There is something about the Pokemon franchise that we simply can’t get enough of. Almost every year a new game is launched, and people go crazy about them, even though they have a similar storyline.
This time, we would like to talk about Pokemon Ultra Sun and Moon; two video games released in June 2017 for the Nintendo 3DS. So far they have sold more than 7 million copies worldwide and has ranked as the 9th best-selling 3DS game of all time.
Are they the same with just a few similarities? Do they really stand apart from the previous Pokemon games? Let’s find out!
Little History of Pokemon Ultra Sun and Moon
Both, Pokemon Ultra Sun and Moon, come from Pokemon Sun and Moon, two video games also for the Nintendo 3DS that were released in November 2016.
They are the first installments in the 7th generation of Pokemon games and introduced 81 new pokemon species, new features, movesm battle and training tactics.
From Pokemon X and Y, they kept the Mega Evolution battle mechanic and you can even trade Pokemon between the two games, a feature also kept for both Pokemon Ultra editions.
Generally speaking, Pokemon Sun and Moon are two different games with the same storyline; pokemon trainers are in Alola, a region inspired by Hawaii. The gamer is a young person that moves to Alola with his mother, they help a character named Lillie by rescuing her special pokemon Nebby, and as an appreciation token, she gives him a starter pokemon.
Then they go around Alola facing trials and battles, until they have to face Team Skull, which is a gang of people who quit the island trails and, along with the Aether Foundation, help to rescue pokemons from all kinds of threats.
But they are not peaceful people! The Team Skull kidnaped Nebby, because it’s a special pokemon that can summon Ultra Beasts, stunning creatures with a violent behavior.
To summarize, Pokemon Sun and Moon take you to the outer space to help people from Alola fight the Ultra Beast and defeat once and for all The Team Skull and the Aether Foundation.
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What Are the Differences Between Pokemon Sun and Moon and Pokemon Ultra Sun and Moon?
The long subtitle, isn’t it? Well, this is an honest review, so we are going to say it straight: yes, there are many differences, it’s not a remake.
Both stories are set in Alola, and features the same pokemons throughout the previous game. Let’s say the structure of the game is the same as the first two, but the Ultra version has a significantly different storyline.
Here you don’t have to wait for a long introduction to get your first pokemon, it is given to you shortly after the game begins.
The Ultra versions also offer us an expanded universe to explore, new areas were added to the original games and the Ultra Space gives us the chance to face well-known pokemon villains from the past.
Now you will face Necrozoma, a Legendary pokemon that follows the Ultra Recon Squad, one of the villain teams. You still travel to outer space here, because there are different dimensions that get opened by Ultra Wormholes.
You never really know what’s behind the wormhole, which makes the Ultra editions very exciting games.
There’s a Pikachu Valley and The Ultra Space, the biggest new areas added to the game. And yes, the Pikachu Valley is literally full of our favorite yellow pokemon.
You also get to find brand new pokemons, something we have never seen in previous editions. We have seen the introduction of new pokemons in each generation, and the following editions have showed pre-existing pokemons with new designs.
All legendary pokemons can be captured now, but beware! Because how many of them you can capture is, as always, limited. But you can make some trades to catch them all.
Among the small changes, we see new NPCs with fantastic storylines and quests. Many stories are heartwarming, after all, pokemon games have always been quite lovely and there is no reason to lose that sweet touch.
In fact, another charming aspect from the Ultra editions is that you have to use the 3DS touch screen to manually scrape poison and mud off your pokemons, and you manually harvest beans at the farm.
You can take pictures with your friends and edit them with special pokemon related borders; you also get cool stickers and special poses. The more you play, the more borders, poses and stickers you get to unlock permanently.
Rotom Dex, which is the new Pokedex, allows you to gain special power ups that can significantly help you during battle. With it you gain experience faster, more money and you recharge your PP.
Actually, during your journey through Alola you get to collect Totem Stickers, they are hidden everywhere and besides being quite addictive to find them, you can redeem them for Totem Pokemons from Samson Oak, cousin of the Professor Oak we all know about, only, perhaps, more useful in this game.
