Breaking Down the ‘Pokémon Sun and Moon’ Live E3 Gameplay Demonstration

Doug Trein

The latest entry in the Pokémon series, Pokémon Sun and Moon, received a live gameplay demonstration with commentary during today’s Nintendo Treehouse E3 Event. Sam and Terry from Nintendo were joined by Pokémon developers Mr. Ohmori and Mr. Masuda to demo some early stages of the new game. The developers shared some new details about the game and what improvements Pokémon fans can expect.

The demonstration opened with the player in their room. Like other Pokémon games, the main character is a newcomer who has recently moved into the Alola region and meets the island’s Pokémon Professor and master trainers. The player then visits the village next to their own, and takes part in a cultural festival that involves Pokémon battling. In the festival, they face off against their rival, Hau.

Pokemon Sun and Moon

Longtime fans of the series will be happy to see new improvements to the battle interface. In Pokémon Sun and Moon, players can now view graphs that represent Pokémon stat changes. Status effect moves like Sword Dance and Tail Whip can raise or lower stats, and players can now see graphs that represent those stat changes. The visual style in battles has also been improved, with trainers clearly seen behind their Pokémon. Enemy trainers have their own unique expressions and reactions to losing battles as well. The lighting within battles can also change depending on the time of day.

Players will receive the Rotom Pokédex in their adventures. A new white Pokéball icon is shown after players catch specific Pokémon, letting them know there are further evolutions to unlock, or if there’s a Pokémon that “fills a pair” with that Pokémon. During the live demo, we caught a glimpse of two new Pokémon, a normal type named Yungous and a flying type named Pikpek.

The demonstration closed with a new mode called Battle Royal, which puts four players into a free-for-all battle against each other.  Each trainer is limited to three total Pokémon in the battle, and once the fighting begins they can attack any trainer they choose. The winner is determined by how many enemy Pokémon they defeat, combined with how many remaining Pokémon they have in their arsenal when the fighting is finished.

Pokemon Sun and Moon

Pokemon Sun and Moon will be released on Nov. 18, 2016 for the Nintendo 3DS.

Doug Trein
Doug Trein is a staff contributor at Fandom and focuses primarily on video games and animated television shows. His game genre favorites include strategy and turn-based role-playing games, first-person shooters, 2D fighting games, and action/adventure titles.
Become a
If you're an aspiring pop-culture writer, we want to hear your voice! Write about the topics you love and have your work read by millions.