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Gamereactor UK
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Pokémon Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon

Pokémon Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon

GameFreak is back and giving Sun and Moon the Ultra treatment, but is it worth a second bite for returning fans?

  • Text: Kieran Harris

Other features include the Pokémon Photoclub and a new surfing mini-game on the back of a Mantine. Within the Photoclub you can pose alongside your pokémon and take pictures, which you can share and later edit with stickers to raise their overall affection. It's a nice distraction, but it's quick to lose steam. The Mantine mini-game itself is relatively basic; you'll move up and down waves to pick up speed and by pushing the analog stick you can perform tricks in mid-air to rack up points. Once you've finished, you'll receive a score for your performance and you can then trade your accumulated points in for items. Again, this mini-game did prove fun for a short period, but once we could fly on the back of a Charizard to go wherever we wanted on the second island, it was a feature that we quickly abandoned.

Perhaps the coolest new addition is that you can now catch all legendary pokémon (that's if you own both versions of the game). These are found through ultraworm holes and each one looks distinctly different based on the legendary pokémon which occupies them.

There have also been new additions added to your Rotomdex, which is the talking pokémon-occupied Pokedex that assists you on your journey. A new feature is the Rottolottery which you'll be able to spin to earn new exclusive items that can help temporarily increase your XP and raise your pokémon's stats. Your Rotomdex will also ask you questions during your adventure and it'll behave differently based on these responses. The annoying thing, however, is that the screen that displays your map is completely covered during these actions, making navigation tricky.

Pokémon Ultra Sun/Ultra MoonPokémon Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon

While it was believed that the previous titles had pushed the 3DS's hardware to its limits, Ultra Sun and Moon appear to take things one step further, adding better shadowing, improved textures, and more detailed environments. Everything in the title just feels much more polished, especially how the environments are bursting with blossoming flowers and your character is much more responsive in their reactions to key story events. It may not be massively noticeable unless comparing the two side-by-side, but it's great how the studio has worked to improve things not only mechanically, but also visually.

With Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, GameFreak has succeeded in making an already standout duo of games even better, with an improved storyline, new mechanics, and plenty of call-backs to the series' past. If you've played the originals it's not an essential upgrade, but those who've yet to play Sun and Moon are advised to check it now. Some of the features including the Photoclub and the new mini-games do feel like padding and much of the core story is still present from the previous titles, but we'd argue that Ultra Sun and Moon are two of the most improved sister titles the series has seen to date. The Pokémon franchise may have ended on the 3DS, but we're pleased that Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon have delivered the swansong it ultimately deserves.

09 Gamereactor UK
9 / 10
+
The story is much more engaging this time around, there's plenty of call-backs for long-time fans, and the title's proceed to push the 3DS even further.
-
Photoclub and Matinee surf features feel like mere padding, and there's no new Alolan forms.
overall score
is our network score. What's yours? The network score is the average of every country's score