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on October 16, 2013
This review was revised and updated with new info.

---- Original Review 10/16/13 ----
For 17 years, the Pokemon players guides have ALWAYS had a pokedex section. When Prima took over publication, they started splitting the guide into 2 volumes. Volume 1 was a walkthrough with a small regional dex in the back, and volume 2 was a full National Dex.

But for X and Y, Prima has decided to eliminate the pokedex entirely. So this guide is a walkthrough only, with no dex AT ALL, not even a *regional* dex.

I don't care how pretty the pictures or how cool the maps are. For most players, the pokedex is the single most important part of the guide, and in some cases, the sole reason for purchasing it. Prima totally dropped the ball on this one.

And if that's not bad enough, I just received Prima's response; They said there are NO plans to publish a 2nd volume this time. So there will be absolutely no pokedex for this game whatsoever. [SEE REVISED MESSAGE BELOW]

---- UPDATED: 10/18/13 ----
I had to revise my review, because Prima just emailed me again, with new (updated) information. . .Good news AND bad news.

The GOOD news:
Prima WILL be publishing a Volume 2 guide after all.

The BAD news:
It'll have a Regional Dex, but NOT a National one. . .AND. . .it won't be released until JANUARY 2014. . .the *END* of January. Almost 4 months after the game's release.

Really? I don't know who's making these decisions, Prima or Nintendo. But whoever it is, has lost touch with reality. Most of us will have already finished the game by then.

So, while I'm glad we'll (eventually) get a Kalos Regional Dex, I'm still very upset that they eliminated it from the *first* volume (which they never did before), and that we'll basically have to play the entire game without ANY Pokedex at all.

And if you think we can just get that info online. . . good luck with that. Even Serebii doesn't have any Pokedex info for the Kalos region.

Anyway, onto the review. . .

The description doesn't mention it, but this is not a standard size guide. It's a "pocket" guide, approx 6" x 9". (same size as the Animal Crossing New Leaf guide, only thicker)

It has the same amount of content and same font size as a standard size guide, it's just laid out differently. Less on each page, but more pages. I normally love the convenient size of pocket guides. However, this one. . .notsomuch.

Don't get me wrong. The book itself is gorgeous. The cover, paper and workmanship are top-notch quality, but it was a huge mistake to put a HARD cover on a pocket guide. Again, who's making these decisions? Ever hear of Focus Groups? :-/

A hard cover on a large book works fine, but on a small book, it creates problems. It makes it impossible to flip through easily, and the stiff binding makes it difficult to keep the book open. I have to hold it open with both hands, and when I let go of one side to turn a page, the book wants to flop shut. So it'll make a beautiful addition to my collection, but it's extremely impractical for actually USING.

I haven't had time to read through the whole 415 pages, so I'm unable to comment on the actual content of this guide. But I can tell you that it appears to be chock-full of great info and charts, etc. And very nicely done.

However, the individual maps printed in the book are not very good quality. They're not sharp and clear like previous ones were. (maybe because they're shrunk down?) They're kind of muddy looking and a little difficult to make out detail, especially the caves.

Bottom line:

If you're like MOST players, who buy the guide *primarily* for the Pokedex, then this guide is a total FAIL.

If you're ok with not having a Pokedex, but you still want to use the walkthrough *during* gameplay, then it's a semi-fail. (see "difficulties using" comments above)

If you don't need the Pokedex OR the walkthrough, and you're just buying it to have as a lovely addition to your collection, then I highly recommend this guide. For 11 bucks, you might as well ;)
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on October 17, 2013
Note: I've owned every single Pokemon guide since Platinum and I've played every Pokemon game since Platinum as well.

I'll Get the good stuff out of the way first. It's Cheap (only 11.99). It has a beautiful, hard cover binding. Some of the pictures are nice.

