Review by Ignoranc3
"The new Pokemon generation is worth it"
Pokemon is a very unchanged system. Catch them all and then battle them. Pokemon get levels when you battle. New moves are learned from leveling up and from items in the game. Some of them evolve and some don't. Acquire the gym badges and challenge the elite 4 to become the champion. That's what Pokemon is in a nutshell. There are, of course, local and internet battles as well. So now, with that small recap, here is Pokemon x.
The gameplay is the biggest part of the game. This is because gameplay involves battling and catching pokemon. Pokemon X and Y contain 450 Pokemon as well as a Pokedex that holds up to 700 or so to allow trades from previous games. This means that the player gets to catch and battle 700ish Pokemon. I'm pretty amazed at how many different kinds of monsters are incorporated into this game as it will take the player quite some time to learn all there is to know about each one. Adding to this, upon the 15 already existing types of Pokemon comes a 16th, the Fairy type. So, with the changes from past games and the new added content, it will be months before everything is unearthed.
Battling Pokemon has become a blast with the new 3d model battles. Before, flat, mostly motionless Pokemon stood on the battle screen. Now, fully animated models with vibrant moves and colors give the fights new life. I don't mean to say past games weren't fun, this just ramps up the enjoyment for enthusiasts and newcomers alike. While the fighting looks nice, the system is still the same; each Pokemon has 4 moves that can be used a certain number of times. Some Pokemon are weak to certain types and strong against others. Many of the battles come down to using your move first and using a super effective move that either kills in one hit or came close. I felt that the single player battles that progressed through the story weren't very challenging. The gym battles were too easy to exploit as you know what type the gym is before you walk in. The gyms were cool though and had some neat mechanics before you reached the gym leader.
Even with all of the different kinds of Pokemon, there are just too many useless ones. Not that I expect every one of the 700 to be useful all the time, but it's pretty obvious which ones are the strongest. On top of that, there are a lot of extra things or secret things that aren't explained very well, such as the use of some of the items and some of the new bottom screen activities.
There are some interesting bottom screen activities that add to the experience. Pokemon-amie is a virtual pet game where you can interact with your Pokemon. Super training lets players finally have more control over the hidden stat bonus called EV's. There is also the PSS (Player search system) where anyone from anywhere can trade, battle, and become friends. Since the entire game is now sporting 3d models, the player can buy clothing and haircuts for their trainer. None of these activities are required though, so don't feel overwhelmed if you're a casual player.
I've never found the Pokemon story any good. This doesn't mean you won't, that's just my opinion. But there isn't anything here that hasn't already been covered before: bad guys and destroying things, people battling Pokemon, inconsistent personalities and dialogue, random strangers giving you things and information that no one in real life would ever ever do, you know, that stuff. It's a cute story with friends and rivals who understand each other and respect each other and they all want you to win. I'm not bashing the story, I just don't pay that much attention. But don't let my opinion deter you. Kids will find it fun and enjoyable and they get to catch Pokemon in the process.
As each new game comes out, more and more options are available to do things online. You can trade with specific people, do a wonder trade (random), or look through a list of specific Pokemon that other players have up to trade. You can battle each other and give your friends little boosts that help you on your journey. And, of course, the professional Pokemon scene will expand and the metagame will change and new strategies will be born. I do have to say that Pokemon runs deeper than having all of the legendary Pokemon on your team and winning by sheer force. Take a look online and you'll see that the depth these online communities have discovered is astonishing. I wish the story was as challenging as these people make the game out to be, but that would be supplying a niche demand, as the younger generations would be crushed. Having these online options makes it possible for casual and hardcore gamers alike to enjoy the experience
Pokemon has come a long way since the black and white original Gameboy. Each installment added more and more Pokemon and features. I'm glad to see some new things to do but I feel like the story is just a little dull and has nothing new to offer. I don't think that the core system of Pokemon is boring, but it still needs something else to really make it unique again. I give it an 8 out of 10
Thanks for reading!
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/21/13
Game Release: Pokemon X (US, 10/12/13)
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