Ahola Alola! (Pokémon Sun and Moon)!

What a year it’s been for the Pokémon franchise this year. As the 20th Anniversary celebrations draw to a close, one thing is certain… we’re not about to see our favourite monsters disappear in their poke-balls anytime soon. First the initial games, Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow, were re-released as downloads for the 3ds, then of course came the phenomenon that was Pokémon Go, and now, the long awaited official games have been launched, ladies and gents, the official 20th Anniversary games; Pokémon Sun and Moon.

From the very outset the game is a breath of fresh air. From the character select screen, (now including, Black, Asian and other options) to your introduction to Proffesor Kukui,it’s like a parallel universe to what fans will be used to and I think it’s long overdue. The game is rich in detail and everything’s been rejigged, even the pokedex has a couple of cool new features making it so much more than an encyclopaedia. The game play is slick and responsive and the music is crisp and clear. There are a few tedious cut-scenes to navigate through before the game really let’s you take over but they are so impressive that it’s forgivable – more on that in a moment.

The story starts with you, the young protagonist, leaving your hectic city life in Kanto behind and heading for the tropical islands of Alola. This distant region is filled with beautiful mountain ranges, dark caves, open meadows and sandy beaches. The locals are a laid back friendly bunch and I should probably mention the pokémon… lots of pokémon. Alola depends on and respects their poké-friends in the ultimate partnership, which is echoed through the game. The critters here have also evolved in a way unique to Alola, so prepare to meet some familiar faces who might not seem so familiar at first. After your initial introduction, a cut-scene is shown. The animation is superb for the little handheld console but the actual scene itself is even more impressive and immersive and immediately opens the floodgates of questions and speculation, which of course you will only uncover by playing the game.

The core of the story is still the same of course (why mess with a winning formula?) Travel the region battling and training your increasing army of critters. Instead of the Pokémon League however, there is a different competition called the Island Challenge and according to the official Pokémon website is described as follows:

‘Young trial-goers must overcome the trials in store on each of the four islands. These trials are not limited to battling with Pokémon. They take a variety of forms, such as finding items or completing tests of knowledge. You will not be able to accomplish them with ordinary methods! The final trial on each island is called the Grand Trial. It is a Pokémon battle against the Kahuna who leads that island. If a trial-goer succeeds in clearing this grand trial, he or she will be publicly recognized as having cleared all of the island’s trials and can move on to the next island.’

There are of course more obstacles than just battling along the way. The nefarious, yet comical villains known as Team Skull are out to make life as difficult as possible for all pokémon trainers and will show up at various intervals in the same way team rocket and their successors did in Kanto and Johto.

In the short space of time I’ve had playing this game, I’m very impressed and hooked, wanting to know more. It’s an old favourite with a brand new face and is already receiving rave reviews…. and I’m more than happy to add to that list.

Go buy it – you won’t regret it!

MIDNIGHT LAUNCHES FOR POKEMON SUN & MOON TAKING PLACE AT GAME STORES ACROSS THE UK

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Haven’t got your hands on Pokemon Sun & Moon yet? Fear not fellow trainers, as several GAME stores across the UK will be hosting midnight launch events.

Starting at 11:30pm on the 22nd until 1:00am on the 23rd, this is your chance to buy the games and begin your journey across the Alola region.

Click here to check out the list of GAME stores that are hosting a midnight launch event.

NSG – WE ARE HOSTING A POKEMON GO! EVENT ON THE 6TH AUGUST

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For those of you that have Pokémon GO! or is still eagerly waiting for its release, we are hosting our biggest event yet on the 6th August – The Pokémon GO! Walk

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Join us and many more Pokemon GOers as we walk through central London, taking a route and reaching stop points for people to have a breather.
We will be splitting up attendees into 5 teams (these are NOT in-game teams):

  • Blue team
  • Red team
  • Green team
  • Black team
  • White team

Here is the map for the route:

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Though we are setting a cap of 80 people for each team, we will be extending them if we get more and more attendees before the event.
To avoid getting lost from your teams or if you’re running late, please download the app Life360 Family locator. Add your team leaders and you’ll be able to track them down via GPS. It is a free app available for Android & iOS.

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For more information about this event, check our event page via categories.

CLICK HERE to view our Facebook event and choose which team you’d like to be on!

Pokemon GO! – Review

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Don’t get me wrong. Seeing young people running around with their face buried in a phone or tablet these days is pretty much run of the mill. However this summer might see this a becoming more common sight… almost like an obsession – and you’d be right. Pokemon GO has struck and a new type of Pokemania begins again.

In the good old days (around mid 1990’s to early 2000’s) kids –myself included- would huddle away in some quiet corner and spend hours at a time wondering the world of Kanto, Johto and beyond collecting little critters to fight our way to the pokemon league championship and become ‘ the very best- like no one ever was.’ It was a simple time where your only worry was if you had a spare set of double aa batteries knocking around close by should you see the red light of doom appear on your handheld. This meant, come rain or shine, Pokemon hunting  and battling was a safe, fun, harmless sport…

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but that was then – this is now.

