Our staff express their opinions regarding the new features in Pokemon X and Y.
With Pokémon X and Y hardly a month away, Nintendo has dumped tons of new info regarding the more nitty-gritty aspects of the games. With the new info, also come new questions.
Is the transition from 2D sprites to polygonal, 3D models the right direction for the series to take?
Are the Mega Evolutions a step in the right direction, or a misguided attempt to introduce older Pokémon to a newer audience?
Is the yearly, $5 fee for Pokémon Bank worth it?
Are the interactive aspect of Pokémon-Amie and the minigames for EV training an improvement over past mechanics?
What are some exciting, new aspects being introduced in X and Y?
Find out our staff’s opinions on all of these new features in Pokémon X and Y.
Neal Ronaghan, Director
My affection for Pokémon is simple: I like them in the same way I like watching summer movies. I romp through them without worrying about EVs or IVs. I don't care much for doing every little post-game thing and finding every secret. I get the Pokémon I think are cool and make a team I find enjoyable to use.
That being said, I'm stoked for X and Y. The graphics look different (but seem like they won't change anything fundamental about the structure/gameplay) and they seem to be adding some cool mechanics that will also be different. It's Pokémon; they won't reinvent the wheel. They're basically only adding some sweet rims to the Pokécar with Mega Evolutions, horde battles, and the like. I'm totally cool with that.
And I won't spend a dime on Pokémon Bank. I think.
Justin Baker, Reviews Editor
As a casual Pokémon fan (I generally play the story, dabble for a month and then quit), I'm still most excited for the graphical update. I feel like this may be the first entry in the series that really grabs me and pulls me in. I went through a Pokémania as a child, but it was more focused around cards and cartoons than it was the actual games.
The Mega Evolutions looks like a great way to showcase old Pokémon that I've forgotten about, and it's exciting to see that some of the original 150 are getting some new love. Of course, as a casual fan, things like EV training and other more technical details are a little lost on me, but I'm interested to see if they can introduce me to them in a way that's easy to learn.
I think they're moving in the right direction, and it looks like there's a chance that I may finally be infected with Pokémania for the first time since elementary school.
J.P. Corbran, Community Manager
I'm not sure I like the move to 3D. The old art style is so iconic and I have so much nostalgia for the older games that it'll be hard to adjust.
Still, I'm pretty excited to play these new ones, if only to take advantage of 3DS-specific features. I'll never get into the nitty-gritty details of the series, but I'll enjoy playing through the story.
Josh Max, Staff Writer
I'm personally very excited to make the transition from sprites to 3D models. I think this will help make the games better than they already are. Don't get me wrong, I love the sprites, but if I want to play with them I can just use one of my old games. I say bring on the new!
As for the Mega Evolutions, I like Digimon, so take that as you will.
I probably will not pay $5 a year to use the Pokémon Bank. If they offer it for free for a month, I'll do that. If I get crazy and find a five dollar bill on the ground, I might do it. I'm not planning to though.
What I'm mostly excited about, is that for the first time in my life I will be going in to these games spoiler-free—at least, as much as I can working for NWR. I'm excited to see what a new generation will bring to the table. Black and White did such a great job of reinvigorating the Poké-fever in me that I'm kinda hoping X and Y give me full blown Pokérus.
Tom Malina, UK Correspondent
More than any other franchise I can think of, Pokémon is something I never expect to evolve significantly and am totally okay with it each generation. In the grand scheme of things, these new elements in Pokémon X and Y may not dramatically alter the overall experience, but they are enough to get me excited about it.
The upgrade to 3D, polygonal graphics, for example, while ultimately a superficial difference, is something I'm looking forward to because it's a new way to look at that world. In particular, the more extravagant animations and cinematic direction of the Pokémon battles ought to spice things up, seeing as up until now, they have maintained the Game Boy original's simplistic style.
As for Mega Evolutions, there's definitely a lot of potential for those to change the flow of battles, though I have some reservations about its balance. Of course, that's something I won't know until I have some time to mess with it myself. Nevertheless, my questions are: just how powerful are the Mega Evolved Pokémon, is there anything restricting how much you can use it, and is there an effective way to deal with them using an ordinary Pokémon? In fact, I'm even curious to know how many Mega Evolutions you are likely to come across in a conventional playthrough, given that each Pokémon that can Mega Evolve needs their own individual stone to be able to do it.
