Pokémon X and Pokémon Y Review

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by Ryukouki, Oct 13, 2013.

Oct 13, 2013
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    Ryukouki Qtis' Scary Brother

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    We made it, everyone. Welcome to the sixth generation of the Pokémon franchise. These are the first of the main series games to be in full 3D, and the result is magnificent. This is going to be the full and story spoiled (hidden, of course) review. I took the entire day yesterday to pump through the main storyline, which took roughly twelve hours, but required several more hours to attain the right stats for the mascot legendary. To put this simply, these two games are the magnum opus of the franchise. Many features have been changed or added to spice up the series. Game Freak has outdone themselves with this excellent addition to the series, and the effort placed into these games outdoes much of the previous generations by a long shot. The use of a fully three dimensional environment creates an enriching and immersive experience never before seen by the main series. The games have many new details and additions, so without further ado, let’s dive into this.



    The Story


    The story admittedly takes a step backwards from Generation V. While the previous generation attempted to think deeper philosophically with the idea of freeing Pokémon from human “captivity,” the Pokémon X and Y games decide to revert back to the usual theme that has been present in previous generations of world domination. While supporters might argue that these games are geared towards children, it is regrettable that the story takes this turn for the whimsy, despite other features attempting to pull in its older fans, especially with the mini anime special Pokémon Origins.

    The story follows the player character, the new resident of the town. Upon arriving the player meets up with several other characters, the “rival” characters. In this game the rivals thrive and grow alongside the player. One of the major themes of Pokémon X and Pokémon Y involves the bond of friendship. This is often thrown in the player’s face a little too often. As the player grows alongside his Pokémon and friends, the player obtains badges and encounters the Team Flare, whose overall goal is to make the world a better place to live in. Unfortunately, this team takes a step back from the previous Team Plasma. Most of the team’s justifications to create a better world is simply because. There is no real way to put it. As the player breezes through the team and acquires the eight regional gym badges, the player challenges the Pokémon League and becomes the Champion.

    A detailed story breakdown and discussion is below. I will not take responsibility for anything after this point, you are warned. If you have not completed the main story line yet, I suggest you skip this portion.

    Story and Discussion


    Overall Game and Mechanic Changes


    One of the major factors that made Pokémon X and Y such a great adventure was the addition of several new mechanics and the modification of several older ones that needed to be changed. There are also an enormous amount of small quality of life changes, which adds up in the long run. The first said feature of discussion is the Mega Evolution.

    Mega Evolution was revealed in Coro Coro back in August 2013. Select critters from the previous generations were given an enhanced stage of evolution, through the use of a special item called the Mega Stone, which can be found throughout the Kalos region. The Mega Evolutions are an interesting addition to the franchise, as the benefits often changed the scope of battle. The visual transformation is top notch. Currently, only one Mega Evolution is allowed on the team at one time to preserve balance in gameplay. Unfortunately, Game Freak shows a bit of bias here and gives a few select Pokémon the ability to have version specific Mega Evolutions. This was unfortunate as hardcore fans wished to have other Pokémon to have dual forms or evolutions. It is unknown whether every evolution has been fully discovered at this point or if downloadable content (DLC) will be provided later.

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    These can completely change the tide of a battle.

    Another major feature is the introduction of the Fairy type. This eighteenth type, the newest since Generation II, addresses some of the balancing issues and gives both new and older Pokémon this new typing to balance out the game. Dragons in previous generations were just a tad stronger than what many competitive battlers would have liked; thus the introduction of this new type balances the scales. The mascot of Pokémon X is a Fairy type, and it is a fantastic looking beast.

    A new and fun feature added is character customization. Yes, you can change up your avatar's appearance to make it unique. There are shops all over the Kalos region that allow you to buy these clothes and change your appearance.

    Of course, I cannot forget about Pokémon-amie. This is a small minigame on the touch screen where you can play with your Pokémon and garner affection. These affection benefits will yield battle bonuses such as the ability to land critical strikes more frequently. Other benefits include evading attacks, an experience point bonus, or shrugging off status ailments automatically without item usage.

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    It was a pleasant surprise to find this portion of the game addicting.

