Pokémon Ultra Sun (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By Adam Riley 14.11.2017

Review for Pokémon Ultra Sun on Nintendo 3DS

Are you ready for the definitive adventure in Alola region? Pokémon Ultra Sun, and its companion, Pokémon Ultra Moon, bring back the much loved setting from Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, but packs in plenty of fresh content, new Pocket Monsters to discover, as well as exciting areas to explore. Familiar characters will return, but they will be seen from different angles, more than 400 weird and wonderful creatures are available to catch and battle with, and players can get involved with the additional 100 events not found in the previous escapade, travelling to various worlds via the mysterious Ultra Wormhole. Coming on 17th November, Cubed3 delivers the final verdict on this highly anticipated new release.

Pokémon has transformed graphically in recent years, dropping the basic top-down view of the past in favour of a full-on 3D roaming experience. Sadly, it does not come with a rotating camera viewpoint, meaning the third-person approach leads to some field of vision being reduced, but once grown accustomed to, the beautiful world can be appreciated more. That land is the Hawaii-based Alola region, one fans of Sun and Moon will be familiar with already. Dark clouds have descended, though, and there is now a strong focus on Legendary Pokémon. Even Ultra Beasts get a look-in thanks to the Ultra Wormhole travelling (there is also Mantine Surf for water-based island hopping, just for good measure). All the while, players will need to tackle the island challenge to become the best possible Pokémon trainer ever, and can even join the Alola Photo Club, taking snaps at key locations, choosing the best possible outfit, background, camera angle...and, of course, Pokémon, ideally in the cutest pose!

Core gameplay remains the same, with trainers choosing from a selection of three Pokémon to start with, and then slowly-but-surely building up a winning team of critters to take on challenges throughout the world, aiming to be the best, as well as thwart the dastardly plans of Team Rocket's successor, Team Rainbow Rocket - an amalgamation of some of the worst villains from previous adventures.

Screenshot for Pokémon Ultra Sun on Nintendo 3DS

Battles take place in the standard turn-based format, with Pokémon taking turns to attack, using various skills they currently have or have learned (either naturally or through forced learning via Technical Machines/TMs), restoring when necessary, switching in other Pokémon of varying type to best opponents, and eventually either just winning or throwing Pokéballs to capture opposing foes when their energy has been depleted sufficiently, thus bolstering the team. The basics remain the same as when Red and Blue launched in the mid-1990s on the Game Boy, and they work just as well as ever today.

It is all about building a solid and engaging world around this central point, though, and Pokémon Ultra Sun does this expertly, with luscious visuals, a gorgeous soundtrack, and plenty of intriguing characters to meet along the way, as well as all manner of fun tasks to undertake. The Battle Agency, for instance, is a great addition where Pokémon can be rented and you become an agent as you pit the new team against others in single battles, garnering special prizes on the road to becoming to best agent. Shiny tokens to collect are also of interest, as are Z-Moves where both trainer and monster combine to unleash extra powerful attacks, which can be accessed once per battle, or twice if the interactive Rotom Pokédex's Z-Rotom Power is activated (just one of the lottery of powers to gain at different times). This will come in very handy when facing off against the Ultra Recon Squad, a nefarious group that has travelled from a world beyond the Ultra Wormhole…

Screenshot for Pokémon Ultra Sun on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

With new buildings to visit, more Pokémon to discover, plenty of extra challenges and mini-games included, and even a new villain to tackle, Pokémon Ultra Sun (and its counterpart, Ultra Moon) is the ultimate version of the already impressive Sun and Moon. Ideal for newcomers and veterans alike, the Pokémon flame is burning stronger than ever with this 3DS release, and it seems that Game Freak is hitting its stride just in time to deliver its first home console adventure on Nintendo Switch next year.


Game Freak




Turn Based RPG



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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