It’s here Pokemon Fans! Pokemon X and Y were released to the world on Saturday, October 12th, and what a Saturday it was. I’m sure I am not alone when I say that I spent a greater part of my Saturday…who am I kidding…greater part of my weekend, playing this new and already fantastic game.
Before its release, this game already looked promising; mega-evolution’s, riding Pokemon, Pokemon Amie, a full 3D world and after 3 generations, a fire starter that’s final form wasn’t Fire/Fighting! Hallelujah! After playing through it, this game was everything it promised, and more! Once I finished the game, I felt loss because I became so attached to all the characters and even my Pokemon…it was kind of a problem.
The plot of this game was well done, you start with your character recently moving to the Kalos region. As you meet your 4 other rivals, you get your first Pokemon and a request from Professor Sycamore to travel the world with Pokemon. He asks two things of you; 1. Fill up the Pokedex, 2. Research Mega-evolutions. As you travel the Kalos region collecting badges and catching Pokemon, you uncover a plot of the evil Team Flare to reawaken a giant weapon that would kill almost everyone on the planet except them…including Pokemon. Their reasoning is to make the world young again before humans completely destroy it, and Pokemon are the humans way of destroying the world, so they must go. You effectively stop the weapon, catch/defeat/free the legendary Pokemon unintentionally powering it, defeat Team Flare completely and become the Pokemon champion from defeating the Elite 4 and their champion. All is well in the world.
Lets start with the region itself; Kalos. This region was vastly different from those in the past, not only because of the full 3D region, but also because of the sheer size of it. Most other regions had about 10 different towns/cities in it, a decent size for 8 gyms, but Kalos has 18. This made the region more real to me, instead of the normal plug and chug of town and gym, town and gym, there was a lot more story involved. It was the right sized that I still cared about getting the badges, but it wasn’t the only thing on my mind. Each town had something to offer, sometimes small, sometimes very important.
You start the game out with 4 companions; Serena, Shauna, Trevor and Tierno. At the start of the game, Trevor and Tierno already have Pokemon, so you and Serena and Shauna all receive a Pokemon from Professor Sycamore, Shauna choose the one weak to what you choose, and Serena takes the one stronger to the one you take. I loved all these characters, they were completely ridiculous but there involvement in the story helped make it so much better. The best part was that while each of you started out the same way, they all dived into their own paths with Pokemon. The player and Serena decide to beat the gyms and elite 4, Shauna wants to live happily with her Pokemon while filling up the Pokedex. Trevor goes into the more scientific stand point of Pokemon, including the Pokedex and Tierno seems to want to perform with his Pokemon. As you travel the world with them and defeat Team Flare, the odd group really turns into a family and it’s fun to watch them grow together.
The character customization was really interesting as well. Where as before the most customization one could do in the game is state whether you were a boy or a girl, now you have almost full control over your skin tone, hair length, clothes you where, the color of your hair etc. Perfect for the prepubescent teen that you are in the game.
The main villains in the game, Team Flare, were in a word; interesting. In comparison to teams in the past, the grunts of this team were far more unintelligent then previous generations. They reminded me of Team Rocket, but a Team Rocket that dropped out of beauty school.
The leader, Lysandre, is clearly the most accomplished and intelligent of the group. He is the CEO of one of the biggest companies His main motivation is that he hates seeing beautiful things, such as the world, wither and die, so he decides to use his almost infinite resources to recreate the ancient weapon and wipe out most of the human race and all of the Pokemon in the world. You don’t technically find out he is the leader of Team Flare until later in the game…though I do have to admit that it is pretty obvious considering they dress the same way. This is the first time though that the opposing team, particularly Lysandre, is not fully in the wrong. They are trying to create a better world, not necessarily one that be ruled by them, but one they thought would benefit the world and humans eventually. One could argue that Team Plasma had just cause, but they were all being used by Ghetis who just wanted to rule the world, and Team Magma/Plasma still wanted to ruin the world for their own gain. Lysandre was the first team leader who’s intentions were actually pure to what he believed would better the world.
In generation 6, Pokemon decided to take a risk with the introduction of Mega Evolutions. If you don’t know yet, mega evolutions are a way to make specific pokemon more powerful. The Pokemon have a specific hold item that when it syncs up with an item that you have (the mega ring). They make a temporary evolution to their mega forms. It is very limited in the amount of Pokemon that can mega evolve, only 26 Pokemon spread throughout the first 5 generations, but it does not seem to matter. It was very well done and would have ruined the game and the mega evolution concept if more Pokemon could mega evolve. This is mostly because the Pokemon got such a big boost in power that if all Pokemon could do that, it wouldn’t make the game fun or a challenge anymore. I was also worried when I heard of the introduction of mega evolution, the idea that out of no where this new and influential concept would be introduced out of no where was concerning. But the game does an excellent job of introducing it as a new find. The mega stones were only known to a few prior to the game start and the Professor of the game even tasks you with researching them because they are such a rare and unknown subject. And to be honest, some of the mega evolutions were just plain awesome. Mega Lucario is just incredible and Mega Charizard X was finally introduced as a Fire/Dragon type.
My only disappointment in the game was the introduction of the Fairy type. It was well done to be honest, I just wished that it had more weaknesses, apart from that it adds a balance to the previously overpowered Dragon types, it adds a nice support to other Pokemon because most Fairy type moves are support oriented vs. attack.
This was an absolutely fantastic game. For a Pokemon game, it was really well done especially since they have created some less than perfect games in the past. This generation introduced so much to the Pokemon universe and helped pave the way for more Pokemon 3D games (cough, cough Hoenn remake?). On a list of my favorite Pokemon generations;
- Generation 1/Generation 3
- Generation 6
- Generation 5
- Generation 2
- Generation 4
I would highly recommend this game to anyone, even new Pokemon players, I have personally seen a devoted Genwunner (for anyone who doesn’t follow, this is a term used to describe anyone who doesn’t enjoy anything past generation 1 Pokemon) play and thoroughly enjoy this game. Between the character customization, mega evolutions and the new 3D world, this game is a must.
Writer score: 8.9/10