Pokemon Sun and Moon Evolves Gyms, Adds Alola Forms

Pokemon Sun and Moon Evolves Gyms, Adds Alola Forms

Trial Captains and challenges replaces the basic Gym system, as Sun and Moon show off more new Pokemon.

In an extensive new trailer, Nintendo and the Pokemon Company have outlined some new Pokemon and new features coming to Pokemon Sun and Moon this year.

The first up are the all-new Alola Forms, which are Aloha region-specific versions of existing Pokemon. Exeggutor, normally a Psychic/Grass Pokemon, gets a new palm tree-like look and a change over to Dragon/Grass. Vulpix and its evolution, Ninetales, are both Fire Pokemon, but their Alola forms change Vulpix into an Ice Pokemon and Ninetales into an Ice/Fairy type. Finally, while Sandshrew and Sandslash are normally Ground type, their Alola Forms are Ice/Steel!

Moving onto new Pokemon, there's Oricorio, a new bird Pokemon that has four different forms, one for each island in the Alola region. Baile Style is a Fire/Flying Pokemon patterned after Flamenco dancing, Pom-Pom Style is an Electric/Flying based on cheerleading, Pa'u Style is a Psychic/Flying type recalling traditional Hawaiian Hulu dancing, and Sensu Style is Ghost/Flying, potentially referencing Japanese Bon Odori. Oricorio does not seem to be like Eevee, there doesn't seem to be a lower version that evolves into one of the four Styles.

Another new Pokemon is the Rock/Flying Minior, which loses its hard outer shell when attacked, becoming one of four different Cores. Gumshoos, a Normal type Pokemon that looks oddly like US presidential candidate Donald Trump, is an evolution of previously-announced Yungoos. There's also Fomantis and its evolution Lurantis, both of which are Grass type Pokemon. Bringing up the rear is Mudbray, an earlier form of the Ground type Mudsdale.

The trailer highlights a new feature that was previously mentioned: Ride Pokemon. These larger Pokemon can be ridden by trainers and it looks like they'll replace the old-school HM system. Not only will these Pokemon let you get around quicker, but you can cross dangerous terrain and break down barriers while riding them.

The Alola region is more laid back than its counterparts, so it looks like the islands don't have traditional Gyms or Gym Leaders. Instead, each island has a Trial Captain, who will give players certain tasks to complete. In the trailer, Grass Trial Captain Mallow asks players to find four ingredients for her, Water Trial Captain Lana wants players to find a fearsome Pokemon, Fire Trial Captain Kiawe wants players to dance, and Electric Trial Captain Sophocles looks to be a gamer of some sort.

At the end of each Trial, players will have to fight powerful Totem Pokemon, stronger versions of existing Pokemon that can call for help! And after that, you'll gain the right to challenge the island's Kahuna in battle. It's a new tiered progression system, rather than simply finding your way to a gym and fighting everyone inside.

The trailer ends with details of a brand-new way to attack. Z-Moves are extra-powerful attacks that can be used once per battle. The Z-Moves are Type-specific, with one move for each type. In the trailer, Pikachu uses Gigavolt Havoc, Rowlett uses Bloom Doom, Litten uses Inferno Overdrive, and Poplio uses Hydro Vortex, covering the Z-Moves for Electric, Grass, Fire, and Water types.

Pokemon Sun and Moon is coming out for Nintendo 3DS on November 18, 2016.

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Mike Williams

Reviews Editor

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.

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