Creative Commons license icon

Review: 'Pokémon X' and 'Y' for the Nintendo 3DS

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

BraixenSo, here we are again, with the second new batch of Pokémon introduced via semi-anthropomorphic fox; while Zorua and Zoroark got that honor last time, this time the new starter Pokémon, including Fire starter Fennekin, were the first glimpse at the new Pokémon. And, okay, Fennekin doesn’t exactly start out even semi-anthropomorphic, middle evolution Braixen evolves a mini-skirt (regardless of gender, of course) while final evolution Delphox goes for something a bit more modest (and slightly less gender specific).

If for some odd reason you’re a furry who doesn’t like foxes in mini-skirts (I guess it’s possible, but please explain yourself in the comments), well, you’ve also got the Water starter Froakie who turns into a frog ninja Greninja. That’s just the starters, and with those two, we’ve already got the furriest set of starters pretty much ever (though the Grass starter manages to be fairly non-anthropomorphic despite becoming more-likely-to-drop-the-animal-than-anthropomorphic Fighting type, as well as pretty lame, actually). So, that should make furries excited.

But does the game add anything to the formula? Well, this is one of the most radical overhauling of the basic framework of the Pokémon games since at least the second generation. Most of this new stuff works, but there are some issues as well.

Graphics

One of the big selling points of this pair of games is that it is the first time the series has been in 3D, and not just via the 3DS’s titular gimmick (a gimmick, that, by the way, is already on its way out). The player’s character, the various NPCs and the in battle Pokémon are now 3D models instead of 2D sprites; seeing how moving sprites were only introduced last generation, this is a fairly big step up for the series.

However, this change is purely aesthetic; the basic game-play is unchanged, with your character walking around a set path while you control him from a bird’s eye view, and battles are still played the same as they ever were. And, truth be told, the graphics are impressive when compared to previous Pokémon games only; really they are very simplistic and not that eye popping.

New StuffPokémon X

The game adds 69 new Pokémon, which is the smallest amount of new Pokémon added yet; some of them are nice, others not so much. It’s largely a matter of taste which ones you end up caring about, if any, but I will reiterate that the starters are, with the exception of the Grass types, some of the best in a while.

They also add a second twist to the paper-rock-scissors in that each of the three starters gain a second type in the final evolution which … actually doesn’t change much by keeping them weak and strong against the other starter they were already weak or strong against, this time with Fighting/Psychic/Dark replacing rock/paper/scissors. Fire type Braixen evolves into Fire/Psychic type Delphox, which makes it doubly weak against Water/Dark Greninja but doubly strong against Grass/Fighting Chesnaught, for instance.

All the Pokémon added are completely new; no pre-evolutions or new evolutions, with the exception of one new Eeveelution; Sylveon, a Fairy type, which is the new 18th type added this generation. It was apparently added to give Dragon Pokémon another weakness, which were rare and hard to find in early games but have steadily become just as common as any other type in later games. A few older Pokémon have been retconned into becoming Fairy; Jigglypuff and its evolutions are probably the most high profile, though none of them are the really animal based type that would normally appeal to furries.

Sylveon also makes use of a new feature for this generation, the Pokémon-Amé; this is a feature that allows you to treat your Pokémon more like digital pets. You can pet them using the 3DS’s touch screen, feed them and play mini-games with them (thankfully, the digital pet aspect is limited, and you don’t have to, for instance, clean up any Poképoops). Using this feature on an Eevee allows you to evolve a Sylveon.

If you’d prefer to treat your Pokémon more like the tiny bits of digital information needed to play a game they really are, the Pokémon-Amé still provides a use; in addition to the traditional hidden “happiness” stat that has been around since the second generation, Pokémon gain a second happiness bar that, when maxed, will allow Pokémon to gain experience faster, as well as increase the likelihood of critical hits in battle, survive hits that should knock them out, dodge attacks and even shrug off status ailments such as Poison or Paralysis. It’s incredibly useful, and I hope it sticks around.

I’m not so sold on the other major new feature introduced, the idea of Mega-Evolution; basically, it feels like the creators of Pokémon have ripped off old rival in the Mons game Digimon’s style. At a certain point in the game, you gain the ability to make certain final form Pokémon temporarily evolve into even bigger versions of themselves, with new stat increases, abilities and even occasionally type changes.

They revert back to their old form once the battle is over, which is the point; it allows older Pokémon like Kangaskhan to keep competitive with the new kids on the block without creating a new final form that may not go over as well, a frequent complaint with the fourth generation of Pokémon (Lickilicky, I’m looking at you). I get the thought process, but the actual procedure is a bit annoying.

In a neat little trick involving the 3DS’s ability to save your geographic location, the new Pokémon Vivillon has different appearances depending on where in the real world you find it (I’m just guessing, but I’d hazard most of my readers will end up with a “Modern” variant). This is pretty much just another gimmick to keep obsessive collectors collecting, but it’s still pretty cool.

