Games You SHOULDN'T Buy #3 - Pokémon X and Y

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by Ryukouki, Jun 2, 2014.

  1. Ryukouki

    Ryukouki See you later, guys.

    Jan 31, 2008
    United States
    Well, guys, welcome to another article in the series of Games You SHOULDN'T Buy! Based on comments addressed in the first two articles, a lot of you guys liked the idea but wanted to see more recent titles being discussed, which is a more than valid concern, as I just wanted to see how I could shape this series and bring it together. And so, up for discussion is Pokémon X and Y for the Nintendo 3DS. Why would I choose this title? Despite the critical acclaim the game has garnered from both the media and fans alike, the millions of sales that the title had earned, and the hype the games had generated, the title still falls short of actually moving forward the franchise and instead takes a few steps backward. So put away the pitchforks and torches, they're out of stock anyway at the local hardware stores. Let's jump into this animal, shall we?​
    Pokémon X and Y are held dear to a lot of players' hearts. The title sold approximately four million in the first weekend if I recall correctly. The game had almost ten months to hype the players out, showing battles taking place with polygonal sprite models, with natural animations. The over world had fans crying for release. Everything about the title looked amazing. It finally looked like Game Freak was taking the game in the right direction. For the most part, the title actually did do some things right.​
    Going in the right direction...
    For us readers here, who range from the casual player to the fiercely competitive, Pokémon X and Y catered to the majority of its player base. There were a number of mechanics that were streamlined to make the game more appealing. One of those mechanics was breeding and EV/IV training. In past titles, EV training was considered one of the most mundane jobs, involving the player chasing down thousands of the same creature to boost their creature's values to make them marginally competitive. This process could take dozens of hours for a single Pokémon, which resulted in a maxed out save file for the hardcore player. In Pokémon X and Y, with the introduction of the Super Training mechanic, EV training could be completed in minutes by playing mini games on the touch screen. There were items that were also useful for breeders to maximize the IVs a Pokémon had, which brought the process down to tedium, rather than luck. In addition, social play was an element that Pokémon X and Y emphasized on, which made the experience much more enjoyable.​
    Social play always felt like a huge part of the franchise. The earliest games involved trading creatures with friends in order to have a sense of completeness with a collection. Now, with hundreds of creatures to collect, trading had become more streamlined, if not fun, with the addition of the Wonder Trade feature. There is a whole portion of the bottom screen dedicated to the Player Search System (PSS) feature. In the PSS interface, players could trade a critter and receive a random one in return, adding an element of community to an already community-related title. There were forums and sub-reddits dedicated to the trade of creatures, often left behind in the pursuit of a successful breeding session, to "pay it forward" to other players who may have been wanting to search for random creatures. I sometimes even saw legendary Pokémon in my trade sessions. Players could competitively battle anywhere and anytime without the need for the Pokémon centers, which was a huge step up. Visually, the games had stepped up from its predecessors, but that should be a given since it was the first title that appeared on the Nintendo 3DS, which had superior hardware to its DS predecessor.​
    You'll be using this a lot here. It's actually a lot of fun here.
    Visually, the titles are the best in the franchise thus far. The overworld is three-dimensional, but not pop out three-dimensional with the 3DS effect enabled. Attention to detail was given to a lot of these environments. They felt natural and they belonged. The music of the game was also orchestrated for the first time (though some of these tunes are rather unremarkable, sad to say) which was a delight to some players, yet some tunes had been mixed in their reception, notably the Gym leader theme, which felt out of place in the title. Finally, player characterization in the title made the character unique and not some blank slate that had been provided in the previous titles.​
    In Pokémon X and Y, customization was introduced to give characters a somewhat unique appearance. From the beginning, you were able to customize skin tones and early into the game, players were allowed to shop at boutiques to change up their wardrobe. I'm definitely going to say that I feel a bit of bias was given to the female character, who had a lot more stylish clothing than the male character. The male clothing was a bit distasteful for my standards, but that's a minor gripe in the long haul.​
    It's a shame that males had very little hairstyle options...
    ...and then taking a few steps back - What makes these titles not a good purchase?
    These titles felt rather rushed. Personally, I would have appreciated it if Game Freak took a few more months of development as I felt these titles were rushed. Even though critics and fans hailed the titles as saviors and gave it critical acclaim, for me, it just didn't work out for me. First and foremost - the Pokémon themselves.​
