on October 18, 2013
I won't bother by giving you a synopsis or details about the game that can be easily found in a general review. Instead I will list a few details why, even with only 20 or so hours into the game so far, that I believe that X and Y are the best installments in the series. In no particular order:
1) The boring guided intro is gone and you are almost immediately on your own catching Pokemon and exploring.
2) Many old favorites from generation I and other fan favorites are featured almost right from the beginning. This is in stark contrast with B & W, where only new unknown pokemon are featured initially. This should appeal to gamers who are fond of the first games from the 90's.
3) No more waiting for powerful pokemon in the late-game, formerly only really usable in post-game. I caught a Bagon by the second gym and that's only the tip of the iceberg.
4) Mega-evolutions bring interest back to fan-favorites, showing younger gamers the great pokemon they are not familiar with and, again, appealing to gamers who played the original games.
5) "Super Training" makes EV training (competitive training) fun, easy, fast, and accessible for anyone. You can fully EV-train pokemon in less than an hour, and undo it all with a special item, and redo it as you change your strategy.
6) Trainer customization and online features make this feel more like an RPG.
7) The shiny encounter odds are reasonable now.
8) Perfect IV pokemon are a few breeding steps away with the new "Friend Safari" and new breeding mechanics.
9) The graphics are stylized just like the anime now. It REALLY looks great.
10) Now that Game Freak has tweaked the game to be more reasonable, competitive pokemon can be trained in a reasonable time, therefore cheating/hacking is not even necessary (it is blocked for the foreseable future anyway).
Now if I had to give it a few negative points: the 3D is only active in single battles and only certain parts of the overworld because the framerate is low when 3D is on and would probably become terrible with more action. The dialogue is still a bit childish and boring for the most part with bland side-characters. The difficulty needs to be higher (although they did make is accessible for all ages at least). Lastly, the 3DS really needs a cellular card in it or something because WIFI is still not consistent enough when going various places to take advantage of the new online features. I am sure if Nintendo had an online service for the 3DS like the Amazon Kindle does, even for a low cost, that many would subscribe just for this game.
on October 15, 2013
Let me begin by saying that I am a long, die hard, Pokemon fan. I began back with Pokemon Ruby, and subsequently moved to play the first and second generations. I was absolutely and completely mesmerized by the amazing fun and thrilling rush of playing any Pokemon game. I still remember skipping middle school to stay home and train my Larvitar in Pokemon Silver. I still remember bringing my Gameboy Advance everywhere to try to find Surf in Pokemon Red. I vividly remember beating the Elite Four in Pokemon FireRed for the first time and maniacally pressing A in hopes of catching Mewtwo with the UltraBall.
However, things have changed. I am a college student now. Pokemon Black and White, was for me, a major disappointment. I logged over 100 hours in Pokemon Pearl and Platinum and barely even got my 7th badge in Pokemon Black before completely quitting and never touching it again... I feared the worst, oh god, did I outgrow my childhood? Was I becoming more cynical, more serious, heaven forbid, more mature?! No!! Where was my childhood thrill that I got from training my Dragonite, capturing Lugia, and chasing down Mesprit?! I feared the fun would never return and I was just another grown - up...
Well, Pokemon Y brought it back... and during midterms week.
I have logged in more than 20 hours with Pokemon Y so far, (who needs microecon anyways?) and I barely got my 8th badge, and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS GAME. I feel the same rush I felt when I was in middle school training my pokemon! This game is great! It fixed all of what was wrong with Generation V such as boring and lackluster Pokemon interactions, and revamped the system without taking away my beloved formula of capturing Pokemon.
My Charizard, Raichu, and Greninja are all ready to tackle the Elite Four and I feel like a Pokemon Master again! DEFINITELY BUY THIS GAME IF YOU LIKE POKEMON. Even if you were disillusioned with Pokemon Black and White, give XY a try. I did, and I do not regret it. The graphics are amazing, and the magic is certainly there.
Pokemon Y brought some well needed air to the franchise and I can say that I am a Poke Maniac, once again.
This game feels a lot like Generation III and IV! This feels like a TRUE Pokemon game!
