Well I finished Ultra Sun’s story and post-game episode. My feelings are mixed.
There are a lot of things added to the game that I like, but there are two big things that irritate me. One is that it felt a good deal harder than SuMo, which I already didn’t think was particularly easy, but I know, git gud and all that, whatever. The second is that I…guess I had my hopes for the story too high.
I was very underwhelmed. It’s mostly SuMo’s plot with the Ultra Recon Squad appearing randomly for a few seconds here and there, dumping a bit of exposition before retreating. The new aspects of the plot aren’t integrated into the existing plot very well, plus the few changes made to the existing plot are ones that I did not like.
The whole climactic arc is where the only real change occurs, and it also succinctly summarizes my issues. When storming Aether Paradise and confronting Lusamine, we find her and Guzma’s motives have shifted a bit: rather than going in search of Nihilego, they want to defeat Necrozma, who the Ultra Recon Squad (henceforth URS) has casually mentioned will come to Alola to steal its light. And I guess this was to try to give them some better intentions, but…I have to wonder if this change was made because they ended up being popular characters. Plus, Lusamine still treats her children like dirt, has loads of Pokémon ice cubes, and is perfectly willing to kill Nebby, so…it’s unsettling that I’m now being asked to see her as a more reasonable authority figure. After that we go to Exeggutor Island—well, the player does. Lillie has to stay behind. And then when you go through the Wormhole to fight Necrozma, Lillie has to stay behind. Lillie really…doesn’t do anything. Doesn’t have that scene of standing up to her mother. She’s really just there, it doesn’t feel like she has a real conclusion to her arc this time around.
Also, that Wormhole! When you get to the Altar, Nebby evolves and Necrozma shows up (dumping Lusamine and Guzma out too because its convenient), and then they fuse into the mascot form and you fight them (at lv 55), not too tough. Then they disappear, and the URS shows up and lets you use their Lunala to chase it back to Ultra Megalopolis. Let me repeat: the URS has a Lunala. And did I mention they were working with Aether? So the entire plan about forcing Nebby to open an Ultra Wormhole, which the URS knows of and condones, was completely pointless. Because they already have a freaking Lunala they can call at any time. Okay. Also the Ultra Warp Ride kind of sucks, you have to use the gyroscope and it’s bothersome. You can change to the Circle Pad at GameFreak, but I haven’t tried it again. Anyway, the Megalopolis is just sort of there, and you find Ultra Necrozma (lv 60) at its peak. And the area looks great (still reminds me of The World That Never Was), the music when you fight Ultra Necrozma is great, Ultra Necrozma…doesn’t look too bad, my point being the scene feels really great, if not as well utilized as it could be. Then you realize that Ultra Necrozma has a BST of 754, higher than Arceus and surpassed only by the Primals, Mega Rayquaza, and Mega Mewtwo, plus it has a Totem Aura that boosts all of its stats. And then you die. All this complicated by, after several quotes about “gotta stop necrozma”, suddenly everyone including Lillie, whose best friend has just been absorbed by the thing, switches to “gotta save necrozma, it suffers”. Weird.
But if you somehow win, Necrozma leaves, you go back home, and Lusamine says they’ll just take Nebby back to Aether Paradise to recover its strength. No one has a problem with this. Okay. Later on you can go see Lillie at Mahalo Trail and catch Nebby, with her saying she thinks you should catch it and Necrozma to help them both, I’m not sure why she’s entirely okay with this but whatever. Then as you climb Mount Lanakila Necrozma’s just…there. In a crater. I guess it crashed there and no one has felt like disturbing it since? You talk to it and can catch it, and then Colress shows up and gives you the machines to fuse it with Nebby. Well that…happened. I mean I’m glad I got Necrozma before the Elite Four, I’m still bitter about Kyurem, but…huh.
Anywho, I’ll go on to the post-game chapter now. They did give this away during the pre-release, but you have an episode of fighting Team Rainbow Rocket, which includes the bosses of every other team from the past generations! My opinion on this started out mixed, because I’ve come to feel Team Rocket is pretty basic and not worth any more time. Then when they revealed the other bosses, I thought this could be very, very interesting. In the end I guess I feel like…it could have been much better, but in some way I’m satisfied?
