So for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been playing Pokemon every chance I got. I beat the Elite 4 after about 51 hours (spanned across 7 days, since I did have to work), and have been breeding and evolving Pokemon for my Pokedex.
This post contains my thoughts on the game based on my experience. It’s in no way an objective review. Also, there will be spoilers, so if you care about spoilers, I recommend at least beating the Elite 4 before reading on. Also, warning that this post is looooong. I tend to ramble on sometimes ^^;
In fact, after I finished writing this, it was so long that I made a table of contents… I’m sorry, didn’t mean to write a whole essay, lol.
- The Adventure
- The Pokemon
- The Plot and Characters
- Menus and PC Box
- Trainer Customization and Photos
- Pokemon Amie
- Super Training
A couple of days before X and Y came out, I stopped going to any Pokemon sites. Resisted looking at leak info, and even stopped looking at the official site. I did this because I wanted to experience the game without much prior knowledge, especially the Pokemon. I wanted to start a wild encounter, and see a Pokemon I’ve never seen before jumping out, and when I evolved Pokemon I wanted to wait and see what it turns into. I did know about the 20 or so Pokemon that were revealed before release, and some Mega evolutions. I didn’t even know how many new Pokemon were added when I started playing. It was an interesting experience, not always knowing how Pokemon evolved, what they evolved into, and finding out on my own.
I picked Fennekin, despite also wanting to use Charizard and Talonflame. When I started playing, I haven’t seen the starters’ final evolutions yet, so seeing my starter grow and evolve into something new was pretty cool too.
The first exciting thing I noticed was that I could finally fit “MapleRose” in as my trainer name! Though I picked “Rose” as my nickname.
The second exciting thing is that you start off with the running shoes, though the game never tells you to press B to run….
One of your friends takes the starter you’re weak to, and the other takes the starter you’re strong against. So for me, Calem (who totally looks weird without a hat) has Froakie, and Shauna has Chespin. It seems in this game, at level 5, your starter already has an elemental move, so the first starter battle isn’t just a Tackle/Pound/Leer/Tailwhip war of attrition.
It wasn’t until I finished the game and started doing Elite 4 runs did I notice that the first town does not have a Pokemon Center! Aquacorde is so useless. There’s two shops, but no Pokemon Center, so if you went through the E4 without a flyer, you have to go through Santalune forest…
The first Pokemon I ran into and caught was Pidgey. I find it funny how in this game, you were able to catch Pokemon before the game gives you the (unforunately manditory) tutorial. Look, I already have caught Pokemon, I don’t need to be shown how! Had my hopes up that there would be the tutorial. Although I have a couple of friends who are playing Pokemon for the first time, so the tutorial was actually helpful (he said he just threw a Pokeball at the Pokemon, which since the Pokemon are like level 2, worked anyway), but every game, I wish you could skip it.
Aside from my self-imposed rule of not looking anything up, I made another self-imposed rule of using only new Pokemon for my in-game team, aside from the Kanto starter. Even though Charizard is my fave, because I already have Fennekin and Talonflame (and the event Torchic that I set in my box right away), I picked Squirtle.
I won’t bore you with the details of my journey, so I’ll just write about my general thoughts about this game.
I like how the cut bushes are actually prickly bushes that you can’t just hop over now, but it seems that these cut bushes are more prominent than at least Gen 5 if not other gens. I’ve always just had an HM slave with Cut that I would go back to the PC to get, since they aren’t in a lot of places. But in this game, I actually had to put Cut on a main team member (which I suppose came in handy for catching Pokemon).
I love the 3D animation, and the different camera angles. I like the split screen that shows you the front of your Pokemon, since you almost never see that. This is the first game that I played through with the animations on (usually I have animations on for the first like 10 battles, and then turn them off). I love that each Pokemon has an animation for gaining HP from Leech Seed (at first I thought it was just Gogoat, but I switched out once, and the Pokemon coming in had a receiving HP animation too). I like how some Pokemon have attack animations that fit their personality, like how Braixen pulls the stick out of its tail and uses it as a wand, or how Greninja does a ninja pose before attacking.
I also love that each Pokemon has a fainting animation and being attacked animation. When fainting, sometimes the Pokemon’s eyes go like > < or X-shaped (like Magnemite) or they act really sad or disappointed (Klefki drops its keys when it faints, aww); then they fall either on their face (like Graveler), roll backwards, or fall to the side. It makes me feel a bit bad for making Pokemon with cute fainting animations faint.
