Hi people of the internet, time for me to do something I haven’t done for a while… A GAME REVIEW! AND IT’S A NEW ONE! Holy man, now don’t blow up ladies and gents, but I don’t really review any new games because I’m always broke or don’t have a console to play the games that I want. But anyway, today I want to talk about Pokémon X, a game I wanted to play for a while and just wanted to play for the sake of nostalgia. So now that my addiction for the game has died out, I think it’s time to review the game.
There is a story in this game and as usual its kind of linear and never really overshadows your main playing experience. You mainly run around with four friends and from time to time they’ll show up out of nowhere and interrupt your fun to battle or join you on your adventure. Your rival is especially annoying because her timing can be particularly troublesome. Outside of that you’ll have to take on your typical evil Pokémon organization and there’s some crazy backstory involving Pokémon thousands of years ago in war and death, it is kind of surprising, but if you’re like me and only play Pokémon for the gameplay then the story won’t amount too much.
When it comes to the gameplay, there is a basic mixture of old and new implemented into this game that adds some welcome changes, but at the same time has some of the series’ problems still haven’t been rectified.
Firstly let’s talk about the new gameplay features and they include:
- You can customize your character’s appearance (clothes, accessories, skin colour etc.)
- Certain evolved Pokémon can use Mega Evolutions that make them more powerful during battle.
- Also introduced are Sky Battles, mid-air trainer battles that only flying Pokémon can participate in, and Horde Encounters, in which players must battle against multiple wild Pokémon at once.
- You’ll be able to choose from one of the classic starter Pokémon from Red & Blue later on in the game.
- A new type of Pokémon is introduced in the form of the Fairy-type which were added to balance the Dragon-type.
- Then there’s Pokémon-Amie which allows players to interact with their Pokémon, you get to play games and give them food that strengthens bonds.
- Super Training features various mini-games that help build the base stats of the player’s Pokémon, which in turn unlocks training bags that can be used by Pokémon to grow stronger on their own.
- The online experience has been streamlined and made absurdly convenient, allowing for trading and battling to be done in a quick and seamless manner.
Then you have some small variations to basic rules of the Pokémon series that make the experience move a lot faster and smoother than before especially for veterans. But outside of those differences/upgrades, the core gameplay of Pokémon X is exactly the same as it was before. You still start off as a little trainer who goes off and explores the world, catches and trades Pokémon, battles other trailers, takes on 8 gym leaders, take on an evil Pokémon organization and go to the Pokémon League and take on the Elite Four.
As a person who’ been playing Pokémon games since the 90’s with Pokémon Red, I have experienced Pokémon in every form. Generation I and II were my favourites in the series, Gen III was good, but wasn’t leaps and bounds better than Gen II, Gen IV was okay, but very unremarkable and Gen V while different was not nearly as engaging or cool as previous entries. So I was SO glad that Generation VI was WAY more engaging and fun than any game I’d played in ages. I felt an immediate wave of nostalgia mixed in with whole new experiences that made me fall in love with Pokémon again! I liked training Pokémon again, I loved battling and going through the Kalos Region was just a delight.
However for all those good aspects, there are a number of issues I have. Firstly the game is a bit on the easy side and while that’s not too much of a problem at first, it became noticeable towards the end of the game when I was pretty high level and took out the Elite Four pretty easily. Secondly and this is the biggest issue for me, THE GAME LOOSES SERIOUS STEAM AFTER THE MAIN GAME IS OVER! This has been an issue for most games in the series for a while now, but other than Gold & Silver, there hasn’t been a game in the series that has had a lot of replay value outside of the main campaign. Once you beat all the gym leaders and then take out the Pokémon League there isn’t much to do in the main campaign besides the dabble in some mundane tasks, get more Mega Stones and try out the Battle Masion. Unless you’re a completist or love battling and trading online, then this game will run out of steam very quickly.
Presentation-wise Pokémon X is simply insane and never has the production values for a game in this series looked or sounded so good. Visually the graphics have had a major overhaul with the world and battles being completely rendered in polygonal 3D graphics! The world of Pokémon has taken a MASSIVE step forward in the graphical department and I say that is ABOUT BLOODY TIME! For the longest time I have been waiting for the series stop using sprites and go full-on 3D and now it’s finally happened. Seeing all of the Pokémon rendered in cel-shaded 3D models in battles with specific animations really make them stand out and emulate their traits from the anime shows. Outside of battles the new overworld looks brilliant, lively and more dynamic than ever with the varied camera angles, depth of field and a great deal of scope, especially with all the different NPCs on-screen in addition to these different environments. As for the audio it is pretty impressive on this side of things too. The soundtrack for this game is probably the best one I’ve heard since Ruby & Sapphire, it’s so different, realistic and upbeat, it is just a song for every scenario. My personal favourites would be the battle theme, Professor Sycamore’s theme and the gym leader music (which is totally badass). I think my only issue with the audio is the fact that not all of the Pokémon have voices like the anime and still rely on those terribly outdated sound effects (well, besides Pikachu).
In conclusion Pokémon X is one of the best experiences I have had with this series in a long time. For the first time in ages there actually feels like there’s some actual change, innovation and rectifications to the franchise that it so badly needed. The fancy new graphics, refined gameplay and killer online features make it one of the most addictive games for a while. That being said, this game still lacks a good offline mode once the main quest is finished and unless you’re in love with trading and battling the fun factor runs out very quickly. When all is said and done Pokémon X is still a great game for newbies and a fun time for veterans too.
Rating: 8/10 (It may be easy and lacking in offline department, but there’s enough new features to make it a game worth playing)
So have you played Pokémon X & Y? And if you have, tell me what you think of Generation VI as a whole, was it everything you hoped it would be or did you want more? Whatever your thoughts drop them in comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo! 😀
March 13, 2015 at 6:57 pm
I agree with you on the running-out-of-steam-after-the-E4 bit. That was just awful. I don’t have massive knowledge on the complexities of game programming, but I really don’t get how if Gen II could let you play through two regions, then why the hell has that not been a feature in any of the later games? I understand that in Gen VI, it’s set in a comepletely new region separate form any of the others. But still… There are clearly such things as cruises and planes in the pokemon world.
As far as X&Y go, I was so incredibly happy with the trainer customisation. I love having my own character who looks how and wears what I want them to. The selection was a bit limited, but it was a massive step forward; one which I was disappointed they went back on in ORAS.
The music is what stood out for me. I LOVE my video game OSTs, and some of the tracks in this really blew me away, particularly the E4 theme.
March 14, 2015 at 11:42 pm
I know right? I do not understand how Gen II could have so much post E4 content, but none of the other games could have that same out of content. Like you said they could have found a way around it with ships or planes to other islands like in Fire Red and Leave Green.
X&Y had really good customisation, it was a little limited and I wish there was more face and hair options, but otherwise it was wonderful. I hope it expands in Gen VII. Oh that music was gorgeous, video game OSTs are important for me too and I do love when the music is really memorable.