Something that usually bores Pokemon players all over the world is the fact that some stories take too long to pass, and some scenarios are quite lame. That was part of Pokemon Sun and Moon, but something the Game Freak team worked on the Ultra editions.
As we said before, you don’ have to wait 40 minutes to get your first pokemon, and the action starts way quicker than in the previous versions. However, there is still plenty of dialogue that you can’t skip unless you want to miss big chunks of the story, but don’t worry, this time you will spend more time battling and training than reading.
And talking about battles, the Ultra editions offer us brand new Z-moves. They are the wishes of the trainer and pokemon that combine to unleash a powerful attack by comprising both powers.
It is said in the story that Z-power may be related to the energy produced by Ultra Wormholes, the legend says that the aura surrounding the Totem Pokemon is THE result of Necrozoma’s light projecting on Alola.
We don’t know if you think the same we do, but this whole Z-power idea makes the Ultra editions very appealing. And as you see, the new story has many hidden legends.
There’s also a post-game feature where the player faces Team Rainbow Rocket, a group based on our favorite and charismatic villains, The Team Rocket.
Here the Team Rainbow Rocket wants to control the Aether Foundation’s headquarters to take Lusamine, another Ultra villain as a hostage. By the real end of the game, the player will face Giovanni, leader of the Team and, surprisingly he counts with our beloved Mewtwo at his disposal.
Which Version Should You Get?
The way we see it, the Ultra editions are way better than the previous ones. More interesting, more exciting, better story and more fan service.
Now, which Ultra version should we choose? They both tell the same story and include almost the same characters, but they are still two different games.
Just like the original Sun and Moon were 12 hours apart; Ultra Sun will show the time your 3DS has, while if you choose the Ultra Moon, it will show you 12 hours ahead, basically if you choose this one and play it during the day, in the game it will show you night time.
Also, each game, even though they make you face and capture the same pokemons, there are some exclusive ones that change depending on which Ultra you play:
Ultra Sun-Exclusive Pokemon
- Alolan Vulpix
- Alolan Ninetales
- Lurantis (Totem-sized)
Ultra Moon-Exclusive Pokemon
- Alolan Sandshrew
- Alolan Sandslash
- Salazzle (Totem-sized)
So our suggestion is if you are more interested in expanding your Pokedex, take your time doing a little research on each of them to see which one you desire the most and then get the edition that has them.
The same thing happens with legendary pokemons, you can capture just a few of them because of its exclusivity, but if you are particularly interested in some, you can choose your Ultra edition according to the legendary pokemons available:
Ultra Sun-Exclusive Legendaries
- Dusk Mane Necrozma
Ultra Moon-Exclusive Legendaries
- Dawn Wings Necrozma
Other villains that have a role in the Ultra storyline is The Ultra Recon Squad, even though they belong to the same team, each game will show you different members with different pokemons and stories.
And the Totem Pokemon are different too, but there are also exclusive Totem Sized Pokemons, the Ultra Sun has Lurantis and Ultra Moon has Salazzle.
What’s our verdict? Well, to summarize it, the Ultra versions are definitely better than Pokemon Sun and Moon. Even though you still have many boring dialogues, there’s more action and a better storyline than in the previous games.
The fact that you can add pokemons from your previous captures makes it even better. And the whole Wormhole Universe gives it a sci-fi touch that it’s incredibly attractive to any gamer these days.
We understand that some people may be fed up with the pokemon agenda, but if you are one of those you should totally give Pokemon Ultra Sun and Moon a chance.
The first hours you spend on the game may feel a little slow, like any other pokemon game. But once you go deeper into the story, you will be thrilled. It is not the 9th best-selling 3DS game of all time for nothing. Even Amazon commented that they were both their 7th most selling video game in 2017.
Keep in mind that they got those numbers even after the game files were leaked on the internet a week before it’s official release; if a video game that’s for free online can still make it to the top 10 of sales, that means you are facing some good action.
Many reviewers qualified them as a noticeable improvement of the original Sun and Moon, despite the similarities, they stand apart from the previous games and offer adventures and lovely memories.
So, trainer… are you taking a trip to the Sun or the Moon?