I one-shotted Lusamine without any EV training, without any item usage, and without any previous knowledge of her team where apparently others have struggled with her.

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and forgetting the demographics of this game is for actual kids.
Not forgetting. Just disappointed. The team seems to have had at least one internal power struggle between a minimum of two factions, and you see the manifestations of this power struggle as you look across Gens 4, 5, 6, and 7. For example, Gen 4 introduced a number of new things hugely reliant on there being no such thing as Team Preview ... and then Gen 5 comes immediately afterward and hey look Team Preview. On the topic of difficulty, that same generation introduced difficulties which you could enable post-game. A lot of players requested the ability to turn these on at the start of the game. And then Gen 6 came along and ... helloooooooooooooooo, Easy Mode.

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>aren't we at that point in the franchise where it's not okay to catch 'em all?

...what's the slogan for this franchise again, was it something about catching things?
You saw the airquotes I put around "gotta catch 'em all" in my post. You know full well I am well acquainted with the franchise's motto in America. You also know I'm aware that it's the American motto, not an originally Japanese one. Or that things change over time, are allowed to change. That what was law in Gens 1 or 2 doesn't always hold true any more in Gens 6 or 7.

We're long past the point where every boss from every boss battle has to be capturable. I am fully ready for the games to give us a non-captural Primal Groudon. (Didn't happen.) Or a non-capturable Primal Dialga (orig. Dark Dialga). Or a horde battle where the player only gets to send out one Pokémon against Azelf, Mesprit, and Uxie all out at once. The game offered a pretty good glimmer of hope for this with Nihilego's debut -- NPCs telling you left and right you can't capture it, the game of course denying you the opportunity to capture it ...

I would have been perfectly fine with the Ultra Beasts being uncapturable. They're not Pokémon. (The game states as much!) They're aliens from another dimension. With how they unveil Nihilego, it would have been completely conceivable that the end of Story Mode had us confronting Buzzwole/Pheromosa with our newly-captured Solgaleo/Lunala and pushing the Ultra Beast back through the portal from whence it came. Instead, I'm to understand that I'll be capturing a Buzzwole of my very own shortly. Cool for the tots who buy into all of the "GOTTA CATCH 'EM ALL!" hype. Considerably less cool for the older kids and the adults who are tired of easy boss fights and who hunger for a real, the-entire-party-gets-wiped-out challenge. Since the dawn of time, legendary battles have been less about being scared you were going to have all your Pokémon faint and have been more about you being scared that the first guy you send out will KO the legendary.

It's time for that to change.
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Old 07-03-2017, 08:25 PM   #291
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I mean, the games aren't that hard. I was pretty underlevelled for most of the game, just cause I was getting sick of fighting every damn mon that popped up, and the only time I felt any real difficulty was when I get RNG fucked by Lurantis and with the sudden level gap in the Elite 4. Like pretty much every pokemon game, it actually isn't that difficult of a game.
This fits with my own estimation of the situation. For what it's worth, the Lurantis fight was also my most difficult fight in the game. I forget what I was trying to do with it*, but I remember losing to Lurantis at least twice. But that was probably the only "tough fight" in the game.

* As I recall, there were two things holding me back from just squashing Lurantis instantly with my starter:
  1. I wanted everyone on the team to get EXP
  2. I insisted on Lurantis being the last to die, and not one of its call-for-help summons
I did that second bullet with every single totem Pokémon in the game. Because for me, it just feels wrong to KO the main boss first and to KO the weak fry last. It's gotta be the big, heavy boss character that is last to fall! So what would happen is ...
  • Rowlet, who was still a Rowlet back then because I didn't let him evolve until like Island 3, had enough power to 2HKO Lurantis but not OHKO it ...
  • Lurantis, being low on health, would always call for help ...
  • Rowlet would then be busy KOing the help, because of my insistence that the boss be the last to fall ...
  • Lurantis meanwhile would chip damage Rowlet into a KO ...
  • I'd send out Rimbombee or somebody else, and spend my turn using a Revive to bring Rowlet back to life. (Because I didn't want him to not get EXP for the fight.)
  • Lurantis might kill Rimbombee, or she might summon a new ally. I don't know, it was a long time ago. Regardless ...
  • I'd get stuck in a vicious cycle of Reviving Rowlet back to life, sending Rowlet back out, Rowlet having to deal with a zako character first, and then Lurantis KOing Rowlet before Rowlet could KO Lurantis.
I think what ended up happening the time I beat Lurantis was that either a) Lurantis failed to summon an ally, and I 2HKO'd; b) Lurantis summoned an ally but I had lost my patience, said "Fuck it," and killed Lurantis out of order to put an end to it; or c) I critted Lurantis.

