Community Review: Pokemon X And Pokemon Y

You could write everything I know about the Pokemon series on one of those really small, rubbish post-it notes. I always felt like I just missed the Pokemon craze on account of being a surly, pretentious teenager when the very first game came out on the Game Boy. I've been playing catch up ever since. Is this the one that could get me enjoying the series?

In September I got the chance to check out Pokemon X and Y. Nintendo brought up the 2DS and that was the game it had in the cartridge slot. It was legitimately my first time playing a Pokemon game ever. "You should try it," said the Nintendo man, "this is a good Pokemon game to get started on." Although he did admit he was a bit biased!

So I guess I'm going to leave it up to you all to convince me: quite honestly I've been looking for a new game to play on my 3DSXL. Is it worth me, as a 32 year old man, having my first Poke-experience with Pokemon X and/or Pokemon Y?


    Even though I've not played once since Silver:


    Still a unique experience, and they're usually highly polished. By this point in the series, they know what works.

    Honestly, the game feels like a love letter to existing fans. Every new feature is something to make life easier and more efficient in training and raising a viable competitive team. Newcomers might feel as though they're missing out on something.

    Serrels, you NEED to lose your Poke-virginity. There is no question of if you should, you need to. X/Y is just a downright fun game and has everything that made the previous Pokemon games good but there's more of everything. The world feels pretty darn organic and it's all new and shiny.

    Do yourself a favour Mark. Play Pokemon X or Y and join us.

    been hammering it all weekend with my missus, its so familiar yet so different.
    The small things you discover are amazing, now getting XP when you capture a pokemon is amazing.
    The change in camera angle when you go to a pokemon centre, the little display above that show's the small pictures of what pokemon are being healed.

    The in built tamogotchi style mini games to level EV's are cool.

    The new mystery trade is heaps of fun.
    And teh way the EXP share works, your whole party sort of levels fairly closly without to much switching in and out of the week pokemon during battle.

    So far very cool,

      "been hammering it all weekend with my missus, its so familiar yet so different."

      Ooerrrr (Evil grin)

      Where do you do the minigames? I must have walked straight past it.

        They're on the touch screen. You can tap the arrows at the top or press L/R to change screens to Pokemon Amie and Super Training.

          Thanks! I didn't even know I could tap arrows on the touch screen or that L/R did anything!

            Yeah i only found them late Sat night, and by accident

    Its amazing, everything they could have improved on they have, and everything that was bad is gone.
    I agree with the love letter statement above, if you were a fan of gen 1 (red and blue) your really going to like X & Y

    I've skipped a few generations (Last I played was Emerald on the GBA) and playing X/Y has been a blast. The world plays out much more like a traditional RPG (which is good compared to how stiff Pokemon can be sometimes), if not slightly easier for the sake of streamlining.

    This is the best game in the franchise so far. The story line is actually implemented well for once, it's not as grindy as it used to be, building a competitive team is easier than ever, and 3d world makes it more engaging than I thought previously.

    Play it.

    It is fantastic. Just fantastic.

    Been playing all weekend and I only have one gym badge but I have loved every second I have spent in that world so far.

    As somebody who only really knows the Gen 1 Pokemon I have really enjoyed seeing who is going to pop out from that long grass.

    I love that they have changed from a single rival to a group of friends who you travel around with and sometimes battle. It seems more believable to me.

    The dynamic of the team battles are really great. One point the person I was battling along side had a Pokemon faint and I couldn't help but think "Good work, I'll finish them off".

    The horde battles can be as frustrating as I think they were intended to be. When you have 5 wild Pokemon taking turns attacking your little dude you can't help but feel bad for them.

    It is also just visually beautiful.

    The most important thing is that it absolutely just feels like Pokemon. You start off and everything from the original games is still there - just better. That moment when you throw a Pokeball at something you really want to catch, and you watch on anxiously as it shakes back and forth; that moment is exactly what you expect it to be.

    I picked up Y because I haven't played a Pokemon game in ages and I have been super impressed with just how good of a game it is. Like, it's a good Pokemon game but it's also a great RPG. You can tell that a lot of top design work has gone into this game.

    All the improvements of the last 5 generations while scrapping the crappy things that don't work so well. Only feature the missus wishes was still in it would be having one pokey follow you around in game. I'd think the minigame stuff really makes up for this though.
    Great for those long invested, great for someone to get back in after skipping a few games, and seems great for newcomers.

      Only feature the missus wishes was still in it would be having one pokey follow you around in game.

      Yeah. I was sort of expecting that to make a comeback. I know there's like a million Pokemon now but I figured if they're making high detail models for all of them they'd make low detail world map models too.

    You can never be too old to start playing Pokemon! This new one is a great place to start.

    But you just said you got to try it in September. So then you have already played it and already know if you like it?.......

      He got to have a brief go of it at demo event. That's never a good way or place to figure out how you feel about a game that is made to be played over an extensive period of time. As opposed to more pick-up-and-play arcadey titles.

        Yeah. Especially a turn based RPG. You can test drive the battle mechanics but you won't be able to get a good feel for how it'll drive after two hours on the road until you actually play it properly.

          This might be overlooked sometimes but the legitimate connection you develop as you bond with your Pokemon is not something to be taken for granted. Again, an example of something that can never be experienced in a 15 minute demo.

    The game is brilliant, absolutely outstanding. The only thing that even comes close to a flaw is that I wish it had of went further in a lot of areas. Take character customisation. If I want a green shirt I have to buy a green shirt. There's no free from colour choice or even just a selection of variants. You just have a Blue Shirt, a Red Shirt and a Green Shirt.
    3D battles look amazing, but I wish they had of made it so I could select one of those poses like the 10 second clips have to use at the start of a battle (Begin Battle, Choose Pokemon, Victory, etc).

    The thing is the game is so good that you don't dwell on any of the 'it could have been better' moments. The stuff I mentioned? I don't even think about it while playing. It could have been better in a thousand different ways, there's a lot of room to grow, but it doesn't play like it's missing anything.

    Pokemon X/Y could have easily been another entry in the series and that would have been great, I don't regret buying Black 2 at all, but instead they've really stripped it down and rebuilt it. The best way to describe it is a next gen design. It's not just running on better hardware it's designed in a way that differentiates itself from previous entries. Similar to how Ocarina of Time was a Zelda game just like A Link to the Past but it was fundamentally different while staying true to the spirit of the series. Metroid Prime, Mario 64 and Resident Evil 4 come to mind as similar transitional games, but Ocarina of Time is the closest because there's almost zero chance you'll find yourself saying 'it used to be better!'.

    Overall I'd say if you're a fan of the previous games you'll like this, and if you've never played one but don't hate turn based games you'll almost certainly enjoy Pokemon X/Y. Even if you hate all the new features the majority of them are completely optional. One of the games biggest strengths is that you can ignore pretty much anything you like and play it as a core Pokemon 'go on a journey to beat Gym leaders and complete the Pokedex' game while cherry picking whatever side stuff catches your eye.

    Was ready to be bored by yet another rehash of what is basically the same game. For some reason however, the game is really engaging, visually looks great and is really fun.

    A number of others have already pointed out, many changes were made to make your life easier such as the Exp Share and gaining exp for capturing as well as defeating pokemon (makes sense though, really). Seems almost too easy at times though, levelling your party is a breeze, there seems to be LOADS of pokemon to catch in each location and 2 starter pokemon (plus "mystery gift Torchic with a mega evolution stone).

    Some dislikes are the horde battles that seem to drag on and on... Are much easier when you work out which moves hit all of them rather than battling one at a time though. 3D is great but manoeuvring your character can be a little weird. Very small issues though,

    Definitely got the pokemon bug again, will be thrashing this one I think. Not sure if it beats gold/silver but it's up there. Certainly better than black/white was.

      Some dislikes are the horde battles that seem to drag on and on... Are much easier when you work out which moves hit all of them rather than battling one at a time though.

      It's weird that they consolidated some of the battle text, like if you KO four of them it only results in one message, and Exp Share doesn't go into specifics as much as it normally would, but they take turns doing their attacks even if they occur one after the other. If four Pokemon in your party level up it does them one by one, rather than throwing up a bulk summary.

      It'd be great if in group battles two or more Pokemon on the same team performing their attacks without the opposing Pokemon doing anything in between resulted in them attacking simultaneously (still calculated separately and in sequence, just animated together). Like they were really teaming up.
      So Charmander and Snorlax could both charge the enemy Bellsprout together. A Hitmonlee attacking a Primeape and a Hitmonchan attacking a Pikachu would land their attacks at the same time creating a much faster, more fluid battle but also a real sense that they were using team work.
      It's sort of an odd game to bring up in a Pokemon conversation, but I think Game Freak could benefit from playing a ton of Arkham Asylum and watching how they do cinematic fights.

    If you've never played Pokemon before you probably don't quite understand how different it is from the TV show which is behind 99% of what you've seen. It's a bit hard to describe because you describe both with the same words, but there was a massive difference in tone between Red/Blue and the TV show. The show is a kids show about traveling the world of Pokemon and meeting people. It's an ok show for what it is. The game is more about traveling the world of Pokemon training your Pokemon.
    It's sort of like a JRPG with hundreds of characters to meet/put in your party blended with that Fable sort-of-but-not-quite a journey through a MMO world.

    I could recommend starting with Black 2, but they're not short games so that might be out of the question. I got back into Pokemon after a break since Red/Blue/Yellow with Black 2 and I feel like it really helped me get my bearings and understand mechanics/terminology before stepping into X/Y. I think I'm appreciating X/Y more as a result. Also ride public transport. The game is built for passengers. =P

    I haven't played a Pokemon game since Gold and Silver when I was like 12.

    I downloaded X on Saturday and all I can say is that it's good. It's fun. It's still the same core experience, but with a lot of small changes. I spent 8 hours on the weekend playing it.

    Haven't played a Pokemon game since Red/Blue, so any developments since then are pretty new to me.

    - I like how the negative status effects, such as paralysis, are seemingly 5 times more likely to affect your 'mons than the opposing guys. good to see the artificial difficulty is still intact.
    - No Growlithe. thats rubbish. I WANT MY FIRE PUPPY DAMMIT.
    - Some of the creature designs are a bit... rubbish.

    - the visuals. all the pretty colours! in 3D, no less. the detail thats gone into the combat animations as well. brilliant.
    - at its core, its still the same game as Red/Blue. this is a good thing.
    - its got that 'one-more-battle' addictiveness still.
    - Some of the creature designs are a bit... awesome.

      Go Catch Lilleo, its basically a growlith for the new generation.

        Man, that statement really makes me want a grizzled old Arcanine. Aged 'veteran' Pokemon would be awesome. Imagine having an old Blastoise that looked like you'd been handing it down from trainer to trainer since Red/Blue.

          LOL, i've had a conversation on kotaku with someone else a few weeks back, i actually have my first squirtle from pokemon blue, he is level 100 and has been through what.... 8 maybe 9 games now, i actually imagine him as my pokemon veteran.

          As soon as i work out how i'll be transferring him through to X

            I wish I had of stuck with Pokemon after Red/Blue. In retrospect playing 10% completed fan translations of Gold/Silver on an emulator was a stupid mistake. I should have just waited. Rather than carrying him through generations like you did, my original event Mew is stuck on a cart in the garage. =(

            Last edited 14/10/13 3:23 pm

              if its anything like my old pokemon yellow and gold cartridges, the internal battery that stores the save has probably died, had to pull it apart and replace the battery about 2 months ago when my niece wanted to play gold. replaced it with a bigger one that should last slightly longer than the one that came standard but the saves were well and truly dead along with all my pokemon. I was kinda bummed and I bet it would be 10x worse if you had an original event mew.

