We're even more excited for Pokémon X and Y now, which we didn't think was possible.
Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of playing Pokémon Y for an hour. In this hour, I was able to successfully make my way through a solid chunk of the game, and in that chunk I saw the glory that was Pokémon. Everything about the new Pokémon game looks to be bigger, bolder and better than its past iterations.
First and foremost, the game looks beautiful. Plenty of people have said it and I’m here to say it again. The game looks like a brand new take on a classic. The battle animations are a treat and the trainer introductions are different than before. Not only do trainers talk to you, but before a battle you’ll get either an animated sequence from them or a beautiful portrait, giving the trainers a bit more character. The 3D environment is an absolute blast and each town has a distinctive feel.
In past games, the player may have noticed a slight bit of lag while traveling around in game. However, in X and Y, the new movement system feels fantastic. It’s no longer necessary to walk around on a tight grid. Having the ability to walk in eight directions feels incredibly smooth. It’s just one more thing that makes the X and Y experience feel fresh.
Ok, enough about the trainers and environment – it’s time to talk Pokémon. The game is full of Pokémon from across the generations. In the first couple areas, Pokémon from the first generation will appear alongside Pokémon from the newest generation. There is a solid mix of new and old Pokémon throughout the first couple areas of the game giving it a comforting sense of nostalgia with the overwhelming excitement of seeing and hearing new Pokémon. The battle animations are fun, but one of the real exciting features is Super Training.
Right from the start, players will have access to Super Training. Super Training will throw a Pokémon into one of a variety of different minigames, but I was only able to access one from the start. This game had me using the Circle Pad and touch screen in order to get my Pokémon to kick soccer balls at an inflated Pokémon target. If I was able to hit it enough times in the allotted time frame, the player and Pokémon would be rewarded.
The instant reward for the Pokémon was a slight increase in EVs, in this case in the Defense stat. The trainer was also given a Weight Bag item at this time. The weight bag can then be used on any Pokémon in the party to increase their EVs for a pre-determined stat.
Super Training also allows players to see the EVs given to each Pokémon by means of a six-sided graph. It is a little disappointing that this graph doesn’t display exact numbers, but being able to have some visual representation for EVs is nice. I also didn’t fully understand how to read the graph, as in I didn’t know if it accounted for just EVs or all stats, but I’m sure with a little testing this will be quickly understood by the fans.
The shops and Pokécenters have had redesigns as well. In Pokécenters there are places to buy supplies on one side and on the other side there is a changing room. In the changing room players will be able to try on different sets of clothing. In towns with no Pokécenter there are stores that specialize in Potions and Pokéballs.
The game plays flawlessly. When encountering wild Pokémon and trainers there is no lag and the game reacts as soon as you do. Since you’re able to run as soon as you leave home you can take the game as fast or as slow as you want. I (Josh) sprinted through the first couple of areas and found myself at the first gym. While I (Justin) spent more time exploring the environment, interacting with characters, and checking out some of the new features available to players from the get go. The game is a fun from the very beginning offering new challenges and new ways to play.
When players get their hands on Pokémon X and Y they will find themselves thrown into a world that feels both familiar and excitingly fresh. There are a plethora of new features and Pokémon for returning fans to get excited about. Additionally, there are also many older Pokémon to be seen that will give these fans a welcome sense of nostalgia as they play through. This isn’t just Pokémon with a new coat of paint, but even that paint looks and feels so nice. Even after our short time with the game I know both of us can’t wait to get our hands on Pokémon X and Y when it releases on October 12.