NOTE: when Pokémon X & Y shipped there was a bug that could break your save game. That has been fixed in an update, so before you play you should run the update. It's really easy to do and the 3DS will walk you through each step--you turn on the network, launch the game, say yes to the prompt to update it, and walk through the prompts to get the update applied.
Pokemon X and Y are a fantastic progression of the Pokemon series, and just like with 'Black' I & II and 'White' I & II, my daughter and I each chose one of the two games--this time around she's playing 'X' and I'm playing 'Y'. It's amazing to see how much more we get in the terms of content, graphics, music, and of course general things to do. However, before I say more I think you should be aware that there is a savegame bug in the out-of-the-box new product that could kill your savegame. I'll post a link to an article about it in the comments, so update your game using your 3DS to get the fix before you get to Lumiose City!
If you're new to Pokemon, the shortest way I could explain it is that you are a young person in a land where many different kinds of creatures exist in the wild called 'Pokemon'. These creatures can be captured and cared for, and for many children this is a kind of rite of passage: you learn how to capture and train Pokemon, travel the land on your own, and have adventures. You use your Pokemon to have battles, against other trainers and against wild Pokemon. If it sounds a bit cruel, keep in mind that this is a game for young people and as such Game Freak goes out of their way to make the story a positive lesson: you have to take care of your Pokemon, they grow to like you, and no one ever dies--they just 'faint' and can be revived. Some creatures can 'evolve' into different forms, and with X and Y we now get 'Mega-Evolution' that adds to our options and makes the possibilities even more diverse.
If you're contemplating buying a Pokémon game for a child in your family, there is educational value to be had here: I'm amazed at the huge and creative variety of creatures, and my daughter has coached me on strategies: type matching and analysis are important skills that require memorization, reasoning, and a bit of basic math. You have to manage money to buy things and plan your inventory before taking a trip out of town. And sometimes your character is asked questions to make them think.
Pokemon X and Y are the latest entries in the series, and they take the new ground that was broken in Pokemon Black and Pokemon White (both of which had sequels, I & II) several steps further. Perhaps the biggest change in X and Y is that you interact closely with your Pokemon:
- play with them: there are fun minigames that you play together
- feed them: you get "Pokemon puffs" that look like little pastries that you can hand-feed them using the stylus
- interact with them: petting them makes them happy, and when they're in a particularly good mood they'll play a game with you in which you get to make faces with them: the 3DS camera will show your Pokemon your smiling, winking, or making a 'kissyface'. Your Pokemon delight in your antics.
- train them: you can play other minigames that boost their stats, allowing you to really bump up their skills! Have a Pokemon that's slow? Do lots of Speed training and they'll get faster. It's been huge amounts of fun watching my favorite Pokemon's stats raise and they really do perform better in battles.
All of this revolves around a central story line, with good guys and bad guys, and the difference between X and Y seems to be that the storyline in 'Y' appears to go into a little bit darker territory than 'X', though both have the same overall story. You are encouraged to use the wireless aspects of 3DS to trade, battle, and 'see' each other's Pokemon when you're with someone else who is playing X or Y. You also get "O-Powers", which can be used to bump up stats as well. And early on in the game you have a chance to choose one of the three first-gen 'Starter' Pokemon and add them to your party, which is a really nice nod to the earlier games.
There is a lot more to X and Y in that your character can now change clothes and mix and match different outfits. You can buy clothes in various boutiques throughout the land, and my daughter loves coming up with her own fashion ideas. Your character can shoot 'promo videos' of themselves, though this bit is kind of weird and a bit lame, like the 'movies' that you could make in Pokemon Black and Pokemon White...not very clear how it works, not sure exactly what the purpose is.
There are huge benefits this time around too: most of the game is animated, and it all has a very nice cel-shaded look (think Sly Cooper or recent Zelda games). Camera angles are fairly dynamic, especially during battles, when the camera pans around or does split-screen effects, etc. Battle is a lot more animated, with more visual effects. The music sounds really great, as if it's been orchestrated this time around. The region you are in resembles a European village, complete with a lot of French-sounding names and places. As a very long-time player of JRPGs, I really didn't mind the look of the prior games at all--but I really LOVE the new look & feel of Pokemon X & Y! But the biggest boosts to the gameplay are:
- Experience Share isn't specific to one Pokemon: it's in your pocket and causes bonus XP to be shared with every member of your party
- It used to be that if you captured a Pokemon, no experience was handed out for the battle: now, you still get XP.
