A new video for the upcoming Pokemon Sun and Moon versions has been released, revealing new Pokemon, new challenges, and new looks for some old friends.
As with most news for the games, several new Pokemon have bee revealed. This includes Mudbray, the pre-evolution of the recently-revealed Mudsdale, the meteor Pokemon Minior, the grass-types Fomantis and Lurantis, and the dancing bird Oricorio.
What makes Oricorio interesting is its different forms – there are four different types, each based off a different dance style, with a different typing (Fire, electric, ghost, or psychic) to go along with it. Each type can be found on a different one of Alola’s islands, which appears to be a reference to the Galapagos finches, which (as famously noted by Charles Darwin) have noticeable differences from island to island, as best suited for their environments.
In fact, while the Pokemon games have always featured an “evolution” mechanic (that has nothing to do with how evolution actually works), Sun and Moon versions feature Pokemon that have undergone a different form of adaptation, with familiar Pokemon taking on new forms for the region. Exeggutor, for instance, is a Grass/Psychic type Pokemon resembling a palm tree with three coconuts for heads. On Alola, Exeggutor is Grass/Dragon, and features a much lengthier neck, and a fourth head on its tail. Sandshrew, Sandslash, Vulpix, and Ninetales have all taken on the ice-typing, having adapted to a snowy mountaintop within the Alola region.
While fifth generation games provided a small amount of riding atop of Pokemon, particularly Rhyhorn and Gogoat, the upcoming sixth generation has the Poke Ride feature, which provides more options for riding atop Pokemon. Trainers will be able to ride atop a flying Charizard, or smash through blocks while riding a Tauros, among other options.
Typically, Pokemon games involve challenging eight gyms, earning the badges, and fighting the Elite Four. While that may still be the case in Sun and Moon, the new video boasted an Island Challenge, where the player must face several Kahunas to complete challenges and defeat a Totem Pokemon – a special version of a regular Pokemon that can call upon other Pokemon to assist it in battle. It’s unlikely that this will replace the gym system, but it’s certainly a new set of challenges, almost akin to the anime’s Orange Islands.
Last but not least is a new addition to battles: Z-Moves. Similar to Mega Evolution, Z-Moves require a special Z-Crystal and a corresponding ring on the trainer’s arm. When used together (which appears to involve the trainer striking a pose), the Pokemon holding the Z-Crystal can unleash an incredibly powerful attack. While the attack can only be used once per battle, it’s similar to Mega Evolution, with more limited uses but a wider variety of Pokemon options, and will certainly mix up the competitive scene at least a little as trainers decide which of their Pokemon is best suited for using a Z-Move.
You can see the full video below, and keep an eye out for more on Pokemon Sun and Moon versions as it becomes available. In the meantime, the Arceus distribution event for X, Y, Omega Ruby, and Alpha Sapphire versions has begun, so trainers can get code cards at participating GameStop stores to get the god of Pokemon.