Find it so deeply endearing that this work marred in technical limitations and an altogether rushed-ish structure is The Greatest love letter to a very genwunner philosophy, ALL without feeling egregious or pining for nostalgia. Game Freak despite everything loves its fans who can realistically Never Be Happy and makes that practically explicit from sunrise to sunset, and folds that into something new and altogether hopeful for a brighter future and earnest contextualization of its past.

Not tooo strong of one though, at least for me. Character writing is certainly the best here (or at least, toe to toe with Sun and Moon for me), especially from a moment to moment lens. Finale speaks volumes in its own way there, all so personable and defined and really have weight, presence, beautiful relations and chatter. But it also feels far too hesitant to break free of its limitations and that ends up being probably the most annoying part. Legendaries tend to be metaphorical or stand-ins for wide-spreading things in the series but this REALLY is the most "you just couldn't be serious about a heart to heart to be personable with a Pokemon huh." Still for what it's worth it swings as hard as Black/White and Sun/Moon do, just lacks the wherewithal structurally and in execution to get as high as they do. But it is nice to see people gas this up as their "finest hour" because it's not like it's wholly undeserving of that.

Mechanically it's like, we're taking our Legends Arceus prototype open world map (and bits of it structurally) and making it a Red/Blue + If It Was On Unreal Engine. Or in other words, very LARGELY hands off explore at your own pace open world and take in all the fights and sights and feel your journey of ADVENTURE, while having to reel-in that other than a couple cities the "expanse" is rather,,, illusory haha. I remember first touching this and LOSING it at how absolutely amazing the big hub town area is. I even took the classes, I was so into it all. Granted, high off an edible, but that expectation solidified, it felt so good. Unfortunately, literally nothing else in the game's areas capture or get even close to that, bar maybe the last one (which is kind of cheating really).

It is however also the comfiest Pokemon game to date. Extremely relaxing, potent quality of life implementation from top to bottom. Not a single hour feels even a bit wasted or as grindy as anyone's worst memories with this franchise. So easy to pick up and settle in, get cozy with seeing all of what's on offer here...
And as turbo-niche as talking about this game's difficulty may be, I do like how generally designed the leveling curve and fights are too. A couple were super tough checks for me even! Granted it was cuz i built my team a little awfully haha... all of them were Physical hitters ;w; Certainly some "wow that's funny" moments that feel both charming and, well, naturally hilarious. They gave one of the most important fights a literal ace-in-the-hole pokemon build that's INSTEAD sent out close to the start, while making their actual ace-in-the-hole a pokemon that's a SET-UP DESTROYER. Amazing. Well done.

I will say I find myself a bit more smarmy, sarcastic here, mostly cuz things have been hard and I sortttt of lightly pushed through with too much fervor just so a good friend of mine could get their birthday Suicune Raid present. Also cuz this gets a little too gassed up I feel >.> Not from a bad place tho! And who cares what I think there really!!! I'm glad people are having so much fun!!

Still, gives some to chew on, which puts this on an upper echelon for monster collectors in general. I think if you've been away from this series for feeling completely left out of the hyperlinear storyblook palooza, definitely give this a shot. It really is up there with the best Pokemon's put out.

PMD2 still sweeps tho

Reviewed on Mar 09, 2023