- It also used to be that if a Pokemon fainted during a battle and wasn't revived before the battle was over, they didn't get XP. They do now! I even had a Pokemon faint and level up while fainted. This was a pleasant surprise that makes level-grinding easier to do.
If you're new to the Pokemon games and this is your first one, X and Y are a great place to begin--you'll be a bit spoiled! If you're a fan of the original games, picture this as another step forward, with a whole new look. I've really enjoyed the additions and changes, as most of them seem aimed at making the entire experience of a Pokemon game more enjoyable.
I picked Pokemon Y when this generation was released, and I am still playing it. I'm here for Charizard X.
I'm also here to replay the story and side quests. I'm a late middle aged parent, and I've played pokemon from the Gameboy Color on up. This particular series has so much to do, and the IV checker makes the game a dream for people who like to hatch eggs.
on September 25, 2015
If you haven't played Pokemon since Gold/Silver/Crystal, this is a good jumping in point. In fact, I'd say this plays so much like Crystal it's scary.
Like in Crystal, you can grow plants (in this case, berries) to help ease the item burden a little and save money. Also like in Crystal, there are many shops, knowing where the vending machines are will save you some serious money, and there are various shops and activities that are around only certain times of day. Much like in Crystal, the plot is very straightforward making it easy to get through the game without getting lost. It's also possible to rematch trainers at higher difficulties and there's even a groomer (even if they only groom Furfrou). There are a few improvements, however!
If you accidentally KO a "single time" pokemon like Snorlax or Xerneas, you will get second chances to catch them. Pokemon stats can be boosted by "super training"- a free activity done on the bottom screen via the new "PokemonAmie" system. PokemonAmie also allows you to make a cute room for your Pokemon to hang out in and to play with your pokemon, which makes them happy. Happier pokemon fight better! Trading is easy via the online system and the Battle Maison and Cafes are great for learning Triple, Double and Rotation battles while earning valuable items. If you have a friend you battle (and beat) a lot the system automatically adds a handicap to make it more fair. There's also real-time animation day and night effects and the ability to dress your trainer up. There's something beautiful about watching the sunset glisten off the water while playing with your pokemon.
All in all Pokemon X is a great way to get into pokemon even if you're an old hand at it! It's simple with tons of customization options and familiar enough that old players will feel that lovely nostalgia as they play. Happy training!
on November 23, 2013
Prior to playing this, I believed that Emerald Version was still the best Pokémon game ever due to the Battle Frontier. I think they did so much right in X and Y that they've probably overtaken Emerald for the top spot. Most readers are probably familiar enough with Pokémon that you know what you're getting, so I'll just list the pros and cons.
* Super Training and the way it motivated me to finally EV train up a whole team, something I never had the patience to do in the past. And I'm having a blast using that team over Wi-Fi and in the Battle Maison.
* Max EV's changed to 252 per stat, meaning that you don't have to count EV's if you want to put them all into two stats, since you won't end up wasting a point
* Pokemon Amie has some fun mingames
* GTS allows searching for Pokemon not seen
* Can search through longer list of Pokemon on GTS, plus you're no longer allowed to specifically ask for Pokemon level 9 and under. These changes make GTS trolls not such a big deal.
* GTS allows you to specifically search for people asking for Pokemon that you have, makes the search much quicker
* New ways to evolve Inkay and Eevee are creative
* Battle Maison includes triple and rotation battles
* Battle Institute is fun, between that and the various battles in the Battle Maison, I feel like they've gotten as close to Emerald's Battle Frontier as they'll ever get
* Battle Chateau
* Some really awesome new Pokemon like Yveltal, Xerneas, Pyroar, Amaura, etc.