    The games introduced about 70 new critters to the franchise. The title was introduced on January 8, 2013, with a release of October 12th, 2013. In the ten months that the game had to develop, most of the critters were already introduced by the time the game had been released, through Nintendo Directs or by following the Coro Coro! magazines that released in Japan every month. When release day came around, most of them had already been shown, thus taking away the fun of really discovering what finding new critters in a new region was all about. A lot of the designs felt unoriginal, but even so, were much better than the Generation V counterparts. I also felt that Mega Evolutions, while they're a cool gimmick, took away from the evolutions that some Pokémon really needed. For example, Pinsir and Heracross. Competitively, the two are amazing to have, but they could have been given so much more in the form of a permanent evolution. And the idea of only Blaziken getting a Mega Evolution while Sceptile and Swampert are left in the dust really irks me. Hopefully with the release of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, that gets rectified. Furthermore, the difficulty felt reduced and much easier than previous generations.​
    Difficulty is always hard to properly talk about in Pokémon titles. They're childrens' games, many say, but these felt a bit dumbed down, even with the Exp. Share item turned off. One stark example is the Elite Four of this generation, who each only held four Pokémon, and gym leaders, who restricted themselves to three Pokémon each. They felt stunted. The culmination of the training felt like a waste as I easily struck them down. Not to mention the Champion was a bit underwhelming, as I used to like struggling against the champion in a rather epic battle. This game, I was spamming the same moves on my Greninja non-stop and stopped the Champion in her tracks within minutes, without using items. And since we're talking about the Elite Four here, what happens after beating them?​
    Way too easy this generation...
    Sadly, the answer to this question is not much, assuming we are talking about new content here. There could always be things to do: breeding, completing the Pokédex, competitive battle, but for new content, it felt stark and empty. The post game felt extremely lacking in this game. It's a fact that most Pokémon games that aren't based in the Johto region would have a relatively meager post game, but the 3DS titles felt empty for such a large region and file size. Legendaries were few and far in between to capture, with the mascot legendary, Mewtwo, Zygarde, and one bird that depends on the starter chosen. Also, usually the end game introduces a new city, island, or some other type of location to explore. X and Y introduce Kiloude City, a rather dull city with a dull Battle Tower and by far one of the weirdest Safari Zone variants of the series yet, which forces you to play and actively search for people to get Pokémon that can sometimes only be found here. The post game introduced a few randomly small side quests with Looker, but the story is a bit silly and anticlimactic, like the story itself.​
    Don't make me force myself to play with friends!
    Pokémon titles always had a weak storyline. They're meant to be kid friendly and teach very basic lessons. But this one was very dull and just didn't do justice. The storyline turned into the world's ending from a crystal laser looking device that would go off unless the player stopped Team Flare. But hold on, I have to take a picture of myself in front of the doomsday device to complete my photo album. Selfie, anyone? Lysandre himself also felt like a flamboyant villain. He reminds me of Zhang He from Dynasty Warriors. He gets this cool backpack with cyborg arms coming out of it, but it doesn't even do anything. It was a terrible letdown. The story pace is also jarring, with several hours of space between the first two gyms, followed by a huge surge of gym leaders from there on. If this game needed to learn something, it was that consistency matters, which brings me to my next point: the 3D visuals being inconsistent most of the time.​
    The 3D effect for the title was not fully enabled for many areas of the game. In battle, it caused frame rates to drop noticeably. In the over world, the 3D effect was only used in a few areas, like caves or notable locations in the Kalos region. When I played a title like Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies, the 3D was there throughout. I also won't forget to mention that only one Pokémon of almost 800 got voice acting. Pikachu may be the series mascot, but come on, give the others a similar treatment. It felt unfinished, like a lot of the other side characters the game forces upon the player.​
    Pokémon X and Y gives the player a few child friends to play with. They are quite possibly the worst written characters of the game, with almost no trace of ambition, save for the rival male/female counterpart of the player. Their plot lines felt shoehorned in, and it turns out by the end of the fun, they're out not doing much. I get that the series wanted to make the game social for the player, but including scenes of "dating" on a castle and watching fireworks was too mundane and kind of awkward when the butler gives the Technical Machine for Protect.​
    Hurry up and get to the point already!
    Pokémon X and Y tried too hard to be something that catered to too many fans. It did things right with the visuals, social play, easier breeding process and character customization, but it was also too easy by a Pokémon game standard, and the aspect of adding social features to the game crept in and created forced relationships with players that had little significance to the overall plot of the game. That, combined with inconsistency in the visuals, lack of new Pokémon, a severe lack of post game content, and rather bland music made a title that brought forth the franchise a little bit but took some steps backward. Having said that, I will add Pokémon X and Y to the list of Games You SHOULDN'T Buy.​
    If you wish to offer feedback/commentary, you are more than welcome to do so. Please keep the comments clean. If you wish to submit an article to this series, please feel free to send me a PM of your completed work. I will most likely perform some minor edits and have it ready for the portal. I do however reserve the right to deny any submissions.​
  2. GameWinner

