If Pokemon Black and Pokemon White were a chance for longtime fans to disengage from the series, Pokemon X and Y are every reason to dive back into it and get going again. Full of throwbacks, references, and nods to previous installments, Game Freak has really built this from the ground up to both engage new fans while captivating old ones with subtle details that others might only appreciate at face value. From Mega Evolutions to Dragonball Z references, and everything in between, X & Y are the epitome of Pokemon and all of it is gloriously rendered in 3D.
It’s the same old story that we’ve grown accustomed to: you’re new in town and seeking an adventure so the local professor gives you a starter Pokemon – Froakie, Chespin, or Fennekin – and off you go. The game holds your hand through the usual process of catching your first Pokemon, winning your first battle, and defeating your first gym leader. From there on out it’s simply a plethora of experiences that you will thoroughly enjoy, inside and out.
Along the way, you’ll deal with the notorious Team Flare which seeks to bring the world back to a balance with their nefarious schemes and in the end, it’s up to you and your friends to put a stop to them. Speaking of that, one of the biggest improvements over previous iterations is the unique aura that each and every one of your four friends gives off. Tierno, a dance enthusiast seeks out the best Pokemon to create a dance team with. Oftentimes he is seen with his pal Trevor who is jet-set on completing his Pokedex before the rest of the group. Serena serves as your rival, albeit one that deeply respects you and isn’t afraid to work alongside you throughout the story. Meanwhile, Shauna behaves as the odd-man out who simply has the group’s best interest in mind. They’re a wonderful bunch, and for once, we felt like we were actually a group of friends progressing through our adventure together.
With a total of 718 Pokemon to be seen, you’ll have to utilize previous generations to catch them all, but with the new Global Trading System (GTS) it has never been easier to do so. All you have to do is say what Pokemon you’re willing to part with and what one you want in return and it will put your listing on the market. While you continue on your way, catching Pokemon and doing battle, the listing will persist on. Rare Pokemon like Kangaskhan and Abra that have an appearance rate of less than five percent will be able to net you practically any Pokemon on the market, meaning completing that Pokedex is feasibly possible for once.
Combined with multiple social activities such as Mystery Gifting – where you willfully send off one of your Pokemon into the vast abyss and randomly receive one that someone else has also forsaken – and O-Powers – which allow you to give power-ups to yourself, friends, or passerbys – that extra dimension continues to make Pokemon one of the social leaders of the handheld realm.
Pokemon remains the metaphorical rabbit hole. Once you jump in, there’s no knowing when you’ll come out. We just hope it continues to last as long as possible. No matter what type of trainer you are, there’s something here that you’ll get great enjoyment out of.
- Great online/social integration.
- Best characters to date.
- Plenty of post-game content.
- Goes as deep as you want it to.
- So many items!
- Still can’t remember the strengths and weaknesses of every single type.
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