* Polygonal graphics and 3D effects are stunning
* Character customization is really fun, I change outfits more often than I thought I would
* Having the new Fairy type is awesome, never thought they'd make another new type
* Large amount of Pokemon to be caught, spanning all six generations pretty evenly
* Mega Evolutions add something new to the gameplay
* Lots of type combinations used for first time despite small number of new Pokemon (Fire/Normal, Electric/Normal, Ice/Rock, Dragon/Rock, Poison/Dragon, Steel/Ghost, Ghost/Grass, Ground/Normal then possibly Water/Fire and Psychic/Ghost if Volcanion and Diancie are real)
* "Over 9000" reference made me laugh pretty hard because I did not see it coming
* Looker gives you some stuff to do when you're bored
* Backgrounds for battle screen are cool
* 3DS is more difficult to hack, meaning you don't have to worry so much about people on the internet facing you with hacked Pokemon
* Inverse battles are fun, even if you can only do one a day
* Seriously loving the Random Matchup (I didn't play my White Version a whole lot, so this is new to me)
* Statistics flash on the screen during Wi-Fi battles so you know who you're dealing with
* Can save more than one battle video on the VS Recorder, not sure if you could do this in Gen IV or V because I never felt a need to save a battle, but I'm sure glad you can now because I've had a couple great battles involving my invincible Shuckle.
* Only 69 (or possibly 72) new Pokemon
* Can't transport Gen V Pokemon over until release of Pokemon Bank and Poke Transporter
* Costs money to use Bank/Transporter after the 30-day trial
* Being left in the dark about Hoopa, Diancie, and Volcanion gets my OCD working because I can't comfortably say that there are 718 Pokemon, but I can't really say 721 either yet. Plus I'm mad that they couldn't have been included in the main game. There were only three new legendaries. We don't need half of the new legendaries to be event-only. I want to use the Water/Fire type Volcanion, doggone it!
* While it made me laugh because I knew where it originated, there is really nothing funny in itself about Vegeta crushing his scouter and yelling "IT'S OVER 9000!" It's one of those lines that only became funny because people repeated it so much, like "Do a barrel roll!"
* TM's aren't organized automatically
* Random matchups ban two Pokemon from holding the same item, but allow you to use legendaries. You might as well keep the regulations consistent. I got really peeved when I lost to a team with a Mega Mewtwo X because I don't have any legendaries on the team I trained up. But I'd kill to have both Ferrothorn and Aegislash hold Iron Balls. Either ban them both, or lift both regulations. Don't just regulate the opposite of what I want you to regulate.
* Doesn't show how many wins and losses you and your opponent have during Free Battles
* Some of the Mega Evolutions either look completely bizarre (Blastoise, Heracross, Pinsir) or too close to the originals (Venusaur, Garchomp, Charizard Y)
I have now tried Rating Battles and have a few things to say about them. I'm glad that legendaries aren't allowed, unlike in Free Battles. So you can pretty much scratch that con off the list, since there's no point in doing Free Battles when you can do Rating Battles. Also, I'm fine with the fact that your Pokémon can't hold duplicate items. I ended up getting an Occa Berry from Inver, and now I'd honestly rather have him hold that than an Iron Ball anyway. I also have to give Gamefreak thumbs up for giving an automatic loss to players who disconnect in the middle of a battle. I can only imagine how big of a pain battles would be if that weren't the case. I've already done two battles where my opponent spent the whole half hour trying to kill my invincible Shuckle, only to lose in the end because they had a lower percentage of HP remaining when time ran out. (At least I think that's why I was given the wins.) I would imagine that many would have disconnected in irritation. You can also scratch the con where I complain that Free Battles don't show wins and losses. Not sure what I was thinking. That's what Rating Battles are for.
I have to say a thing or two about IV's. I wish they would just do away with them. Getting my first team EV'd up the way I wanted with the right natures took long enough. I've been working on a second team for a while and it hasn't gone any quicker. There's no way I'm going to try and get Pokémon with perfect IV's. However, I really appreciate the Judge that I recently discovered. He tells you the potential of your Pokémon, and which stat has the highest IV. I was delighted to see that a couple Pokémon I was training for my second team were deemed above average and had their highest IV's in stats where it would benefit the Pokémon greatly. I'm guessing that on future teams, I'll be taking visits to the Judge to do a quick IV check. Still wish I didn't have to worry about them, though. It's not like they add any extra strategy like EV's and natures do.