So again: is Lurantis a strictly "hard fight"? Well no, if you don't dick around like me, you can KO Lurantis in 1-2 shots and then KO its summon on the third shot. A two or three-turn battle, max. But does it become a hard fight if you begin to do weird things as I did? Oh yes, absolutely.

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>E4
This really depends on what level you were going in to it. Level-matching them is usually enough for some sort of challenge. I ended up level-matching them without serious grinding until straight before the E4, even with the exp share on.
I would say I was fairly level matched. Most of my levels were either at, just above, or just below theirs. (I don't have Sun plugged in right now, but rather Y. But iirc Bewear was like 54, Pyukumuku who I never used was like 53, and Minior was like 55 or 56.) The two obvious exceptions are the Lv.62 Decidueye (high enough level gap to matter; also, starter power) and the Lv.60 EV-trained Solgaleo (because lololololol yeah no this is broken no matter how you slice it but like I said I don't care because I brought Nebby along for story/emotional reasons, having already given up on any semblance of a "challenge" from the E-Z-Mode Sun & Moon games.)

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As for the composition... it makes sense. It was supposed to be the kahunas. Nanu refused so Acerola stepped in, and the then-kahuna of Poni died before the game begins and so they went for 'Generic strong trainer who's a friend of Kukui' instead of the brand-new kahuna of Poni who literally got made kahuna days before the league's launch.
Thanks for that reminder. It's been a few months. I completely spaced out about the realities of the time table: Kukui is already putting this league into motion before we even arrive in Alola, never mind before what's-her-name becomes the kahuna of Poni Island. You're absolutely right. The logistics make sense that it would have gone "four kahunas", then "three kahunas and one TC because Nanu's being emo ", and then finally "two kahunas, one TC, and one old friend because aw shit the fourth kahuna died ".

To be honest, I kinda would've liked that death to have been explored more from the League side of things. Maybe a remark from Hala or Olivia about how they're sad that the four/three-excluding-Nanu of them couldn't be here together to witness this day. Maybe a comment from Kukui, like, "Hey, old man ... are you watching from up there?" I get that he's Poni's hakuna, but he was also all of theirs' friend and colleague.

Who knows? Maybe in Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon he's still alive and we'll get the chance to meet him.

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>Lillie
Lillie leaves primarily to take care of her mother. That's the main reason she gives for leaving. She mentions getting stronger as something she plans to do, but the primary reason is that Lusamine's going to Kanto to talk to Bill, and Lillie's practically her carer.
Where did they mention Bill, or even Lusamine going to Kanto? I must have missed that. Or, if it was from before the Solgaleo capture, forgotten it over time. They specified Lillie is going to Kanto. But I thought they specifically stated her reason for going was, "Kanto is a region with strong trainers," or some such. That she was going there a) to train and b) because even as training grounds go it's an especially reputable place.