It starts with Team RR taking over Festival Plaza, and you have to kick them out. I’m positive that this occurs solely as a forced tutorial for the Battle Agency if you’ve been avoiding it up until now. Immediately after finishing that, you turn on the TV and see Lusamine reassuring the press that everything’s fine and Aether will prevent future Ultra Wormhole incidents (I still don’t trust her). Then an Ultra Wormhole appears! And Team RR takes over the mansion at the back of Aether Paradise and turns it into a castle through some kind of dimension twisting magic. You go there and meet up with Lillie, who asks you to help her save her mother, and dear I love you but I ain’t in it for that woman, I’ve rescued her three times too many already, I just want to knock some heads. You quickly discover that Faba was somehow involved in bringing Team RR here, and then you Double Battle him with Lillie as your partner—which is cool! She does only have one Pokémon, a Clefairy (because of the Poke Doll I’m guessing), but she very quickly got it to lv 63 and it knows Reflect, Light Screen, and Moonblast, so it’s pretty useful. After that you head inside the castle, Guzma shows up to fend off goons (eh? I mean it looks funny and I guess I feel better about his shift than Lusamine’s, but he doesn’t do a whole lot and I still don’t really care), and it’s time to throwdown with the nemeses of generations past.
There are four “wings” of the castle that are made available to you two at a time. Lillie’s waiting in the center to heal your Pokémon, which is a phenomenal help. Each wing has its own puzzle and an assortment of worthless grunts, and then you end up at a room where one of the bosses is waiting. It turns out these bosses are all from worlds where they succeeded in their evil plan, but immediately after doing so, they all found themselves here in this world. Which…could use some work. Couldn’t they have enjoyed their evil spoils for a while? Joined Team RR some time before now? They’re literally just there fiddling with Aether technology and deciding how they want to react to their new surroundings. They’re just Giovanni’s guests. It could have been so much more and I’m a bit disappointed, but after Ultra Necrozma I was numb. Of course, after beating Maxie and Archie, they prepare to battle each other before Colress zaps them back to their worlds (yeah, Colress is involved, that’s actually neat), so…I guess that shows it’d be difficult to make work. Still. Oh did I mention they all have legendaries? Yeah, Archie has Kyogre, Maxie has Groudon, Cyrus has either Dialga or Palkia depending on your version (Dialga in US, Palkia in UM)…those three were all pretty manageable. Lysandre, who has Xerneas in US, was tough, mostly due to having Mega Gyarados in addition to a legendary. After clearing all four wings you then fight Ghetsis, who apparently plans to manipulate Giovanni as a new “king”, and that honestly sounds like a great story that I want to see, also he has Zekrom in US on top of his already tough team so I hope you like PAIN. Then he proves himself the most rotten of all by threatening to kill Lillie if you don’t throw away your Poke Balls. Holy shoot. Luckily Colress saves the day, but hot dang, I was actually distressed for a moment there.
All this ending with Giovanni. He’s actually been intentionally going from world to world, changing Team Rocket to Team Rainbow Rocket with the goal of controlling all Pokémon from all worlds. I’m liking you more than I expected, one-note Giovanni. He mentions Ultra Beasts, saying he used one to try to brainwash Lusamine (presumably Nihilego? I guess?) and wanting an army of them, but we don’t see him actually interact with any, and none are on his team. Missed opportunity. Before fighting you he says “I never fought a kid but this still makes me feel nostalgic”, which IMO is too transparent, bleh. But then the camera shifts behind you so that it resembles the “GIOVANNI wants to battle!” screen in Gen I, and I actually liked that. His team isn’t too bad for the most part, but his Nidoking got a crit and he rounds it out with a lv 70 Mewtwo with a Mega Stone (X in US, Y in UM), so I didn’t come out unscathed. After he disappears the mansion goes back to normal, but we do see him standing around afterward, and some of the remarks he makes do have me wondering if he might actually turn up again in the future. It could be neat. Or a waste. I should probably just expect it to be a waste.
Well, either way, here’s my team:
-Fistleo the Incineroar
-Tempo the Dusk Form Lycanroc
-Flipjack the Alolan Raichu
-Kaitafish the Wishiwashi
-Eggman the Alolan Exeggutor
-Dusk Buster the Dusk Mane Necrozma
I know this is mostly complaining but there really are some strong points to these games, I just don’t want to make this even longer and I’m sure you can find plenty of people talking about those. I do have Ultra Moon, but I’m not sure when I’m going to tackle that; I’m liking the team I’m planning but I am dreading that Necrozma fight…