With rising levels of childhood obesity spiralling out of control in places like America and the UK, Nintendo have decided to make a game that makes you move and no not in a wii fit way, move as in LEAVE your house and go for a WALK… LONG walks!

How? Why? Now pay attention.

Everyone has a mobile phone or tablet. Chances are that at least half of you are reading this on one right now! We also like to keep our phones close by, whether it’s to check on facebook, read e-mails and sometimes even make an actual phone call! Now most up to date phones have extremely good cameras that are fast overtaking normal cameras and recorders in day to day life, and it’s the camera that is crucial to making pokemon go work. So you begin your game, design your avatar that will represent you as a trainer. Your GPS will then locate you and using a scaled down google maps, tell you where you are in your neighbourhood. So you start walking around, app running and phone in hand. Your’re feeling good, then your phone buzzes in warning and your rush to grab it because it means that somewhere nearby a pokemon is waiting to jump out. You check your phone for it’s location. Ah it’s in the next road. So you quicken your pace and as you turn a corner you are confronted with… a normal road. It’s no different from any other day but your phone tells you different. A Squirtle  is there waiting for you and so (and this is the clever bit) you click on it, look through your camera and there on the ground in front of you is Squirtle!

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You take a virtual pokeball and taking careful aim to keep your critter on the screen, you throw it. The Squirtle or whatever monster you’ve targeted disappears in a blaze of light and congratulations- You caught a pokemon! Of course they trick is to collect other pokemon the more you travel. As you level up, the pokemon you encounter become stronger building up into a formidable team. It’s very difficult not to get carried away when a cgi Rattata or Eevee appears in your path way and you come to a sudden halt in your travels.

 

Land marks like pubs or plazas will become ‘Pokestops’ where you can pick up supplies as you pass them… (but please don’t go inside and ask a policeman for six pokeballs).  To begin with, these supplies are mainly limited to pokeballs, but as you once you reach level five, you’ll receive potions, revives and maybe even an egg to put in an incubator and hatch your very own little fluffy fighter.

Reaching level five as a trainer, will mean you can also join gyms. These will pop up on your map and are pretty hard to miss. They’re often a landmark or place of significance in a town, such as a town hall or church so it’s quite easy to find more than one. Once you find a gym choose your team that you’ll represent: Team Instinct – Yellow –Team Mystic – Blue or Team Valor – Red.

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Once you decide a team you can face off against gym leaders and trainers to beef your team up and maybe become a pokemon master. You can also become a ‘Defender’ by leaving pokemon at the gym as fighters. They will protect your honour and fellow team mates unless the gym is overthrown by a rival gang. If this happens your pokemon will return to you but will need reviving as it will have fainted. The conflict is not the conventional turn based gameplay that players of the original series will be used to. You will have to be quick on your feet to attack enemies and dodge their special attacks while building up your own.

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In short I’m finding this game rather enjoyable. In face it’s one BIG drawback is it does drain your battery and is quite a demanding programme so make sure your device can handle it. Sure it has a couple of glitches like most new programmes and has been known to crash or lose servers simply because the popularity of this game was something even Nintendo couldn’t predict. What does the future hold? Is this a craze that will die out as quick as it appeared or is this merely the evolution of games on phones and tablets that will eventually wipe out consoles?

I don’t reckon so but only time will tell… now if you’ll excuse me there’s a Charizard outside my window… and there’s a sentence I never thought I’d say.

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POKEMON GO! LAUNCHES ON MOBILE DEVICES FOR THE END OF JULY

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The free-to-play app Pokemon GO! Will be coming to Android and iOS mobile devices at the end of July!
Despite they have not yet announced a specific date, we’re close to getting a taste of how it’s like to catch Pokemon in the real world.

The device Pokemon GO! Plus, which can connect to your mobile device using a bluetooth connection, will also be available at the end of July however it will cost $34.99 for North America.

It has also been mentioned that the app will be compatible with other Pokemon games in the future.

Are you excited for the release of this app? Let us know in the comments.

POKEMON SUN & MOON: NEW POKEMON REVEALED

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During Nintendo Treehouse Live earlier, we got to witness 15 minutes worth of gameplay for the anticipating Pokemon Sun & Moon.

While watching, we also get a glimpse of a few new Pokemon such as Yungoos and Pikipek.
Another Pokemon, which was not seen in the conference was also announced call Grubbin. You can view the information about them below.

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It also seems like we got confirmation on Magearna’s typing and ability!

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So what do you think of the new Pokemon so far? Let us know in the comments!

 

COROCORO MAGAZINE REVEALS TWO NEW POKEMON FOR POKEMON SUN & MOON

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CoroCoro has revealed two new Pokemon for the anticipating Pokemon Sun & Moon.

According to Serebii, they’re call Nekkoala and Iwanko
Nekkoala is a normal type Pokemon, who uses the ability Definite Sleep, which prevents it from being inflicted with other status conditions other than sleep.

Iwanko is a rock type Pokemon, with abilities such as Keen Eye or Vital Spirit. It is the Puppy Pokemon.

What do you think about these Pokemon? Let us know in the comments!