5 reasons why we're excited by Pokemon Sun and Moon on Nintendo Switch

Catching the big one

5 reasons why we're excited by Pokemon Sun and Moon on Nintendo Switch

We're looking forward to hearing some solid details about the Nintendo Switch this coming Friday. One of our early - admittedly minor - worries is that the console will possibly play host to a few too many 'enhanced' ports and not enough true originals.

Despite that fact, we're really quite enthused by the news that Pokemon Sun and Moon will be coming to Nintendo's new console, possibly under the name Pokemon Stars.

What gives? Allow us to explain, in a handy point by point format, why we're so tickled by the prospect.

It's Pokemon - on a console

We're going to get to play Pokemon on our telly. That might sound like a minor detail, but it's actually pretty huge.

You see, there's never been a home console Pokemon game before. Oh, sure, there have been console offshoots like Pokemon Stadium and Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness. But the mainline Pokemon games that made the franchise's name have always been handheld-only affairs.

Yes, we know that the Switch is a handheld too. But this is undeniably a successor to the Wii U, not the Nintendo 3DS.

Despite being handheld-tied for the past 20 years, Pokemon games have always been vast, expansive games that suck up tens if not hundreds of hours. The latest game is even more worthy of the big screen treatment, with a stronger emphasis on narrative than before.

Being able to blow that experience up to 42-inches (or however big your TV is) with a comfortable controller just makes sense.

Much better graphics

Besides outputting to a bigger display and providing a more comfortable experience, Pokemon Sun and Moon on the Switch will simply look way better.

You've probably read pieces pointing out that the Nintendo Switch won't be all that powerful - but those pieces are talking of the device in home console terms. It may be way less capable than a PS4, but its way WAY more capable than a Nintendo 3DS.

A massive bump up in resolution is nailed on. The 3DS display after all, is just 800 × 240, while the Switch display is expected to be 1280 × 720 (aka 720p). When beamed up to your TV, we'd expect that resolution to rise to 1280 x 1080 (1080p).

Beyond that, we would be surprised if Nintendo didn't massively boost the shading and lighting effects to suit the game's new surroundings. After all, the Nvidia Tegra X1 chip that will power the Switch is capable of pushing console-standard graphics.

The ultimate version

There's a long history of Nintendo and Game Freak releasing third versions of Pokemon games some time after the original duo - and of those final iterations being the ultimate iterations.

Think Pokemon Platinum to Diamond and Pearl, or Pokemon Yellow to Red and Blue.

Note that those were versions of the originals released on the same platform, yet they still contained extra elements that made them superior. How much more new content, then, will we get in the Switch enhancement of Pokemon Sun and Moon with its massively expanded potential?

Quite a lot, we suspect.

Catch 'em all - for real

From the very beginning, Pokemon games have been split between two versions, with the key difference being a selection of collectable critters unique to each iteration.

We would hope that the Switch version would be the ultimate version, offering all of the Pokemon to you from the off. Maybe even a few extra.

This isn't nailed on by any means, of course, and Nintendo might continue to double up with two Switch versions. But recent internet reports seem to suggest that there'll be a single version called Pokemon Stars.

It would make a lot of sense to play it this way, arriving late with a console-quality Pokemon Sun and Moon greatest hits.

Toughening up in the gym

Our biggest issue with Pokemon Sun and Moon is that Game Freak has made it way too easy. If you want to get any sense of challenge from the game, you almost have to set your own limitations and rules of engagement.

The Switch version of the game is a chance to rectify that issue. It needn't be game-breaking either - just reshuffling rival starter Pokemon to be less accommodating, deactivating the fight warning indicator (or at least providing a toggle), and reducing free healing opportunities would spice things up nicely.

Whatever approach Game Freak takes, it would make a lot of sense to toughen Pokemon up given the more mature audience Nintendo seems to be courting with the early Switch promotional material.

What are you hoping to see from Pokemon Sun and Moon on the Nintendo Switch? Let us know in the comments.
Jon Mundy
Jon Mundy
Jon is a consummate expert in adventure, action, and sports games. Which is just as well, as in real life he's timid, lazy, and unfit. It's amazing how these things even themselves out.