I like all the character animations too (and being able to run and ride bikes much smoother instead of feeling bound to a grid). Like how you bend down to talk to kids (who are actually shorter than you) and small Pokemon, or look up when you talk to adults (who are slightly taller than you), or how you stretch and shift side to side when you leave the game idle. I love those neat little touches. I like being able to sit on beds and benches and chairs, and how you can turn left and right when sitting down. When I was in the Team Flare base, I sat behind their computers, lol.
I like how houses are much more furnished now; they have beds and kitchens. Your mom actually has a bed! It’s a bit odd that the hotels have no doors, but I like that Hotel Richimme even have washrooms and closets in the suits. Parfum Palace is quite pretty, I love all the fancy decorations including the fancy chairs and Pokemon statues. Though it was a bit odd to find statues of Reshiram and Zekrom in the garden instead of Xerneas and Yveltal.
Horde battles are interesting, though they can take forever if you don’t have a multi-target move. Especially Scraggys that all use Sand Attack on you… I like that horde battles sort of have character, like one Miltank appearing amongst four Tauros. Or a Sudowoodo appearing amongst Trevenant (which I ran into, and was quite amused by). Or one Seviper appearing with four Zangoose (or vice versa), and will attack each other instead of you (which makes catching the odd one out rather difficult).
It seems that most older Pokemon have updated cries as well, especially earlier gens, to sound less digital. When I first encountered a Pikachu, I almost fell out of my chair when Pikachu went “pika pika” instead of a buzzing sound. While this does make all the Pokemon sound more uniform, I am a bit disappointed that Ducklett’s cry was changed. I liked that it went “meeba”, now it just sounds generic. I’m not sure why Ducklett (and Cubchoo too) was changed, since Gen 5 wasn’t that long ago. I haven’t encountered Kricketune yet, I hope it still goes “deeleeleelee whoooop”. At least Bidoof still sounds like “bidoof!”
As for riding Pokemon, it was both fun and slightly disappointing at the same time. I loved the novelty at least, of riding Rhyhorn and Mamoswine (who is rather tiny, haha), even if it was a bit slow and you couldn’t repel. (It says the Pokemon you stepped on attacked, I feel bad for them, because being stepped on by Rhyhorn or Mamoswine would hurt, a lot). Riding Skiddo was a lot more fun than I thought it would be. I love the music too. I totally escaped the fence and ran around that route going “teeheeheehee” for like 10 mins. I like how if you surf on Lapras, instead of the shadow, you actually see Lapras (even though it looks like you’re clinging to Lapras for dear life, lol). I was disappointed that you couldn’t control the Gogoat when riding it in Lumiose (it’s usually faster to skate or bike anyway ’cause it’s slow, not like running around freely on Skiddo). I have a Gogoat on my team, and wish that I could ride it.
First, while I like the skates, I don’t really like the acceleration period, which makes them unwieldy at times; I find myself having to walk with the D-pad to get more precise movements. And I’ve only managed to do a couple of the skate tricks.
There’s waaaay too much stuff between the first and second gyms. The first gym is in Santalune, which you get to pretty fast (after the forest and a side route). Before you get to the second gym though, you have to go through Route 4, south part of Lumiose, Route 5, Camphrier, detour to Route 6 and Parfum Palace, Route 7, upper Route 8, Ambrette, Rhyhorn Route, Glittering Cave, and lower Route 8. By the time I reached the second gym, my Pokemon were like level 30s. I feel like it would’ve been more balanced if the second gym was in Camphrier or Ambrette.
Route 13 sucks (I guess it’s numbered 13 for a reason?). While visible moving encounters sounds novel and kinda cool in theory, in practice it’s just frustrating. Yes you can see the Pokemon coming, but they come towards you, which makes it kind of hard to avoid sometimes, and you can’t even repel them. It also doesn’t help that that route has skate ramps you need to build speed up for. Exploring that route and trying to get everything was an exercise in patience. I haven’t encountered it myself, but saw that there’s wind on that route too, which again, is a novel idea and sounds neat in theory, but it makes moving hard, which just makes that route even more frustrating. Also, all these entrances to the power plant that you can’t enter, wut??