The game does allow you to transfer older generation Pokémon from last generation, but unlike previous generations, this feature isn’t built into the game; you have to download it from the Nintendo eShop, along with the Pokémon Bank which is not free. There was a free trial period, but it singlehandedly managed to break the Nintendo eShop for a while, so hopefully next generation Nintendo learns from this mistake and just builds the darn transfer system into the game like it used to.

The StoryPokémon Y

Now we come to the real weakness of the game, and that is the story. It’s just terrible, and is actively in poor taste.

First of all, the bad guy’s plan is both way too evil, and way too stupid, for even a Pokémon game. The bad guy decides that people in this world are rotten to the core, so he’s going to blow the world up, using machine another character used to gain immortality and bring dead Pokémon back to life.

Also, there’s a legendary Pokémon involved, somehow. I’m not sure, what, exactly Xerneas and/or Yveltal have to do with the plot. I almost think they’re in the wrong place at the wrong time. “Hey, guys, just popping up here to see what’s going on … Oh, my Arceus! Is that a doomsday weapon/immorality granting device over there?” And then some kid throws a Master Ball at them.

Anyway, the immortal guy who originally built the machine did so because his favorite Pokémon died in a war. Look, any time the line “Get me and this here sniper’s rifle up to and including one mile of the Pokémon, with a good line of sight, and pack your bags, boys. War’s over.” has a chance of being uttered seriously, you’ve messed up (and, no, that line doesn’t actually exist in the game, but it could have).

Yes, I know Lt. Surge was a soldier in the first games, but that was a one off deal that was awkward but not the actual story of those games, so we could ignore it and move on. Yes, I know, there was that entire game about Pokémon going to war, but it sucked anyway. My point is, war and Pokémon should be kept at arm’s length. It’s disrespectful, on one hand, and also really not fun, on the other. Just don’t do it.

So, the whole thing is really awkward, and there’s a twist you’ll see coming a mile away about who the main bad guy is based solely on his lack of fashion sense. And this is a nitpick, but Team Flare is even more of a fashion disaster than normal for Pokémon villains. Also, the grunts are recruited based on who can afford the entry fee to the gang, which is a great way to make sure you pick out the few worthy of salvation when you’re trying to destroy the world because people are terrible.

God, this game’s story sucked.

After the main game, just to point how awful the main story was, the player can start up a new story which is basically a Pokémon noir, involving a private detective and a homeless orphan that is actually quite touching, if still pretty nonsensical (hey, it’s Pokémon). It should have been the real story the first time.

So, in conclusion, the gameplay is as good as it ever was, even improved upon in many ways, with enough new, fresh additions to keep even old hands entertained. The story is an incomprehensible, reprehensible mess, but who plays these game for the story, anyway?

Comments

Your rating: None

6th gen will be one best generations, judging from possible upcoming games and Nintendo's hardware, so I think that X and Y had a good start on the 3DS, despite it's small flaws.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

I liked the game, and there has been some wonders about "creepy" and other things... Those locked power plants..

I also loved the main city being a 3rd person view point. That's something very good. I also liked how you could move diagonally, and not move in "grid mode". That nightmare is finally over!

I think the near ending story was great, but I don't remember the "sense" part much.
I only remember the war thing and understanding that we could do better than what happened before. I kind of liked it.

The main thing I am disappointed was the lack of secret areas. I remember in some of the old games, there would be secret dungeons but I don't think there was much in this one, or any huge after-game things like some of the past games.
However, it's said there may be DLC sometime in the future.
The other disappointed thing was the lack of save files; it's still just one save file.

But the game was still great to awesome for me.

Diamond_Man.exe - Not real fursona
Science/Knowledge/Sense > Bias or Biased

Your rating: None

Yeah did anyone ever figure out what the locked powerplant doors were about? And about the "creepy" ghost lady the was like, "Your not the one" or something.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Fennekin has a stick up her ass?

Fred Patten

Your rating: None

Technically that's its evolution, Braixen, and there's a reason for the stick:

Braixen always keeps a stick in its tail, which it sets alight using its bushy tail fur. The flame from the lit twig is used for both attack and communication.

Also, there's an 87.5% chance that it's male. You can't tell just from the image.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

If you used a Master Ball on Xerneas and/or Yveltal then you wasted it. The game will let you try as many times as necessary if you faint them to give you another try at catching them.

The story is far more cleaver than you give it credit for, especially when I started noticing these strange patterns in the story that mesh very well with World History. In particular the WW2 to modern era.

Crazy? Well here's a taste.

The giant guy who is mourning over his rash action is symbolic of the US. Who lost his 'soldiers' (Pokemon are the soldiers here, the humans are more symbolic of their policial masters who give them the orders). This loss that caused the giant to lash out in revenge is Pearl Harbor.

In retaliation he lashed out with a devastating weapon and killed thousands (the atomic bomb).

