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Pokémon X and Y Review

Gaming article by Aaron Blevins on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - 09:00

Pokemon X and Y for the Nintendo 3DS (and 2DS) bring some welcome changes to the tried and true formula that has worked for every other Pokemon game before it. While retaining the same game at the core,  Pokemon X and Y bring enhanced graphics, 3D battles, Mega Evolutions and 69 new Pokemon for you to catch and train! While Pokemon started to suffer from the “same old formula” feeling, Pokemon X and Y are an excellent, refreshing experience to that same addicting formula that has worked for years.



What Pokemon X and Y bring to the table is a streamlined experience that other Pokemon games have moved away from by trying to make the world larger and add more features, which can be confusing and difficult for the fans who grew up on the originals and were curious to pick a newer version up to see what has changed. Pokemon X and Y change that right away with giving you tons of early access to a wide variety of Pokemon; FINALLY we can catch a Pikachu early in a Pokemon game that isn’t the original Yellow version. You even get an opportunity, after the first gym, to pick one of the original starters to add to your party. By giving us access to fan favorites and a wide variety of Pokemon early into the game, you can focus on a balanced team to use throughout the entire game, instead of just filler Pokemon until you unlock all the areas and can establish a balanced team that you care about.  The revamped Experience Share is also a welcome change, now every Pokemon in your party can gain experience, not just the Pokemon holding the item.  So training goes MUCH faster.


Adding 3D models was probably the smartest thing Nintendo and Gamefreak could have done.  The 3D models bring so much more detail to the old sprites that were used in the past.  Your Pokemon now show their own characteristics at all times during a battle.  Scyther buzzs and his wings flutter to keep him floating in the air, while always swaying, nothing like the older games where they would just be standing there.  These welcome changes bring so much more character to each individual Pokemon. Once you get your perfect team together in X and Y, you will feel more connected to your Poke partners than in past generations.

Mega Evolutions ( Digivolving) are introduced and tied to the story of Pokemon X and Y.  Certain Pokemon, when holding a particular stone specific to that Pokemon and using the Mega Ring during battle, will becoming more powerful and change it's appearance (some are version specific) all while not wasting a turn and still being able to attack.  You only can Mega Evolve one Pokemon per battle and once the battle is over the go back to their original form, so no you cannot have six Mega Pokemon all at once.  Overall Mega Evolutions bring bit more strategy to competitive battles while casual fans will love seeing more badass versions of their favorite Pokemon.


Pokemon has always been about connectivity with others, and Pokemon X and Y do not disappoint.  The GTS is still there with some added filters to eliminate everyone wanting to trade a Pikachu for a Mew like many ask for.  You can also search by region which is great for those who are breeding.  Battle Spot brings random match ups and online competitions.  One of my favorite new additions is the Wonder Trade.  You pick any Pokemon you want for a random trade partner and you receive WHATEVER Pokemon they chose to Wonder Trade. Now of course the Wonder Trade is filled with Weedles and Pidgeys but the fact that you have access to it early in the game can get you Pokemon that aren't available till later or even other starters! I have received many Pokemon through Wonder Trade and if it is something I do not need, I can always Wonder Trade it again or just release it.  O Powers also are added which help add specific statistic improvements or even hatch eggs quicker to name a few.

Nintendo and Gamefreak also help hardcore Pokemon Trainers with easier EV and Super Training.  Also added to the game is once you beat the game you have access to the Friend Safari, where you get access to Safaris based off your Friend's list, where each friend has a specific type (water, ground, ice, etc) and have a guaranteed 3 Pokemon that will always appear that have Two Maxed EVs.   The friend safari also adds a greater chance of the Pokemon being shiny!! Shiny Pokemon are a tad more common thanks to many techniques now available for  hatching or catching them.

If there is one thing I feel Nintendo missed the ball on was the execution of street-pass in Pokemon X and Y.  They could have established a special trade system like the wonder trade or even used a Pokemon battle system like Street Fighter IV used (you selected "figures" who had their own attributes (attack, defense, etc) and pitted them in a quick mash-up.  Instead you just get Pokemiles,which help you buy rarer items such as rare candies.  I find it hard to believe nobody in Nintendo could think of a way to make street-pass battles work....maybe for the inevitable Pokemon Z.

Pokemon X and Y bring about some of the biggest changes to the franchise since the jump from Red and Blue to Gold and Silver.  After about 30 hours of story, I have spent over 100 hours shiny hunting, EV training, egg hatching, and trading which goes to show how much detail Nintendo and Gamefreak have added to the game to make everyone happy; whether you take your Pokemon battles very seriously or you are just trying to catch them all!

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Aaron Blevins

Just the coolest nerd you'll ever meet. Army Reserve soldier/ college student. Loves anything Nintendo and Halo. Bringing my awesomeness to you!