Ringwraith wrote:I imagine they might be some nature stuff going on. Raichu having -10% speed and Milotic having +10% would probably do it, as the speed gap between them isn't that big.
EVs could make a difference too, though I suspect not unless you specifically ground them.
SpammyV wrote:OKAY. I made it through Aether Paradise again. Weirdly enough I only did slightly better in the big fight even though I ground up 2-3 levels on everyone trying (and failing) to find a Goomy. It turns out that somehow a damn Milotic is faster than a Raichu. Bruh what is the matter with you do you surf on a hoverboard because you'd make a regular surfboard sink or what I gave you the Electrinium Z and everything.
But now I'm back and ready to start doing the plot on Poni Island again and I've even reassembled the four members of Team 600 that I'd assembled. AND SAVED THE GAME. So now no forgetting to charge my 3DS is going to separate me from Metal Gear, Slugumgar, Kolaghan, and Smaug.
The nice thing I've noticed about Pokemon is that the game seems oddly balanced for levels such that, as you get farther in the game, significant level differences have less impact. Like, the difference between a level 5 and a level 10 is huge early on, but 25 vs 30 is not so great and 55 vs 60 can actually be a pretty even matchup. This is mostly just due to how stats work (since they increase linearly with level, but attack and defense stats use a ratio to compare for damage), with the only caveat being how moves grow somewhat in power as the game progresses. It's also why it's much harder to 1-shot anything at very high levels, barring serious stat outliers and weaknesses.
The end result is that Sun/Moon's endgame actually feels pretty good, even with some extra levels. I mean, there's still potential to steamroll if you grind enough (or have a particularly broken team), but at least it encourages strategy to make a winning crew rather than just letting you mash with whatever you like.
...Well, so long as you aren't doing a solo-run.
Oddly enough, I actually just went and binged Ultra Sun over the long weekend, as it just came out and I was kind-of itching to play Pokemon again.
I will say that it's probably a good thing that I had an itching to play regular Sun/Moon again prior to this, because the first half or so of Ultra Sun are fairly similar (if not the same) as Sun, with only a few small though potentially significant changes (the photo thing is surprisingly interesting). From what I've heard, some people have not been too happy about this, but personally it was perfect for me since I really relished the opportunity to play the games again but with a different team.
Interestingly enough, I actually ended up turning on the Exp Share earlier this time, as it seemed like the fights were slightly more challenging up to around the point Spammy is at, though the jump to Poni island didn't seem as dramatic this time so maybe I was just expecting it too much. That said, I was surprised at how close the level cap got towards endgame, and there was even one fight in particular that actually blacked me out for the first time in ages (To put into detail, it was the souped-up Necrozma that you fight in the Ultra World. Not only did it have a level or two on me, but its stats were boosted and the only mon I had with defenses to tank it was weak to its signature attack. I only beat it with excessive use of boosts/X-items to survive.
). I'll give the game credit for finally making me see the use of X-items, because apparently at some point they buffed them to do two stages
of increase (when? I dunno, I almost never used them in the past)... which is much more useful to spend a turn on in harder fights.
The game does make some interesting changes to the main plot, though, which actually frames things rather differently than the original game... though how much of an improvement it is over the original is... debatable. I think it flows a bit better in some ways, but less so in others (The Ultra Recon Squadies are kinda neat, but they feel a bit shoved in at places. Also, the first fight I had with them, they had the most annoying jerk Furfrou with accuracy/Attack drops, headbutt, and serious stats to back it all up.
). The meat of the new content, I think, is in the postgame story...So I will say I really liked the Rainbow Rocket stuff, if nothing else because they remixed all the Rocket and evil boss themes which sound pretty awesome. The plot itself isn't much to write home about, but it's enough to at least provide motivation to beat up a bunch of Rocket grunts. Was pretty neat seeing all the past team leaders and getting to talk to and fight them, with some significant nods to their past plans and personalities. Also, Guzma being silly ridiculous in the foyer. Also also, Lillie actually fighting in a battle and having a surprisingly good support Clefairy.
For actual battling, the leaders served as pretty nifty boss fights, with them being pretty high level (68-70 range, and I was around 73-77) with fairly well-rounded movesets and even a legendary for each of them. Given I hadn't held back much on experience gains during the rest of the game, it was a nice surprise to see how close things were at this stage (same with Elite Four, tbh).
Ultimately, a pretty cool nostalgia trip and battle gauntlet, with some simple puzzles thrown in for good measure. Not incredibly long, but meaty enough to be fun... and it seems fairly obvious to me that they're setting things up for potential future appearances for this team. Maybe they're tired of coming up with new evil people each generation and want to settle on something more constant?
Oddly enough, though, even if it didn't feel like the changes were THAT huge on the whole, I think I had significantly more fun and engagement this go-around with the games. Part of that might have had to do with my party choice (which felt more balanced, more capable, and more invested-in), and part of that may have to do with the level curve feeling more balanced (even if you used the Exp Share all game). I also have to agree with sentiments I've seen that I think Ultra Sun/Moon are more complete versions of the original games. I'd draw a parallel from them to Platinum vs Diamond/Pearl, though with perhaps a bit more to offer than those did.
So a fun way to burn a big chunk of my Thanksgiving weekend on, I suppose. Still got a few extra areas to explore, but at this point it's just gravy.