Now on to the bad stuff:

1. It doesn't have a Pokedex of any kind. There isn't even a list of New Pokemon, let alone a list of all of the obtainable Pokemon. While previous guides (such as those for Pokemon Black/White) split the guides into two books, the first book in the series always listed out the regional Pokedex. There is nothing like that here. It's very hard to tell which Pokemon are brand new to the series and where to catch them. The easy-to-use and easy-to-reference guides that we had for the previous Pokemon games are gone.

2. It completely omits key parts of the game. I can't believe it, but the guide doesn't mention anything about Mega Evolutions. This is a key gameplay mechanic and I expected the guide to list out all of the Pokemon that can Mega-evolve as well as the location of their Megastones in the game. Nothing. It doesn't mention this key gameplay mechanic at all.

3. It completely omits any information about the post game. After getting all eight badges, defeating the Elite Four and becoming the Champion, the guide simply stops. It doesn't devote a single page to all of the things that you can do after the credits roll. Previous guides had tons of post-game information. This one has nothing.

5. The new features that the guide explains (such as Pokemon-Amie and Pokemon Super Training) are covered in just a few pages and with very little detail or information. You are essentially getting the same information as a game manual - not a fully researched guide. This is significantly less than what we had in other guides.

4. It's a "small format" guide unlike all of the others. This means it's slightly more portable (although its a bit heavy). However, there is a huge drawback. It doesn't lie flat on the table like the others. It's very hard to keep the guide open to the right page while playing the game. The new format is not user friendly at all compared to the old guides.

Overall, to call this guide a "lazy effort" would be an understatement. This is the worst Pokemon guide I have ever bought by a long shot. I encourage others to post their own reviews and to send Prima games a message that this kind of stuff is simply not acceptable.
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on October 16, 2013
The Good:

This is a beautifully designed guide, with plenty of information on trainers and gym leaders. It gives some information of Pokéball item locations, and helps you understand the newest features of the game. The walkthrough section is very well done, and should help beginners on their path to the Pokémon League. It also offers a nice list of HM / TM moves.

The Bad:

No Pokédex! Seriously? The most important reason people buy the guides for Pokémon games is for the Pokédex. People like knowing what new and old critters are inhabiting the world around them, where they can find them, and how to raise them. Pretty much every guide from the beginning has had a detailed Pokédex section where you can research every beast in the game. This is information people want to know!

No Pokémon index. That's right, if you are wanting to know where to go to find that one special Pokémon to finish off your team, I hope you have time to flip through every page searching the ones listed for each route. How do you not make an index for quick searching?

No description of which pokemon are on what routes. Yep, each route map gives a quick list of names and rarity. If you have no idea who Croagunk is, too bad. At least you know it is in that route. Guess you better go catch one to find out even what type it is. You do get a couple highlighted pokemon for each region, with a picture and type. However, when presented with an entire list, and no way to look any of the rest of them up, it's a small comfort.

No information on legendary or special pokemon. That's right, if you were looking for the legendary pokemon, or special ones like Mewtwo, good luck. This guide gives basically no information on where to find them or how to catch them. Once you finish the game, you are pretty much left in the dark to find it out on your own.

No real information on Mega Evolutions. You are only told that there are Mega Evolutions in the game. However, there is no mention of which Pokémon can do it, or how to get their stones. You would figure that this would be one of the first things people would want to look up in a guide. Especially with it being such a major feature used to build up the hype for the game.

No post-game information. I hope you weren't wanting to look up all of the special unlocks for after you finish the game, because they aren't in here. No tips about mystical places to search, no hints for unique Pokémon to find. Nothing. The guide will take you to the League Championship, and that's it.

