by Jessica Pahutski – Staff Editor
Coming home from school on Friday, November 18, I intended to play the heck out of my newly-delivered copy of Pokemon Moon after nearly a year of waiting. Opening the box, putting the cartridge into my old 3DS and discovering a new world. Choosing Rowlet to start with was a given as I had become obsessed with the thing for no apparent reason. The problem is I could not do so right off the bat. 20 minutes that felt like 40 passed before said selection happened. Little did I know this would only be a sign of things to come.
My neophobic side wanted to quit right after sitting through all that, but I kept at it, for about an hour before torching my save file and quarantining myself in a corner of woe. After my conscience gave me a pep talk before bed, I restarted the next morning. Such traditions and determination being broken would become a theme of the ordeal. When I had to experience the tutorial and cutscenes again, I started using a “refilling popcorn” joke and wrote a scathing poem about the wait time. Within two days, a shiny “Battle Royal Dome” came to my attention. Following the standard how-to fight, I tried going in again. To my shock, every AI had overleveled monsters and unobtainable items. Not surprisingly, I swore off doing that ever again after being slaughtered two or three times.
Despite what had happened so far, I loved some aspects. For example, nicknaming all of my main monsters after ragtime singers helped dull the pain. Some NPC designs had me going wild as well. A new feature entitled “Festival Plaza” started out great until I realized some of its mechanics were game-breaking or just plain stupid. However, another addition, “Poke Pelago”, fared much better. It too had a broken part here and there, but was not nearly as painful, eventual Rowlet infestation aside.
By Thanksgiving, I was far enough along in the game to get to the character that started my rise from the ashes back in September. Looking up the main antagonist’s party while soundly defeating her helped reignite that feeling for a short while. Within weeks, I had reached the final dungeon, home of the “Elite Four”. Even though this dungeon was quite easy, the idea of the boss rush broke me. Almost all of them could be taken out by one or two of my mains and the final guy didn’t seem worth battling yet. Eventually, days turned into weeks and “Not yet” slowly became “Not on your life”. I had also long given up on getting Sun and playing as the other PC as I usually did.
To distract myself during and after this acceptance of awful period, I took up Rowlet farming. Using my Talonflame “Nora” (originally “Anna”) as a speed incubator, boxes and boxes of coconut owls served as a coping mechanism. About 50 gameplay hours logged and at least a tenth spent on hatching eggs. It was just as ridiculous as it sounds. Over time, more subtle flaws had sprung up regarding the villain, glitches, and Wi-Fi distribution. These, combined with revelations about the post-game, did spark a fire, just not a positive one. Every once in a while, I pick it up to check on/update Pelago, but it’s always tainted by the mess it became.