Thoughts on the Pokemon, the game design, characters, story
The designs were fairly okay. Other than a few, like some of the Ultra Beasts, it didn't really feel that... non-Pokemon-ish. On the other hand, I felt that the stats of a lot of the new Pokemon were hard to use. A lot of them felt bulky, with average or worse speed. Which is difficult to utilize, since their stats can feel half-hearted at times. At the least, I had a hard time finding a Pokemon I really wanted to train, that I felt could have some use.
Though as far as I go, I try to breed and raise at least one of EVERY Pokemon, in some way that only THAT Pokemon can do something. (Yes, even Pokemon like Beautifly) So I'll get to that in due time. In the meantime, I am using the Legendaries/Ultra Beasts, because always having 3 31IVs and no need for Egg Moves mean they are ready-to-go when you catch them.
I do like that they tried something new, but the trials were generally not very exciting. When doing Gym Battles, you go in, thinking "Okay, time to fight and earn a badge!" Kind of like a tournament or match or race.
But these Trials? Okay, fight one fish three times. Done. Okay, answer a few questions. Done. There is no excitement, it just... occurs. The Electric Trial's quiz thing is a completely downgraded version of Blaine's gym.
Of course, not all of the Trials were bad. The Fire Trial was actually clever, for instance.
Also, the whole first Champion thing and fighting the Professor and defending your throne is pretty cool.
(And I'm using the Japanese names, since I don't really remember their localized names)
As far as Hau and Lillie goes, I think the story did very well drawing their growth (well, it did devote that much time to them). As far as Lusamine goes, she was totally predictably evil from the PVs, so it wasn't a surprise. Though I thought she would be a calmer character, instead of going crazy at every little instance.
As for the rest of the characters, it felt the usual Pokemon. Didn't really stand out like Hau or Lillie, but it was fine enough.
However, I did have a few problems with it.
- At one point (the part with the Ghost Trial girl?), there is this house you enter and Lillie stays in. This house is CLEARLY NAMED AETHER, yet she seems to have no sense of danger in being there. Which... doesn't make sense. And yeah, she gets captured. Yeah...
- You never get to fight Lillie. In fact, Lillie doesn't really even do anything, except becoming able to do something in the end. But you don't get to see that, as she decides to go away forever, unavailable in the postgame world
- Lusamine fuses with a Pokemon?! ...Which is fine itself, but you don't get to capture her and she doesn't attack you directly, instead opting to send out Pokemon. You are like this creepy octopus/jellyfish thing and look like you could probably do more than throw out a few Pokeballs. And no, I don't care that they are glowing.
- The Protagonist's god-damn emotionless face honestly ruins some scenes. No matter what happens, it doesn't change. The other characters (especially Lillie) show plenty of emotions through their face in the story and the protagonist is... frozen solid. And no, the fact there are all kinds of avatars out there is not an excuse to not change the expressions of the protagonist.
- Anabel. Seriously? If you are going to technically kill off someone by giving them amnesia and thus making them a new character, you might as well make a new character. There is no reason they had to use her. Any character could have been made to go through the Ultra Hole and get covered in Ultra Beast-attracting pheromone. Heck, the new Anabel doesn't even use "Boku" like her original version. There seriously is no reason to kill Anabel. In the first place, I don't even think that many people remember her. ...Which is probably one reason they felt it was okay to do so.
I wanted to make my story team purely out of new Pokemon. And as I made it and balanced out the Types, this is what it turned out to be. Oh the urge of wanting to use Pokemon like Magnezone, which would be far stronger and easier to use...