“Pokemon X & Y appeals to new and old players alike.”
Around 15 years ago I was given a brand new Gameboy with Pokemon blue and as a child there was simply no better game. It amazes me that throughout all the years, Pokemon games can still be such a huge success but Pokemon X & Y have truly redefined the series.
One of the things that initially stood out was just how quick the start of the game was. Usually in Pokemon it would take you a good amount of time to receive any type of quick transport or even start seeing some relatively interesting Pokemon. In just an hour of X & Y you’ll be equipped with roller skates which shed so much time off walking around, your first gym badge and a plethora of new and old Pokemon. I can’t be grateful enough that you actually get a choice of one of the original 3 Pokemon in no time as well, you can choose between Charmander Squirtle or Bulbasaur. This new way of getting you started in X & Y takes away the slow pace that Pokemon games traditionally have and throws you into it with full force.
With Pokemon X & Y comes a whole array of new features, the first and probably most obvious one is that this is the first truly 3D Pokemon game and it really does shine on the 3DS. Whilst you may not notice the 3D art style when you’re just running around, when you enter a battle sequence it all comes together very nicely. The Pokemon character models look stunning in 3D but it’s also nice that you aren’t forced to the 3D effect throughout the whole game, mainly just when battling. On top of this you can customise your character for the first time in a Pokemon game, changing basic skin tone, hair colour and the ability to change your outfit throughout the game, finally making Pokemon a more personal experience, this also helps when playing online so that there’s at least some character difference.
When it boils down to the main story arc, Pokemon X & Y follows a very familiar approach to previous games. You’re the new kid and you set out to catch Pokemon, beat all the gym leaders and eventually the Elite 4. However the supporting cast in Pokemon X & Y may as well have not bothered showing up, they just felt tacked on and whilst they may have some degree of charm, ultimately you never really feel a relationship grow with these new characters like you may have done in previous Pokemon games.
Pokemon is renown for its balanced and competitive combat system. Small improvements have been made in Pokemon X & Y which limits downtime in battles, simply using the 3Ds and its interface allows players to now change Pokemon, access your Pokemon’s moves, run away and access your inventory. Having the dual screens means that you can watch the Pokemon battle on one screen whilst keeping all the additional information on the other.
One of the biggest changes to the battle system is the addition of Mega Evolution – which isn’t only a way of making your best Pokemon look even more bad ass – but actually changing the dynamics of a battle entirely.
The Mega Evolution actually changes their type which can lead to a new strategic element in battle. Take Charizard for example, he’s classed as a Fire/Flying Pokemon but when you Mega Evolve, be it through X or Y he turns into a Fire/Dragon type. These types of Evolution allows you to take away a certain weakness and replace it for a strength when up against certain Pokemon, it’s almost like having a 7th Pokemon in your team. The catch it not all Pokemon can Mega Evolve and it can only happen once per battle, even with this at a certain point the game becomes significantly easier when you first get a Pokemon with a Mega Evolve, this is until your opponents start to get them as well.
“Mega Evolves are Mega Cool”Game Freak have invested more heavily than ever in the online side of Pokemon X & Y, with the ability to trade Pokemon with players all over the world or to battle till your hearts content.
Game Freak have delivered one of the best Pokemon games to date, even with all the social stuff being pushed at you Pokemon X & Y offers players new and old the joy of jumping head first into a brand new Pokemon game that will have you hooked for hours on end, it’s truly a memorable and exciting game to play through.
- Gorgeous looking visuals
- Mega Evolves are awesome
- Great online elements
- Slightly boring supporting cast
- AI can still be slightly clueless