Pokemon Moon: Add it to the DONE Pile!

This has been a real killer week – I’ve wrapped up two of the three long-ass games I had promised myself I would finish. I knew I was right near the end with Xenoblade Chronicles, but honestly, finishing Pokemon Moon happened way sooner than anticipated.


It turns out, when I got a little burnt out from it and took a break a few months ago, I was only about 4 hours away from the end of the game.

Then, it happened. A thing that happened in a different game, very recently…

I got destroyed at the Elite Four. I was left wondering if I was leveled enough to finish the game. Certainly I won’t be eternally damned yet again to spend another week grinding to finish another game, right??

Luckily, it turned out not to be the case. Well, there was some work that had to be done. My team needed a little bit of tweaking, at least. And I needed to remember a couple of type match-ups that somehow always evade me. In other news, what the hell beats Flying?

Earlier on this year, I started and finished a playthrough of Pokemon Yellow, and had just the most epic ending, barely scraping by, 3hp on my last Pokemon. It was truly incredible and got my heart racing for like a half hour. This was another one of those scenarios. Really, anything would have been better than when I played Pokemon X last year and steamrolled right through the Elite Four without so much as a single death… err, “faint.”

I have to give credit where credit is due, and GameFreak really buffed the end-game this time around. Granted my ‘mon might have been slightly under-leveled, as I did disable EXP Share for about half the play time to avoid a Pokemon X situation where I was leveled almost to the 70s by the end. But these guys were tough and my whole team was practically one-shot by the second Elite.

Here was my final team:

  • Level 53 Decidueye (Rowlet starter) “Lasagna
  • Level 55 Alolan Sandslash “Sniffles
  • Level 59 Lunala “Rocko
  • Level 53 Poliwrath “Meatball
  • Level 55 Salandit “Salandit” (woops)
  • Level 57 Alolan Muk “Mushy

While Lunala and Sandslash definitely carried the team, the others had their moments. Ah, except for Saladit, of course. Perhaps he just wasn’t a good option in here, but to be honest I wasn’t keen on any of the fire ‘mon. As you can see, this is a pretty diverse team that covers most of the bases, so it really just comes down to playing the right card and having some decent luck with crits from time to time.

I thoroughly loved Pokemon Moon and it was just packed with some very welcome changes to the Pokemon franchise. In particular, one thing that stood out was how friendly everyone in the game is. GameFreak evidently took notice that their antagonists “Team Whatever” always became the laughing-stock – right from the start in Sun and Moon, they were laughably ridiculous and over the top. And at the end of the game, all was right with the world again. Even your rival wasn’t a bad guy, he was simply an enthusiastic kid who loved Pokemon and wanted to become the very best, as it were. But it was never nefarious, it was all in good fun! This of course works together beautifully with the Hawaiian theme and vibe that the game was designed around. You don’t meet too many evil Hawaiians.

Probably the biggest fundamental difference about Sun and Moon was the removal of Pokemon Gyms. Without the gyms, you really have no sense of how far along you are in the game. This definitely made the adventure seem way less linear, when in actuality it was arguably the most linear main-series Pokemon game yet, in the sense that entire areas were very clearly blockaded off until you could proceed. Perhaps I was spending too much time enjoying the awesome island environments and catching everything I could shove into a metal ball to care about this linearity, but I see how some might mind it.

I purchased the steelbook dual-pack of Pokemon Sun/Moon, so I still have a sealed copy of Sun sitting on my shelf. A blogger that I follow has written a lot about Pokemon solo runs, where you play the entire game with a single Pokemon, and I’m intrigued to try this, although I first require a break from the franchise. Pokemon games are fun, but let’s face it – hundreds of battles can get quite tiresome after a while! I desperately need to break the monotony.

So well done GameFreak, yet again! Looking forward to hearing some news about Pokemon on the Nintendo Switch… any day now…

How did you feel about Pokemon’s latest installment into the series? Let me know in the comments.Thanks for reading!


  1. “Which starter would you recommend”: In Sun and Moon, I would definitely recommend tackling a solo run with one of the non-starter Alolan Mons, such as Rockruff or Oricorio. As you know, I cleared solo runs with Litten and Rowlet and it was a bit of a hassle, mostly because starters level up quite slowly. But if you want to go with a starter, Litten is certainly a better choice than Rowlet.

    In Pokemon games in general, my best starter run ever was my Piplup solo run of Diamond, with my Oshawott solo run of White coming close second. Overall, I just LOVE Water starters.


  2. Congratulations! ^___^ How long was your playthrough?

    So far, I’ve poured roughly 90 hours into both games over the course of four solo runs. And I’m far from being done with the pair, oh yes indeed.

    I’m surprised by the high levels of your team, especially Rowlet; my own Rowlet was a paltry Lv. 63 when I reach the Elite Four, and that was while running solo. Did you level-grind at some point or just use the Exp. Share?

    Thanks a lot for the shout-out, I appreciate it! ^___^ And of course, I wholeheartedly encourage you to try a Pokemon solo run as soon as possible. It’s an exhilarating experience that will give you a totally new and fresh outlook on Pokemon games.


    • Thanks Isleif! Playthrough time was just over 35 hours. 90 hours is a more than reasonable amount of time considering it was 4 runs! It’s great the replayability of Pokemon games and I’m definitely going to play it again on my copy of Sun.

      Total playtime was just over 35 hours – I did have the Exp Share on for probably 50% of the game, and I’m not a big level grinder, but even that overleveled me a little bit. The Elite Four was still tough though – Pokemon X was far too easy (I think I was like level 75 after leaving Exp Share the whole time).

      Very excited to try a solo run! I love the concept and think it’ll be a great time. Of the solo runs that you’ve done, which starter would you recommend, out of curiosity?


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