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SPOILERS: What do you like about USUM?

Apricorn Collector
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Guzma is in this game, so it's an automatic 10/10.
And Guzma even helps you, and he has more screen time.
Like, what the hell, there isn't even enough ratings to accurately rate this game.

Joking aside, my actual opinion:
I F-ING LOVE THIS GAME!
 
Monkey see, Grookey do
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A minor thing, but appreciated. In the original games, during Hau's Multi Battle with you, against Faba, his Primarina would use Sparkling Aria and hit your Pokemon as well. In these games, his Primarina now knows Water Pulse, which lets her use her STAB on a single target. It's nice Game Freak caught that from before.
 
Prince of the Sea
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Hau getting more acknowledgement is a definite plus. They basically flat-out acknowledge that you and him are basically the two strongest Trainers in Alola.
 
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♪ Salamence was meant to Fly! ♫
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A little list, but I'll probably post others when I remember:

Gold Bottle Caps can be fished up! Wooo!
They can also be found in the "Interesting Item Hunting" in PokePelago! Yay!! (At least I think they couldn't be found in that "path" in SM, only in the Rare Treasures one...) Same goes for the other version's fossils! A nice touch.
I really ♥ the Alola Photo Club. Almost 200 photos... I just love documenting the journey! I did use 20 different Pokemon. They each got photos when they did anything significant, lol.
Colress' involvement was great.
I actually found Lillie a great ally in that one battle. Maybe only because I beat all of the random employee's Pokemon first, so Bruxish wasn't around until the end to ruin Lillie's Clefairy's walls. I just... enjoyed that battle.
I loved the Ultra Recon Squad's 'encounter' theme.
Guzma holding those two grunts' faces.
Wicke and her always giving out Big Malasadas.... so amusing.
Ilima's character in general is amusing as ever.
And my top place-getter:
EGGS CAN BE SENT DIRECTLY TO THE PC!!
 
Outlaws for Life
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  1. Mantine Surf. It's so much more fun than the Battle Tree/Company imo, and you can easily grind up BP just by practicing tricks. It also acknowledges Johto's existence, which I feel
  2. Ultra Wormholes. I mentioned this in the travelogue thread, but my favourite worlds are Buzzwole's and Guzzlord's because of the music and aesthetics.
  3. Ultra Necrozma's battle theme. Definitely one of my favourite battle themes in any game, I especially like the piano at the beginning. Wouldn't sound out of place in another jrpg imo.
  4. Less focus on Lillie. SM was exhausting in how most of the plot was centered around Lillie as opposed to the player. USUM improved in that department imo, like cutting her from Exeggutor Island for example.
  5. Blush Mountain. Charjabug, Magneton, Nosepass, etc can now evolve before endgame. Especially Charjabug, meaning it no longer has to be dead weight during the climax. Plus it makes more sense for the magnetic field to be near the Electric trial imo.
 
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PinkIceTales!
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Mantine surf is really cute and fun! I can finally get BP myself!

I LOVE the Alola Photo Club. I bet five bucks this will never return in any shape and form. Everything I love dies in the game it is introduced to.

Blush mountain makes so much more sense as the place for electric related stuff to evolve at.

The pokemon you see on the world map in the background and stuff. It makes the world seem more lively! In the same vein I like how you can hear pokemon cries on routes and in towns. I don't remember that being in Sun and Moon but I remember hearing it in earlier games once or twice. I like it.

I wish it actually did something, but I love the pokemon I can play with on the over world. It's so cute!
 
Monkey see, Grookey do
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I really, really loved the bit when your starter emerges from their Poke Ball to have a heart-to-heart before entering the Pokemon League for the first time. A wonderful example of world building and it made me feel like the characters in the anime.

I took several pictures during the interaction since Rotom, interestingly, didn't offer.
 
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Starter emerging to have a heart to hear before challenging the E4 is a great touch.