I guess this will be something to pay closer attention to in the Japanese script if/when I buy Moon. They've got it on sale right now for $30. I'm unsure of the purchase, but if I do buy it, I will definitely choose to play it in Japanese. It'll be a two-birds-one-stone experience, and just generally fun.
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Old 07-03-2017, 11:20 PM   #292
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I personally found Sun and Moon to be a pleasant step up in terms of difficulty compared to previous games. Still not insanely difficult, but I actually did lose to some ingame opponents. First of which being that one Ace Trainer whose Rockruff and Slowpoke hold Red Cards. He actually took out my Rockruff and Torracat in the same turn- Torracat attacked Slowpoke, getting promptly switched for Rockruff via Red Card. Rockruff took a Water Gun and fainted, and when Torracat came back in, the Stealth Rock his Rockruff had set up finished the job. I couldn't even be mad at that, I was more impressed than anything else. I mean, I beat Alpha Sapphire with a team of Happiny, Sunkern, Feebas, Luvdisc, Nosepass, and Farfetch'd, and only ever needed to use one Revive in battle, and that was against the Champion. And I played all the way through the Delta Episode. So yeah, I for one found it clear that Sun and Moon were stepping up their game a little bit. I mean, for the first time in a long time, I had to temporarily add something to my team I had no intention of using permanently to assist me against a boss- when I got to Totem Wishiwashi, my team was still just Torracat and Rockruff. So I led with a Steenee, because I'd seen several YouTube videos, which suggested that Totem Wishiwashi always goes with Soak against Grass-types. And sure enough, I switched Steenee for Torracat, and ended up with a Water-type Torracat. Losing the weakness to Water was a huge help, but yeah, without that Steenee, Wishiwashi would've swept my team with no trouble.
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Old 07-04-2017, 06:31 AM   #293
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Where did they mention Bill, or even Lusamine going to Kanto? I must have missed that. Or, if it was from before the Solgaleo capture, forgotten it over time. They specified Lillie is going to Kanto. But I thought they specifically stated her reason for going was, "Kanto is a region with strong trainers," or some such. That she was going there a) to train and b) because even as training grounds go it's an especially reputable place.
In the end bit on the docks, iirc she mentions that her mother's going to Kanto to talk to a man who was turned into a Pokemon. Which to me means Bill, because iirc he was turned into a Clefairy in gen 1? And I'm pretty sure that in the dialogues, it's strongly hinted that Lusamine's basically a broken person after the story events, and iirc Lillie mentions that her mother needs her.

...Following a quick fact-check:
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Originally Posted by Wikipedia's SM page
At Hau'oli City ferry terminal Lillie tells her friends that she wants to head to Kanto, to meet the Pokemon Storage System creator Bill, who went through the same experience of merging with a Pokemon to help Lusamine get better, and also to become a better Trainer.
So, not entirely wrong.
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Old 07-04-2017, 07:44 AM   #294
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I was Level 52-55 when I did the League, so experience might be a bit coloured, but overall I'd say that SM has been quite the more difficult ride than pretty much any Pokémon game since, what, Platinum? It's still not particularly challenging a game, but it definitely had parts where battles got close and where I actually lost and would get brickwalled on occassion. Although that's probably in part of me only using new Pokémon, Exp. Share Off, no Z-Moves/Megas, as I did in Gen VI, doing away with all those new features and treating it as a Pokémon game of old it definitely stacks up in difficulty; it's jsut that all these new features are unbalanced and they're all in the player's favour.

Also as per Kahili (the Flying E4) yeah I guess she is a bit of a cop-out, but it's not too bad since she was namedropepd a couple times throughout the game and was mentioned to be the Trial Champion the same year Kukui and Molayne did their Trials, so to me, who expected her to be the Champ, her being an E4 wasn't all too out of order.

Agreeing on the point of Hapu's grandfather being more prominent, I also kinda wished he had more of a deal in the entire thing despite being dead.
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Old 07-04-2017, 02:38 PM   #295
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Yeah being level 60 for E4 is way overleveled. E4 is more challenging than XY's E4 for sure, as is the entire game up until Ula'Ula Island, but still too easy imo. Then again I haven't had trouble with E4 since DP.

>Talon's rankings

SuMo is definitely better than XY at least in my honest opinion. I've played through SuMo three times and am willing to do a fourth. I started a 2nd playthrough Nuzlocke of Y a few days ago and I was only able to make it to the second gym before giving up out of boredom. XY is shameless Gen I pandering (seriously, free Kanto starters? Snorlax blocking a path? Santalune Forest being a direct ripoff of Viridian? Give the new 'mons some spotlight!) with a terrible villanous team and story, even worse characters, with horrible Gym Leaders/E4/trainers, absolutely shite pacing and a poor range of new 'mon to choose from (although SuMo is kinda guilty of that last one too, even if less so).