    Some of the broader changes to the game allow for much more ease in the training experience. The addition of the EXP. All helps tremendously to raise Pokémon to a fighting level much quicker. Grinding is reduced significantly. One small note I would recommend if you are playing with a friend is to trade around. For instance, if you both get Charizards, trade them to each other and you will gain boosted experience on top of the EXP. Share. Other quality of life changes include a more immersive multiplayer interface and the use of O-Powers to give friends boosts in their training. The smaller changes to make the game have a more realistic feel involve sitting on chairs, increasing methods of transportation, or even something small like crouching down a little bit to talk to a child. There are plenty of changes in this edition that the franchise has direly needed. I will leave that bit of exploration to you. The vast number of changes turns a small reservoir into an ocean. Every tiny change adds up, and longtime veterans will find a majority of these changes to be beneficial to the overall Pokémon experience.


    Visuals


    For the first games on the Nintendo 3DS, this is where Pokémon X and Pokémon Y shine. The entire game is done in a three dimensional environment, and the results are stunning. Photos of the game are not going to do justice. The environments are fluid, immersive, and allow for eight directional movements at long last. The game has never looked more realistic, at least for the Pokémon franchise. The cut scenes are beautifully animated, and are some of, if not the best, animations to arrive on the Nintendo 3DS.

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    There is no way that a photo will do justice here. Detail is much sharper in game.

    Battle environments are dynamic and changing. Each environment has its own specific battle background. If you are in a cave, the backdrop becomes that of a cave. Pokémon have fluid and natural movement animations and now display emotions when attacking or when hurt. The camera is moving frequently to provide a better look at how the Pokémon are doing. One of the major features of battling involves the displaying in stereoscopic 3D. The only downfall to this is a noticeable lag in battle animation. The effect is still stunning and does not severely impact gameplay. You can still play perfectly fine without the 3D and enjoy the experience.

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    Small snippet of a customized character appearance.

    Music


    According to Junichi Masuda, the music in this particular game would be deviating from what players would expect from the franchise. The new soundtrack is changed as it features orchestrated music. Some of these tunes are brilliant while some others raise eyebrows, but more in a good way. These tunes are very different from the past generations and deviate from the norm of what one would normally expect. Each track is charming, and fits the overall motif of the region being oriented around France. A snippet of one of the soundtracks is below.


    Game Replayability


    Once you have been crowned the Pokémon League Champion, there is still plenty to do. You can eagerly wait for the new Pokémon Bank and Transporter apps to appear on the Nintendo eShop so that you can transfer your old pals from the fifth generation to the new games. This is more of a means to store creatures on the cloud. You can take advantage of the new Super Training method to bring Pokémon up to a competitive standard. Other challenges include the Battle Tower facility which makes a return from previous generations; you can catch roaming legendary Pokémon (at this moment, no mechanism of capture is ready yet as the birds flee upon sight. You cannot even find the battle menu.), and of course aim to complete the Pokédex. With the new multiplayer features, the end game content is quite high and one should not be immediately bored following the ascension to Champion. Do not forget to go searching for the Mega Stones hidden around Kalos!

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    They are back, and catchable with determination and some serious stalking.

    Online


    For the first time, Pokémon feels more like an MMO or social game. This is now possible through the Pokémon Player Search Station. This allows all of the necessary features such as the Global Trade Station (regrettably, ridiculous trades are already plaguing the station), sending power ups to friends, trading, battling, sending shout outs, creating profiles, syncing your game with the Pokémon website, and more. Online is very well done, and does not require camping at a Pokémon Center anymore. Online play can be done from anywhere now.

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    Due for release on December 27th, it will be an opportunity to bring friends from the old games over to the new ones.

    A feature that is absolutely brilliant is the Wonder Trade. The premise is to trade a Pokémon and receive a random one back from a player all around the world. It takes about a minute to find a partner, and you can often receive something special. The first trade I participated in yielded an Absol that became a crucial staple to my team later on. There is no time restriction or limit, so this can be readily done at any time. Take advantage of this feature, as it is also a lot of fun.

