5 Reasons You Gotta Catch Pokémon Sun And Moon

Two of the most hotly anticipated games of 2016 (thanks, Pokémon Go), Pokémon Sun and Moon have finally arrived. The release of the mobile game by Niantic earlier this year revived the stalwart but still 20-year-old franchise, with everyone and their grandmas taking to the streets to catch some elusive ‘mons (let’s be honest: mostly Pidgeys). But with temperatures dropping and winter just around the corner, it’s time to trade that phone for a 3DS and check out Nintendo’s latest offering in the beloved series. Here are five fresh things we love about Pokémon Sun and Moon:

A New Setting


Welcome to Alola! The tropical, Hawaii-inspired setting for Sun and Moon is lush, beautiful and will make you want to spend a vacation there pretty much immediately. The Hawaiian influence covers everything from culture and language (you battle with each island’s Kahuna) to food and beyond (vendors sell different types of malasadas, a popular Hawaiian pastry).

Alolan Pokémon


With new territory comes a whole new set of Pokémon to catch and marvel at. But there are also regional variations of well-known Pokémon we’ve seen before, with differences in colour, appearance, and typing. For example, Alola’s Rattata has an adorable little mustache. If that’s not incentive enough to make you play the game, what is?

New Menu Features And Move Effectiveness


Nintendo’s done a little housekeeping to the standard menu in order to make it easier to use and understand. One major improvement is the inclusion of info buttons that allow you to see everything you need to know about a specific move, item or Pokémon during a battle without having to open the rest of the menu. But by far the most useful change is seeing the effectiveness of a move before using it: once you’ve encountered a Pokémon at least once, the game will rate all of your moves against that particular foe, which can mean the crucial difference between a heavyweight hit and a feather-light tap.

Pokémon Refresh


One of the ways to keep your Pokémon in tip-top shape is a new feature called “Refresh.” Sometimes you’ll be prompted after a battle to show your friends a little love by cleaning them up, petting them, and even feeding them. But it’s not just a mindless chore: it really does noticeably improve a Pokémon’s performance, helping them land critical hits and swerve to avoid attacks. Way more fun than a Tamagotchi.

Trials, Captains, Kahunas


If I told you there were no gyms or badges in this game, would you be mad? Don’t be—Sun and Moon have taken the standard challenges in the series and completely reinvented them. You progress through the game by performing “trials”—which basically means clearing an area of a few enemy Pokémon, a boss (or “totem”) Pokémon, and a handful of other baddies—and then fighting the area’s Captain, before moving on to battle with the island Kahuna. So, really, it’s not all that different than a gym, but the change is enough to excite and throw you off. If you prove your worth, you just might get something better than a badge; successfully completing the first trial will yield a Z-Stone as a reward. Z-Stones are this game’s answer to Mega Evolution, allowing you to power up a Pokémon’s move if their type matches the stone’s type.

It goes without saying that there are tons more reasons to pick up Pokémon Sun and Moon, which are both available now on Nintendo 3DS. Check out the trailer below: