Review by ABXInferno
"Prioritizes style over substance - great overall, but just not as fun"
Pokemon X and Y mark the first time Pokemon has been taken into full 3D - over the course of 2 decades, the game has taken a remarkable step forward in its graphical prowess, but the massive leap that is in graphical capabilities that Pokemon X and Y is, that leap is replicated in its core gameplay, but the other way around. X and Y takes the series a massive step forward in giving you great first impressions but then fails to deliver the core gameplay - Game Freak is trying to change too much of a loved formula and in doing so ignores what made Pokemon so fun. There's too many new Pokemon, too many new stuff and while I enjoyed it at first, it's biggest faults started to show about a quarter of the way in and this is its biggest fault: its difficulty, or lack thereof disappoints and alienates hardcore Pokemon fans, and yet fails to bring in newcomers as a result of disappointing quality in the gameplay department.
Pokemon X and Y is a landmark leap in graphical prowess - it's the first time the series has been taken into full 3D and it looks gorgeous. The environments look beautiful and this represents the best Pokemon has ever looked. The sprites are now fully animated and are no longer the pixelated and blurry mess your Pokemon once was. Once you've played X and Y, it'll be a head-scratcher that you've played games even as recently as Black and White 2. The character models look gorgeous but the game has a big problem, you can't play in 3D in most of the overworld areas and in places where you can, like in battles, during intense action the game screeches to a halt when in 3D, the framerate can stutter and drop to single digits during intense animations and when action floods the screen.
Pokemon X and Y's soundtrack is also fantastic. X and Y has some of the best tunes I've ever heard in this series and it further complements the graphics. The sound effects are also great and complements the game real well.
The story is bit better than most Pokemon games and there are things like Team Flare who has members that are comically easy to defeat ans the 4 friends instead of 1 rival add to the story. There's quite a bit that's different and it's the best I've seen Pokemon in the presentation department, ever.
Unfortunately, this where X and Y suffers. X and Y is a massive leap forward in graphical prowess and that leap is replicated here. but disappointingly the other way around. There's a waterfall of a drop here and the game's biggest problem is highlighted: it's way too easy. Catching Pokemon now earns you EXP and the EXP Share functionality helps you steamroll through the game, especially becuase the AI will make no attempt to give you some challenge. For example, if you pop out a Grass Pokemon and the rival Water, he won't switch out, even if he has a Fire type which can destroy you. After 15 years, this is a big disappointment that the AI still hasn't learnt their lesson about this, especially because the additions make it even easier to earn higher levels and steamroll right through Kalos.
X and Y's controls do work fairly well. For the first time in 17 years, you can walk in 8 directions! It's amazing the first time around, it really is, even if you've played Pokemon before. X and Y also allows you to have running shoes from the start and soon you'll get roller skates that enable you to zip around, really, really fast and the bicycle just adds to that speed even more.
But no matter how good the controls, X and Y fails to deliver a satisfying experience to a non-Pokemon fan and even though I've only started playing as little as 5 years ago, I can still see a waterfall of a drop in quality in X and Y and this is a big disappointment after Black and White 2 seriously impressed me.
Pokemon X and Y, no matter how bling it's visual and audio is, will always be a game that prioritizes style over substance and has left me disappointed. It takes a massive leap back in terms of quality and fails to deliver a good gameplay experience. If you're a hardcore Pokemon fan that's been trotting on tall grass and making the perfect team since 1996, you might find some fun, but anyone else who's looking for a good RPG should steer clear - there are tons out there that are way better, such as Mario & Luigi Dream Team and Fire Emblem Awakening. It might be worth a look if you're a big RPG fan, but the keyword here is try before you buy, for most, this will not be worth a $40 purchase.
FINAL SCORE - 5.40/10
+ Impressive jump in graphical prowess.
+ Awesome audio quality.
- Takes a massive leap back in quality.
- Way too easy.
- Not the great 3D experience we've always dreamt of.
Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 11/06/13
Game Release: Pokemon X (US, 10/12/13)
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