Gotta Catch “X and Y”

Two weekends ago, “Pokémon X and Y” signaled the arrival of what is known as the “6th generation” of Pokémon — 69 new pokémon, an entire new region, eight new gyms, and a new team of villains trying to control the world. Now most people thought to themselves, “how quaint, pokémon is still going on, I can’t believe some of my friends are still into that,” but what they didn’t realize is that this game has COMPLETELY broken the mold of Pokémon games to the extent that it no longer feels like a regular Pokémon game.

Courtesy of Game Freak

Courtesy of Game Freak

The reason why this Pokémon game is so different can probably be summed up in one word: dynamic. The producers of the franchise took full advantage of the system and upped the ante on how everything functions within the game.

First off, the maps are no longer presented from the “bird’s eye view” angle that have been used in past games — instead the camera moves with the player, zooming in or out depending on where you’re standing: if you go under a tarp, the camera will move so that it’s at eye level; when you heal your pokémon at the Pokemon Center, there are multiple angles at which you can view and talk to Nurse Joy; in essence, the camera isn’t fixed, yet plays intuitively enough so that it’s never frustrating to get around.

Pokémon battles are widely entertaining now too, since pokémon avatars don’t simply wiggle and shake when they attack, but instead jump from one side of the battle to the other, physically hitting one another and breaking the 2D motion that plagued all Pokémon games. They sway back and forth, they turn around, they jump up, they dig down — they do everything but stand still.

For years the Pokémon Company couldn’t figure out what to do with the bottom screen of the DS, but with this installment they finally did: use mini games that will directly affect gameplay. They incorporated a Nintendogs-like interaction with pokémon that affects how a pokémon performs in battle, a “super training” mode that allows you to raise the base stats of your pokémon, and a constant access to wireless internet that allows you to connect with anyone else playing the game.

The story is large and inclusive, incorporating nearly all the gym leaders and several other side characters you meet throughout your travels into its plot. The game finally has some weight to it and is no longer just a battle machine; it has a plot, and one that persists throughout, not just at the end.

Overall, “Pokémon X and Y” are fantastic, and it redefines Pokémon so much that it’ll be hard to make me want to go back to the originals. I haven’t heard one complaint about it, and honestly, I don’t know why I’m wasting time writing this when I can be playing it. So without any further ado, “smell ya later!”

 

RECOMMENDED: “Pokémon X and Y” are must-buys for any die-hard Pokémon fan.