Pokemon X and Pokemon Y are the first “main series” Pokemon games to be rendered completely in 3D, which is something fans of the series have been waiting for since the 3DS system itself was announced. Because of this, there’s a lot of excitement about the new titles, and a lot of healthy skepticism. Pokemon Black and White (and Black 2 and White 2) didn’t really do a whole lot that was innovative, but it seems that X and Y are going places the series never has before. Nintendo has added in a lot of extra features – some obviously just there for the adorability factor – that are going to make players happy, especially players who want to interact more with their Pokemon. And I got all of that just from playing a seven-minute demo at PAX Prime 2013 – which was the first time Nintendo showed off the new game in America.
Developer: Game Freak
Genre: It’s Pokemon…
IN SPACE! IN 3D!
Release Date: October 12, 2013
ESRB Rating: Everyone
So what’s so special about Pokemon X and Y? Well, first, let’s say what’s the same. You’re a child who has been given a dangerous creature and sent into the world to populate your Pokedex and, probably, save the world and some junk. You have your party of Pokemon you can use in your fights against trainers and in the tall grass, where you are still happily ambushed by wild Pokemon. In the seven-minute PAX Prime demo, the tall grass was loaded mostly with Pikachus, but there were some other little guys running around as well. Oh, and in your party is something brand new: a Fairy-type Pokemon.
And that is what launches all the new and cool things that are different in Pokemon X and Y. Once you get started, you’ll find that you can race around on little roller skates, and that you have a full range of directional movement – meaning you can walk diagonally now! As you run around in the tall grass, you meet some new Pokemon, but mostly you just fight the franchise’s most popular pocket monster, Pikachu. You’ll notice that in the fights, all of the Pokemon are rendered in 3D now, with full animations. But you’ve still got the same old rocks/paper/scissors fighting strategy to employ. And now, with Fairy-type Pokemon, you have something that’s strong against Dragon-type that isn’t just another Dragon-type. It’s about time!
My favorite thing about the new Pokemon game is that you can now ride some Pokemon around as mounts. There was only one in the demo – a Gogoat. You can hop on his back and, if you’re like me, you can spend most of your demo time riding him around and giggling like crazy. Or you could continue on and fight the trainers and run around in the tall grass, and finally face Professor Sycamore at the end of the demo.
When you finally reach Professor Sycamore, he gives you a Mewtwo, another popular Pokemon. Here, you can try out one of the new Pokemon X and Y features: mega evolutions. By mega evolving Mewtwo during battle, you turn him into a more powerful Pokemon, who has no trouble taking out the professor’s measly Crobat, Chandelure, and Dragonite. While you won’t be starting your game with a high-level Mewtwo you can keep, it was still fun to take him for a spin.
No Pokemon game would be complete without something painfully adorable in it, and in X and Y, there’s a new fetaure called Pokemon and Me. You can interact with the Pokemon in your party by feeding and petting them – but make sure when you feed them you hold the food at their mouths until they are done eating, or they will have a Poketantrum. The cutest part of this is that, if you tilt your head at the camera, the Pokemon will begin to interact with you and tell you what gestures they want you to do. Smile and wink at them with your left eye! But try to do it without glasses, as my glasses were messing it up (and my Pokemon was getting pretty upset with me).
Honestly, if you’re a big Pokemon fan, you’ve probably already got the game pre-ordered, and you’re more excited than ever because this is the first time that there will be a simultaneous worldwide release. So we won’t have to cry while Japan gets the game and we watch from afar – we’ll all be zooming around on our skates at the same time. The game looks like it’s going to be an absolute blast, and I am really looking forward to starting the long journey of catching ‘em all come October 12.