Pokemon is a game that needs no introduction, even in any corner of the world. This jackpot of a franchise has been marauding around without a break since the late ‘90s, and for those of us who haven’t quite kept up with the series as it has evolved, allow me to elucidate on the world of Pokémon, which once famously held 151 monsters, but now has managed to slip in upwards of 700. Gotta catch ‘em All, indeed.
Pokemon X and Y belong to what is called the 6th Generation of Pokemon, and is the introduction of the latest set of new creatures and gameplay mechanics. This is also the first title on the Nintendo 3DS, and oh my, does it look good. The little clunky block figure from above from yesteryear is no more, and what we are left with is a full 3D world to explore, with the same dynamic appearance for the battle scenes and Pokemon themselves. This latest technological leap from the previous title feels very significant indeed.
Perhaps as a result of the effort in turning all these old Pokemon into 3D forms, this Generation has the fewest original Pokemon, only bringing in 70 new members to existence. In an attempt to offset this, a new mechanic has been introduced called “Mega-Evolution.” Specific older Pokémon can be equipped with an item, and then during battle, they can be transformed in a showy spectacle into a new, more powerful upgraded form that lasts only for that battle. This works fairly well, and is pretty fun, but for me personally, I think I just might have preferred to see 20 more new Pokémon.
The other new introduction to gameplay is the Fairy Type, a new type of Pokémon (like Water, Fire, etc etc.) which has made sure that the battle dynamics you may learn have been completely altered, as many new Pokemon have gained types or weaknesses you never expected. As for the rest of the time, battles are carried out in the traditional manner for a Pokémon game, with turn based selection of moves, all of course rendered now far more beautifully.
Pokemon X and Y take place in the Kalos region, a region that unashamedly is meant to be their own version of France. From cafes to beauty salons to fashion outlets, your character can be customized in many ways to reflect your stylish identity. The plot as well is suitably charming, and although Pokemon games always have a similar flow, there is actually a few very real and dramatic moments in this one that make it distinct from the others.
Additional new features include a training system to play minigames that raise the stats of your Pokemon, and also a game called Pokemon-amie, where your chosen monster is placed into a room from which you can use toys and food and games to play with it and carress it, much like the series Nintendogs. This is especially fun to do when you send in your Level 100 God of Destruction Pokemon and then feed him cupcakes and rub his tummy.
The main fault Pokemon X and Y may have is that it is rather too easy, and can be breezed through with even less effort than previous titles. This may make it easier for kids, but in my day gosh darn it, we had Pokemon Red and Blue and we still managed! We even had that terrible pirated version of Pokemon Gold and Silver that was scammed into being sold here months before the official release and was barely translated into broken English! Anyway, the second main fault it has is that there is very little to do after completing the storyline, comparatively. Nevetheless, these are relatively minor faults, and Pokémon X and Y are a welcome addition to the series, and are great fun for old and new fans.