Pokemon X and Y, the first of the series to be released on Nintendo’s 3DS handheld, dropped a couple weeks ago and since then I’ve been playing the junk out of it. I’m currently at the sixth gym, so I feel like I’ve got a good handle on all the changes Game Freak has made.
For the first time in a long time this feels like an honest upgrade for the series, instead of just incremental tweaks. The new art is gorgeous, especially with the enhanced polygonal Pokemon models. Sure, performance suffers some times (the frame rate drop is most noticeable during battles), but leaving the sprite-based graphics of the previous games behind was a good move. The camera perspective changes can also be a little jarring at times.
Pokemon X and Y removed some of the grind from the series by giving you the EXP Share very early on and having it apply to your entire team instead of just two Pokemon. This is a great boon, because you no longer have to spend a lot of time making sure your team is around the same level; with an equipped EXP Share, it just happens automatically. I am finding that my team is somewhat over-levelled, but the Pokemon series was never too difficult to begin with. Besides, I’m always free to turn it off.
All of the extra modes packed in are great, especially Super Training if you’re in to competitive play. What this allows you do to is play specific games with your individual Pokemon to raise their hidden stats, replacing the old EV training.
The multiplayer is also vastly improved thanks to the Player Search System. The PSS allows you to easily Battle, Trade or give O-Powers (buffs, essentially) to your friends, so evolving Pokemon with trades have never been easier. Additionally, the more friends you have the bigger the Safari Zone gets, which will help you attain rare Pokemon.
My only small complaint about the game is the fact that the roller-skates are permanently mapped to the analog stick. You can still move around using the d-pad, but with diagonal movement now being an option, I’d really like to use the stick. Fortunately, being inside caves or buildings removes the roller-skates for you.
Overall I’m really enjoying Y, the version I chose to pick up. It feels like I’ve barely scratched the surface with all of the extra features packed in, and with the PSS, filling up most of my Pokedex finally seems attainable. Has anyone else played X or Y? Are you thinking of getting it?