    GameWinner Take your heart

    Jun 14, 2009
    United States
    Ruh roh.
    It was nice knowing you, Ryu..
    Warning: Spoilers inside!
  3. Ryukouki

    Ryukouki See you later, guys.

    Jan 31, 2008
    United States

    It's not an entirely bad game. I'm just saying that it's worth maybe glazing over or possibly purchasing at a lower price to take full advantage of it. Goodbye sir!
    Ammako and gamefan5 like this.
  4. LegendAssassinF

    LegendAssassinF GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Dec 12, 2012
    United States
    Princeton, New Jersey
    I found the game easier but it is more so it caters to the younger audience it is trying to appeal to. In the US and Japan the series is still pushing strong with episodes. Certainly in Japan I bet there are more children than adults that care about the series compared to the US if you look at the sales of the series in both locations. I wouldn't say it is a game you shouldn't buy since there are way worst games out there that are part of the main stream as well. It could be the lack of understanding when we were going up that makes us think these games are easier or bland. I go back to play the original games and there is zero story besides trying to be the best and Team Rocket being horrible to the player and trying to advance the storyline that it does have.
  5. VLinh

    VLinh GBAtemp Fan

    Oct 4, 2008
    I similarly shared some of your opinions on the game, found the endgame content to be lacking, visuals were okay, and the difficulty this generation was too easy, even with exp share disabled. I would have liked them bringing back Round 2, where the Elite Four got buffed and or added like the islands back in Fire Red and Leaf Green. Story was mad lame imo
  6. Framework43

    Framework43 I'm International

    Sep 3, 2008
    United States
    in b4 you die
    in b4 "I didn't buy it, i used the eshop promotion in March ;3"
    in b4 RIP
    in b4 no
    in b4 wow
  7. Gahars

    Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

    Aug 5, 2011
    United States
    New Jersey
    I'm not sure how helpful this will be. I mean, if you've paid for a previous Pokemon game, you've pretty much bought these already.

  8. Ryukouki

    Ryukouki See you later, guys.

    Jan 31, 2008
    United States

    Who says I'm here to help? Maybe I want to watch the world burn get people to read something fun. :D
  9. Snailface

    Snailface My frothing demand for 3ds homebrew is increasing

    Sep 20, 2010
    Engine Room with Cyan, watching him learn.
    Pokemon is pretty much like a sports game, you keep buying every year to get roster updates. 70 new players isn't a bad deal for $40, right? :P
  10. Superiorknightz

    Superiorknightz Member

    Feb 12, 2013
    United States
    I just can't wait for them to release an adult version, where you can actually use your pokemon to beat the crap out of the trainer who are a pain in the a55 or team rocket/flare or whatever they call their selves. This will never happen, but who knows probably a hack one day, but it will require alot of time and money. I bought pokemon X for my lil bro and he loves it and he played the previous series and he said this is the best. I got both games for free as I am playing on GateWay I do feel that the game is easy and leveling up and defeating gym leaders is not even time consuming. I just wish Gamefreak would implement a difficulty.
  11. soulx

    soulx GBAtemp Legend

    Apr 4, 2009
    And people say I'm a troll. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    Ritsuki, tatripp, Black-Ice and 3 others like this.
  12. heartgold

    heartgold GBAtemp Psycho!