There’s waaaay too many Pokemon per route (which I suppose would make Nuzlocking more interesting). Why does Santalune Forest need to have Caterpie, Weedle, and Scatterbug?? There’s too many Pokemon in general in the Kalos dex. While it is divided into 3 sections, in total the Kalos dex has like 450 Pokemon, so each route has lots of different Pokemon. At least towards the beginning of the game, I feel like I was constantly catching Pokemon without even running around repeatedly in the grass, and spending way more money than I ever had in previous games for Pokeballs. It’s not necessarily a bad thing because…
You gain exp for catching Pokemon (though I’m not sure if you get EVs too, can anyone confirm one way or another?). This helps quite a lot, since I try to catch every new thing I encounter and I didn’t have to grind.
The Exp formula changed from Gen 5. Aside from gaining exp for catching Pokemon, the Exp Share became a Key item that you can turn on or off. Turning it on means that each Pokemon in the party who didn’t participate in battle gains 50% Exp. Also, instead of splitting exp, every Pokemon who participated in battle gains 100% of the Exp. However, it seems that all Pokemon gain exp equally, unlike how in Gen 5, exp depends on your level and the level of defeated Pokemon (so I can’t get max exp from defeating one Pokemon and level a Happiny from level 1 to 50 lol).
This makes levelling a lot easier; you don’t have to grind, or have to switch around your team to have lower-level Pokemon catch up. However, and this is my general thought throughout this game, it ends up making me waaaaay over-leveled. Every gym I was like 15 levels above the gym leader Pokemon. And when I got to the Elite 4, the average level of my team is about 15 to 18 levels higher. Because I generally don’t grind, in past games, I’ve been usually on par with gym leaders and E4, even lower leveled than they are. The champion’s Pokemon are almost always higher level than mine.
In general, it seems that the game is easier now, which I guess I shouldn’t really complain about, since it makes it more accessible for new players. But I do miss the challenge, instead of mindlessly overpowering everything with level advantage. I remember when Claire’s Kingdra was like 5 levels higher than anything you’ve encountered. It took me 3 tries to beat Wallace in Emerald, a couple of tries to beat Cynthia in Platinum, I barely beat Ghetsis on the first try, after using like 2 Max Revives. In comparison, the Elite 4 and Champion in this game was a breeze.
And it’s not just the level difference that makes it easier, it’s also the fact that… Do people in Kalos not know how to train 6 Pokemon?? Do they not know they can have a full team of 6??. I was disappointed that the Gym leaders all only have at most 3 Pokemon, but even more disappointed that the Elite 4 members only have 4 Pokemon each. Even the boss of Team Flare only has 4 Pokemon.
In fact, only 4 trainers in this game have a full team of 6: Your rival Calem or Serena (but only at the end after you beat the Elite 4), The Champion (thankfully), You, and the guy with 6 Magikarps. Yeah.
This exp gain boost did help me though. I couldn’t decide on 6 Pokemon to use, since I wanted to use them all, so for a while I had like 8 Pokemon in and out of rotation on my team, plus a random Pokemon I wanted to evolve to see its evolution. So the exp share boost and Lucky Egg really helped the ones out of rotation to catch up again.
The game being too easy was not as disappointing as the lack of post-game stuff though. The Looker subplot was cute and somewhat heartwarming (though I’ve heard enough Espurr’s cry waaay too much), but there’s not much to do in terms of exploration after you beat the Elite 4. I always liked post-game areas, whether it’s just a few routes in the battle and resort area, whole half of the map, or a totally new region. It’s not just that, it’s also the fact that the Elite 4 (and gym leaders in Platinum and HGSS) have harder rechallenge teams. I was very very very disappointed that wasn’t the case in this game =( The fact that the Elite 4 originally only had 4 Pokemon each at like level 60s, combined with the fact that they didn’t get any harder, makes me disappointed. I may be weird, but I love doing E4 runs. I lost count of how many times I ran though the Johto and Unova E4s. I probably will do so again in this game to level Pokemon up (for Pokedex or raising competitive Pokemon), but it won’t be as much fun (or have as much exp yield per Pokemon).