                Yeah, that's what I'm guessing. It sucks but oh well. It's my own fault.

      I looked through a list of all the new pokemon last night. So many of the names seem to just be a random mash of the keyboard.

      I also dislike how moves that attack 2 to 5 times always hit 5 times when they target your pokemon lol

      you can get growlithe over friend safari, i've seen a few people with him!!!

    If anyone wants to trade me a Squirtle I'd be very apperactive.

      I would be too! I chose a Charmander, even though, I knew that I needed a water type. Turns out there is no god damn water types in that game for a very long time (I'm now at the third gym, and still haven't found a good water type to put in main rotation!)

        you can get the water monkey in the first forest, while I would hardly call him great hes fine for early-mid game.

        I'm pretty sure you can breed the Gen 1 starters once you find the Pokemon Day Care and a Ditto. All we need is to find someone who picked Squirtle who is willing to do some breeding and we're in business!

        Otherwise, if you're interested in breeding whichever Gen 1 starter you picked, you'll likely find people on the Global Trade Station (GTS) who'll be interested in trading their bred Gen 1 starters for yours.

      @daze and @comban

      I can breed you a Squirtle, Charmander or Fennekin. Soon hopefully Bulbasaur and the other starters. Send me a friend request. 4441-9390-1637

        Hey, I would absolutely love a Fennekin if you wouldn't mind. I would be eternally grateful!
        I'll friend request you! 0962-9539-5344 :)

    I haven’t played since Gen 2 (Gold/Silver/Crystal), but even still haven’t seen footage of the most recent Pokemon games, X & Y just had stunning graphics which kept me captivated the whole weekend and is still continuing to do. It just looks like the graphics have really come a long way; having a hand-held version of Pokemon Stadium was more exciting than it sounds – I suppose the same may hold true for Super Smash when that comes out.

    Another feature that hasn’t been mentioned as much yet is the interaction with players worldwide, whether to trade, battle, or message. It was quite funny battling someone from Japan and pitting our silly lvl 5 Pokemon (which then become scaled to lvl 50) against one another. Playing with friends has never been more easy and it almost feels like an MMORPG to some extent. I’m not sure how player interaction worked for the games that ran on DS but it’s great to know that it’s possible to connect with players over the world and such.

      There was a surprising amount of connectivity in Pokemon Black and white, and black 2 and white 2, you could play in the same world, some mini games, you could videochat, though it was a mess. There was also someother small things, But X and Y improved on all of it!

    My only critism is that the game is a bit too easy. With the torchic that gets boosted xp for every battle, plus you seem to get xp way easier in this game. I do miss coming up against a strong enemy and having to stratagize on beating them rather than beating every gym leader with my starter. Other than that though, it's a pretty damn great game.

    Pokemon X, Up to the 8th Gym here.
    In my almost 20 hour playthrough (battled most trainers), t has generally been a great experience, from the music quality, story telling to the art designs on the gyms and cities. Only negative I can think of is that training the pokemon is much easier nowso from that of the GBA titles. This allowed me to blitz through every trainer and gym with relative ease (with no/minimal grass circling training montages).

    Aaaand with the much greater number of different Pokemon, I am having a terribly hard time determining who fits in my top 6. So Far I have my Blastoise (Trevor, no relation to GTA), Delphox (Gary), Lucario (Cole), Tyrantrum and Pigeot (Cage). I'm thinking of changing Pigeot to a Dragonite if possible (Is dratini even available in the wild?) or Salamence (seen Bagon somewhere early in the game), and some Ice-type badass to fill the last void... Can anyone please, suggest me a good ice-type to complement the rest that's attainable within X?

    One thing that has really blown me away is how friendly the online community is.
    I am constantly getting O-Powers from strangers, and people seem to enjoy my terrible PR video.

    A stranger helped me evolve my haunter and I didn't worry that he'd just steal it at all.

    I bought a copy for both my wife and I, and watching her play is really great.
    She's never been a big gamer, but seeing that grin on her face - it's really special.

    Pokemans for evah!

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