    Sep 11, 2009
    Discount price? Tell that to 12 Million people who have already brought it. :P

    Pokemon single player has never been strong for any series and luckily I only care about online play where Pokemon really shines so I invest my hours into there and the 3D models for Pokemon are beautiful.
  13. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

    pip Reporter
    Sep 13, 2009
    Gaming Grotto
    It has begun. ;O;
    Jiehfeng likes this.
  14. xwatchmanx

    xwatchmanx GBAtemp's (Un)Ironic Weeaboo

    Feb 13, 2012
    United States
    Pittsboro, NC
    I stopped being a fan of pokemon after the first generation. I dabbled in later games in the series multiple times, only to give up an hour or two in due to boredom. A couple weeks ago I decided to give a used copy of Pokemon X a shot. Because, you know, at least I could say I tried it.

    I kid you not, I returned the game only two hours after getting it. After 90 minutes of playtime, I just felt bored and overwhelmed with what I felt to be tedious upcoming tasks: Raising Pokemon, catching them, grinding, etc, etc. I almost literally felt like my soul was being sucked away (I promise you, I don't use that term lightly or commonly).

    Aside from the samey gameplay that seemed to not have changed much since Gen 1, I'm rather appalled by how lazy the game felt on the technical side. Even when bringing the game into full 3D, GameFreak cut corners, just because they could get away with it. No stereoscopic 3D in the overworld, frame drops while in 3D, no true analog support. And don't try to tell me that it was due to technical difficulties, when Sakurai announced that Super Smash Bros. 3DS has achieved 60 fps when in full 3D. And by the time that game comes out, it'll be less than a year older than Pokemon X/Y.
    RodrigoDavy likes this.
  15. Walker D

    Walker D I have a hat

    Nov 15, 2009
    My home
    Someone has kicked the beehive.. ..let's see how it goes
  16. GameSystem

    GameSystem GBAtemp Fan

    Sep 14, 2009
    United States
    I have a GateWay and I don't even feel like pirating this game. I'm just so tired of them.
    gundambot likes this.
  17. Jean Karlo

    Jean Karlo Hacker Aspirant!!!

    Jun 1, 2013
    United States
    Ryu, Wat U Doing!?

    I agree though, would love to see more pokemon and to have a harder difficulty level, this pokemon is far the easiest one I've played,
  18. Ryukouki

    Ryukouki See you later, guys.

    Jan 31, 2008
    United States
    My job. :)
    Jean Karlo likes this.
  19. The_Hulkster

    The_Hulkster GBAtemp Regular

    Sep 25, 2008
    Thank you.

    I was considering buying either of the two games, but after reading your article it seems most of my doubts about these games were legitimate issues.
    Your advice has not fallen on deaf ears, in this case. My purchase of Pokemon X/Y will be postponed, for now.
  20. Tom Bombadildo

    Tom Bombadildo I'm Henery the Eighth, I am!

    pip Contributor
    GBAtemp Patron
    Tom Bombadildo is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    Jul 11, 2009
    United States
    I forgot
    I have to say, I agree with just about everything in the OP.

    But as someone who only plays Pokemon as a mindless distraction while watching various shows and such, I actually liked the latest entries in the series. The easier gym matches and elite four made it...less necessary to grind every single pogy in your team. And I'm not even referring to the minigames, I didn't even bother with those during my first "try" of the game and the pacing for me was perfect. The shitty "story" element was, of course, shitty (I mean, it's pogymanz) I at least didn't fall asleep after a couple of minutes like I did with B/W/B2/W2.

    That said, I do hate on the repetitive-ness of pogymanz quite a bit, since it's worse than most sports games in a sense, but now I'm at the point where I don't care and I use it as a "I'm taking a shit" or "I'm watching a show and I don't wanna mess with any story-driven games" type...excuse.