I also really miss White Tree Hollow/Black Tower and the Nimbasa stadiums. It seems that in X, if you want to level up Pokemon, the best way is either horde battles, or E4 (which isn’t as much fun, see above). The Pokemon Chateau has new trainers every some number of hours, but right now I only have trainers with 1-2 level 15-40 Pokemon in there. Hopefully there will be trainers with higher level Pokemon (thus higher exp yield) when I rank up. There are the restaurants in Lumiose, but they’re expensive!
Am I complaining a lot? Sorry, I think I’m spoiled by all those features I love in White 2, which I guess the team had more time to work with. Sometimes it feels like X and Y are a bit rushed with the lack of extra features (Though I’m glad there’s no Musicals at least). I do like that the Battle Maison have Triple and Rotation battles, even though I miss the Pokemon World Tournament.
The Pokemon and Mechanics
Like I said previously, I had a self-imposed rule of using only new Pokemon (‘cept Blastoise, though I replaced it with Dragalge later, it’s the first game that I don’t have a Water type on my final team). It was fun watching the evolution screen with baited breath, seeing what the evolution will look like (for better or worse *coughDiggersbycough*).
I wanted to run into a Pokemon I haven’t seen before when I entered a patch of grass, but that didn’t happen until I ran into Espurr (which btw, is creepy). The routes prior were saturated with old Pokemon and Pokemon that were previously revealed. I’m a bit disappointed in the number of new Pokemon. I knew it was going to be a small Gen, since Gen 5 added a lot, but it’s a bit too small. The first new Pokemon I saw though, was Fletchinder. My Fletchling evolved, and I was expecting Talonflame, but nope, not yet.
With Mega evolutions too, I avoided looking online to see what they looked like, because it was more fun finding out myself. I laughed out loud when I saw most of them for the first time.
I love exammining all the sleeping Skiddo. It usually says “Skiddo makes the cutest sounds when it sleeps” or “That sleeping Skiddo looks so comfy”. Awwww… I want a sleeping Skiddo plushie now. Goomy is cute, but I like Sliggoo better, it sticks out its tongue when it uses a move.
I also really like Xerneas; I haven’t liked a mascot legendary since Ho-oh. I like that its horns are pale blue in normal mode, and turns rainbow during battle. I also really liked the area that you fight Xerneas in, it’s all rainbowy and stuff. I’m not sure if the catch rate for Xerneas is higher or something, but I caught it with the first Ultra Ball I threw (it was paralyzed and had HP in the red, but still some), it was on par with how easily Zekrom was caught in White.
My favourite new Pokemon though, is Aurorus (and Amaura too). I love how when it uses a move, the fins on its back glows all shiny orange, and when you play with it in Pokemon Amie, it glows green (happy) or blue (sad). Rock/Ice is still a terrible defensive type, but being overleveled, my Aurorus is generally faster, and it has a lot of HP. And Freeze Dry, oh how I love Freeze Dry. It was very satisfying against Gyarados and Quagsire and Lombre and Kingdra, very satisfying. Unfortunately it can’t learn Power Gem (it totally should, it has those icy gem-like things on its body), so I had to do with Ancient Power.
Aegislash is pretty interesting as well, seems pretty OP if you know how to use it well. Mine has Swords Dance, so I use that while in defensive form, and then go to destroy everything. The only downside is that it’s rather slow, but Shadow Sneak makes up for that I suppose. It’s too bad that Steel no longer resists Dark and Ghost…
There are new evolutionary methods introduced. It was a bit difficult without looking them up. When my Pancham got to level 40, I gave in and looked up how it needed to evolve ^^; I discovered Phantump and Pumpkaboo’s by accident. My boyfriend and I decided to swap our Phantumps and Pumpkaboos so they’d level up faster, and they ended up evolving, lol.
When my Spewpa evolved, my Vivillon looked different from Viola’s. I got the Polar pattern, and my boyfriend (who set his DS region differently) got the Modern pattern. At first we thought it was due to where it evolved (like Wormadam), but it turns out it was due to your region settings. And that there’s 18 different forms. It’s a pretty neat idea, but I don’t know if I want to make 18 different wallpapers for Vivillon X.x
The one thing I’m sad about, is that weather-inducing abilities only summon weather for 5 turns. I discovered this when I went to see Mega Abomasnow. I wanted to see its animations more, so I kept using status moves. And then, “The hail stopped”. What?? Snow Warning Hail doesn’t stop!
