REVIEW: Pokemon X/Y

I apologize for my three week’s of a missed post – I’ve been swamped with schoolwork and playing the game I will be reviewing for this post: Pokemon X!

Pokemon X and Pokemon Y came out a couple weeks ago, and it’s been everywhere. So why is it so popular? I think it’s because of the new Mega Evolutions and the 3D battle environment, but there’s a lot more to the game that’s changed that I want to review, so let’s dive in!

Let’s get the main story out of the way. It’s yet another “You’re the greatest” story where all you do is win and save the world from some dude who wants to make the world “beautiful” blah blah blah. The story doesn’t really interest me, as none of the games really have. This has been the formula for the Pokemon franchise since the very first game. The only games in the main franchise (I’m excluding Coliseum and XD: Gale of Darkness, both of which I enjoyed) that’ve tried to really have a story are Black/White and Black2/White2, and even then, those didn’t impress me, although it was cool to see the game try to have a real plot.

The game looks very pretty. Definitely the best-looking Pokemon game to-date. The battles are fun to watch, the move animations are very cool and hit a chord (for me, at least) of a time when I played the hell out of Pokemon Stadium and Pokemon Stadium 2. Where Black/White and Black2/White2 attempted to merge more 3D into the world, X/Y adds onto it splendidly. The france-esque style is really cool. Love the themed cities.

The music is pretty forgetful save for a few towns, cities, and the INCREDIBLE gym leader music. One of my favorite gym leader themes in the entire series.

Onto the great stuff: NEW TYPE, PIKACHU TALKS, MEGA EVOLUTIONS, AND MORE!

Pikachu actually talks like he did in Pokemon Yellow, my all-time favorite game in the series. If they had shown that in a commercial or something I would’ve been sold right there.

There’s a new type: Fairy. This type is probably the best type in the game, resisting Dark, Bug, and Fighting, being immune to Dragon, and only being resisted by Steel, Poison, and FIre. It’s super-effective against Fighting, Dark, and Dragon. It’s incredible, and with this new type comes some old Pokemon with new flavors, like Mawhile, The Raltz evolutionary line (excluding Gallade), the Marill evolutionary line, and Jiggly/Wigglytuff. It’s cool to see a new type come in, for both casual and competitive players, but as a competitive player I think it’s great to see something shake up the type chart.

While there were only 66 (Or 69, I can’t remember) new Pokemon added to the game, there’s also the additions of Mega Evolutions, special evolutions that certain Pokemon can reach if they hold their respective mega stone. These Pokemon are more powerful and many of them look really cool and give some otherwise unnoticed Pokemon a re-entry into the series, like Pinsir and Kangaskhan. Old favorites like Gyarados, Alakazam, and Gengar were also given Mega Evolutions, and of course, the game’s mascot mega, Mewtwo, is there. Some Pokemon, like Charizard, have two separate mega evolutions. It’s cool, although I’m hoping more are released as DLC like event Torchic with access to the mega stone that transforms Blaziken into Mega Blaziken.

Also, the ability to style your character with clothes and hair styles is a really nice change. When you play a lot of Pokemon, you see a lot of the same avatar. It’s nice that you can put your own flair to your avatar. Also, nicknames appear when doing local battles, which is a really nice addition because some people (like me) put a lot of thought into their nicknames, and to let other people see it is awesome. On the nickname note, the filter is really strict. Sometimes you’ll find a name isn’t accepted because you’re accidentally using a word that is bad in another country, which means it isn’t allowed, but that’s a small price to pay for being able to show off your nicknames!

And probably one of the best additions to the game is Wonder Trade, an online trading service like the GTS (where you could trade with people from around the world), but instead of requesting and offering Pokemon, you pick a Pokemon to offer, and the game randomly selects someone else on Wonder Trade and trades the Pokemon they offered with yours. That’s it. Random trading, and it’s addicting. You can burn quite some time just by Wonder Trading, and sometimes you get some really cool Pokemon. I got a Jolly Charmander out of it just a few days ago.

On the competitive side, it’s very clear that Game Freak and TCPI are trying for competitive growth. It’s been a very gradual increase in helping out competitive players as the competitive side has grown, and now it’s coming out in full force with Super Training, a feature that allows you to make your Pokemon stronger with a kind of fun little mini game, and lets people who have no idea what the term “EV Training” means still have good Pokemon. It’s clear that more competition is wanted, and from what I’ve heard and experienced talking to more casual players, Super Training is pulling off its job very well.

Pokemon X/Y have a lot to offer to new and old players. As one of the Red/Blue/Yellow players, this game is refreshing. Everything is very polished, mechanics have been changed (for the better), and it was just fun the whole way through. I haven’t found myself enjoying an in-game Pokemon experience this much since Heart Gold/Soul Silver, so kudos to X/Y!

The only flaw (and this is a minor flaw) is that the game is way too easy thanks to Exp. Share being reverted back to Gen 1/2. This means that, instead of your Pokemon holding items, it’s an item you turn on and off that gives experience to your whole team. Combine this with you basically getting a team for free (two of which are Lucario and a Kanto starter with their respective Mega Stone), and the game becomes incredibly easy. My entire team was level 80 against the Champion’s level 63 Pokemon at the end. Not challenging at all.

If you’re at all interested in Pokemon, get this game. You won’t regret it!!

Just sayin’.

P.S.: Holding your DS upside down is not a good way to evolve a Pokemon, but that’s how you evolve one.

P.S.S.: If you ever see someone named SwagTrain, that’s me!

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