I agree wholeheartedly. Granted, I have yet to play White 2 to finish my Unova adventure, so some time next year I plan on playing trough White, White 2 and then Moon to compare the two storylines as a whole, seeing as White 2 was very well received critically, and I finished Black 2 for my little brother...but yeah, it's the most fun I think I've ever
had with a Pokémon game. With X, I sped through, completing the game in around 12/13 hours (by this I mean entering the Hall of Fame), and was pretty bored thereafter. With OR, I decided to take a bit longer, challenging every trainer, which took me about 14/15 hours. In this game, I slowed down to a snail pace like I did on my initial technical entry into the franchise, Ruby (and then pretty much the same in Diamond), exploring every area, battling every trainer, and catching as many Pokémon as I could (must have caught about 90 around the time of entering the Hall of Fame!). It took me almost 24 hours and I loved every moment!
Almost every single character in this game was fleshed out in some way that Gen VI felt lacking, and I can't tell for the life of me whether that's down to the dialogue or their new range of movements, but this game had the same sort of attachment, at least personally, that I had before Gen VI - to my Pokémon, the lore, the trainers. Gladion is probably the greatest pseudo rival we've had since N, and Hau the most memorable main rival for me since Barry and then later on Silver's reintroduction in Gen IV. Not sure what it is about having a "grey/ay" rival that is so compelling in these games, but perhaps that's just because it's realistic. Peopleare
used and they are
likely to stand for what they believe in, often regardless of the cost, whereas many rivals before have been black and white or too buddy-buddy for my liking.
As for Aether and Skull? Wow. What a way to speak to the hardcore fans and newbies, as well as those returning for these games! I remember reading that Satoshi Tajiri based a lot of his Pokémon concept on his love for catching bugs, which became more difficult due to pollution in major cities, and these teams really hit that message home for me, clear as day, and as has been said, the focus on family, nature and how we interact with these realities - perhaps the most important message in any game of the last few years in my opinion - is more than welcome and perfectly poised. These games leave a lot of questions, and as someone who's been a lifelong fan - bar a year out for BW2, but we're all on-and-off with things that we love - that was seriously considering walking out whether SM was the greatest Pokémon game of all time or the worst after what i personally believe was a weaker generation, this game has me hooked. I want DP remakes, an Alola sequel, I want it all, and answers too! Who was Lusamine's dad that left that kind of money? How has Mohn gone unnoticed? Who is Hau's father? Why was Zygarde in Alola, and why is there a garden with the 50% motif built in a city founded by Johto and Kanto natives? How don't these games hint at some great next game tackling creation and the universe at large?
All in all, my favourite story in the Pokémon franchise - just edging out BW - and easily the most fun I've ever had in a Pokémon game. I look forward to the next one with 100% of my cells!