Lastly, I'm not planning on spending any money to use Poké Transporter or Pokémon Bank. At this point, I may have already surrendered the idea of ever "catching 'em all" in X and Y. Pokémon Diamond was the last time I came even remotely close to filling up the Pokédex, but now I have completely and utterly lost count. There's just too many. I think that this time, I'll just take the monsters as they come and stop worrying about having such a giant collection.
Nicholas Bray, Australia Correspondent
Currently, my hype for X and Y isn't really all that high. In the past I have been somewhat excited for the upcoming generation of the games, but this time the pre-launch isn't doing much for me. I appreciate that they are moving the visuals forward, and I think they look good, but, I am kind of skeptical that there will be a lot of environments where the camera will be almost third person. That’s what I really want, that wider view of the world.
I am unsure on how exactly I feel about the Mega Evolutions. I am glad that these are more or less side forms of the Pokémon that require an item to obtain, as I don't like the idea of adding more and more evolutions to the older Pokémon. However, the name Mega strikes me as slightly un-Pokémon, and the premise of the evolutions is not as elegant or in line with my general view and feelings of the franchise. Mega Charizard does look fairly cool though.
The Poké Transporter is a good idea, and will be a godsend for the fanatics out there, but I doubt I will end up using it really. The number of Pokémon to catch is getting insane; I don't know how long they can keep adding more and more for people to have to catch, while also having to trade from so many previous titles just so they can "catch them all". It'd be nice if the vast majority of the Pokémon were able to be caught just in X and Y.
Alex Culafi, Previews Editor
I stopped reading up on X and Y for the sake of avoiding the spoilers Nintendo is continuously pouring out like thick syrup, but I am excited about it.
Yeah, I sure as hell love my Pokémon, but the series is going through a more exciting evolution brought on by the new hardware. With it we get Pokémon Stadium-level battles, 3D visuals, twice as many directions to move in, a new type, a huge region, and Mega Evolutions. The new internet stuff is kind of neat, but I don't play Pokémon for the online and putting a pay wall over Pokémon transfer without every single Pokémon being available in the game (presumably) is absolutely, 100% unacceptable to me, regardless of what trial period you put in front of it or how cheap it is.
But hey, it's new Pokémon! It'll be great, and it'll be Pokémon. That's all there really is to say.
Justin Berube, Features Editor
I am, without a doubt, looking forward to Pokémon X and Y. I've been playing the series since its debut in North America. I think Pokémon has had its highs and lows as a series, but X and Y appear to be the next big high.
I know many people dislike Mega Evolutions, however, I am not one of those people. There isn't enough information available to hate this new feature. I mean, we really don't know how powerful they will be. I personally welcome Mega Pokémon if they balance some existing characters in order to compete with the already overpowered, UBER Pokémon. I like to see Pokémon played at the max level, and Mega Pokémon could make a whole lot of other creatures relevant again.
The series ditching the 2D sprites is, sadly, necessary. Yes, that nostalgic Pokémon battle feeling may be gone, but it would be very difficult to represent the new types of battles (Sky and Swarm) without the use of the 3D graphics. Still, it would be cool if there were an unlockable option for classic Pokémon graphics. I mean, who doesn't want to see what the new Pokémon would look like in sprite form?
I'm excited about the Pokémon Bank for one reason. It will make transferring Pokémon to the new generation much easier. The bad news is I have a lot of transferring to do before the new games even come out. Still, I probably won't be paying for Pokémon Bank unless I need to easily move my Pokémon from one game to another. Also, what happens if you have Pokémon in the bank and you stop paying? Pokémon Storage Wars? I'll attend those auctions.
Pokémon-Aime doesn't interest me in the slightest. I never got into the stupid mini-games in the Pokémon series. To me, it was about battling and the mini-games always managed to bore the garbage out of me and rarely give a reward that was worth the hours of suffering. With that said, I'm glad EV training will be made easier and more visible to trainers. I just hope those mini-games can hold my attention.
There isn't one new aspect of X and Y that excite me other than the possibility for positive change. We are already seeing a lot of it in the game, mostly stuff I've just discussed. To me, the world and such of the game isn't even what Pokémon is about. At the end of the day it comes down to battling, and if that can be made more exciting and easier to get into, then I'm pumped. The positive change to EV training is a start, but the competitive game will only open up to thousands of more people if the games make obtaining Pokémon with good IVs a lot easier. I am hopeful that the designers see and understand this.