SuMo improved upon a number of things, even if a few steps backwards were taken on others. Overall, I would say SuMo is middle of the pack in ranking, below HGSS/ORAS/Platinum.
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Old 07-04-2017, 05:19 PM   #296
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SuMo is definitely better than XY at least in my honest opinion.
Differences of opinion inbound!

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I've played through SuMo three times and am willing to do a fourth. I started a 2nd playthrough Nuzlocke of Y a few days ago and I was only able to make it to the second gym before giving up out of boredom.
Several things. First, I don't Nuzlocke. You apparently do. Maybe SM is more fun to Nuzlocke than XY is. Or maybe you should have given XY a Nuzlocke-free chance. Or maybe you did and you still hated it. I don't know. Just throwin' that out there. Second, I've only played each story mode once to date, but I have been longing to replay XY's Story Mode for three and a half years now. I'm not really too excited to replay Sun & Moon's yet, and have an even more difficult time justifying the Moon purchase than I do the X purchase given that USUM is about to come out and looks like a "What if ...?" alternate-timeline retelling than it does a sequel or a prequel. Let me put it this way: Y, I consumed in about a week and a half with a beat-the-E4 clock-in time of around 83 hours. I poured more hours into that Story Mode run than anyone else I know and it was mostly because I didn't want the adventure to end and took my sweet time doing each and every little thing. Sun, I think I completed in around 35-40 hours, so half the time of Y ... and it took me seven months by the calendar to do it. Started around the top of December, finished right around the top of July. I had to push myself to complete Sun. It was a labor of love to complete Y. Third, I have a big bias in favor of France, one which I imagine most people here don't / did not. I have no such bias in favor of Hawaii.

I'm having a lot of fun being back in Kalos. I've long wanted to replay XY but have been waiting for the price to come down. I think I place a much heavier weight on the story and characters than most UPNers, as well as much less weight on the gameplay. For me, the reason's simple: the Story Mode gameplay stopped being truly fun a long, long time ago. It's more of a chore than anything else, an obligation to be gotten through if you want to see the new sights, the new sounds, the new faces. A rock-paper-scissors simulator devoid of any real challenge is no fun at all. That's why online multiplayer remains fun, while Story Mode does not. All Story Mode really has going for it is the adventure, the exploration ...

XY is much better about the exploration. (For me.) So that's one big point in its favor.

XY is also much better about the culture and history. France has been around for thousands of years. Hawaiian civilization pre-1800s isn't really storied as far as most of us are concerned, while its civilization post-1800s is ... it only has a tiny land area and 200 years' worth of time to work off of. It isn't able to tell the same sort of story that Kalos is able to tell with France.

XY was graphically revolutionary. A much bigger step up from the DS than I would say the DS even was to the GBA. Anime-grade graphics, rich colors ... Sun and Moon is just "XY with slight touch-ups, worse Doubles, and humans who look less bobble-heady." The humans are a plus, the slight touch-ups are a given, and the worse Doubles is unfortunate. Overall it's basically just XY 1.03, graphically. It's not a big change.

XY had an overall better score than Sun & Moon did. (Though both games, I will argue, suffer weaker overall soundtracks than I would like.) Matter of opinion, obviously.

Kalos was more pleasant to explore visually. The cities, the towns, the river valley, the forests, the caves, the beaches, the desert, the all of it. Alola is fairly one note. It's all ... urban areas and then tropical island. OBVIOUSLY! I don't mean to hold "YOU NAILED HAWAII!" against it. ^^; It's just ... it's very homogenous. It's not a diverse territory. Insofar as it is -- "obligatory icy mountain area! obligatory woodsy area! obligatory rugged terrain area!" -- it feels pretty cheap and shoe-horned in. As does Kalos's desert , but none of the rest of it. And in any event, those areas are generally few and far between. The vast majority of Alola is just modern-day Hawaiian cities and tropical brush.

Anyway. A lot of this is just personal opinion, and I'm perfectly happy to let someone dislike Kalos or to gush about Alola. It's what you have to say next that needs objective addressing.

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XY is shameless Gen I pandering
And Sun & Moon isn't!?