Final Verdict:

If you are looking for a complete walkthrough that will take you step by step through the game, you will be happy. If you are a Pokémon veteran, and can get to point a to point b without a guide, but want to know where to find the Pokémon you are looking for, and which ones are in the game, you will be very disappointed. I know now why they call it the Region Guidebook. It's nothing more than a field guide, with only the basic information of what to find there. The maps are great, but the largest reasons people pick up Pokémon guides are completely omitted.
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VINE VOICEon October 24, 2013
Pokemon is one of the rare kinds of games where having a strategy guide actually benefits the player. In this day and age many a guide is mostly seen as a collectors item to compliment the game itself. But Pokemon has had times when a strategy guide is still really useful. The games may be simple to play, but their complexity goes far beyond most games on the market today. With X and Y in particular, it's nice to be able to have all that information compressed into one book as opposed to having to go through several links on several websites or have to go searching through tons of forums just to get the info you need. Simply put, you might actually get a Pokemon guide because of the need to have one.

Now, the X and Y guide is actually quite nice in and of itself. It's a hardback guide with a nice cover. It's beautiful. The jacket cover also serves as the map. Again, beautiful. It also comes with a screen cleaner. It's definitely got a good design going for it in this regard. And when you crack it open it all seems good so far. Particularly as it gets into the basics. Giving you tons of info on all the new things. The guide talks at length about the various systems. It'll tell you about Super Training, raising a Pokemon's affections toward you. It'll tell you about breeding and give you lots of information on much of these things. It's not quite as in depth on everything as you'd like, but you won't go into it not knowing what's in store, at least. How far and how long it goes into the new systems and all the basics of the game is quite impressive, though. As many a guide won't spend that much time doing so.

It's when we get into the walkthrough itself that things begin to falter. The information is good. You'll always know where to go, who to talk to for items and what shops and the like will have in store. The guide also has detailed maps of every area in the Kalos region. When trainers are on routes the guide will tell you how many Pokemon they have. Although they don't tell you WHAT the Pokemon are (I have been spoiled by the Versus Books Pokemon Crystal guide where they told you what Pokemon every trainer in the game had to help you prepare). It's still nice to know some of these things. They also tell you what Pokemon are in the area. They'll also tell you what's located in what type of grass, as well as what Pokemon might jump out. They call out new Pokemon just fine. Also, when you get to moments where other trainers challenge you to a battle (such as your rival or gym leaders) you get a list of their Pokemon. What is nice, however, is that the guide is more concerned with explaining to you what type its weak to as opposed to just telling you the type. It makes it much easier and takes away the need to flip to the back of the guide for the chart-type index. For gym trainers in particular this is very useful. It's all not so bad.

That doesn't mean the walkthrough doesn't have its fair share of problems. Because of the lack of a Pokedex (more on that in a minute) the guide is good at calling out new Pokemon... but will tell you absolutely nothing about them. There are no profiles or anything to give you on any help on whether or not the Pokemon is worthwhile. And while the guide tells you what Pokemon are in an area, it doesn't always tell you the rarity of them. It'll only tell you that they're in the area, but you have little indication as to how often they appear. In terms of what to do the guide is great. But in terms of info on the Pokemon themselves it's pretty abysmal. Likewise, it'll tell you what items are in an area but not exactly where they are. You will know that there is an item on the map, it just won't tell you what it is.

The guide also doesn't tell you a lot about the post game. Once you've beaten the Elite Four and Pokemon Champion it's pretty dry on all the post game fun. But the biggest let down is, like so many have pointed out, the lack of a Pokedex of any kind. To a degree this is standard stuff. Pokemon guides, since Gold and Silver have generally made us wait a bit for a second volume that is usually the Pokedex. The DS games in particular had you wait. The Diamond and Pearl Guide by The Pokemon Company originally did not include a Pokedex either (though it had a list of Pokemon, there was never anything like moves etc. listed). Here there is quite a bit to be desired. Sometimes they've thrown in a regional Pokedex but here we don't get that either. If it's like in the past, you should look to see a Volume 2 in a few months (and apparently it IS coming, so don't believe the statements that there won't be one).