That was a sad sad day for me. I love weather teams. Aside from my Ice team for Candice, I also have a doubles drizzle team, which I might need to modify. It makes Mega Charizard Y less good too, with Drought only lasting 5 turns. I guess this change was because weather teams went out of control in Gen 5? (I blame you Sandstorm teams!)
Some of the base 120 moves like Blizzard and Thunder are changed to 110, while weaker moves are powered up. Interestingly enough, Frost Breath is now base 60 instead of 40, which makes it better than Blizzard on most Pokemon (ie Pokemon that don’t have crit-protection abilities). And the Water/Fire/Grass Pledges might be worth using now.
I haven’t tried, or encountered, any terrains being activated. It’s an interesting idea, though I wonder how useful it will be. It’s interesting how many of the new moves and abilities involve Grass type Pokemon.
The Plot and Characters
I like that the professor does more than just sit in his lab making you do his work. He’s also smart enough to recruit more than 2 kids, and that you’re not the first kids he recruited (though it makes me wonder why Trevor and Tierno don’t have any starter Pokemon)
Shauna seems like is kind of sweet I guess, she’s like a less ditzy Bianca, though you never fight her through the game, so I’ve never seen her starter as a Quilladin. Calem is kind of bland. He wants to be better than you, then sort of passive-aggressively complains when he loses. It feels like on the surface he’s fine with losing and tries to be nice about it, but underneath is seething. I’m not the only one confused when he said he’ll battle you in Lumiose (the first time you’re there) but then didn’t. It’s nice of him to warn you on the Holo Caster he’s going to challenge instead of just ambushing you I guess. I like Trevor, though I feel kind of bad that he always loses in the Pokedex battles. Tierno has only one Corphish for most of the game.. he should at least have a Spinda or Hitmontop or something. It really makes me wonder how your friends go the badges when they have like 1 or 2 Pokemon.
Glad there’s a Fairy gym (though still no Dark??), though Valerie’s eyes really creep me out.
I’m glad there’s variety in the E4, not Fighting Ghost Dark Psychic again. Siebold yells at me when I answer “No” to his question, and he looks angry/discontent in his character art; I feel like I should be angry at him, for flooding the damn room when I challenge him. Malva is mean, probably because I defeated Team Flare, she says out loud that she’s seething with hatred for me, runt, when I rechallenge her, grrr. Drasna is a cute little old lady, she seems like the grandma who will bake you cookies. I like Wikstrom, he’s a noble knight, very polite.
Diantha… I admit I totally forgot about her when I got to the champion room. When I met her in Lumiose and she said she wanted to battle, I totally thought “She’s gonna be E4 or Gym leader”. But then you don’t meet her again, and I forgot about her. I honestly thought Professor Sycamour was the champion, lol (at least, up until someone mentioned the champion as “she”).
When I first saw Lysandre, his appearance was a dead giveaway that he was the Team Flare boss. He’s probably the most interesting character. Rather bitter and twisted, but interesting. I think Team Flare’s goal and plans was the most dangerous. It’s the first time there’s a weapon of mass destruction, and actually damage done to property. Instead of stealing money or stealing Pokemon or subjugating people and Pokemon, Lysandre actually wanted to destroy the world. That’s pretty srsbsn for Pokemon plot. Still, all the adults in this world *coughProfessorSycamorecough* stand by while the kids (you and your friends) work to stop the evil.
The plot with Az was pretty touching, I liked that subplot.
I like how people actually refer to me as the Champion now, they actually acknowledge my accomplishment, that’s cool.
Mr. Bonding is creepy. It’s creepy that he says “it’s bonding time!” and disappears after. It’s creepy that when you find him in Pokemon Centers, he stands in the corner facing the corner…
Menus and PC Box
I like that you can register up to 4 items at a time, but I kind of missed the shortcut system in BW/BW2 where you can register any number of items or menu functions to the Y button. Thank goodness the “Would you like to use another repel” stayed, that was one of the best improvements in BW2.
I like how you can preview which Pokemon can learn which TMs before booting up the TM (and finding out the Pokemon can’t learn it). Same thing with evolutionary stones. I also like the “Restore” option when you select the Pokemon, which will filter out medicine items from your bag to use.