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Seriously, free Kanto starters? Snorlax blocking a path? Santalune Forest being a direct ripoff of Viridian? Give the new 'mons some spotlight!
"Give the new mons some spotlight ..." What about:
  • having to go out of my way in Sun & Moon to have an all-Alolan team because the game throws 90% oldmons at you on the first two islands? My team consisted of only Rowlet, Rimbombee, and Gumshoos all the way until Island 3 -- and I didn't even want Gumshoos on the team! The same problem plagues XY, absolutely, but I'd argue that Sun & Moon is either no better or else is possibly worse. It's weird of you to lay this problem at Kalos's feet when Alola is so terrible about it.
    • Thinking about it, I realize something important. What few Alolamons the game does present you with "early on," you either don't need (why do I need the woodpecker when I already have the owl? ), don't want (why do I want the adorable but shitty Hawaiian Petilil when it turns out she is absolutely horrid to have fun with in Story Mode?), or they're Alolan forms of Kanto Pokémon and therefore don't count (for me personally. Had zero interest in running with Alolan forms of old Kantomon on my team. I wanted a 100% Alolan team, zero forms of other regions' stuff). This was my problem for the longest time. "I'll use Sandygast! ... Oh wait, Rowlet turns into a Ghost-type. -_-" "I'll use Wishiwashi! ... Oh wait, Wishiwashi's bad. " "I'll use Stufful! ... Oh wait, they hid Stufful from me and it's not until I'm halfway through Island 3 that I cave, look it up, and find out it was in a tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiny plot of grass at the tail end of Island 2." "Oh look, here's an Alolan Meowth! ... I don't like Alolan Meowth. " You wanna know my worst case example of this? Pyukumuku. I was STOKED to have a Pyukumuku on my team. ADORABLE POKÉMON SEA CUCUMBER, FUCK YEAH! And then I find out the truth about Pyukumuku, and ... It's like, what the fuck, man? Even when I try to recruit the Hawaiian Pokémon the game keeps throwing at me I have to turn them down! If I had to sum it up:
      • Kalos: might inundate you with more oldmons, but the newmons it does provide you with are all mostly solid
      • Alola: might be slightly better than Kalos with the oldmons, but a) it isn't much better and b) most of the newmons it showers you with are shit
  • Alolan forms, and how they are 100% only Kanto Pokémon?
  • Kukui's obsession with the Indigo League? Specifically singled out by name numerous times throughout the story?
  • The player character BEING FROM KANTO?
  • Lillie deciding to GO TO KANTO at the end? ("Yes, but Bill is--" Forget about Bill. They could have written ANY ENDING THEY LIKED if they had wanted to. The Bill thing comes out of nowhere and is by no means necessitated by the plot events leading up to its reveal.)
  • The HM replacements being mostly Kanto Pokémon? Tauros, Lapras, Machamp, and Charizard account for over 50% of our rides. You only get Stoutland, Sharpedo, and Mudsdale for the rest. Some regions don't even get a ride, and Kanto gets four.
  • Kukui's role as regional champion being forecasted from a mile away -- and an obvious nod to Professor Oak's originally-planned role in Red and Green?
  • Samson Oak?
Do I even have to continue? X and Y, for all of their "Kanto loving", are nowhere near as bad as Sun and Moon are. This is by far the strangest criticism you lay at Kalos's feet. Yes, Kalos has the regional professor giving you a Kanto starter alongside your Kalos starter. Yes, there was a pretty strong Kanto bias with the early megas. But Kalos's protagonist isn't half or full Japanese. Kalos's top professor isn't a huge Kanto admirer who seeks to emulate how they do things there. Kalos doesn't have "Kalosian forms", nor does it have any of exclusively Kanto Pokémon.

To be fair, the tie-ins between Kanto and Alola are warranted -- because the tie-ins between Japan and Hawaii in real life are there. The idea of a protagonist with a ??? father and a Japanese mother, who then moves to Hawaii and starts a new life there ... This is something that many, many Japanese kids can relate to in some form or another what with all of the Japanese parents who a) move the family to America or b) take the family on vacation to Hawaii. The specific combo of "move the family to Hawaii" I can't speak for how common it is, but moving to America is ridiculously common. And Hawaii is one of Japan's biggest dream travel destinations -- only Paris, France is bigger, with the trip to Hawaii being far more common. So for a region like Hawaii that is so tied to Japanese interests, I don't much blame Game Freak for tying Alola in so much with Kanto. It makes sense.

