Though they've always enjoyed consistent popularity, Pokémon games are suddenly on everybody's mind after this summer's Pokémon GO craze. This fall, fans of the franchise will be able to return to their roots, as The Pokémon Company and Nintendo prepare to release Pokémon: Sun and Pokémon: Moon for Nintendo 3DS. Though the title has spawned a number of different kinds of media, its handheld video games are universally popular, with 2013's Pokémon X and Y games for 3DS selling nearly 15 million copies.
While we have been lucky enough to learn some information about Sun and Moon, there's still tons more to know, and The Pokémon Company was gracious enough to help fans out today by revealing some new gameplay features and four new Sun- or Moon-exclusive Pokémon in a video released via YouTube. The video shows the official pictures for these Pokémon, as well as how they look during gameplay battle, then reveals some cool features for fan favorites Pikachu and Eevee. Check it out, above.
While Passimian and Oranguru are two brand-new Pokémon exclusive to Sun and Moon (with Passimian only catchable in Sun and Oranguru only found in Moon), Lycanroc is the evolution of puppy Pokémon Rockruff, who comes in Midday and Midnight forms, according to the game in which he evolves.
The official descriptions for these new Pokémon, released in a statement by Nintendo and The Pokémon Company, are as follows:
The Teamwork Pokémon Passimian attack by throwing Berries at their foes. They tend to live in troops of 20–30 Passimian, who all follow one leader. These tribes work in teams to train and improve their skills. This Pokémon has the Ability Receiver, an Ability which no previous Pokémon has had. With the Receiver Ability, Passimian can inherit the Ability of an ally who faints in battle.
The Sage Pokémon Oranguru live in the solitary deeps of the Alolan forests and, in fact, were once known as ‘the people of the forests’. Oranguru hold a fan-like object made of leaves and are known to be kind to other Pokémon in the forest, often giving injured Pokémon medicine or hungry Pokémon food. This Pokémon can exclusively learn the new move Instruct, a move which can make the selected target use its most recent move again immediately.
Lycanroc (Midday Form)
In the world of Pokémon Sun, Rockruff is bathed in profuse amounts of solar energy, and Solgaleo’s influence causes this Pokémon to evolve into Lycanroc’s Midday Form. This form is known for speedy movement which can confound its opponents. A very loyal Pokémon, Lycanroc Midday Form dodges opponents’ strikes whilst attacking with the sharp rocks of its mane. Lycanroc Midday Form can learn Accelerock, a new move unique to the Pokémon, which is guaranteed to strike first, damaging opponents by slamming into them very quickly.
Lycanroc (Midnight Form)
In the world of Pokémon Moon, Rockruff is bathed in an abundance of lunar energy, and Lunala’s influence causes this Pokémon to evolve into Lycanroc’s Midnight Form. This Pokémon will sacrifice its own safety to strike down its foes. The stronger an opponent is, the more excited Lycanroc Midnight Form becomes, its eyes glowing with the thrill of battle. This Pokémon feels a deep trust towards a Trainer who can draw forth its true power.
The companies also announced that the game would bring back their popular character customization feature, as well as introduce the new Pokémon Refresh feature, an aspect of gameplay that allows trainers to spend one-on-one time grooming and feeding their Pokémon. This new aspect of Pokémon care promises to help players train Pokémon that are even more loyal and powerful in battle. This update also announced new Z-Moves for Eevee and Pikachu. Z-Moves, which will make their debut in the Sun and Moon games, are special kinds of super-attacks that trainers may have access to once per battle depending on the Pokémon type they plan to engage or even on the Pokémon itself. Some special Pokémon have exclusive Z-Moves -- in this case, Pikachu and Eevee, though the franchise released Z-Moves for Snorlax and Raichu earlier.
Fans have a multitude of reasons to be excited for this game. It introduces an entirely new -- and tropical -- region called Alola, which includes a number of awesome new Pokémon, including the above four. It's really cool to be learning new things about these games every day, and to get to know a little bit more about how the Sun world differs from that of Moon. Even if you're not excited about these Pokémon in particular (and even if you're confused by Lycanroc Midnight, who kind of looks like Shadow from Sonic's weird cousin), there's undoubtedly lots to look forward to from these games as we await their November release.
Pokémon: Sun and Pokémon: Moon hit shelves November 18th, 2016.
Source: The Pokémon Company