2016 was a big year for Pokémon. The franchise saw a huge surge in popularity with the launch of Pokémon GO and subsequent mass hysteria.
All that love for pocket monsters led to a surge in sales for Nintendo 3DS hardware and pre-orders for Pokémon Sun and Moon. In fact, Sun and Moon would go on to become the highest pre-ordered game in Nintendo history.
The good news? It wound up being a fun adventure, too.
Pokémon Sun and Moon represents the biggest changes we’ve seen for the series in a long, long time. The game changed settings, added a new generation of Pokémon, added new takes on old Pokémon, ditched gyms, ditched gym leaders and added minor things like quest waypoints. Sun and Moon shook the formula up in a massive way.
The franchise needed it, too. I play every main Pokémon entry. I probably always will. Growing up with the franchise has cemented it in my personal gaming history alongside the likes of The Legend of Zelda. When a new game drops, I’ll be on it. I’ll be the first to admit that things had started getting a touch stale.
To me, Sun and Moon managed to tweak the formula enough to make things fresh while still offering an adventure that felt like Pokémon. That’s exactly what I wanted from this game, and it’s easily one of my favorites of the year. I’ll be playing it well into 2017, especially when my old buddies get it for Christmas and initiate some trades.