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  1. #1
    garlic bread champion Bulbasaur's Avatar
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    May 2013
    New Joysey

    Island Trials VS. Gyms?

    Do you like the island trials better than the old gyms?

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  2. #2
    Steel Soul K'sariya's Avatar
    URPG Staff

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    Mar 2017
    St. Louis, Missouri
    I can't say this enough: YES. YES. YES.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't think that the gyms were all bad. I still love walking through Opelucid in Black because it's just spectacular.

    Emerald was one of my favorite games, but when I picked up Alpha Sapphire, I made it to probably half way through, and I just got... bored? I knew what came next: finish the gyms, E4, Champion, just like every other game in existence before it. My first Pokemon game was Yellow. I've played at least one game of every installment since Pokemon's inception and it just got monotonous as heck. I put down AS and haven't picked it back up since. I skipped Generation 6 even though I *loved* Xerneas and Yveltal and they were the first legendaries I actually ever actively wanted, but I knew it'd just be the same thing it'd always been.

    I picked up and played Moon precisely because they changed the gym system, and it was an incredibly fun game and I really loved it.

    This is also coming from someone who loves the quirky spin-offs. Explorers of Sky is one of my favorite games of all time, and I love the plot and the gameplay and everything about it. I loved the Ranger games as a kid, and remembered scratching circles into my DS screen protector from how much I played them. I really enjoy it when Game Freak breaks from their usual mold and tries something new. Sun/Moon was a great example of that.

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  3. #3
    P i k a c h u Chakramaster's Avatar

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    Jun 2014
    Clinging onto Hope
    Nope. Not at all. In fact, Sun/Moon/USUM. I never even finished USUM. I didn't like them at all compared to the gyms.

    Sure my absolutel favorite Pokémon games are the Mystery Dungeon series, but the Island Trials get a big thumbs down from me. I might finish Ultra Moon in a few years. Give or take.

    The time is upon us...

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  4. #4
    Senior Moderator EmeraldSky's Avatar
    Senior Moderator

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    May 2013
    On my way to my next adventure!
    I applaud them for trying something new in the Island Trials, but they clearly needed more time to be developed. I would've loved to see a little more variety in the challenges and the Totem Pokemon nerfed a little.

    With the Gyms, you know exactly what you're getting into, and form a nice little progression as to how strong you need to be. Sure, the Gym Leaders can catch you off guard, but if you prepare enough, they're no problem.

    With the Island Trials, you don't really know how strong you need to be, and you can (and will) get hammered by the Totems. I very nearly got wiped just on Trial 1 on US, even though my team was decent. I'm actually dreading Mallow's trial and Ula'ula Island--I shouldn't need super moves to survive.
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  5. #5
    Used Thunderbolt! Arrow-Jolteon's Avatar

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    Aug 2013
    Running around
    Hard to say, really. I like that they tried something different for once, but Trials still feel a bit too similar to Gyms, albeit with a bit more type variety (sometimes) and putting the player at a disadvantage what with only letting you use one Pokemon at a time even when the Totem Pokemon calls an ally.

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  7. #6
    The Art Saboteur Coru's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Lost in his trail of thoughts
    I did really like how they changed it up but I do still prefer gyms. To me, a good majority of them seemed very underdeveloped. A lot of them you basically did nothing, they talked you through what you had to do and guided you through them with cutscenes. Then the totems came and a lot of them were so overpowered for what they should have been, I really liked the challenge and the totem pokemon was a really good idea but i was struggling even when all my pokemon were at least 5 levels above the totem because they were still super powerful and could almost one shot your pokemon. I feel like the trials would have been amazing if they had balanced out the totems and also developed the trials a bit more. The one trial I think represents the sort of trials I wanted is Mina's trial in USUM. You had to find all the previous trial captains/kahunas and battle them to take on her totem. If it was something like that and not a trial that was strictly prohibited to one area with a very small task, they would have been a lot better.
    For example, if Mallow's trial was more a scavenger hunt across the whole island rather than the forest i think it would have been much better. Restricting the items to a route each where you have to find the ingredients and fight off pokemon protecting them and then return to the forest to face the totem.
    I will happily welcome gyms back, but if they fix the issues with the trials, I would be more than happy to see them return too.

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  9. #7
    The Chaotix's Ace Attorney Blaquaza's Avatar

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    Dec 2013
    You have to commend them for trying something new with Island Trials, because the Pokémon formula was beginning to get a bit stale after 20 years of 8 Gyms and so on. The heart behind Island Trials is in the right place, but the execution is pretty poor. Most trials have one tough battle, with the others simply being wild battles. For challenges meant to be tougher than the standard gameplay, that doesn't quite cut it for me. In terms of puzzles they're much less challenging too, as although Gym puzzles are never usually too tough, Island Trials make them look far more imposing.

    Trials seem to have taken a more comedic route, which you can see through the likes of Kiawe's Trial. Don't get me wrong, this fits Alola as a region, but I wouldn't like to see it make a comeback in the future games. Similarly, I think Island Trials should be left in Alola, but that doesn't mean other regions can't have their own variations of Gyms, as the change of pace with Trials was refreshing, but when you go back to play them again they're much less impressive than Gyms. Totem Pokémon are a great mechanic and have the capacity to be very challenging fights, though. :D

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  10. #8
    Junior Trainer juliorain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Island Trials were very specific to Alola. They couldn't be repeated elsewhere and now that Alola has an official pokemon league they might be harder to implement in various other games. The gym battles function as mid game bosses so it was neat blending RPing with the bosses. I think it was excessive to gate the trials even more with the island Kahunas, as they could have also been trial leaders as well.

    I'd definitely be open to seeing more RPing blended with mid-game bosses in the future totally! It would be weird to see island trials in future games, but nice to see challenges like them.

  11. #9
    New Trainer Agrassitem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    South Pacific, but in Pokemon
    I am mossstly indifferent, but I just enjoyed gyms more than what little the island trials have done. They are both very gimmicky and not particularly special to me though. Either way the arbitrary boss location thing is a buzz kill for the most part, so it fall on the characters to sell themselves in a story rich way which ends up as just... ughhh most of the time. It does take the edge off a little when the place or human gives off the aura of intimidating/competent. Though that gets rarer throughout the series and even then is mostly placebo.
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