If anything, the only thing that's disappointing about it is that the guide is VERY clearly incomplete as a result. It's one thing that there is no Pokedex but it goes deeper than that. There's no info on any Post Game stuff, which is just as big of a deal. And when I say they don't put any detail into the post game I'm not kidding. If there's a TM to be discovered after the Elite Four... the guide won't even tell you WHAT it is. It's not that the guide feels incomplete. I expect them to do what they've done since the days of Gold and Silver. Which is release a second volume later that details that stuff. What I DO expect, however, is for the guide to at least FEEL like it covers all the basics. Beyond the Elite Four it's not that useful, but what's also sad is that it's not quite as useful even leading up to it. There are A LOT of things that are worth talking about to great lengths in Pokemon X and Y. There is a lot of basic stuff here, but not a lot of depth. The guide doesn't talk much at all about breeding, for instance, or how to get a Pokemon with a nature you want. There's a bit about Super Training, but mostly just explaining what it is and not necessarily a good way to go about it.

That's not to say the guide is useless. If you're only goal is to get to the Elite Four and become the Pokemon Champion, the guide will more than help you out. Chances are the next volume is going to be the one that gives the info that hardcore fans are going to want. This includes a much needed Pokedex. The walkthrough itself is not actually bad. It'll take you through the Kalos region and it'll help you find a lot of key items, O-Powers etc. There's a lot of stuff you WILL get as a result of this guide. It's getting beneath the surface that you won't get. There's a lot of depth the guide lacks and simply isn't going to go into. As a walkthrough it's perfectly fine. As a reference book for mastering Pokemon X and Y there's a lot to be desired outside of just a Pokedex.
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on October 21, 2013
In the last few generations the latest trend has been to release multiple guidebooks through out a Pokémon games lifecycle. With the advent of the 3DS version this is no different. Releasing first is the official guidebook for Pokémon X&Y. The guide itself is made of high quality with thick paper stock and a hardcover. For me this is a very welcome change. I own every Pokémon guide ever made and each one has become increasing less pleasing to the eye as time wears on. I hope with the addition of heavier paper stock and a hard cover this guide will stand up to the constant abuse of frequent access.

The walkthrough portion of the guide, which is why you'd purchase this in the first place, is 288 pages all by itself making up a majority of the book. Each section contains all the necessary information to successfully complete an area. All the Pokémon available on a route including the differences between X&Y are here. All the items for each area are documented including hidden items and items available only after certain events have been completed. All of the trainer battles and Elite Four are detailed including match up preferences and rewards.

The other 128 pages of the book include some of the standard information you'd expect from a Pokémon guidebook. Egg groups and evolution are discussed extensively, many of the new features of X&Y are detailed including Pokémon-Amie and Super Training.

Noticeably missing from the guidebook is a Pokédex. As has been the standard for quite some time, Pokémon guidebooks have not contained a Pokédex in their walkthrough guides. Missing from the title of this book is the usual "Volume 1" notation that has been used since the Diamond & Pearl games. There is no post game walkthrough either which is usually contained in "Volume 2". I'm not going to discuss the pros and cons about how the guides are released in a product review for this guidebook.

As a guidebook and walkthrough for the newest Pokémon game, this book does it's job well. If you're stuck, what to know where certain items are, or just want to flip through one of it's 416 pages, I highly recommend the purchase. If you're interested in a Pokédex detailing all the newest Pokémon, you won't find that here. The last Pokédex released in book form is available on Amazon: Pokemon Black Version 2 & Pokemon White Version 2 The Official National Pokedex & Guide Volume 2: The Official Pokemon Strategy Guide.

