Pokemon X and Pokemon Y Review
Pokemon finally transitions to 3D in their latest outing
Ever since the release of the original Pokemon Red and Blue (Green in Japan), Pokemon has been a worldwide phenomenon that shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. From the video games and trading card game to the anime, Pokemon has made an impact on a lot of people over the years. This time around, Game Freak and Nintendo aim to completely advance the franchise in new ways that the series has never seen before with Pokemon X and Pokemon Y.
Was this move a super effective critical hit or not very effective? Let’s find out as we look at the HOTs and NOTs of Pokemon X and Pokemon Y for the Nintendo 3DS.
Full Directional Movement
Throughout the history of Pokemon games, we have only been able to move our character in four directions: up, down, left, and right. Now everything has changed with full three dimensional movement in all directions. This allows for much more possibilities with the movement of your trainer throughout the game. One specific instance is an ice cavern you reach later in the game. In the past you could only move in the stated directions, but with being able to more diagonal, you can position yourself to move across ice much differently. These areas are still difficult, but just have a new layer of thought required. It is also useful to have the roller skates, which allows for faster movement, tied to the analog stick once you acquire them, while walking and running are tied to the d-pad.
3D World, Characters, and Pokemon
Pokemon X and Pokemon Y give us the world we have always dreamed of since the early days of Pokemon. Up until now, Pokemon battles on handhelds have consisted of two sprites facing off against one another with little action between the two. Now we have full 3D models for each and every Pokemon as well as full animations for each move. Some of the move animations are specifically gorgeous, with Brave Bird probably being my favorite overall. The new Mega Evolutions allow for some more flare with the transformation sequences looking like something out of an anime, not the Pokemon anime of course.
We previously got to experience a little bit of 3D environments in the Generation V Pokemon games, but they have never looked quite as good as they do in Pokemon X and Pokemon Y. Areas like Lumiose City is where this aspect of the game truly shines with huge areas with many side streets and ways to get around. Sometimes I found myself just exploring around Lumiose to see what all I could find, which is not something you could really say much in the past in towns in Pokemon games.
Everything You Usually Love About Pokemon
Pretty much if you are a fan of Pokemon, you are going to absolutely fall in love with this game. It has everything that you find in the other games, but isn’t that what you want? Catching wild Pokemon, trainer battles, gym battles, saving the world from an evil team, and the list goes on and on. These are all elements of every game, but that is what makes it a Pokemon game. My personal favorite part of Pokemon games has always been the gym battles, and they are a lot of fun in Pokemon X and Pokemon Y with a good range of different gym puzzles and type matchups.
The game even feels like a love letter to the old school Pokemon fans with the introduction of Mega Evolutions as well. This new type of transformation seemed to be given to the most popular Pokemon, including a great number from the first generation. They even give you a choice of one of the original three starters from the Kanto region early in the game, which is a really neat callback for the oldest fans. The addition of the Mega Evolutions may have limited the number of new Pokemon to only 68, but it was a very quality 68 with many new Pokemon really catching my eye.
The EXP Share is nothing new to the Pokemon universe, as it made its debut in the first generation of Pokemon games. However, Pokemon X and Pokemon Y change the way this is used completely. In the past, you could give EXP share to one Pokemon in your team and if they were not used in that battle, the EXP earned would be split in half between the one who was in combat and the one holding EXP share. This was the best way to level up the lower level Pokemon. It was also received fairly late into the game then, and that was the case in most of the other titles as well.
Pokemon X and Pokemon Y change everything by giving you EXP share right after you beat the first gym as you leave the town. Not rather than being an equippable item, it is a key item that can be turned on or off. When it is turned on, all your Pokemon receive the full amount of EXP from the battle, rather than it being divided up at all. This allows for you to keep your team much more evenly leveled rather than having one or two Pokemon dominate. It also helps to allow you to switch out your roster more than you likely would have in the past, which is a nice touch with all the Pokemon you will be catching.