Pokemon has evolved more than ever and thanks to the release X & Y on 3DS you’ll be more hooked than you've even been. Whether you are seven or thirty seven, there is something about this game that just keeps you coming back.
On a basic level it’s quite strange how Pokemon X & Y manages to keep you hooked. For one, it’s a fairly repetitive game with a very basic story, although but perhaps this is part of its charm. The thing about Pokemon X & Y is that it’s quite easy to pick up and play and just as easy to keep playing. As you wander through its vast lands in order to fill up your Pokedex, you’ll become attached to your growing army of Pokemon as they level up, bringing with them new moves and ever evolving looks.
What’s really great about X & Y though is that it doesn’t bog you down with unnecessary tasks. Straight from the off you’ll find that the game is much faster paced than previous titles, instead you’re put straight into the action and from there you are free to build your catalogue of Pokemon, be it through random encounters or through finding wild Pokemon within the various grassy areas spread throughout the land. Within an hour or so you’ll also have access to your first gym as well as a pair of roller blades which speed up your movement and also allow you to perform various tricks thanks to the skateparks and bannisters spread throughout the game. You’ll even meet plenty of interesting people, who’ll give you access to all manner of interesting gifts.
While it’s not really anything that other games don’t do, you can now customise your character, be that by changing skin tone, clothes or accessories, this helps add something more to the game and at least helps you distinguish yourself from others, since you’ll often meet other online players when wandering around the land - providing you are connected to the internet of course.
The main changes made to X & Y’s gameplay come in the form of Mega Evolutions. These see Pokemon transform into an altogether different creature, removing weaknesses and adding new powers. This is handy as it can often give you an upper hand in battle, although it does have its limitations in that you can only summon one evolution during a battle, while not all of your Pokemon will be able to evolve.
Perhaps one of the most impressive changes in the latest game is the improvement of its the online features. Now you can search for players, start quick battles, trade, share videos and more. In this respect online challenges will often pop up when you are going about your adventure, which helps mix things up a little as well as distracting you from the addictiveness of your current single player campaign.
Other features worth mentioning include the mini games which can be accessed at any time using the lower screen and allow you to interact with your Pokemon, such as Berry Picker, which has you matching the berries to the Pokemon within a set time limit. Do this successfully and you’ll earn food to feed them, as well as unlocking the next difficulty level of the game. Finally, you can also access Super Training from the same area on the screen. This gives you access to mini games which help improve the skills of your Pokemon, as well as giving you yet another reason to be hooked to the game.
It’s on the presentation side that X & Y really evolves. For the first time the game is displayed in 3D and it looks fantastic. Both the environments and the Pokemon look wonderful, while the animations during fights look stunning. All of this is also backed up by the quirky orchestral sounds, which really helps up the overall quality feel of the game.
One major warning you must take heed of is that the game does not autosave, so you’ll need to make sure you save regularly and not waste hours of progress like I did on two occasions. Unfortunately after putting in around 8 hours without saving (I thought I did but it’s a long story), I closed the system with the game still running, at this point my son opened the game and switched to a different title, so I lost my save game. You’d have thought I would have learned my lesson but I did the same again later after getting some progress back. So be warned, save your game, especially if you have kids.
The Pokemon series has evolved into something quite special with X & Y. To be honest I wasn’t really expecting much, given that I am not really a huge fan of the series and wasn’t really thinking that I’d be drawn in to the title as much as I was, but therein lies the beauty of Pokemon X & Y, because in it’s simplicity lies a game with such depth and enjoyment that it's far too much fun to put down.
(Version Tested: Pokemon X - 3DS)
+ Highly Addictive
+ Looks Fantastic
+ Great Sounds
+ Online features are well designed
- Story is basic
- Repetitiveness may put some off