Pokémon X and Y a must own game
Published: Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 00:10
From the time it was first introduced as the series’ English slogan in 1998 (1997 in Japan), “Gotta catch ‘em all” has been a lofty goal. After all, there were originally 151 Pokémon, and filling up your Pokédex ranged from difficult to impossible, depending on how willing you were to cheat to get Mew, and how many friends you had to trade with. It certainly has not gotten easier over the years. As of Saturday, Oct. 12, there are now 718 Pokémon, making it actually seeing each one, let alone catching them, a feat fit only for a true Pokémon trainer.
For those who believe they are up to the task, it’s time to pick up Pokémon X and Y for the Nintendo 3DS. I don’t say this lightly, but it’s possible that this generation (VI) is the best one so far, though my personal favorite will always remain Gen. III. For the first time just about ever, we’re seeing massive changes to the series we all know and love, and they’re quite welcome in a series that, although is one of my favorites, was starting to become a bit stale and formulaic.
First, of course, is the fact that the entire game now functions with full 3D style models, animations and battles. No longer are you forced to play with the traditional top-down style of gameplay, which gives the game a very different feeling from its predecessors. Now the camera actually shifts around, or follows around your character, depending on where you are. The real benefit to these graphical changes makes itself known when you get into a battle. Never before have we actually seen our Pokémon attack in real-time, with set animations. I have to say, it’s awesome. Watching my Blastoise actually slam a Charizard with hydro pump is at least 20 percent cooler than just watching a little beam of water shoot from one picture to another.
The 3D is nice too, but it’s unfortunate that it can only really be used during select times or in battle. Then again, I’m not sure how much most people use the 3D mode on the game anyway, so that probably isn’t a huge loss.
The biggest actual gameplay change comes from the introduction of Mega evolutions and the new fairy type. Mega evolutions are temporary advanced evolutionary stages that can only be accessed in battle with the use of a mega stone. Only certain Pokémon can undergo these transformations, however, and only with the use of the mega stone designated for their evolutionary branch. For example, to become Mega Blastoise, he must be holding the Blastoisinite when the player uses their Mega Ring.
The fairy type is the first new type in some time, and it’s been a long time coming. It serves as a strong counter to the previously unstoppable dragon type (who was previously only weak against ice and other dragons), as it is both super-effective against them and immune to their type attacks. Fairy type is also strong against fighting type and dark type, but weak against poison and steel. Their own attacks are weak against fire, poison, and steel, but they are resistant to bug, fight and dark.
The game takes place in the Kalos region, a new addition to the Pokémon world. However, unlike traditional Pokémon regions, which were based on areas in Japan, Kalos is based on Europe, specifically France. It even has its own version of the Eiffel tower. It’s a bit odd, considering the non-player characters in the game don’t really seem European, but I like the fact that Nintendo is doing their best to branch out of their comfort zone.
As for the story itself, I won’t spoil it, but suffice to say it’s more of the same for anyone who’s ever played a Pokémon game. This time, the stylish Team Flare (who are probably the most odd group of villains we’ve ever fought) is the enemy that our young hero must stop from being generally evil, as they throw low-level Pokémon after low-level Pokémon against your unstoppable team.
One somewhat cool feature is the new Pokémon Amie. In this mode, players can actually interact with their team members through use of the stylus and touchpad, allowing them to increase the level of friendship between the player and their Pokémon. Yes, you can play with a virtual Pikachu now. It’s nothing particularly amazing, but you’ll probably enjoy the five or so minutes you ever actually use it.
Your character is also totally customizable now. No longer will you be forced to run around the game in the exact same outfit. Try on new clothes for a new look, and have a totally different experience every time. Note: I do not actually guarantee a new experience!
In short: buy this game. If you own a Nintendo 3DS, this is the must-own title you’ve been waiting for. Go and lose yourself in the Kalos region among the odd combination of French and Japanese culture, and while you’re there, do your best to catch ‘em all.