    Closing Remarks


    Game Freak announced this game about ten months ago, and the effort displayed is readily apparent and noticeable considering over one million copies were preordered several weeks prior to launch. For sure, the long wait was more than worth it. The game is also the first in the franchise to be released worldwide. The previous trend was Japan receiving the games first, followed by localization several months later, which left international players at a disadvantage facing the teams that the Japanese had been assembling months prior. This trend needs to continue to let everyone start off on an even footing. The changes to the environment, the modification of features and the addition of newer mechanics makes the Pokémon X and Pokémon Y versions the most shocking in terms of overall changes. The somewhat lacking number of newer Pokémon is made up with the Mega Evolutions introduced, and the addition of the Fairy type is sure to rustle feathers in the competitive Pokémon battling community.

    Should You Buy This Game?


    This answer is a resounding yes. The new visuals and additional features result in an incredibly immersive adventure. The longer lasting story line (depending on gameplay) this time around, complete with the end game content, will leave even the most skeptical fan wanting more. With everything that is packed into this game, a $40 purchase should definitely be considered. This game comes at the highest recommendation, and will be a powerhouse on the Nintendo 3DS consoles.
    Last edited by Ryukouki, Oct 16, 2013


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    Black-Ice Cat

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    Nice review,
    One thing, could you un-format your text so it doesnt appear black on the dark theme.
    Its hard to read for us ^_^
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    Ryukouki Qtis' Scary Brother

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    Yeesh, this dark theme seriously needs to be revamped or removed. It's annoying as hell when this happens, because I just type like I normally do into the box. :(
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    Black-Ice Cat

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    Dark theme is beautiful.
    It only happens when you paste things into your post, dont worry just highlight the text and click the eraser in the top left corner of the tools that says "remove formatting" and it should display normally for everyone
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    Ryukouki Qtis' Scary Brother

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    Weird, as I didn't copy anything. O_o
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    Black-Ice Cat

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    Pictures do it too I think
    Btw its normal now thanks :D
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    calmwaters Cat's best friend

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    I thought this was the 7th generation. Shows how much I keep up. And you can trade your Pokemon to each other so they'll get more experience than usual in addition to the Exp. Share? Um, this feature is in the Pokemon games I'm playing right now... (whatever generation LeafGreen/FireRed is: 3rd?)
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    Luckkill4u New Member

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    Under "Visuals" you say that "The entire game is done in a three dimensional environment"

    Just so you know the game is not 100% 3D. Overworld isn't in 3D but battles and other stuff is.
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    UltraMew GBATemp's Mew PRETENDING TO BE FOXI4 4 A DAY

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    He means models, not stereoscopic.
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    Black-Ice Cat

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    The overworld is 3D, but cant be viewed in 3D.

    If that makes sense...
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    UltraMew GBATemp's Mew PRETENDING TO BE FOXI4 4 A DAY

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    Ninja'd by me.
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    frogboy SORRY NOTHING

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    inb4 everyone trading level 2 Pidgeys on Wonder Trade
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    chartube12 New Member

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    Yeah...traded pokemon have gotten an xp boost since day one of gen 1.
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    TwilightWarrior GBATEMP'S Official Boss

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    TwilightWarrior GBATEMP'S Official Boss

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    Lol just realised that I sound like on of those scammers on youtube :P
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    placebooooo New Member

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    So I believe the game is worth playing? the only pokemon game I havent played is black and white generations, i just seemed to have absolutely no interest in them i even tried to force myself into playing them. Anyway I'll probably wait untill the game is dumped through gateway :)
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    Ryukouki Qtis' Scary Brother

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    Game is dumped, but does not work, and might not work for some time. Definitely a worthwhile investment.
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    pwsincd Garage Flower

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    DAMN i was hopiing for a TLDR score board at the bottom....
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    Zorua I'm not a furry.

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    I'd like to point out that the Transporter app does not have a charge levied on it, it's completely free of cost. Also, 'Pokémon Bank' is free for the first month. You should probably also elaborate on the fact that Pokémon Bank is used as a means of storing Pokémon, not transporting them. It's an excellent review all in all though!
    Last edited by Zorua, Oct 14, 2013
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    Mythrix New Member

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    Heh cool. I guess I might buy this game after all! One of my friends has been badgering me (and our other friends) to buy it too. I honestly haven't been that much into the Pokemon games, only ever played one of them till the final boss(es), the Fantastic Four or whatever they were called. :P

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