Oh yeah, Pokémon Bank and Transporter got delayed. This is why they should have released them BEFORE Christmas, when they should have known there would be problems. I got some new games for Christmas, so I guess I'm not really planning on playing Y again for a few months anyway. But I can imagine some people are absolutely infuriated right now. Someone on the Serebii Facebook page said he stayed up till midnight only to find out that the Pokémon Bank wasn't going to be released. Sad.
One error in my review that I need to fix is that I said you can't search for "Level 9 and under" on the GTS anymore. You actually can search for "Level 1 to 10," which is pretty much the same thing. Though oddly enough, I haven't run into a lot of people asking for "Level 1 to 10" Pokémon that are impossible to get. It could be that they've stopped people from asking for Pokémon that can't possibly be obtained. I don't know.
I should also let you know that while the Level 9 and under trolls are gone, there's a new breed of trolls due to the new comments section. Just search for a Ditto and you'll see what I mean. There is an endless flood of people putting Ditto on the GTS, claiming it has perfect IV's, and then asking for legendaries. I can pretty much guarantee that many, if not most of these are fake. And even if they were real, there's no way you'll ever make the trade when you have no way of knowing if they're telling the truth. You should be allowed to look at the summary of the Pokémon you're trading for.
One last correction: Hoopa is the alleged Ghost/Psychic type, not Diancie.
on October 12, 2013
To put it simply - maybe! Read on to see why, but be warned of some minor gameplay spoilers. To avoid them skip down to my "bottom line" section. Also, make sure to check there for the latest on the "save bug" that may temporarily break your game!
To those familiar with the series, you'll recognize the old familiar pattern right away. Receive Pokemon and Pokedex and then fight your way to the top, beating the bad guys along the way. For those new to the series however, Pokemon X/Y offers a more than adequate introduction, though because of this gameplay exposition, conversation is just a little bland for the first few towns. On that topic, while newcomers will find these games entirely accessible and enjoyable, there are several friendly nods to eras gone by placed with in the games, as old familiar faces make appearances. Further, you'll get to pick a first generation starter right off the bat to augment your team, a touch that I absolutely loved.
Speaking of familiar, the story and its baddies are nothing really new - starting with Black and White, Pokemon started making more of an effort in that department, but plot is still not is strong suit. That said, some of the cast members do manage to stand out, especially a couple of really unique gym leaders and other NPCs. Most, however, are fairly cookie-cutter. Still, where this would ruin most RPGs, it's not a huge concern for Pokemon, where the goal is always catching em all and being the best.
As for catching them all, I confess myself slightly disappointed - there are significantly fewer new Pokemon than were introduced by prior generations. However, the lack of quantity is neatly compensated for by high overall quality - prior generations have seen some serious "dud" Pokemon, but there don't seem to be any this go-round. (Addendum: Found the dude Pokemon. Klefki, I'm looking at you!) The new additions are, fortunately, well-padded by five prior generations, and so you never run out of things to catch.
Next up is gameplay. While the basics have remained the same, Game Freak has, as always, tweaked the balance just a bit - in fact, they've done rather a lot this time. Introducing a new type for the first time in 14 years is a bold move, as was retconning a few Pokemon into the new type. Fortunately, it seems to work out - no doubt it'll give the hardcore metagame analysts something to chew on for a good long time, and for the rest of us, the game is more balanced than ever. Next in line of gameplay changes is the well-hyped "mega evolution" mechanic, and YES, it is exactly as cool as it sounds. I'd hate to spoil anything, but I will say that some are game-dependent, and overall X seems to get the "cooler" end of the stick in that department.
Additionally, "Pokemon Amie" is an entirely endearing side-game that I think really adds an extra dimension to Pokemon interactions. While it may not do much for some audiences, for those that really enjoy bonding with their virtual pets, this really takes things to new heights. Again, I don't want to spoil much, but there are some Pokemon that it is just endlessly entertaining to pet.
