Last night after work I reserved my copy of Pokemon X at my local GameStop (got a free poster with it too, which you can see after the jump). It made me realize that Pokemon X and Y are just about 2 months away from their October 12th release date. That may sound like a long time, but much has already been revealed about these games that has the fandom both hyped and apprehensive. Three years ago when Pokemon Black and White were coming out, I wrote a couple of pre-release speculation posts about them. So I figured now is a good time to do the same for what’s been revealed about Pokemon X and Y thus far…
Firstly, below is the double-sided poster I got for reserving my game at GameStop. Apparently they’re going to have a second free poster available in a couple of weeks, so I’ll have to check back.
One side with Xerneas and Yveltal
One side with a map of the Kalos region
One of the first things to note about Pokemon XY is that they’re the very first Pokemon games that will be having a simultaneous worldwide release – in other words, this will be the first time we’ll be getting our English games at the same time as Japan! The time between Pokemon game releases in Japan and the US has been getting shorter, with the time between Japan and the US getting Black 2 and White 2 only being about 3 months. So I had a feeling it was only a matter of time before they get a simultaneous release, but I didn’t think it would be this soon! As a long-time Pokemon fan who’s been buying all the main series games on their release dates since Pokemon Yellow in 1999, it will be quite an exciting experience going into my game without already having months of spoilers from the Japanese release. So kudos to Nintendo and GameFreak for this!
Now I’m going to list the new features of XY that I want to offer my opinion about. If something isn’t listed here I’m more or less neutral to it or don’t have anything to say about it.
3D graphics: Being exclusive to the 3DS, this will be the first main series Pokemon game to be in full 3D splendor, with both the overworld sprites and pokemon battling sprites not being 2D. Looking at pictures and trailers of the game, the graphics are going to be amazing! Now I think I know why we didn’t see any follow-up game to Pokemon Battle Revolution in generation 5 – the creators knew the next main series games would be in 3D on the 3DS, so rather than make a Wii or Wii-U game for people to get their thrill with battling their Black and White pokemon in 3D, they wanted to wait it out so we’d be super stoked for the 3D graphics of X and Y. I could be wrong, but it seems like it could have come about that way ;P
Sky Battles and Horde Encounters: These are two new types of battles in XY. Sky Battles sound really awesome as I can imagine Flying pokemon looking much cooler doing their attacks up in the air rather than being restricted to ground-level. Not sure if I like Horde Encounters since having your pokemon encounter a horde of weaker wild pokemon makes it seem like one of those Japanese fantasy RPGs where your party encounters a bunch of monsters at a time. But it’ll probably be a good way to boost your pokemon’s level faster, so that’s fine =P One thing I’d like to see go with Sky Battles is Underwater Battles!
New type – Fairy: Pokemon XY will be the first games since Gold and Silver in 1999 to introduce a brand new type of pokemon, Fairy type, which is strong against Dragon types. And it’s not hard to speculate why such a type was created: Dragon-type pokemon have been very OP in competitive battling in recent games, so GameFreak probably wanted to address this and balance out the game. Not only will there be brand new pokemon and attacks of the Fairy type, but many old pokemon such as Jigglypuff and Gardevoir will be getting Fairy as a second type. This new means of countering Dragon pokemon is one way where it seems like GameFreak is finally taking the competitive metagame side of Pokemon into real consideration (I’ll get to the other way next).
Super Training: A new way of training your pokemon, not to raise their levels but to raise their stats. Not only will you be able to more easily raise EVs in XY, but you’ll be able to see your pokemon’s stats with something called the Effort-o-Meter. So like I said, this is another example of GameFreak really considering the competitive side of pokemon and not just the main storyline of the game.
Pokemon-Amie: A new feature where you can use the 3DS touchscreen to feed, pet, and play with your pokemon, raising its friendship level and making it stronger in battle. Pokemon + virtual pet features = too cute.
Mega Evolution: Probably the most controversial new XY feature so far is Mega Evolutions, where some select pokemon will be able to temporarily “mega-evolve” into more powerful versions of themselves when holding a certain item in battle (and one other condition that hasn’t been revealed yet). If Mega Evolution was something that happened in Pokemon games 13 years ago, I would say they were ripping off Digimon, since digimon also have evolution specifically called Mega Evolution, and like their other evolutions, it’s also temporary. But seeing as how we’re in 2013, I don’t think the people at GameFreak got the idea from Digimon unless they were holding off on it all these years.
All the pokemon revealed to have Mega Evolutions so far (minus Kangaskhan)
From what’s been revealed about Mega Evolutions so far, it seems like it’s mostly to make some old pokemon more cooler, either to make pokemon that were never that popular, popular, like Mawile and Amphoras, or pokemon that were popular in their generation popular again, like Lucario and Mewtwo. After all, why not just give them new evolutions rather than hyping it up by giving it the term “mega”? Since Mega Evolution is limited in that you can only have one Mega Evolved pokemon on your team and they’ll only have that form in battle, I wonder if it’ll be allowed in battles against other players over Wi-fi, or if it’s only in-game. Just as certain legendary pokemon are banned in places like the Battle Subway, I wonder if similar restrictions will be placed on Mega Evolved pokemon. If they are able to be used in Wi-fi battling, that will be really impacting to competitive battling strategies. Despite my opinion that creating Mega Evolved pokemon is kind of pointless, I’ll probably end up liking the new feature nonetheless, especially if some of my favorite pokemon get Mega Evolutions ;)
And one feature that hasn’t been announced that I want to see, is a way to transfer pokemon from your 5th generation games into XY, like the Pal Park in generation 4 and the Poke Transfer Lab in generation 5. Last I heard the feature wasn’t a sure thing yet. It would be very frustrating if it’s not implemented since, over the course of three generations of Pokemon games, I’ve accumulated tons of powerful pokemon, EV trained and otherwise, as well as at least one of all the 649 current pokemon for breeding and collecting purposes. So having all of those pokemon become obsolete would be terrible! But if that’s how it must be, I won’t freak out too much because, well, maybe it’s time for everyone to start with a blank slate again.
So now that I’ve talked about the new XY features that caught my interest, let’s look at the new pokemon that have been revealed so far.
Unlike other fans, I’m not picky when it comes to pokemon designs and like most of these new ones. My favorites so far are Litleo and Bunnelby – so adorable! I really like the two mascot legendary pokemon too, Xerneas and Yveltal (Xerneas reminds me of the Forest Spirit from Princess Mononoke :3) I have trouble relating to the faceless pokemon based on objects though, so I have to wonder who thought something like Honedge would be a good idea ~_^ Though I kinda like the cotton candy pokemon, Swirlix. Heh, when they start making pokemon based on food, I feel like they’re running out of ideas XD
For the past three generations, I’ve been picking the Water starter on my first play through the game, but for XY I want to go with Fennekin because I love foxes…just hope his final evolution doesn’t turn out to be a Fire/Fighting type again!
Well, that’s all I have to say about Pokemon X and Y so far. As I am with every Pokemon game, especially ones that begin a new generation, I’m super excited about these games! There will probably be some new pokemon and features I’m not thrilled with, but I’m sure I’ll love the majority of them. October can’t come soon enough!