Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon devs explain why they didn't release a traditional single enhanced version of Sun/Moon
The world of Alola is complex place.
Even though it hasn't been done since Gen 4, there was more of an expectation from fans that the next handheld Pokemon game would be of the third "definitive" variety akin to Pokemon Crystal, Emerald, and Platinum. Instead, we are getting Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, which on the surface looked to go the route of Gen 5's Black/White 2, serving as a direct sequel.
This is not the case.
Details have already emerged that Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon are not direct sequels to Sun and Moon. In an interview with Gamespot, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon's director, Kazumasa Iwao explained that "there are differences in the story between the two versions that lead us to a split."
Producer Shigeru Ohmori backed up by explaining that players looking for a story-based experience should stick with the same version they played last time.
"Equally if you're looking for a story-based experience then those who played Pokemon Sun may want to go for Ultra Sun as there are some small details that remain consistent throughout the two that might appeal to people looking for a story-based game."
Director Kazumasa Iwao also explained that instead of creating a singular "enhanced" version of the previous games, having two games like Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon allow them to "get many more different Pokemon and characters into the story and into the game itself."
"If you try and force all of that into a single upper version then the relationships between characters and their interactions they have can start to get a little bit confused and a bit disjointed, whereas if we separate them into two versions we can really focus in and make sure there's a strong core to the story," he continued.
So basically, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon are similar to the enhanced versions in that they will simply have more stuff to do, see, and catch than their predecessors, but the added emphasis on narrative and its timing keep it similar to, but not quite the same as a direct sequel.
Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon release exclusively on Nintendo 3DS on November 17th, 2017.