But the problem is, you complain that they genwunner'd Kalos too much when Sun and Moon are without a doubt the genwunner'er titles.

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with a terrible villanous team
Lysandre is essentially a shittier Cyrus. Cyrus I think is a fantastic villain, but I'll give you this one. There's little defending a downgrade of the original. And there's little defending that Lysandre is, taken on his own, an excellent villain. He's certainly one of the weakest ones in the canon. Team Flare, likewise, pretty weak with the exception of Malva.

Malva is the villains' one saving grace. It's a phenomenal idea to have an active member of the E4 be a member of the villain team -- even crazier/cooler to have her be an active member of the E4 after the villains have been taken down. The interactions between her and the player character, both before and after defeating the Champion, are sublime.

Lusamine is one of the better villains we've gotten from Pokémon. The execution falls apart on the writers in the very end, but they were simply too ambitious with her. She's a complex and difficult sort of character to write. They tried their best, and for a long while there she's really perfect. I'd place her beneath Cyrus and (even) fanon Giovanni, but I don't know that I'd place her any lower. She's one of the better entries we have.

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even worse characters
This could be a taste thing, but I disagree here. I feel like XY's story is divided into three parts -- the Team Flare subplot, the AZ subplot, and the best friends forever subplot -- and while I'm happy to give you that the Team Flare subplot is pretty weak, I think the best friends subplot is about on par with most of Sun & Moon's while the AZ subplot is hands down the best subplot between the two games. AZ's subplot is what had me super stoked for Sun & Moon in the first place. "Can't wait to see the rival nation! " "Can't wait to learn more about the war 3,000 years ago!" I'd have been a lot less excited for Sun & Moon than I already ended up being had it not been for AZ, his Floette, and the death ray he built 3,000 years ago. But that's me. If you thought the idea of a 3,000-year old giant was stupid ... If you weren't touched by his reunion with Floette ... If you thought the "FIRIN' MUH LAZER!" was stupid ... Well then sure, I can see why you might think XY's cast of characters was weaker.

For me, the Sycamore/Lysandre/Diantha complicated friendship is much more fascinating than anything to come out of Kukui.

For me, Malva is just as interesting as Lusamine. (Maybe less. ;p But the point is, Malva rocks! Very fun chance to look at a very tough circumstance ...)

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with horrible Gym Leaders/E4/trainers
And for me, most of the trial captains are as forgettable as most of the gym leaders in X and Y probably were for you. ^^; I care about Sophocles about as much as I care about Grant. I care about Ilima about as much as I care about Viola. I care about Acerola about as much as I care about Valerie.

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absolutely shite pacing and a poor range of new 'mon to choose from (although SuMo is kinda guilty of that last one too, even if less so).
Already addressed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celebii151 View Post
SuMo improved upon a number of things, even if a few steps backwards were taken on others. Overall, I would say SuMo is middle of the pack in ranking, below HGSS/ORAS/Platinum.
Fucking hell, mate! We're not that different then. We placed Sun and Moon in just about the exact same place. Our only difference is, I adore Kalos whereas you seem to hold it in disdain.
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Old 07-04-2017, 05:25 PM   #297
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>adorable but shitty hawaiian petilil

for the love of god i hope you're not referring to bounsweet there
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Old 07-04-2017, 05:34 PM   #298
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Wishiwashi is incredible did you just, not level it over 20
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Old 07-04-2017, 05:37 PM   #299
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Wait, wishiwashi is meant to be shit? I always heard that it was good (I used Toxapex in my run). Also, just to have someone agree with you on this point, its defs weird to try and label xy as a genwunner title when sumo has such significant ties to kanto in comparison to getting starters that were pretty much unattainable to the newer generations.
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Old 07-04-2017, 05:50 PM   #300
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>adorable but shitty hawaiian petilil

for the love of god i hope you're not referring to bounsweet there
I think he's referring to Fomantis and I will not have you shittalk my mantis orchid
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