|Platform: 3DS||Publisher: Nintendo/The PokemonCompany||Developer: Game Freak|
|Reviewer: JayWood2010||Genre: Japanese Role-Playing Game||Rating: E|
In 1996 Pokémon Red and Green debuted in Japan and immediately took off to being one of the biggest phenomenons of all time which includes the mascots Pikachu and Ash. It is hard to believe that it has been 17 years since the original Pokémon with 151 pocket monster, but what is even more surprising is how long GameFreak has managed to run the main franchise with the same formula and still being a huge success. Now that we are at what many people believe to be the first big evolution of Pokémon games distancing themselves from the popular sprites that made them so popular to full 3D battles much like the franchise Pokémon Stadium.
As all Pokémon games you start off in a small town where you will get to choose between one of three starters. Fire, Water, or grass types. This time however you get to choose two starters. One from the first generation and another from the 6th generation. With that said there is an immediate change in the game as you step out into the world inspired by France. Instead of having only a rival in Pokémon you now have an entire group of friends that will go on this journey with you. Each having their own personality and quirks. Not to say that they are interesting or anything because they really aren’t. The story is something that can be followed by all ages and it is really only something that is more of an add-on to Pokémon due to the highly addictive gameplay. In fact I’ve racked up 100 hours of gameplay since release. Something that I’ve “never” done so quickly with any release. The story may not be something that gets you emotionally attached but it also gets the job done with roughly 40 hours of gameplay. As you can see I’ve played 60 hours after the story so there is plenty of replay ability with over 700 pocket monsters now.
Speaking of the story being followed by all ages the gameplay is like that in many ways. As many people know Pokémon has evolved from their childhood and is now super popular both with adults and kids, so how can GameFreak accomplish such a hard task satisfying them both? The answer is all in the strategies that you use with your Pokémon, and with a much wider variety than any Pokémon game I have ever seen you can catch an abundance of Pokémon for your six Pokémon team. While the artificial intelligence is lack luster at best it is somehow satisfying steam rolling trainers at the same time because you know you are training a good Pokémon. What I am trying to say is yes the game can be easy but this is why the story and Meta-game are completely separated which I will get to in a moment. In XY the pacing of the game is much faster which may be another reason that I am finding it so addicting. With the new Exp. Share that you find early on you will now be able to share half of your exp. Points with your entire team regardless if they battled or not. You have the choice to turn this on or off but it is a great addition for people who do not like grinding for hours and hours. I use to restart Pokémon games any time I wanted to switch my team because I hated grinding Pokémon for hours so I just decided not to do it at all and restart. Now I can change Pokémon at any time because experience is easier to get. You now get Experience points for catching Pokémon as well which actually encourages you to catch Pokémon.
With the overhaul on exp points GameFreak also made the game easier in other ways like breeding Pokémon and EV (Effort Value) points for example. Once again instead of investing hours in grinding you now can use Super Training to replace this process through a few mini-games which involves you shooting a blow up balloon. Friendship is also required through the brand new Amie petting machine. Both of which are kind of boring processes to do but are in no way huge annoyances either.
So looking back on everything I said you will see that Pokémon is still very similar to older games but has managed to appeal to both adults and kids with its more than welcoming difficulty but what about the minor differences? These are things that I noticed immediately as these minor differences are some of the biggest differences. This includes experience points gained when catching Pokémon, saving is almost immediately now, and battles/trades now take place from whenever and wherever. Yes that is right, Pokémon went through a massive overhaul on the multiplayer front of things. Pokémon has managed to coming as close as they possibly could in being a mmo without being intrusive either. All your friends are on the bottom screen as well as battles, trades, and a new feature called o-powers. These O-powers allow you to use short time limit upgrades like exp. boost on yourself or on a friend for a short period of time. It is an interesting feature that allows you to stay connected with your friends. And hey if you want to battle your friends in style you can! Now for the first time ever you can change your characters clothes and hair. Unfortunately for us there isn’t many hairstyles or clothes. While you can unlock more hairstyles it is still a small amount of choices. Hopefully some kind of DLC will come out giving us more options. Oh by the way, did I mention you now have skates? Yeah that is right, now you have skates which is actually more convenient than the bicycle(which you also get) thanks to the thumb stick. You have an option to run/walk with the d-pad or just skating around with the thumb stick. A very fluid and nice feature.
Now finally for the multiplayer part of things, Pokémon XY keeps track of your record through online multiplayer battles where you will truly test how good of a trainer you are. These will show all the different strategies that can be used and I can promise you if you are a new person to the online community you are in for a real surprise. It is both addicting and will have you constantly looking for new strategies to make yourself a better trainer. And with the new Fairy typing it does make the dragon class a little weaker being beat down by little pink blobs. The only two drawbacks multiplayer that I can find right now comes with Torchic being a gift for early adopters of XY and you cannot do six team random online battles which is a real shame. You do get use to the 3 vs. 3 battle system but it is unfortunate that you don’t at least have the option for 6 vs. 6. Torchic’s evolution on the other hand is listed as an Uber Tier Pokémon making it a threat to almost any Pokémon. With everybody getting Torchic it has been spammed early on so it is best to find a counter for Blaziken early on as you will fight him more than often.
And even though some people was worried about Mega- Pokémon these Pokémon are in no way over powering. They just like any other Pokémon can be wiped out quickly with the right strategies. None the less you can only use one mega Pokémon once per each battle so you need to choose widely. Funny thing is that GameFreak has been accused of Mega-Pokémon being too much like DragonBall Z, but GameFreak actually references DragonBall in XY a couple of times like “Their power must be over 9000.” Maybe it was a subtle hint of where they got the idea, but it actually went over well. For the more competitive scene it may not even be a justified move making a pokemon go mega over holding an item, as megas do have their own draw backs.
From what has probably been GameFreak’s most anticipated game in years it has both met my expectations and blown them away. With a dismal story but a near perfect game in every other aspect from its addicting gameplay to its highly strategic online you will have hours and hours with your pocket monsters.
|Singleplayer||8||Adult/Kid Friendly||No emotional Drive|
|Gameplay||10||Highly Addicting||No Difficult Settings|
|Multiplayer||9.5||Super Strategic||No 6vs6 Random Battles|
|Artstyle||9||Charming/adorable||Not Full 3D|
|Jrpg||10||700+ monsters||Low Supply of New Monsters|