Nintendo is focusing on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild at their E3 conference, but they had to show off a bit of their upcoming Pokemon titles: Pokemon Sun and Moon. You can view the footage below, which begins by showcasing the three new starters: Rowlet, Litten, and Popplio, and then showing some other Pokemon in the game and some of the regions to explore.
The two legendaries who grace the boxart are also showcased for a few brief moments, as Solgaleo (emissary of the Sun) fires off some sort of solar/fire beam and Lunala (emissary of the Moon) creates a blue laser beam. Finally, the game showcases the Alola region (which they compare to the Galapagos Islands) and a few of the characters that players will encounter there. The trailer ends with the release date: November 18, 2016.
After returning to the conference and discussing a few of the design choices, Nintendo also decided to show off some of the gameplay. They discussed the story a bit, including how the player character moved to the new Alola region and they then decide to jump right into the grass and battle some Pokemon. Here is the gameplay they showed:
The battle camera looks good; it moves dynamically and allows the player to get a view of their trainer and their Pokemon from several angles. The battle system is designed to be accessible to new players. Essentially, battles are easier to keep track of, as statistical effects (such as attack or defense increases) can now be accessed on the touch screen. They also demonstrated the new encouragement for completing the Pokedex, as indicators will show the player if something they have caught has an evolution or perhaps a Pokemon that can be paired with it.
In the second battle, a new Pokemon named Yungoos steps up to fight. They describe Yungoos as “always hungry” and getting more aggressive and powerful the more hungry he gets. Later on, a Pikipek shows up, which behaves like a woodpecker.
Later in the gameplay footage, they showcase some of the trainer vs. trainer battles, including a battle against Hau, who is a friend of the player character.
Finally, they showed off a new multiplayer mode, called “Battle Royale.” In it, four players choose up to three Pokemon each, and battle using one at a time in a free-for-all match. Once one player loses all of their Pokemon, the game adds up scores for the remaining players, based on how many Pokemon they defeated and how many of their own they have remaining. They also hint that there will be some outfit unlockable/customization in this mode as well.
Overall, Pokemon Sun and Moon look pretty polished and like they certainly bring the charm and addictive gameplay that the series is known for. For Pokemon fans, November 18th cannot come soon enough.
Who is going to be your starter in Sun and Moon? Excited to head to Alola? Let us know!