The first day of my new Pokemon journey has come to a close, four and a half hours into the game. I’ve been following the franchise since the very beginning, and can safely say that X and Y deliver exactly what you would expect from a Pokemon title while still keeping things feeling new and exciting. The fully 3D environments and animated battle sequences make for a more immersive world, and small changes to the series’ formula keep the titles from feeling too iterative.
If you’ve read NintendoFuse’s collaborative piece on what we want to see from the new games, you’ll know that I hoped for more variety and choice in Pokemon early on in the game, and so far Game Freak is delivering on that front. I’ve seen a wide variety of different creatures so far, and having so many choices is a much better feeling than constantly saying to yourself “Really? Another Rattata?”. I saved my progress and quit right after beating the first gym, making sure to take plenty of time to take in the sights, sounds and characters that populate the new region. Be sure to check back tomorrow for more spoiler-free thoughts about the games, or keep scrolling for a more in-depth account of my first day!
Pokemon X and Y started off just as I expected them to – a professor (Sycamore this time) talked to me about the world of Pokemon, couldn’t determine my gender, and asked me for my name. Shortly thereafter, I awoke in my house where, surprise surprise, my mother and I had just moved in. Despite the initial predictability, this is where all the expositional similarities to other Pokemon games ended. This time around, I didn’t receive my very first Pokemon from Sycamore. Rather, one of my four rivals gave it to me. As two of them walked away proudly with Fennekin and Chespin, I sat there staring at my first sixth-generation Pokemon – Bubblebeard, the Froakie. So far, this is the extent of the story. I’ve met my rivals at various points between the first town and the first gym, but there hasn’t been an overarching narrative.
Within the next couple of routes, I had already caught a handful of different Pokemon – Zigzagoon, Fletchling, Scatterbug, Pikachu, Pansear and Bunnelby to name a few. The sheer variety of creatures spanning all six generations was quite exciting, and seeing them all in fully-animated 3D made battling more engaging than it has ever been on portable systems. The camera swivels, rotates, and zooms in on your Pokemon as they duke it out, in a very Pokemon Stadium-esque fashion. The environments themselves are gorgeous and full of colour, and the game utilizes various camera angles to showcase the different sights.
I passed through the Santalune Forest, which was shaped an awful lot like Viridian Forest from the first games, and made my way into Santalune City where I prepare to take on the first gym. Master of the Bug-type, Viola awaited me at the end of a winding spider web maze. As soon as I fell down a hole into the main portion of the gym, I couldn’t find any way back out. By trapping me inside with no way to escape, the game challenged me to beat the gym without the reassurance of being able to leave to heal my team halfway through. Despite this added challenge, the trainers and leader were still rather low-levelled and didn’t make use of the wide variety of powerful bug types in the 700+ library of creatures. These are problems that I’ve always had with early gym leaders, and unfortunately they don’t seem to have been fixed.
Pokemon-Amie is absolutely adorable – but more on that next time!
I got to experience Super Training and Pokemon-Amie, two new features in the game, but will write about them in more depth when I have spent more time using them. What I CAN say about Super Training is that it seems to be a nice, fun alternative to EV training.
Next time: The fairy-type, Super Training, and much more!