With the hype train going full throttle due to all the trailers and announcements throughout the year, I was extremely excited to pick up the last 3ds pokemon game to be released before the series moves to the Switch. We haven’t seen an Enhanced “Yellow” version of a game since Pokemon Platinum in the ds era (Black 2 and White 2 were sequels while X and Y didn’t have one) and after playing through it all still filled with excitement I was starting to see why.
True to tradition, the main story is slightly modified with focus now on helping the Ultra Recon Squad deal with Necrozma instead of with Ultra Beasts in general. There was also some new side quests and dialogues of older characters that added some character development in some unusual ways. In particular Hau and Lillie got a bit more fleshed out while Lusamine’s motives for doing what she does makes her seem less effective as an antagonist.
A main gripe I had was that most of the more interesting newer story content was only accessible late and post game, yet it felt very worth it when I got to it.
While battling stays the same there is a ton of other things that keep things fresh and fun: Access to a larger portion of pokemon from older games to team build with, certain trials (Mallow’s and Sophocles’ in particular) having faster and more interesting puzzles, and Totem Stickers as the new collectibles that you can get at anytime in game.
Surprisingly while minigames have been lackluster excuses to get extra items in the older games, the ones they added in here , Mantine Surf and Ultra Warp Ride were pretty fun and useful to play, I think I spent a good couple of hours playing them for fun as well as for rewards.
Only real new feature I was annoyed with was Rotom. While his new abilities helped from time to time, most of it is spent hearing him constantly speak advice when you are trying to look at things on the map. It would have been nice if there was a way to speed through it or cancel it altogether.
Graphics and Quality
As expected nothing really changed from the original versions other than some minor user interface design and placement during battles and in the main menu , one change in particular that was helpful was having the save button accessible at all times on the main menu making space for more buttons to be shown.
There is still some noticeable lag during double battles and z-move animations sadly.
Music and Sound
The new songs were amazing, one that particularly stood out to me was a boss battle theme that combined with the scenery gave a feeling of a classic snes jrpg battle. Unfortunately like with most of the new content you won’t get a chance to hear any of these until late game.
Conclusion: It was fun but I was expecting a lot more. The new changes sprinkled throughout make the game feel like less of a slog, the similar journey to get to the new story content as well as certain annoyances throughout left me a bit disappointed. If you are new to the series or have good patience then you should give it a chance.
By Glenn Brooks, the JRPG Guru