As to graphics, well, screenshots obviously don't do the game justice. Pokemon in 3D is reminiscent in some ways of the console games, especially with the exciting dynamic camera movements and attack animations. The sheer amount of "stuff" going on in battle makes it very exciting - except for when it causes a bit of lag. This is mainly an issue in larger-scale battles (horde battles are also an exciting introduction!), but a slight disappointment nonetheless, since it's precisely those big, epic moments that would be most impressive in smooth, 3D glory. On the other hand, the world is absolutely gorgeous - running your customized character through Kalos is a real treat, especially with all the ways to get around. Having played since the first generation, jumping up a ledge for the first time was an absolute joy.
Sound effects are, as usual, a bit outdated. The music however is gorgeous - not quite a match for the second generation (in my own opinion) - but beautiful nonetheless.
Overall, X and Y are fantastic additions to the Pokemon family. They shake things up in exactly the right way while maintaining the philosophy of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." Hardware limitations can sometimes put a damper on things, but they hardly dim the brilliance of a very exciting sixth generation.
**UPDATE ON THE SAVE BUG** Nintendo and Game Freak are aware of a game-crashing bug that may occur when saving on the outskirts or some inner avenues of Lumiose City. A patch has been released for both the downloaded and cart version, and can be downloaded for free from the 3DS eshop. There are different downloads for versions X and Y, be sure to get the correct one!
Questions or comments? Feel free to leave them below, or to contact me at SeanOnAmazon@gmail.com.
on February 25, 2015
Pokemon X has been a great experience so far! The last time I played a pokemon game was in the days of the good old black and white gameboy. I was completely hooked back then, until my gameboy got stolen (a sudden misfortune which left me much traumatized) and now Pokemon X has brought that Magic back! I am completely hooked to this game. There's so much to do. I especially enjoy the customization, the open world you can explore, all the pokemon you have to discover to fill your Pokedex. It's just hours and hours of fun. Obviously the battle system is super Kick butt and easy to master! I love it! Since the old pokemon days to now, the game is obviously much more different, but with the same good old elements. Everything is upgraded, especially the fact that now you can trade and share your pokemon with friends and even battle people all over the world with internet connection. It truly is a huge experience in just one game. I am still not done with the game, still have a few battles left. My favorite part is shopping around in Lumoise city and roaming around talking to everyone. Collecting wild pokemon becomes an addiction and leveling them up with battles soon becomes a necessity. If you enjoy Pokemon games, you will love Pokemon X too. If you are new to Pokemon, this game can be just as fun! It's not extremely difficult. I don't find it too challenging but its super fun nonetheless.
on June 14, 2015
I'll be honest, I have never been a huge fan of the Pokemon games. I always found their gameplay to be too repetitive and easy for my liking. To be fair though, I have only played the most recent ones and I heard that the older ones are tougher and pose more of a challenge for players. Unfortunately this one doesn't change the trend of being easier, but at the very least, it has a solid storyline and a fun and interesting region to explore bursting with charm. I especially loved exploring all the many different cafes in Lumiose City. Skating around that city gave me the illusion of true freedom. Along the way you will meet plenty of interesting characters who will make your journey more meaningful with each badge you collect. My only real problem besides the difficulty, is that there really isn't much of an end game in comparison to past Pokemon games. The game kind of fizzles out after the credits roll, which is unusual to me since I am pretty used to some splendid surprises from Nintendo games in particular. On the bright side though, the game boasts a very accessible and easy to use online trading system. You can choose to either trade one of your random Pokemon for another random one, or trade one of your specific Pokemon for another specific one. Very easy to use. There also happens to be something called a Battle Chateaux in the game which pits you against various trainers of various skill levels and allows you to rank up as well. I found these trainers to be the best way to level up my Pokemon personally. All in all, it is a very good Pokemon game that ties into the show of the same name very well. I just wish the series would become a little more hardcore in the future so I actually have a reason to want to come back and play another entry. There are more features in the game that I haven't mentioned but you can go check those out for yourself. Great starting point for new fans!
on October 14, 2013
Game Freak does NOT disappoint, the next generation of Pokemon is here and its truly incredible. The graphics are amped and the gaming experience is beyond brilliant with the new Nintendo 3DS XL console system (I highly recommend getting the XL version rather than a regular 3DS).