Call it pandering if you want, but as someone who's been playing these games since Red version? Seeing "Team Rainbow Rocket" as essentially Giovanni's Pokemon Legion of Doom was awesome. It was amazing to play through, and hit all the right "nostalgia" notes for me.
I was also excited to see Giovanni get away at the end. Like awesome. I can't wait to fight him again :D

Guzma was a great character overall.

Everything involving Ultra Space and the Ultra Beasts.

The general region of Alola. As a Canadian living in America? And someone who has a deep interest in European history? I didn't think anything could top how much I enjoyed Unova and Kalos as call-outs to places I recognize. I admit the possibility of a region based off of Hawaii had be going "I'm not too sure" after Unova and Kalos, but in the end? I loved it. They did a great job crafting a unique and amazing feel for the region.

Lillie was fun to watch, from a character development standpoint.

The story in general. I liked a lot about X/Y, but the story was weak (which was made worse by how much potential was there). US/UM really delivers. I never got around to playing S/M, so I'm not sure how US/UM stacks up as a narrative, but on its own? US/UM more than delivers from an RPG storytelling perspetive.
 
Prince of the Sea
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While I don't plan to use a Crabrawler myself, I'll just point out that another improvement similar to the Blush Mountain now being an evolutionary location, the foot of Mt. Lanakila can now be accessed far earlier than before, allowing Crabominable to be obtained before the endgame.
 
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Cute bunny baby
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I liked that it was more challenging than the already challenging Sun and Moon.
New Trials and Totem Pokemon were a pleasant surprise and welcome addition. I also liked how the Poni Trials were done before Hapu here, as opposed to you battling her and completing the Grand Trial before the last one in Sun and Moon. That always felt odd to me.
Giving Necrozma the focus it deserved was much needed.
The Team Rainbow Rocket plot was amazing. Probably the best post game we've had in years. Additionally, I liked how Lillie had a role in this since her role in the main story was reduced slightly.
I loved that Mt. Lanakila actually had trainers to battle.
Hau having his starter out of its PokeBall a lot of the time was a nice addition even if it was minor.
I liked how when the trainer does the "thinking" pose in battle, their expression is more serious as opposed to the generic smile. (I think this is a change at least. I surely don't remember it being like that in the originals, but I'm too lazy to check right now :p)
I liked that Molayne shows you the pose for Corkscrew Crash.
Alola Photo Club is really fun and addicting :D
Rotom being a pal :X3: Seriously, I just loved talking to him, and I love how he became more and more friendly and vocal as the game went on, even admitting that he was giving me advice I never asked for :ROFLMAO:. Plus the Roto-boosts he gave me were quite helpful along the way.
 
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Prince of the Sea
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I also liked how the Poni Trials were done before Hapu here, as opposed to you battling her and completing the Grand Trial before the last one in Sun and Moon. That always felt odd to me.
My guess is that they did that so you could move on to the Pokémon League right after beating Lusamine. However, I do agree that this new order of events is better.
 
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  • The sidequests and being able to play with pokemon in the overworld is super cute! My favorite was the one with Vulpix
  • Hau got more character development this time
  • Ultra Megalopolis looks cool and the Ultra Necrozma fight was cool too
  • Some good new music tracks like the Necrozma battles and the final battle with Hau
  • More challenging than Sun and Moon
  • You can get the Z-crystals for every type before the elite 4
  • Pokemon like Charjabug and Crabrawler can evolve much sooner instead of having to wait until near the end of the game
  • Mantine Surfing to get BP and I can teach my Incineroar fire punch
  • Less lag during double battles!
  • Some of the moments where it played on your expectations were pretty amusing (like when Kukui says you have to fight him and then goes 'just kidding' or when Lana is surprised that the Wishiwashi summoned an Araquanid)
  • I like how Rotom Dex tries to be helpful, even if it can get a little annoying
 
Borderland Sword
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I love the new music, top notch as usual~ Also loved the changes to the story, Rainbow Rocket was a nice side-quest that offered a ton of Challenge. It might have been better if it was a biiiit longer, but it was still fun~

Speaking of which, the new Totems caught me off guard and made the battles much harder for me, which I loved~ Pretty much all of them gave me a run for my money~ Grinding was pretty common for me, but I liked that it wasn't a cake walk~

Loved the Lurantis outfit, albiet having to Powersaves having enough money to get it because I was just so impatient to get it. I actually hadn't changed my outfit before then but I love this. I saw males get Kommo-o clothes and those look just as cool!

