Last time, I had just left Cyllage City along Route 10. While walking in the tall grass, I encountered another new Pokemon – Hawlucha. Being both Fighting and Flying-type and having a luchador/wrestling theme make Hawlucha is a really odd Pokemon. Since my team’s already almost full, I decided to save him for a future play-through, but I’m really interested to see what kind of moves he can learn. I also met a Rock/Fairy-type called Carbink a bit later on. It looks sort of like a jewel-encrusted stalactite with a pink fairy poking his head out of the top. Just like Hawlucha, Carbink seems to be pretty interesting, so I’ll consider using him in the future. Some people complain that the designers over at Game Freak are running out of ideas, but I think that most of the designs look just as good as they always have. Bunnelby’s evolved form is an exception. He’s a gigantic rabbit with fists on his ears, and is absolutely terrifying. There’s nothing WRONG with the design, necessarily, I just find it… disturbing.
I just can’t explain how uncomfortable this Pokemon makes me feel.
One of the key landmarks of Route 10 were the gigantic rocks jutting up along the path. These made for some pretty interesting terrains, and many trainers I passed by mentioned that the means and purposes for which they were constructed were unknown. Seeing Team Flare snooping around only added to the mystery. I first encountered Team Flare in the cave where I found the Pokemon fossils. They weren’t doing anything particularly interesting, just looking around for fossils to sell. They seem to have a fixation on style and good looks, and their red hair and suits suggest a correlation with Lysander, the man I met before. Pokemon games are not known for their subtlety, that’s for sure. After passing through this terrain, I’m still not entirely sure what the rocks are for. Maybe I missed something, or perhaps I’ll be returning here in the future.
I arrived in Geosenge Town and met Korrina, the leader of the Shalour City Gym. It was hinted at that she would be able to help me uncover the secret of Mega Evolution, so I set off through Reflection Cave to meet her in the city. Reflection Cave was a great showcase for the lovely scenes Game Freak can create with 3D visuals. Full of reflective stones, walking through Reflection Cave was like travelling through a hallway covered in mirrors. Trainers I encountered were staring at their reflections in the wall, but when I passed by they caught sight of me and turned around to fight, which I thought was a really clever touch.
In Shalour City, I found out that I would learn about Mega Evolution in the Tower of Mastery. There, I saw Korrina and her grandfather, who explained that Mega Evolution requires both a Mega Stone and a Mega Ring, of which there was only one left. I had to fight one of my four rivals to prove myself worthy of it. After the battle, however, I was told that I needed to beat Korrina in her gym before I could progress. She trains fighting-type Pokemon, and her gym was a giant roller rink. I found it a bit difficult to grab the attention of trainers that I wanted to battle because they were moving around so quickly, and although the gym was relatively interesting it did not leave a particularly lasting impression on me. I was a bit disappointed that she didn’t use her either of her Lucarios to battle me. Because she is the master of Mega Evolution, I thought she might use it in battle against me to provide a really unique challenge, but that was not the case. I can only hope that future Gym Leaders or trainers will utilize this secret power to make battles even more difficult.
I finally got to try out Mega Evolution when Korrina let me use one of her Lucarios in a second battle against her atop the Tower of Mastery. I’ll have more to say about it when I can try it out with other Pokemon, but it’s definitely really cool. The start-up animation, design, and sheer power of Mega Lucario has me really excited to use it with more Pokemon. I already know that players are restricted to one Mega Evolved Pokemon per battle, and that the point is to raise them to a “Legendary”-esque status, so I don’t feel like they’re any more unfair than using a legendary Pokemon in battle.
After leaving Shalour City, one of my neighbors/friends/rivals met up with me and very conveniently gave me the HM Surf just as I was about to enter an area where I needed to swim across the water to progress. Equally conveniently was the man standing by the water who just so happened to have a Lapras that he was trying to give away. This whole process was quite anticlimactic, as it would have been interesting to get the HM in a unique way, but now I guess I can get on with my adventure much faster. I’ve left my game off here for now, and am really hoping that I’ll get to see more Mega Evolved Pokemon soon!
Next time: Coumarine City, the Third Gym and more!