As we approach a new generation, we have now had a first look at the seventh generation of Pokémon games, Pokémon Sun & Pokémon Moon. These games are the second generation of Pokémon games on the Nintendo 3DS, so while things may look the same on the surface there are some interesting changes that have come. While we provided a bit of an analysis in video beforehand, we're taking a look at some of the new features that appear to be in place. While we don't know much about the games yet, these changes do appear to exist - they may change or turn out to be different at launch, but we can certainly make some educated analysis on new ideas that Game Freak may be implementing.
One of the most obvious changes here exists in the battle system, in that the trainer actually appears behind the Pokémon. This is something that hasn't happened since Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: Gales of Darkness and will give the games a more joined feel between the overworld and the battle system, especially as the graphics in the overworld have taken a shift to utilise the same models as the battle system. In addition to this, the backgrounds appear to be more dynamic than in Pokémon X & Y.
Another potential feature could be the inclusion of the mysterious Synchro Evolution mechanic, which is currently being gradually teased in the anime with Ash and his Greninja, and its special evolution into Ash-Greninja where the trainer and Pokémon's bond causes them to become fully in sync with each other. Could this be the cool new mechanic in Sun and Moon? The anime is certainly hyping the entire concept up so it could definitely be something that we could see here.
In these games, according to an image that came from the Japanese variety show, Pokénchi, there appears to be other characters in the background in some matches, so it's not just all about the Pokémon. Interestingly, the circle that surrounds the Pokémon in battle in Generation VI games appears to no longer be there, giving a more natural feel to the battles. Hopefully we will get to see many varied environments in these games based on each area and building, rather than have it be a bit disjointed.
In the overworld, graphics have been improved somewhat. Removing the chibi-look of the previous games, Sun and Moon appear to use more proportioned models, akin to those from battle. It's also worth noting that these games appears to be less focused on the grid system that predecessors have been running from the get-go. While in X & Y and Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire you can use the Circle Pad to get away from the locked 8 directional movement, the games were still designed around that limited approach, which meant the geography - especially in Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire - was very angular with right angles everywhere. Pokémon Sun & Moon seem to blow that away with more curved paths and various elevations on cliffsides, all at various angles giving the games a much more fluid and realistic look. This brings the games much more in line with how people have pictured 3D Pokémon games for a while. That said, it does appear that some elements of the grid system are still around, so it could just be an overhaul of the general look. Whether or not this is just confined to this one area of the Alola Region, it is not clear, but it is definitely a good sign.
Finally, there's a look in the trailers at vehicles in the city. In previous games you only saw vehicles in cutscenes, going under the bridges you traversed, and in X & Y as taxis to take you to other parts of the city. In Sun and Moon, however, they seem to have more of a presence. Whether this is cosmetic or not, we don't currently know.
There's a lot more that we are bound to find out over the coming months as we approach the November launch of these games. We'll explore every new thing we see whenever something new comes.