Lillie and Hau also get more serious and I think it especially does well for Hau. I also liked seeing his Pokemon following him around and that he was the "Champion" battle. It's been much too long for our Rival to be our final challenge to becoming Champion and it was an awesome twist (that I 50%-50% expected XD ).

Speaking of following Pokemon, I spent an ungodly amount of time playing with EVERY Pokemon they allowed me to play with. I just can't leave my little buddies without playing with them for at least a few minutes. The Pikachu Trailer Park was both a blessing and a curse!

Side note, a lot of new Pokemon are helped with the new Move Tutor moves, so I liked that!

While it can be tedious, I like that each Ultra Beast has it's own Ultra Space to travel to, and I love the designs of their unique areas. I spent so much time watching Xurkitree running around the Ultra Plant even after I had already caught mine. XD Very nice~

I think I've rambled on for a while but I'm sure I'll think of more things later :3 These games did not disappoint!
 
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god of the Longbow!
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Buzzswole's theme and Ultra Wormhole location are AMAZING!! I love that FUNK!!


================
Edit: Also, does anyone else think that Ultra Wormhole hunting is the best Sonic the Hedgehog mini game ever?
 
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Buzzswole's theme and Ultra Wormhole location are AMAZING!! I love that FUNK!!


================
Edit: Also, does anyone else think that Ultra Wormhole hunting is the best Sonic the Hedgehog mini game ever?
I have Ultra Moon so I haven't seen the jungle, but I also like its music. I think my favorite is the Ultra Plant with all the Xurkitrees skipping around, lol. I liked the desert too.

And I was just thinking the other day that the Ultra Wormhole ride is kind of like a special stage in Sonic! It's so satisfying when you fly through lots of rings in quick succession and build up speed.
 
Lovely
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Mantine Surfing, and...
being able to get Pikachu with Surf

Hau receiving development.
Lillie receiving less focus.

Overall colorful region.
Overworld mons that I can interact with.
 
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I really like Hau's character development. They threw in some nice details like Hau not being able to connect with his partner Pokemon, struggling with trying to have fun even in the mist of battles he couldn't afford to lose and feeling guilty over not being strong enough to protect Lillie despite being a trainer himself. That did give Hau more to do and seeing his progression throughout the game and getting to battle him at the Pokemon League was pretty nice. His story had better focus than what he had in Sun/Moon and his character development felt more solid as a result.

Guzma's development also worked out pretty nicely. I think that his different role in the climax made his realization more believable and his scene with Hau during the last trial was especially nice for both of their characters. I also really liked how helpful he was during the Team Rainbow Rocket episode. I think one reason why his development works is because he wasn't evil. He was just trying to act tough because of how upset he was over not becoming a captain. I got a bit of a tough guy with a heart of gold vibe from his role in that event, so that probably made him more endearing to me.

While I have issues with Lillie's role/focus being reduced, I am glad that she becomes a trainer and you get to battle along side her.

Most of the Trials are more challenging here. The battles against Araquanid, Togedemaru and Kommo-o in particular were quite difficult for me. Lurantias was more challenging in Ultra Moon, but that was because my Incineroar had a pretty big advantage.

I also really like how they handled Poni Island. I still remember how jarring it was to have a Grand Trial before doing any Trials. Having two Trials continued the structure that they already established and having eight Trials in total was a better idea. It felt less incomplete compared to the seven in Sun/Moon. Plus, Mina's Trial was really refreshing and I liked battling against the Trial Captains, even though battling against only five of them at the time was a bit disappointing. I haven't gone through the second half of the island yet, but I think that Poni Island being the last island and having post-storyline areas to explore will work a bit better here than it did in Sun/Moon.

