As all the Pokémon gamers know, the new Pokémon X and Pokémon Y games were released on October 12th, about two weeks ago. My fiancé and I both got the game; he got Y and I got X. We’ve been playing the games almost nonstop since its release date. Just this past weekend, I finally beat the Elite Four and entered the Hall of Fame with my team of Eevee evolutions.
So, now what? We do the review for the game. As with all Pokémon games, there’s much to discuss with all the in-game features presented in the new 3-D game.
Now, do keep in mind, if you haven’t finished the game or are planning the game at a later time, do not read ahead because this is a review of the game and SPOILERS are ahead.
Let’s first talk about graphics, being it’s the broadest aspect. Of course there have been improvements since the beginning Pokémon Yellow game, but from Pokémon Black and White to now, the graphics have improved. By much? Not really. Even the 3-D aspect which is usually the savior in Nintendo game reviews didn’t do much, since it’s only available at certain points in the game. While you’re riding along on your bicycle going from town to town, the 3-D feature is not available. It’s only available it seems, with battles and a few other minor scenes in the game. That was a bit off-putting, in my opinion, considering I was expecting all of the game to be in 3-D.
Now to the story-line, which was disappointing and extremely short. The new region of Kalos is about the same size as all of the other regions in the Pokémon games, however, the battles, which will be discussed in more detail in a minute, played a huge role in this short storyline. There was of course a team wanting to “improve” the world, but ended up going about the improvement the wrong way, as with almost every other Pokémon game, or at least the most recent ones. Team Flare is the team that wants to make the world more beautiful by using a king who existed 3,000 years ago in the Kalos region. Everything about the story seemed very vague and nothing was really expanded on much. This king’s Pokémon was involved in a war and apparently died (I didn’t know Pokémon could die since they only faint.) and he felt so bad that he built a machine and sacrificed many Pokémon for this one Pokémon. Unforutnately, the Pokémon he loved left because of the machine and Team Flare decided to use the energy from the legendary Pokémon to get rid of all the Pokémon . . . . or maybe it was the humans . . . in the world to protect the beauty of the earth. Once again, everything was hard to follow with so many characters (most of them useless) and instead of having a single rival, you now have 4 other kids constantly running around and going the same places as you, not really playing a role in the story except for your rival who has the Pokémon who has the type advantage against yours. I also never did find the man who runs the PC system for storing Pokémon.
This brings up dialogue. Now, with the previous Pokémon games, there were a few people in the towns that you could talk to and some would give you moves or berries or Pokéballs. In Pokémon X and Y, there are several people in the towns and nearly all of them give you something, mostly moves, O-Powers (which I feel are just fluff in the game and are completely useless unless using them on friends), and berries. You could talk to just about anybody in Kalos and receive something from them. That being said, some of the moves you may want, you’d have to search and talk to a lot of people to find it in-game.
I’m sure you’re all curious about probably the most important aspect of the Pokémon games: the Pokémon.
- The Pokémon
- If you thought the Pokémon for the Black and White games caused up a ruckus, wait until you hear about the Pokémon for X and Y; oh yes, if you were one of the ones that thought it was bad for the last generation, it got worse. First, let me introduce you to three of the three worst new Pokemon in the game. Let’s start with Bunnelby. Now, this Pokémon isn’t so bad . . . until you get to the evolution: Diggersby. If the Easter Bunny wasn’t scary enough to take pictures with at malls, this will surely send you hiding in your room forever. Nintendo did an excellent job of incorporating the dreaded Easter Evil into their new game. The second worst Pokémon for the game would have to be Honedge. My fiancé seems to have developed an affinity for this Pokémon, but I have not. All it is is a sword. A floating sword. Its evolution? TWO swords and a shield. Wow. Still, this isn’t even the worst Pokémon in the game! Let me introduce the winner of the Three Worst Pokémon: Klefki. Keys. Nintendo couldn’t have been more creative with this one. I was actually surprised with this one, being an artist myself, I was flabbergasted that they would even approve this Pokémon! Since some other Pokémon were just abstract monsters, even the Japanese game title is Pocket Monsters, I was astounded that “keys on a keyring” would be included into this term.
- If you were excited for new Pokémon though, don’t get your hopes up too much. Playing the game for almost two weeks, I’ve encountered mostly older Pokémon. Judging by the previous Pokémon mentioned, however, maybe it’s best that the player encounters mostly older Pokémon though.
- So what about rare Pokémon? So far Toby and I have encountered the legendary bird Pokémon which require a certain strategy to catch, as for other not-so-rare Pokémon, the Safari is once again in the game, but not of much use if you don’t have very many friends on the DS. You go on Safaris “with” your friends, but not actually. Each friend has certain Pokémon types available to catch, and each Safari allows you to catch 2 or 3 different Pokémon. The more friends you have, the more types available, and the more likely of a chance you have of finding a rare Pokémon.
