After putting over 40 hours into Pokémon Y, I can say that I am more than satisfied with this sixth generation of pocket monsters.
WARNING: THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS. DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN’T COMPLETED THE GAME YET.
This sixth generation of Pokémon is the first of the main series to be fully 3D. By this I mean the models. Because unfortunately, the overwold is not in stereoscopic 3D, only the battles and some special instances are. Which is weird, because this game is played on the 3DS of which the biggest new feature is the stereoscopic 3D gameplay. The lack of a 3D overworld does not have an impact at all on the immense fun that is Pokémon Y. After the announcement on January 8 this year I have gotten more and more excited as time passed. Trying so hard to not look at any Pokémon news site so that I could go into the game as blind as I was when I played my very first Pokémon game about 10 years ago. I wanted to recreate the feelings I got when I first encountered the many Pokémon in Pokémon Ruby, the feeling of exploring the region for the first time. Feelings I did not have with Pokémon Diamond/Pearl and Black/White, because I already knew every Pokémon, town or city within the game way before it got released. This made playing generation four and five a little less authentic. But this time I went in blind, and oh man did it feel awesome. I only knew a handful of Pokémon, which were the starters, the two legendaries and some Pokémon like Helioptile and Pancham. Getting to see all the new Pokémon for the very fist time felt exactly the same as 10 years ago. So, what are Pokémon X and Y all about? Let’s begin with the story.
The story starts off with you moving to Vaniville Town, the starting town in Pokémon X and Y. This is where you’ll meet your friends. Pokémon Black and White started with having more than one rival, which aren’t rivals anymore but are now called friends, and Pokémon X and Y follows. This time around you have 4 friend: Serena or Calem (depending on your gender), Shauna, Tierno and Trevor. Tierno is the one giving you your Kalos starter. And after meeting up with the professor in the game, Professor Sycamore, you will receive a second starter from him, a Kanto starter. Professor Sycamore tells you about the phenomenon of Mega Evolutions: Pokémon who are in their final stage but still are able to evolve with a special stone. You and your friends are on a quest to find more about the Mega Evolutions.
After uncovering the secret of the Mega Evolutions you will occasionally get trouble with the new evil team called Team Flare. Their goal remains pretty unknown until very late in the game: they want to destroy everyone but Team Flare and they are going to do it with “the ultimate weapon” which is powered by the legendary Pokémon. So of course you will have to defeat them and catch the legendary Pokémon to save the day!
New Game Mechanics
Of course the biggest new game mechanic is the addition of Mega Evolution. Not every Pokémon can Mega Evolve, and if they can you will need to find a specific stone and have it held by the Pokémon in order to use it. Mega Evolving your Pokémon not only looks cool but it also boosts their stats, making them more powerful. You can only use this special type of evolution in battle, once the battle is over the Pokémon will return to it’s former, normal, state. Mega Evolution is allowed once per battle and on one Pokémon only.
Another big addition is the new Fairy Type. This new type is super effective against Dragon Type Pokémon and is weak against Poison Type Pokémon. Both new and old monsters will become fairies. For example: Azumarill, Ralts and evolutions, Togepi and many more are now Fairy types.
And the biggest, most highly anticipated new feature is the addition of diagonal movement. You can now move in 8 ways when walking and running, and you can move in any way possible when skating or cycling using the 3DS game pad.
After 15 years we can finally express ourselves through our Pokémon avatars. You can fully customize your Pokémon trainer, from skin tone to shoes, it’s all customizable.
The online experience has been completely changed. You don’t have to go to a GTS building or a Pokémon center to trade Pokémon or battle your friends. It’s now all on the lower screen: the PSS (Player Search System). From now on you can access wireless battles, trades, and the GTS from your touch screen.
Another cool thing is Wonder Trade, in which you select a Pokémon to trade and the game selects a random trade partner to trade with and you will get a new Pokémon! It’s always a surprise. I’ve got some awesome Pokémon like a Japanese Pikachu, a Braixen and a Fletchling with a special nature, but I’ve also got garbage Pokémon like Panpour, random Fletchlings and Bunnelby’s.
Pokémon X and Y look visually stunning. No more low resolution 2D Pokémon sprites, but fully moving 3D models. The overworld looks beautiful, detailed and lively. I think that not having a stereoscopic 3D overworld was a great choice, because the stereoscopic 3D effect will have a negative effect on resolution and the displayed frames per second.
Transferring Pokémon from Black/White/Black2/White2 isn’t yet possible. Transferring Pokémon will be available on December 27th. You will have to use a special service called Pokémon Bank. This paid service ($5/year) will give you access to a virtual space to store 3000 Pokémon. You can send Pokémon to the Bank from X, Y, Black(2) and White(2), but you can only get them out of the bank with X and Y.
Pokémon X and Y are awesome. The new additions to the game and the new 3D world just look awesome. Although there aren’t that many new Pokémon (only 69), new evolution methods will keep you challenged and catching all of the new creatures will take a lot of time. There isn’t a large post-game quest like in Black and Whtie, but there are 719 creatures to catch, and that is the biggest challenge Pokémon has given me yet!
- Visually stunning 3D world.
- 3D Pokémon models during battle.
- Player Search System
- 719 Pokémon to collect.
- FPS drop when using the stereoscopic 3D effect.
- No large post-game quest.