Mantine Surfing is just fun and a great way to get some more Battle Points. Getting Battle Points was especially tedious in Sun/Moon. I had to struggle just to get enough Battle Points for EV training items. Now I can get around forty points just going from the different beaches. That makes the prospect of getting items that I need for my teams much less tedious and challenging, so that is definitely appreciated. The move tutors are also pretty cool.

The Battle Agency is pretty fun. It's a nice way to try out some different Pokemon and only having three battles with each attempt help to make it less time consuming compared to other battle areas. Plus, it's a good way to level up Festival Plaza. It doesn't get rid of all of the problems of Festival Plaza, but it helps to make leveling up less tedious too.

Despite Rotom Dex being so annoying, the items you get from the Roto-Loto are really useful. They make it so much easier to level grind in particular. Level grinding in general seems to be much more manageable in US/UM compared to Sun/Moon.

The battle against Ultra Necrozma was pretty challenging and the atmosphere during that battle was pretty neat.

Totem Stickers were much better to collect than the Zygarde Cells in Sun/Moon were. They were easier to spot, they weren't hidden depending whether it was day or night in the games and you got better rewards at a more consistent rate. It does make Dexio and Sina's appearance in the game kind of weird when they don't ask for your help to find Zygarde, but since I never cared much for Zygarde, I don't mind the cells not being a feature in the game, especially when finding the Cells was rather tedious. It's actually pretty fun to find the Totem Stickers by comparison.

While I still don't like how there are so many trainers with just one Pokemon on them, I do like how the Experience Share makes up for that. This would apply for Sun/Moon as well, but I didn't use the Experience Share until I was trying to get my teams to level one hundred. I've had it on for the majority of the games and my team members are relatively close to each other in terms of level. Even my starters only have around a six or so level gap between the rest of my Pokemon, which is definitely new for me. I still miss seeing the Pokemon's experience slowly increase myself, but I also like having my teams gain experience together and it does reduce the amount of times I'll face off against the Elite 4 as a result.

In terms of minor details, I like how you catch Solgaleo and Lunala after Lillie takes care of it. That gives Lillie more time with them before saying goodbye and capturing them on Mahalo Trail was a nice touch. I still wish that Lillie could have kept Solgaleo/Lunala, if only because of how much time she spent taking care of it, but at least she didn't have to say goodbye right after getting Nebby back to full strength.

The amount of Pokemon available in the game is pretty great. While it would have been nice to have more Alolan forms, they still had a good variety of Pokemon available within the games to make up the Alola Dex. I was able to use this time to train Pokemon that I've wanted to use for some time like Leafeon, Dragalge and Mienshao. That's more of a personal bonus for me, but it's still something I appreciate the games for as well.

The Team Rainbow Rocket event was pretty fun. I still wish that there weren't so many grunts with just one Pokemon on them, but that could apply to the games as a whole too. Battling against the evil leaders themselves was pretty good and nostalgic in a way too. Giovanni in particular was pretty challenge. The notion that they come from world's where they achieved their goals still kind of throws me off, especially when that would mean a lot of people died in at least Maxie, Archie and Lysandre's worlds and I'd worried what Ghetsis could have done to that version of N, but it was a fun bit of post storyline content with some new battles to take part in.

Even with my complaints in mind, there's a lot about US/UM that I do genuinely like. There are aspects that I think work better in US/UM, while some aspects I thought worked better in Sun/Moon. I still wish that the game itself had a few more key changes earlier than it did, but they're still pretty good fun games and I look forward to exploring more of the post storyline content and getting my teams to level one hundred.
 
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Lovely
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Oh, I also gotta say that I loved the change in the E4, especially Molayne. I was actually surprised and impressed when he started out with a Klefki that threw spikes all over and paralyzed my pokemon. I'm almost certain he was using a Prankster Klefki because it outsped my Salazzle (if it isn't Prankster, please let me know). It was completely unexpected, and I loved the change.
 
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