Now a group of red guys who's main philosophy is that people are too selfish and greedy and people should do more to share rather than take (of course their actions contradict this mantra, but this is purposeful) unlock the secrets to this weapon. Take the communist sickle, and turn it its vertical axis, fatten the lines until it is alllmost indistinguishable and you get the Team Flare Symbol .

It is important that one may argue that Team Flare is not a symbol of communism itself, but more Stalin's implementation of it.

Interestingly the game is slightly damning of both capitalism and communism and how they can go wrong when taken to extremes. The Communism antagonist is clearly the leader of Team Flare. The Capitalist antagonist really plays a more subtle role. It's the guy you visit at that mansion between the first and second gym. The one where you find his dog and have everyone of your friends agrees the guy is kind of an alloufe narcissist whose ignorance of his behaviors and how off putting they are.

Many players who I've seen do walk-through despise this part as a time killer with no real point, however without it the message in the game would fail.

He celebrates all the small things that happen to him (and only him), shooting off fireworks just for having his dog brought to him, while the communist antagonist worked on a system that he gave to the world open source before he started to lose faith that people would not be anything but greedy. In essence turning him into a different kind of greedy himself.

Sure, the rich guy doesn't try to destroy the world on his own, but it may be his behavior that is the driving force of the main antagonist... and isn't that just as bad?

As for the design of the Team Flare leader. When he's going on his little rants about his philosophy I always imagine him saying at the end "My hair is a bird, your argument is invalid."

There is so much more symbolism and I've only scratched the surface, if I were to present this interpretation in it's fullest I would probably need to organize it more and present it either in an article on other medium.

Like the Pokemon battles themselves, they are simplistic on the surface, but applying one's understanding of the world you can find wonderful things that very few others see. Like IV and EVs.

Your rating: None

Personally, I liked how all the Pokemon represented a cash cow franchise for Nintendo.

Also, the subtle way Great Balls represent my adolescent sense of humor.

Your rating: None

As a game itself I would argue that as a franchise, Pokemon is Nintendo's "Madden" at this point. It comes out (at least) once every year. The roster is tweaked a bit more, but really to an outsider it appears to be the same old same old with a different coat of paint.

Your rating: None

Here's a fun one. Take a look at the Lumiose map. Note something very strange about their design choice.

1) North Lumiose and South Lumiouse are not created in a PURE north south direction. It is askew. The north is slightly to the East and the south is slightly to the west. So lets change their direction naming conventions to NorthEast Lumiose and SouthWest Lumiose.

2) When you first enter the city East Lumiose is closed off to you while you are free to mingle about the west .

3) The reason the east side of the city is closed off is because Team Flare has control of the power station. This territory is found directly west of the city.

3b) This is reinforced by the Town Map, look closely at the routes and you're see blue and red tints around the routes and cities. The red is in the east, the blue is in the west, however the 'red' also cover route 13, which is where the power station is.

4) Team Flare's headquarters is found in this north/east side of the city.

5) The deepest plazas in each side of the city is respectively Bleu Plaza in the southwest and the rouge of the northeast.

6) When you remove the threat of Team Flare from the station of power, the wall that once segregated the city in northEast and southWest are dismantled.

Since this game centered around Europe, I think it's not a coincidence that they established the conflict of this West Capitalist/East Socialist kind of class/ideological conflict. This conflict is a very major part of Europe's history. Though it's strange how their version of Paris seems to have some Berlin mixed in there.

Also that tech that Lysandre created? The Holo caster? (Spoiler alert for a Pokemon game?) It is later revealed by a grunt that they were recording the calls made on this devise. A pretty Stasi-esque tactic for sure (Or the NSA I suppose, but the German government already called what they did a Stasi-esque move).

Your rating: None

And by the way, I liked Kangaskan before she was OP.

Your rating: None

About the game itself I liked it enough to finish it, which given that I didn't finish Black/White is saying something.

I think the main reason was that the paths were designed so that you could forage forward more easily, but could explore if you really wished to. Appealing to both the time rushed and the inquisitive explorer alike.

Your rating: None

I still haven't really seen anything in the new games to make me really want to go get them (and a whole new console to play them) but it does sound like some gimmicks are fun. Though I'm sure that fun would wear off quickly.

I must take issue with the not mixing pokemon and war. Pokemon are bred to battle. If they're going to make something pokemon to appeal to a more mature audience a pokemon war might be just the thing. Just look at this and tell me you still wouldn't want to see pokemon in war?
http://cheezburger.com/7541419520

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Post new comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <img> <b> <i> <s> <blockquote> <ul> <ol> <li> <table> <tr> <td> <th> <sub> <sup> <object> <embed> <h1> <h2> <h3> <h4> <h5> <h6> <dl> <dt> <dd> <param> <center> <strong> <q> <cite> <code> <em>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

CAPTCHA
This test is to prevent automated spam submissions.

About the author

crossaffliction (Brendan Kachel)read storiescontact (login required)

a reporter and Red Fox from Hooker, Oklahoma, interested in movies, horror, stand up comedy

Formerly Wichita's only furry comic.