Review: Pokemon X and Y

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I’m sure everyone has played it in some part of their life. Whether that was back in the old-days, when Pokemon Yellow was causing quite a buzz, or in more recent times with Pokemon Black and White challenging the scope of the timeless classic. Whatever you played, and whenever you played it, I can guarantee that the latest release of Pokemon X and Y will blow all those beloved memories out of the water and rearrange them in stunning, 3D images, with more new added features than actual Pokemon.

In quite a risky (but also revolutionary) step, Nintendo have given the games a complete makeover, making every previous update to the Pokemon franchise look pointless and lazy. Some things are still the same. You start your adventure with one of three starter Pokemon, this time either Fennekin, Froakie or Chespin, and then embark through the world of Pokemon, battling other trainers, catching wild Pokemon, and collecting the eight gym badges. But this time, it’s all done in 3D! Gone are the little pixelated trainers who wander in only four directions. Instead, we have an actual graphic character who is customizable and can move in all the directions of a joystick. The Pokemon have also seen a drastic makeover, with battles displaying the type of interaction that made Nintendo64’s Pokemon Stadium such a hit.

Battles are now more intense!

Battles are now more intense!

Of course, the 3D stretches far further than that. This time, our adventure takes place in the Kalos region, a beautiful, scenic land which was inspired by Europe. In pixel form, this would have been cool to look at. With the new graphics, it is stunning. One moment you will be walking around, searching the grass for wild Pokemon. The next moment you may see what looks like the Eiffel Tower emerging from the horizon. This may sound like a silly thing to get excited about, but don’t forget: in previous games, we were always watching the game from above. Now we can see the world from lots of different aspects, and that makes it so much easier to get really engrossed in this game.

Not all the changes are to do with graphics, mind you. There has also been a lot of development on the Pokemon themselves. A new Fairy-type has been added, bringing new moves into the game and requiring players to rethink their strategies. We have also been given a new feature called MegaEvolutions, which allows a Pokemon to change into a more powerful form during battles. This is achieved through holding a particular item, but is a feature that has only been added to fan-favourites, such as Mewtwo and Absol. Of course, being a mega Absol fan, I am thrilled with how awesome MegaAbsol looks!

MegaAbsol looking awesome!

MegaAbsol looking awesome!

The new generation of Pokemon that this game brings are also very interesting. Personally, I was very disappointed with the new batch back when Pokemon Diamond and Pearl were released, but since then it has been getting better. Not as good as the original 150, but better. However, I am disappointed with the new fairy-type. Just like all the dark-type Pokemon look evil and spooky, the fairy-type is full of cutesy, pink Pokemon which are very obviously fairy-type. I can’t help but feel that this is an attempt to make the Pokemon franchise appeal more to girls. Well, with Pokemon like that, the only girls they will be drawing in are the one’s who like playing with stuffed animals.

New features and Pokemon aside, this game is still as classic as all the others. It is the first Pokemon game to require the 3DS, an annoyance for many I’m sure, but now that it has transitioned to the latest console, I’m sure we can expect even better graphics and more exciting features in the next generation of Pokemon games. The next games will have to be amazing, because the Game Freak have sure given themselves a big act to follow.

10/10

Pokemon X and Y are available now on 3DS.

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