Pokémon Craze Revitalized

Alex Castillo, Copy Editor

Nintendo put new games on the shelves with the release of Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon on Nov. 18.  After a two year hiatus, Nintendo has released the new editions of the game through their child corporation known as The Pokémon Company. To freshen up the series, these games take place in a new region with new Pokémon to discover. A physical version of the Z-Ring, which allows a pokémon to use their Z-move, has also been released in many commercial retailers.

With the introduction of Z-moves, Pokémon can now activate stronger moves depending on their type. This has been implemented as an attempt to combat the sometimes unfair aspects of competitive online play, such as abuse of stat changing moves, game exploits in the training of competitive pokémon and using naturally overpowered pokémon in battle.

Daniel Castrellon, 12,  has not completely been able to determine the usefulness of Z-moves, but he already has plenty of experience with them.

“I battle with my friends a lot and I’m into the competitive scene,” Castrellon said. “They’re basically like juiced up moves for a certain type so I guess if you’re going for a one hit KO on an opponent’s pokémon, then it’s a good idea to use one. I can’t ever knock anything out with one though unless it’s super effective against the opponent, so I honestly barely use them.”

Despite the fact that Pokémon has been available to the public for 20 years, the game still manages to attract audiences of all ages. From younger generations barely being introduced to the game to young adults trying to get back into it, Pokémon appeals to all.

This is especially evident in Marcos Marquez, 10, who has been playing the games since he was a child.

“My first game was Emerald,” Marquez said. “I liked the cover because it had Rayquaza on it so it looked really cool. I was like four or five at the time and I had no idea what Pokémon really was. Little did I know that Rayquaza is actually one of the best pokémon throughout the entire series.”

One major criticism, however, is that now with seven generations of Pokémon games, there is a constant requirement for new and exciting content. Most often, this comes in the form of new pokémon. While some enjoy seeing what Nintendo can come up with every year for new designs, not all fans are totally on board with the way Nintendo is going.

Oscar Chavez, 11, thinks that Nintendo is actually getting lazier.

“Yeah, I mean I like some of the new pokémon and that they’re making new ones for us,” Chavez said. “If it wasn’t for that we wouldn’t have great pokémon like Garchomp or something. There’s a lot of bad designs too though. Like Trubbish is a literal green bag of garbage and Klefki is an actual ring of keys that Nintendo slapped eyes onto.”

The battles in the new generation have gotten much more difficult, but it has felt like a much needed change. Sun and Moon require more strategic team building in order to persevere in the new totem battles, where a pokémon can endlessly call for another pokémon to its side. Overall, Pokémon Sun and Moon have received fairly positive reviews. With the addition of Z-moves, PokéPelago, and a new breeding system, the opportunities available for players to have fun in the post-game are endless.