Like a low-level Magikarp, the Pokémon series evolves very, very slowly. Over two decades, the core concept has remained almost entirely unchanged: you run around collecting cute monsters and pitting them against each other in battle. Huge changes are rare, and common features like 3D graphics and online play weren’t even introduced until 2011. Sometimes you have to really look closely to see what’s different about a new Pokémon game. This incremental progress isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it’s helped keep the series accessible for new players. While most ongoing game franchises pile on new features with each new release in ways that can be intimidating for newcomers, Pokémon has moved in the opposite direction. With the upcoming Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon — enhanced versions of last year’s excellent Hawaiian-themed adventures — Nintendo has crafted the most welcoming Pokémon yet. It helps that the original Sun and Moon were already very approachable games. They supported nine languages, including both simplified and traditional Chinese, and introduced a character creator where you could customize everything from skin color to hairstyles. But beyond that, the games were also tuned in a way that made them both easier to play and more fun than their predecessors. This wasn’t the result of any big, single feature. Instead, it was a series of smaller quality-of-life tweaks that all added up to a more streamlined experience. For instance, after fighting a creature once, you’d then have a robust list of all of the attacks they’re weak against, which made subsequent bouts much easier. You also received the “experience share” — an item that makes it much easier to raise weak pokémon — right at the beginning of the game. Similarly, while many Pokémon games force you through a slog of fighting pigeons and rats early on, in Sun and Moon you were able to capture strong and recognizable monsters from the outset. Even your ever-present pokédex was more useful: this time around it was sentient, and would provide tips in case you got stuck. These kinds of changes are especially apparent if you go back and play one of the older releases. In games like Pokémon Red or Blue