I miss the favourites item bag from BW2 (where you can register items to go in there, and they’ll always be found there, even if you run out of stock and get more). There’s even more items now with Mega stones and new items, making things harder to find. The “recent” sort option can be handy, but it only applies to useable items, and has a limited memory. If I take the Lucky Egg or Amulet Coin from my Pokemon, they’ll end up at the bottom of the list that I’ll have to scroll allll the way down to… At least put new items at the top instead of bottom…
The dowsing machine took some getting used to, but I’m glad it doesn’t go away when you enter a building or a battle or something.
I found myself wishing the bottom screen had a map. Especially in Lumiose. That city needs a detailed map of its own. Merely showing you which street you’re on doesn’t really help. It also doesn’t help that the camera angle changed whenever you turn, making it rather disorienting. Though I think I’m sort of getting the hang of it by now.
The PC box. *sigh*… disappointed that the first option was stil ‘Deposit’! Arggghhhh!! When will “Move” become the first option?? I do like the new feature of going into like a thumbnail view of the boxes though, makes moving Pokemon to different boxes way easier. Also love being able to swap boxes! Though I wish there was also the ability to insert a box between two boxes… There also needs to be an option to move items from Pokemon in your box to Pokemon in your party when you’re on the Move Pokemon (or as they call it in this game, “Order Box”, which confused me for a bit) menu. There are so many times when I’ve already deposited a Pokemon when I realized it’s holding the Amulet Coin or Lucky Egg and I want those items on my party Pokemon…
I kind of wish the Battle box was a separate option like in BW, I haven’t gotten to the point of having competitive team yet, so most (actually all) of the time it just gets in the way, since I have a habit of using the last box as my team box…
I like how some places lets you send Pokemon straight to be box. Like when I got the event Torchic. I had no room in my party, so instead of telling me to make room, they sent it straight to my PC. Same thing when I caught Xerneas, I was asked to send a Pokemon from my party to the PC to make room. So they obviously have the technology to do so.
So then why why why is the Pokemon Daycare still behind the times and telling me to make room in my party, instead of being able to pick up and deposit straight from the PC?!? Also, even though they’re Pokemon breeders instead of (clueless) old couple, they still don’t know where the egg came from… >_>
Speaking of breeding, I love route 7, it’s long and straight and great for breeding Pokemon. However, I don’t like how that guy outside doesn’t yell out to you know when there’s an egg anymore. And when you go to talk to him to see if there’s an egg, he tells you that you don’t have room and go make room… siggghhhh
Trainer Customization and Photos
I’m having way more fun with this feature than I thought. I love going to all the boutiques every day to find new clothing items. I love the frilly clothes, and the chic items in Lumiose that I can’t afford.. *sobs* need more style… I usually spend like half an hour every day making a new outfit, and fussing with my hair to go with it.. I’m not even joking >__<
Speaking of the hair salon, I wish you could preview your haircut, or at least have a confirmation button. The first time I went in there, I didn’t know what to expect, and selected a hair style I didn’t really care for. And at the time, it costed $3000, which was rather expensive, considering I had about $5000, so I didn’t even have enough money to change back.. I think it’s supposed to be realistic, you can’t preview haircuts in real life. But it’s not like it’s realistic to go from short hair to long hair in a matter of minutes either. I also wish you could save hair styles like you can save your outfits, I don’t even mind if I have to pay $5000, now that I’m richer.
I also liked the PR video making more than I thought I would. I’ve already spent hours making them, tweaking and perfecting it. Yeah….
Unfortunately, Pokemon isn’t progressive enough to let male trainers buy and use female clothing, nor female trainers buy male clothing. I’m sad I can’t buy any of the male clothing in Lumiose; they look so spiffy! I also really want the Pangoro hat for male trainers only (I have a Pangoro on my team); the Slurpuff skirt I got was really cute, but I want a cool hat too. I’m also sad that the PR video makeup and animations are gender-specific too. I want a Pokeball tattoo on my face! I want to do the air guitar animation in my PR video!
Photo spots are fun. I like taking them as a chronicle of my journey, but also as a chronicle of my daily outfits. I do wish your Pokemon could be in shot too. I loved the HGSS photos for that reason; you can see your team grow from the photos (also, wish you can see more than just the latest photo on your PC).
When I first heard about this feature, I was quite excited. I love interaction with Pokemon. The same reason I love that your Pokemon walk behind you in HGSS, it makes the game more immersive.
