Get excited, Pokemaniacs, because a new generation of Pokemon is finally here. Pokemon X & Y for the 3DS bring you all the core concepts of Pokemon that gamers know and love, as well as adding some new features, and even bringing back some old ones that were omitted from the previous generation.
While the basic play of games are still that you are a child whose mother is extremely irresponsible and lets you roam the world to capture and battle dangerous creatures called Pokemon; there are some new features that are added each generation that speed up the game or just improve it in general. The addition of roller skates in the games makes traveling from town to town much less of a chore almost immediately. The addition of the brand new Fairy-type balances out the vastly overpowered Dragon-type, who were really the only balance to themselves and ran rampant through the metagame in previous generations. The addition of Pokemon hordes and mini games also make it much easier to train your Pokemon throughout the game. And at long last, you can customize your trainer.
There are also some features from previous games that have returned in the 6th generation. You are once again able to plant berries to keep your Pokemon happy and healthy throughout your travels. You can now cross breed some berries in order to reset your partners’ EV’s. Also making it’s return in Pokemon X & Y is the Poke Radar, a device that allows you to chain together wild encounters in order to find shiny Pokemon; an extremely rare type of Pokemon that has an alternative color pattern. In addition to the Poke Radar, X & Y introduce a new feature called chain fishing, in which the same principle is applied to your fishing pole. The longer your chain, the higher chance you have to find a shiny Pokemon.
With every generation there are also some features that could have used a little bit more work to really fit into the game. The new Mega Evolutions, while visually awesome, feel a bit out of place in the Pokemon world. This is a series that for 17 years has focused on permanent evolution. These Mega Evolutions only last the duration of a battle and, quite frankly, feel like Digimon. While for some people this may actually be an improvement on their experience with the games, it just doesn’t feel like the Pokemon we’ve had for nearly two decades. Another new feature that could have used some work are the Sky Battles. These are battles that only Flying-type Pokemon and those with the Levitate ability can participate in. While the concept seems great, most people will only have one flying Pokemon on their team in order to keep things balanced, and the Levitate ability isn’t very easy to come across with the Pokemon available in the game’s wilds. Not to mention that almost every sky trainer in the game has an Electric-type Pokemon which will make these battle in particular extremely difficult unless your team is leveled far above what is expected for the area. Lastly, the 3D features in the game are very scarce and limit themselves almost exclusively to battles.
Overall, Pokemon X & Y are exactly what the series needed. By re-balancing a system that last needed changes 14 years ago, team balancing has become a challenge worth the time to think about. While the story is as one-dimensional as ever and it seems that Game Freak has just copied and pasted the story from previous iterations. Pokemon X & Y are loads of fun for any age, and your enjoyment grows exponentially when you add friends. These games are great not only for children, but also their older siblings and their parents. These games are a great choice for the gamer of any age, and will be a great addition to anyone’s collection.