In the future I look forward to seeing a "Volume 2" post game walkthrough guidebook with a National Pokédex. The Poké-ball is in your court Prima.
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on October 18, 2013
I'll make this brief. The guide is really nice in terms of design and how well written it is. Whoever designed this book did a wonderful job, and I commend them. Perfect if you just need a walkthrough. The best feature of these guides is not here; the complete Pokédex. This is the biggest reason I buy these guides. I'm still happy with my purchase, as the book is very pretty and will be useful for finding certain things that I missed on my first playthrough of X. Some of the images for the E4's Pokémon are non-existent, and this makes me believe that something may be wrong with Ken Sugimori, which would explain the lack of a Pokédex. Perhaps Mr. Sugimori has not been able to complete the art of some of the new Pokémon? I worry for him and whatever the problem is, but I do hope one day we can have a Pokédex.

Anyhow, definitely worth a buy if you enjoy having physical guides instead of looking online, but refrain from purchasing this if you intend to use it only for a Pokédex.
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on October 16, 2013
I just picked up the guide because I always get the guide, but after looking at it I am definately going to say this is not what I was wanting. If you are new to pokemon this will get you though the game. It has a good basic understanding of what is in the game and how to play it.

First thing I noticed is the lack of the a regional pokedex. I expect a pokedex, and I took off 1 star because of it. If you are an old time fan of the games and only want the guide for index of pokemon you can stop reading.

Now some good things about the guide:

The guide is accurate and gives valuable information so far. It does list the pokemon in each area and their typing, which means even without the pokedex you can still have an advantage in combat.

It has color maps and is easy to read. I have check out the openning part of the guide and found it adequet.

It has a complete list of stuff like TMs and where to get them.

The screen cleaner looks amazingly cute

Bad things:

It is not a serebii substitute. A guide will be free via the web in time, and more detailed. If you do not have a beloved pokemon website go get one before you purchase the guide. There are handful of good ones.

Again no pokedex.

I am going to keep the book because I will read it at work. I really wanted the pokedex, but otherwise this guide is not disappointing. It gets 3 stars because I cannot recommend it to long time fans of the series and because it lacks a pokedex.
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on September 22, 2014
I was very disappointed by this guide. I got it from pre-ordering it and sold itself (not the sellers fault I don't believe as the actual book advertised itself as thus on the cover) as the guide book for X and Y. For most people that would me it includes SOME sort of Pokedex or at least gives the locations and basic stats of the new pokemon in the game.

What it actually is a very basic game faq's with no actual rare secrets (unless you count hidden potions as secret) to help guide people through the bulk of the main story line. No post game information, no rare pokemon locator, no stats...nothing. Frankly not even the maps of the areas in game are that great looking as they are small and not high quality.

I can honestly say I will never be purchasing a guide book from that publisher again at full price. If your a super hard core fan or just have small children (and you don't have the time or know how to look up a guide online) and they can't figure out the main story-line then sure have at it. It would be right up your alley. It looks nice sitting on a shelf or as a small coffee table book but not much else.

People looking for actual pokemon states and locations (or even post game information) might want to look else ware. They split it into two books so if your determined to have the pokedex in book form Look for the sequel to this. Keep in mind it's by the same company so you might wanna do some research before buying, or at least buy it at a discount.
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on October 18, 2013
This is the first guide book ive bought for any game since the Halo 2 strategy guide years ago. Was really excited for this. The book is nicely made and pretty (Especially with the dust cover off. I love the design!). The towel for the 3DS to clean the screens is very cute. Sadly I mainly bought this for the post game info (Which is still very slowly trickling in online). I had already beaten the game by the time I pre-ordered it on Monday (2 days prior to the original release date of the 16th). But this book contains absolutely nothing beyond beating the game and some basic info on a few other mini games and what not.

As other have said it also does not have a Pokedex. Something of which I honestly sort of don't mind. But it would have been nice to have information like where to get the Mega Evolution stones, legendaries and there locations, etc. The book will look pretty on my shelf but will sadly have absolutely no use to me.
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on October 21, 2013
This book arrived after I already completed the Elite 4 and Champion...and guess what it covers ONLY to that point. It is completely useless to me with NO POKEDEX and no post game information. Do not bother with this one. It's just a waste of money. Wait for something with post game and pokedex info.
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