(Mental note, remember to post here more often.)
So after a slow start, I'm sitting at ~24 hours played and about halfway through the 3rd island.
Current / final party: (I'm one of those weird trainers who plans ahead a little and only catches /raises literally the Pokemon I intend to use for the end-game and not a single 'mon more... unless it's a shiny.)
Click to Expand
Decidueye @ Decidium Z
* Spirit Shackle
* Razor Leaf
* Nature Power
I always take the grass starter, and first runs of a new game, I will always use my starter. He's been doing some good work so far - definitely pulls his weight. Could use better coverage though.
Slowpoke @ Twisted Spoon
* Zen Headbutt
He's a level or 3 off from finally evolving, which I'm hoping will finally get him some serious playtime on my team. Slowpoke is... to be blunt, kind of dead weight so far. I haven't checked his IV's, but he always seems to drastically under perform compared to ever other team member. Better yet, it looks like he's much better suited for physical attacks over specials... with a nature that actively neuters his attack stat. *sigh*. Oh well, he's a good guy at heart.
Magneton @ Expert Belt
* Mirror Shot
* Charge Beam
* Tri Attack
* Thunder Wave
One of the big special powerhouses on the team - he's a little (surprisingly) fragile though, so I don't get to whip him out as much as I'd like. Has one of those neutral natures that doesn't boost/nerf any stats, so... not fantastic, but could be worse. Definitely one of my top players.
Sylveon @ Silk Scarf
* Draining Kiss
* Fairy Wind
* Echoed Voice
I didn't really plan on Sylveon much - I just noticed that I had a bit of a blind spot on my team for dealing with dragons and dark types, and I happened across a wild Eevee reasonably early on, so I figured why not? He's been a real team player, and seems well suited to special defense. Similarly to Slowpoke though, he looks to built towards special attacks, but has his nature actively working against that plan. Still, he's powerful enough that it rarely comes up.
Salazzle @ Poison Barb
* Flame Burst
She's been an absolute all-star since she joined the team, putting in some very impressive damage and managing to hold her own defensively too - she's really gunning for the coveted "best pokemon of gen 7" title. So far my only major gripe is a slightly weak HP pool, but that's really no big deal in the long run. And that ability too... nothing gets to live for very long in her presence, not even those so called "immune" steel and poison types.
(this spot intentionally left blank - I only ever train a team of 5.)
It's been... pretty mixed for me so far. The gameplay has been just classic Pokemon action, which is always excellent, I did have a few minor nitpicks with some of the design elements / choices.
* The hand-holding is incredibly overdone, even *for* a Pokemon game. I constantly feel like my intelligence is being insulted that I can't remember something I was told mere seconds ago. And don't even start with the "it's for kids" argument... for one, Pokemon Company / GameFreak (I forget which of the two are more directly in charge
to blame) have been making a point to specifically recognise the long-time fans since at least gen 6, and secondly, not even very young children are as dense as the game would seem to think they are.
* Oh man, the SOS battle thing can f*** right off and die horribly. Like it doesn't already take a jillion f***ing hours to grind up and get from point A to B, but to get unintentionally caught in a loop of getting a Pokemon down to like 10%, only for it to summon back-up, kill them, damage the back-up to 10%, have them summon... etc.
I noticed they put in an "adrenaline orb" item to *increase*
the instances of SOS battles, which I guess is fantastic for late-game grinding, but unless I'm missing something, why the f*** wasn't there an opposite side item to decrease / prevent them? Better yet, if they were a competent game design company, they'd have included it as an option in the game's sorely needed difficulty menu (alongside such favourites as "global game / AI difficulty", and "tutorials on/off" [I've been playing for 20 years, I think I know how to throw a f***ing Pokeball by now!]
* Probably some other stuff I can't think of immediately, but will come to me later.
I still think it's a great game despite these few rough patches. I... still probably prefer it less than the last few generations of games though - honestly for me this generation has felt like one of the worst in the series. BUT! it's still a great series I love to bits, so I can't even begin to call it "bad" or even "mediocre".
A 8/10 is a great score, it's just that most other games have been like a 9/10. *shrug*