As of Saturday October 12th, the 6th generation of Pokemon has begun, Pokemon X and Pokemon Y have been released worldwide. There has been an extensive amount of excitement for these new titles for some time now. Some people even broke street-date and posted images on the internet. Nintendo of course issued orders to have such copies of the game return but only slightly succeed in this attempt. However Pokemon X and Pokemon Y are officially released so that is no longer a problem.
Where is it?
Pokemon X and Y mark the beginning of the 6th generation in the series. The region, unlike any other Pokemon region, is based on France and is known as the Kalos Region. This region features a crazy amount of returning Pokemon as well as about 69 new Pokemon. The region has a heavy emphasis on beauty; for the first time in the series players can customize their character, changing hair, clothes, and accessories. Each store that offers clothing will change its inventory each day, not to mention there are many stores across the map.
Exclusive to the Kalos region is the introduction of Mega Pokemon. Legend tells of a trainer and his Lucario long ago aspiring past the standard conventions of Pokemon evolution. With the help of a mega ring and mega stone certain Pokemon can temporarily evolve in battle into their mega forms. These new mega forms often introduce interesting abilities and stat boosts that can dramatically change the direction of a battle. Mega evolution can only happen once a battle and is available when choosing an attack.
Since the region is based on France players often encounter cafes in towns. Tipping is now available in many locations as well. Some cafes have special set ups such as participating in double battles between dishes, there is also a hotel you can work at for extra money. Even the wilderness looks more beautiful than normal; there is a particular Pokemon named Flabebe that is holding a flower, this flower color will change depending on the flowers you find it in.
The Developers Want to Help?
As you play X or Y it becomes apparent that the creators want you to have a good time and help you out by handing you great Pokemon. In previous Pokemon games you’ll occasionally receive a Pokemon from one of the characters in the game. The same can also be said for X and Y. For example, when you get the HM surf you also receive a Lapris that can use surf, which is a nice call back to trainers from the first generation. Also, when you mega evolve for the first time someone in-game gives Lucario along with the stone necessary to evolve him into his Mega form.
When the game begins you get to select a fire, grass, or water type, per usual however, upon reaching the third town in the game you are also given the option to take one of the original three starers; Charmander, Squirtle, or Bulbasaur. Depending on which you choose you will be given a stone that will allow that Pokemon to mega evolve when the time is right. Additionally, if you talk to people in towns you will also find some people that want to trade great Pokemon for relatively easy-to-catch Pokemon as well as constantly handing you new moves. You can even download a Torchic (third generation starter) from Nintendo via Mystery Gift as soon as you get to a Pokemon Center.
The “Team Rocket” of this generation is known as “Team Flare” and to coincide with the theme of the Kalos region, they are all about style. These red-suit-wearing soldiers act similar to Team Rocket in the way of getting on your nerves, battling with Zubats, and causing blackouts. That being said, the ladies of Team Flare have a tendency to wear something related to another, yet each one distinctively retain their individualistic sense. The presence of Team Flare in this game may be more omnipotent than it seems at first…
What Has Been Improved?
Considering this is the 6th generation of Pokemon, Game Freak has learned a lot about how to make Pokemon games and it clearly shows in this rendition. The amount of slight yet important changes is simply incredible. Saving now takes about two seconds to complete, which is a huge improvement from the old days of waiting. The Y button now works as a hot key that can quickly provide access to four specific key items of your choosing, or if you prefer only to use one, you can set up the Y button to automatically choose a specific key item upon being pressed.
Many players are familiar with the item “Exp Share” which grants experience to the Pokemon that has the item equipped, even if they didn’t participate in battle. Now Exp Share is a key item, meaning it doesn’t have to be held by a Pokemon and it now gives 50% experience to every (alive) Pokemon in your party, as well as 100% to the active Pokemon. That alone will greatly change the difficulty of leveling and evolving Pokemon which will appeal to those that truly, “Gotta Catch ’em all!”
It goes without saying that since this new Pokemon game is on the Nintendo 3DS it can be played in 3D (unless you are playing on a 2DS). In order to do that some good-looking graphics are required, which developer Game Freak have defiantly delivered on. It is true that they may not look as good as say, the anime, but many new animations and angles have been added that really give the game a sense of realistic integrity. In battle your perspective will change and moves to follow the pace of the battle. Battles feel real like never before.
This is also the first Pokemon game that doesn’t have a top-down camera. Now the camera rests at more of a slanted angle that fits like a normal 3rd person game. There are specific moments that harken back to the olden days with the restricted top down look but such sections don’t last too long. Movements also looks great as you can now freely control your character and move in eight directions instead of just up, down, left, and right.
A lot of attention has been paid to how to improve the relationship between the trainer and the Pokemon. This appears in two main modes, Pokemon-Amie, and Super Training. Pokemon-Amie is all about building affection with your Pokemon, it allows you to pet, feed, and play mini games to build your relationship. Super Training revolves around training with punching bags and soccer-like mini-games that boost specific stats of your Pokemon. Special items can also be obtained in some of these mini-games.
Also new is the Player Search System, which has a lot of possibilities. If you are connected to the internet this mode will show the characters belonging to your 3DS friends list along with people you may not know that you are connected to. From this mode you can battle, trade, view your friends’ introduction videos and offer power ups called O-Powers that give temporary boosts. An additional feature is Wonder Trading which involves trading a Pokemon to an unknown trainer without knowing what they are trading. A game chat is also present since the 3DS has a built-in mic which of course adds to the experience when battling friends.
All Things Considered
This new edition of Pokemon offers tons of content and countless hours of enjoyment. X and Y cannot trade Pokemon with other Pokemon games but that is likely due to the new Pokemon bank Nintendo is creating. This bank will allow you to store Pokemon from any generation. An annual subscription will cost only $5.
All things considered, this new Pokemon game holds a lot of changes in it but do they represent the Pokemon series in a positive light? Some hardcore fans may not necessarily like how much easier this game is compared to past versions but it is also not mandatory to use the Pokemon that are offered and Exp Share can be turned off.. There are still many ways to play this game and now that customization has been worked on, becoming the trainer you want to be has never been so elaborate and specific. The Kalos region and everything in it has a unique flavor about it. This new generation certainly brings new life to the series as well great new possibilities. People of all ages will likely be enjoying this game for some time.
Written By: Garrett Jutte