I recently gave Pokemon X&Y another chance. I regularly criticize the games for their lack of challenge, short length, and disappointing gym leaders. That being said I decided to take another look at Pokemon X&Y.
Pokemon X&Y refined the gameplay of the series. It plays more like the console version of Pokemon games and it’s fantastic. The animations are good and moves look great. That’s not the only thing that’s changed though. The camera angle has been reworked to add a cinematic feeling to the game and while it does work in some cases it also works against me because I can’t see what’s in front of me like I could in previous Pokemon games.
In addition to the gameplay changes we have different ways to traverse the world of Pokemon. Instead of just having a bike we can skate. This isn’t just some new way to travel though. Skating is very useful for grinding up and down rails to reach secret locations that offer us rare items. It’s also really simple to use and you don’t have to hotkey your skates like you do with a bike.
Pokemon X&Y feels like it takes longer to reach gyms, which is a good thing in my opinion, but in reality this is a pretty short game. I completed this game in about 35 hours. It took me 50 to complete Omega Ruby for the first time and twice as long to complete Heart Gold, and Soul Silver. I do like how spaced out some of the gyms are. It made the journey feel more meaningful in a way instead of having them be extremely close together like some of the older games did.
The biggest new feature that’s been added to this in my opinion is the ability to customize your character. I can wear more then one outfit. I can actually go to a clothing store and buy new shoes, socks, hats, shirts, and backpacks. That’s a major plus and brings some replayability to the game. I’ve always wanted to customization my trainer and now I can. At first I didn’t have enough money to buy new clothes and buy important things like potions, Poke Balls, and other medical items needed to make sure I can keep my party safe, but after I won a few badges and had some extra cash I started shopping for clothes and was able to play dress up. This is also the first Pokemon game to introduce mega evolution and it let a bunch of Pokemon that would normally passed over temporarily evolve. There’s also badasses like Mewtwo that can evolve.
The graphics are fantastic. This is easily one of the best looking 3DS games to date. Everything looks really good in this game. Rain, snow, sand, and even the character models. Then again every Pokemon game has always looked really good when compared to other games on handheld devices. No corners were cut here and I love that.
The new Pokemon that were introduced in this game are actually really good. Not only did we get a new type of Pokemon with Fairy types, but we also got some pretty badass ones too. Diggersby, Tyrantrum, and Aegislash are among my favorites. This game also has some really solid starter Pokemon. It’s a major step up from Black & White which had us using Tepig, Snivy, and Oshawott. Froakie is adorable and evolves into a total badass and I really like Chespin too. Fennekin is my least favorite, but I love that it evolves into a Fire/Psychic type Pokemon.
The soundtrack here is great. It sounds like you would expect a Pokemon game to. The battle music is great, the rival music is great, and gym music is fantastic in my opinion. All of the pokemon sound really good, and the moves that they use sound good too. I had no problems whatsoever with the sounds in this game.
Team Flare dresses nice and have a pretty diabolical goal of wiping all life off of the planet (except them) and starting over from scratch. The main villain is what makes them shine. He cares for the main protagonist in this game and keeps constant communication with the player. It makes his villainy a little more bitter and I enjoyed beating the crap out of his team and thwarting his plans to destroy everything. I will say that these guys are probably one of my least favorite villains in the Pokemon series though.
The gym leaders are ridiculously easy to beat in this game. Gym leaders in Pokemon are never hard to beat, but they’re easier than usual in this game. Their levels are higher, thankfully, but they’re still really easy. So why is this in the good section then? Because I enjoyed fighting most of them. I really like the fact that there is a bug type gym leader. Bug types usually aren’t featured in Pokemon games like that. I also like the fact that most of the gym leaders are different then your average. We also fought Ice, and fairy types. None of them were hard to beat, but they were enjoyable from your average water, and fire gyms.
This game is cluttered with to many unnecessary npcs. Instead of getting one rival like you do in every Pokemon game you get a few of them and they only served as a distraction to me. They took me out of the game from doing cool shit to listening to their boring rants about dancing and other unimportant crap. The main rival was pretty cool. I enjoyed wiping the floor with her party every time we fought, but everyone else needs to go.
Elite Four and Pokemon Master:
This was a big disappointment. The Elite Four is supposed to be the toughest trainers in all the land right? So why do they only have four Pokemon each? The Elite Four is supposed to be the toughest challenge you face, but I steamrolled them with very little effort. The same can be said about the Pokemon master. All of her Pokemon are gen 6 Pokemon and it’s nice to see such a representation of this generation it was also quite an easy battle for my Exadrill and if I recall correctly she doesn’t even have a full party of 6 Pokemon. She was incredibly easy to beat.
The Game Is Short:
This game is noticeably shorter than previous Pokemon games. I don’t remember the last time I completed a Pokemon game in under 40 hours. It’s not a huge deal for me, but it was unexpected. I thought the game would be longer and it wasn’t. That’s not really a huge deal, but it would have been nice if it was a bit longer because of the weak end game.
You can find my review of Pokemon Red & Blue by clicking here. My review of Gold & Silver here and my review of Ruby & Sapphire here. I also wrote my a list of my top 10 least favorite starter Pokemon. You can find that here. If you want to read my top 10 favorite starter Pokemon click here.
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Pokemon X & Y are great games. The biggest letdown is the Elite Four and Pokemon Champion. This game introduced some cool new features like skating and mega evolution, but it's short too. I never rushed through this game and I finished it in about 35 hours. It's also really easy, but it doesn't take away the fun I had while playing it. I love that I get two starter Pokemon in this game. I love mega evolution and the starter Pokemon in this game, but it does have one of my least favorite regions backed by a super easy end game. Pokemon X & Y was a great introduction to the 3DS, but they're my least favorite Pokemon games on it. That being said my least favorite Pokemon game on the 3DS is still a great game.