used to love playing pokemon a lot. Back in the GBA days me and my sister would battle it out in the pokemon arena, with me using the Yellow version while my sister was using the Red version of Game Freaks, (then starting) Pocket Monster universe. This was the first of monster training/caring games that I would be playing afterwards (Dragon Seed/Monster Rancher) but Pokemon had a special place in my heart that it came to a point that I also jumped into the TCG.
Pokemon X/Y Legendaries
Jump forward to present day me, and I see myself falling in love once again with the series that was famous for a character to "want to be the very best".
Pokemon X/Y is the currently sixth generation pokemon game from Game Freak and has, surprisingly ignited the seemingly sleeping pokemon trainer in a lot of people (including yours truly). Being on it's sixth generation the game has evolved into something bigger than it ever was back in it's first gen. and admittedly, the other titles coming after the game had flown under MY radar until Pokemon X/Y.
What I mean is that this review is coming from a guy who hasn't touched Pokemon since Yellow, Red & Blue so I want to apologize in advance to readers who may have played the game religiously, because this review is for those who haven't (like me). Also for the sake of this review I'm reviewing the X version of the game, but since the basic difference between X and Y is the pokemon roster, my review's going to basically speak for the Y version as well.
With that said, moving on!
The sixth generation of the Pokemon franchise really seemed to pull out all the punches. For those who haven't paid closed attention to, or even played the earlier titles, Pokemon X has introduced new systems that was not present or truly hashed out in other versions.
I for one was overwhelmed with the amount of new things that I have to figure out aside from the staggering amount of new pokemons that I had to memorize (note that I only knew of the original 151 pokemon). Before where I would only have to factor in In the FS system, there are no time or step limits for players and they can capture as much pokemon as they can.
the name/type and attack pool a pokemon has, I would now have to consider it's inherent abilities (Inherent Values) alongside a pokemon's trainable abilities (Effort Values) and it's nature (which in my research was already introduced in the ).
Training pokemons already took a more transparent approach with X. In earlier versions, the pokemon's EVs were not seen visibly and was only raised by battling a certain type of pokemon, but with the sixth gen's Super Training system, trainers can now see where the points go. The ST system also makes training easier by allowing you to just play mini-games on the corresponding stat you want raised instead of fighting the same pokemon over and over again.
Aside from the training system getting an overhaul,X/Y was made to maximize the connectivity/socialization features that are present in the 3DS. Battling other people is easier (you can battle online and via adhoc now) and getting those hard to achieve pokemons have now been made easier through the introduction of the game's Friend Safari.
The game also has a lot of little knick-knacks that can appeal to a lot of players the world over. You can in fact record your own trainer videos AND customize the look of your player by purchasing clothes and accessories through the various stores you can visit per city.
For X/Y, the original safari feature was scrapped (where players would enter a time/step constrained zone to capture pokemons not native to the region) in exchange of the now what we call Friend Safari. In the FS system, there are no time or step limits for players and they can capture as much pokemon as they can.
The difference is that FS is tied to your friend list, and that each safari zone has a maximum of three pokemons that you can capture. The first two are already available upon entering, while the third one is unlockable only after your friend finishes the game.
You can in fact gain access to this zone only after you finish the game as well, since the location of the FS building will only be given to you once you defeat the Elite 4 for the first time.
The Psychic/Fighting type Mega Mewtwo X
Pure Psychic type Mewtwo Y
One of the biggest news that came out pre-release of X/Y is the introduction of the newest level of evolution for pokemon. Coined as Mega Evolution, this evolution is only useable during pokemon battles. Mega Evolution is the next step for your pokemon that normally would provide the extra boost in stats and sometimes, would change the pokemon type (or adds it).
For example, normal Gyarados is originally a water type pokemon, but once it Mega Evolves into Mega Gyarados, it would become a water/dark type. So think of Digimon monsters evolving during battles then devolving back into their baby or rookie forms once they're done as a good basis.
However, to protect the game balance, only one pokemon in your team would be able to mega evolve.And that pokemon must posses it's mega stone before you can activate it.
Currently the list of pokemon that can mega evolve are at 27, where Charizard and Mewtwo having their own version specific mega evolutions.
Here Come The Fairies!
Aside from the addition of the Mega Evolution, another big thing that came along with X/Y is the inclusion of the newest type in the Pokemon universe, the Fairy types.
Don't let the type fool you (or even the pokemons that belong to this type), the Fairy type is the complete counter to the mostly used Dragon types in previous pokemon games. The fairy type is immune to Dragon attacksbut are weak against steel and poison types. The inclusion of the new type in fact messed up with the current Pokemon line-up meta and has caused a great change with the competitive pokemon atmosphere.
Examples of fairy types are as follows:
Clafairy (and it's evolution clefable), Togepi and it's evolution Togekiss (as seen in the image)
There is another new feature that was introduced in X/Y that really delves into the whole pokemon-poke master bond that the anime (and earlier games) have been harping about. This is the Pokemon Amie.
The Pokemon Amie is a game system that enhances the player's "bonds" with their pokemon via "playing" with them and feeding them with poke puffs. Playing with your pokemon entails the use of either the stylus (which translates to you "petting" your pokemon) or playing with them in the various mini-games that the game has.
While the game's affection levels are integral to some pokemon, the effects of your pokemon to maximum affection with you is clearly felt during single battles. There will be times that they can force themselves to lose status effects and or HP emptying attacks just because they "don't want you worried".
Overall, Pokemon X has lived up to the hype and more. The "new" features that I experienced totally enhanced the game's gameplay value that there were times I would just find myself staring at the screen asking what just happened. While the game doesn't directly tell you outright, I had the feeling that I needed to do more research of the game since I clearly did not know what type my pokemon was facing (I actually lost what others consider as "easy battles" just because I did not know what pokemon was I facing and had no internet connection to check).
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What I didn't really like about X/Y is that the game pretty much stuck to it's predecessor's storyline. The young hero was given a starter pokemon and pokedex. Said hero was tasked to fill the pokedex and travel the world. Along the way he faces the big bad (a "gang" that wants to do harm to pokemon) and said hero ruins the leader's plans and also becomes Elite 4 champion.
Though I must admit that Lysandre's overarching goal is more sinister than previous Big bads, the formula that has been used since first gen is still there which sadly is something I really was hoping to change for X/Y. Or just simply want to reignite the passion of you wanting to be the very best. Pokemon X/Y is the title for you.
However I must admit that that's just me nit-picking on an area the game was not clearly made for. Since Pokemon X/Y is more on the late game content rather than the single player experience. In fact, I was able to finish the game faster compared to my previous runs with older pokemon games even if I was side tracked by letting my initial lineup go through Super Training and Pokemon Amie before I actually ventured forth.
Pokemon X/Y clearly gave the 3DS second wind since the game seemed to lack that title that would push even those who haven't bought a 3DS to buy one. With more game features and pokemon to come out after it's initial release it is surely one of the bigger titles that will have a steady following for the months to come.
So if you have a 3DS, have the sweet tooth for training, raising monsters that you want to battle them out with other people. Or just simply want to reignite the passion of you wanting to be the very best. Pokemon X/Y is the title for you.