- The newest feature to the Pokémon evolutions though is the Mega Evolution. Now, my assumption was that the Mega Evolution was permanent, however, that’s not the case. The Mega evolution occurs when you have the Pokémon holding the correct Mega Stone, such as Charizard holding a Charizardite or Mewtwo holding Mewtwonite. After which, while battling, you click a button at the bottom of the screen that activates the Mega Evolution by a watch obtained in the game. Your Pokémon’s moves become more powerful, but after the battle is over, your Pokémon returns to normality.
- The Battles
- Now, there is some good news for the game, but it doesn’t make up for much of the bad news already said about this game. The Pokémon battles, while still the same, type against type and strength against weakness can still be used strategy wise, but don’t fret. The battles are not difficult. The trainers you encounter in-game only have 1-3 Pokémon; I only saw a few NPC’s with 6 Pokémon, and some of those in that group were the Elite Four and the Champion. There’s an upside, while the previous Pokémon battles evolved from still sprites on a colorless screen to 3-dimensional creatures that moved and bounced, they have improved more and now have perspective. You’re no longer limited to looking at your Pokémon’s backside anymore. The camera rotates around both your Pokémon and the challenger or wild Pokémon, giving you a more personal experience with your Pokémon.
- While the wild Pokémon and Trainers may not be a plus to battling, the battle effects are awesome. With the new camera angles in the game, you can now get a good view of water Pokémon flooding the battle area with Surf, fire Pokémon sending a trail of flames to the challenger, or even rocks tumbling squishing your Pokémon by ground-types.
- So, what about battle items? Nothing much has changed. The main difference is the Experience Share which is now shared among all the Pokémon in your party instead of whichever Pokémon is holding the Exp. Share.
- This is a new feature which some people I’ve heard say they think is stupid and others say they love about the new Pokémon game. My opinion? I’m on the fence about the whole idea of feeding my Pokémon and petting them and playing . . . mini-games. I do however like that it’s not all for naught like some other features, as mentioned, since if you max out the Affection for the Pokémon, it gives you a boost in the battles. I have to boast about my female Sylveon, which has max affection (which is needed for the evolution anyways), who dodges more attacks, “toughens it out” when being attacked and usually ending up with 1HP, and causing more critical hits. Am I crazy about the Poké-Amie? No. Do I think it’s stupid? Not necessarily. I think it’s more fluff to the game.
- Super Training
- This is one feature of the game I have yet to figure out. I’ve been experimenting with my Umbreon, and so far, trying to evenly distribute the training between the HP, Attack, Defense, Special Attack, and Special Defense has produced anything BUT an equal boost between the five. If you do happen to not like the Super Training’s effect on your Pokémon’s stats, you can always find a Reset punching bag which will return the Pokémon’s stats back to the original.
- The Legendary Pokémon
- Now those of us who played Pokémon when we were little remember staying up late, getting to the end of the story and saving endlessly before facing off with the final Big Dog of the game: the Legendary Pokémon. No need here. While the anticipation of the exciting entrance and reveal of the game’s Legendary Yveltal or Xerneas, though still alive, the difficulty of catching either one is not. Toby claimed he used only one Ultra Ball and caught Yveltal easily. So, when it came my turn, I was hoping for more of a challenge, but I was met with the same disappointment. Once Xerneas’s health was low enough, I threw an Ultra Ball at him, and ~click~ he was caught.
I know, most of the game so far has gotten low ratings from me, but I can’t overlook the fact that this Pokémon game is the easiest game ever. Now, it’s time to even out the playing field and talk about the multi-player features in the game.
Battles, trading, and shout-outs are easier than ever for your DS Friends and better yet, people all over the world who aren’t registered on your DS. You can now battle and trade with anyone in the world playing the Pokémon X or Y games. Now, the GTS (Global Trade Station) is not new, it’s easier to use and you can be anywhere in the game to use it; you can send off for example, a Bulbasaur to be traded for a desired Cyndaquil, or you can search for a Horsea and find someone wanting a Pokémon you have in your party or box.
Another new feature is the Wonder Trade, which is almost like a Pokémon trading lottery, or maybe more like Wonder Balls (you remember the chocolate balls that usually had Disney related toys or hard candy inside?) Well, you send off a Pokémon you no longer want, for example, the dreaded Bunnelby, and someone around the world sends off a random Pokémon as well. You never know what you’ll get and they don’t know what they’ll get; it’s always a gamble. I’ve gotten several great Pokémon while Toby has the worst of luck with Wonder Trades, ending up having to trade 10 different Bunnelbys or Plusles just to find one good Pokémon he has yet to catch.
The other not-so-new feature is the Vs. Recorder, where whenever you battle an NPC or an actual player, the game records the battle and you can upload the video to the interwebz or share the video code (which is much like a Friend Code) with your friends or anywhere and people can enter the code to the Vs. Recorder and watch the video.
So, all in all, definitely not the best Pokémon game . . . but if you’re looking for an improved way to catch the ever-adored Pokémon, this is the right game. Would I recommend buying it? Eh, I definitely wouldn’t recommend it if the person was a first-time Pokémon gamer. Did I still enjoy the game? Abso-freaking-lutely!
Here are some extra photos along with my team of Pokémon that were entered into the Hall of Fame:
My Overall Rating: 7.5/10.0
This is ncdogg,