In Pokemon Amie, you can pick a Pokemon from your party to play with. The Pokemon has Affection, Hunger, and Enjoyment stats. As you play and feed the Pokemon, these stats increase. There are mini games that you can play, which will increase these stats, and give you Pokepuffs that you can feed your Pokemon. When I caught Eevee, I spent like half an hour playing with it in Pokemon Amie, haha.
You can pet Pokemon using the touch screen, and it will do a happy animation if you pet it enough. I think this is my favourite part of the feature. I also like how Pokemon have places they like being petted and places they don’t like being touched. They look sad when you pet them there, and if you keep doing it, they’ll get mad at you. For example, Mienfoo doesn’t like its paws touched, and if you do it too much, it’ll retract its paws, claws out, and sort of hiss at you.
Details like these reactions make me want to play with every Pokemon to see how they react. Of course, not all Pokemon are equally expressive, and some are more fun to play with than others. I’m finding some unexpectedly cute reactions from Pokemon I’ve never really paid attention to. Like Litwick for example, when it’s happy, its eyes turn into little crecents. Or Shuppet, who does a flip.
Also, sometimes your hand will get frozen or zapped or burned if you touch certain places. Pikachu’s cheeks and Mareep’s wool will zap your hand (which makes Mareep kind of hard to pet, haha), and Aurorus’ ice gems will freeze your hand; though I was able to pet Nindoran just fine, even though it has the Poison Point ability *shrugs*. For some Ghost type Pokemon, the hand icon looks see-through, I thought that was a neat detail. For Trubbish and Garbodor, your hand turns into slime, kind of… eugh, but the Pokemon seem to enjoy being “petted”. Trubbish then jumps around all happy, which makes it pretty cute.
You can also feed your Pokemon Pokepuffs. I always feel a little bad, because those Pokepuffs look really really unhealthy, haha. I also like seeing the different eating animations. Some Pokemon eat with tiny little bits, while others eat with big chomps. Gulpin swallows the Pokepuff whole, haha. If they have hands, the Pokemon will sort of cup their hands around the Pokepuff while they eat. Even Pokemon who don’t have mouths somehow manage to eat. I fed my Honedge, and the Pokepuff somehow found its way into its stomach.
There’s probably a guide somewhere detailing all the effects of having Affection from Pokemon Amie. From my own experience, Pokemon with at least 2 hearts will gain boosted experience. With 3 hearts, it gets excited when you send it out, doing a little hop. Occassionally there’s text saying “[Pokemon] is awaiting [Trainer]’s directions”, or “[Pokemon] is getting excited”.
With 4 hearts, after making a move, the Pokemon turns its head (or its full body if it doesn’t have a head/neck) slightly to look back at you; when you knock out the opponent Pokemon, there’s text saying “I knew you could do it”.
When I got to full 5 hearts with my Aururos, it says “You’ll be friends with Auron forever”. When I sent it out in battle, it said “MapleRose and Auron and breathing in synch”. During the battle, I got “Auron read MapleRose’s mind and dodged”, and there was a heart coming out. I also got “It’s so in synch with MapleRose that it landed a critical hit”. When its HP was in the red, it said “Looks like Auron is in a pinch. It looks like it might cry”, and when I used a potion it said “Auron is thrilled to bits”.
I love details like these, because it makes me feel like a real Pokemon trainer.
If you have Pokemon Amie on the bottom screen while playing the game, the Pokemon you’re currently playing with will chill out there (kinda like the Pokewalker), and Pokemon from friends and passersby will come and socialize. As they leave, they usually give you a present, like Pokepuffs, or furniture you can use to decorate the background of the Pokemon Amie app.
In conclusion, I really love Pokemon Amie, and hope that future games will continue to have this, or at least a similar, feature, where you can interact with Pokemon other than battling. The only complaint I have is that there’s only 3 mini-games, so it gets a bit repetitive after a while. I also wish you could rotate the camera while playing with the Pokemon. I’d love to pet a Pokemon’s back.
Also, the facial recognition sucks. I’ve only managed to succeed on the kissy face, the straight face, one of the open mouths, and once on the wink. I hate making my Pokemon look disappointed when I couldn’t get the program to recognize what I’m doing. I’m tempted to print out those cartoon facial expressions and see if they work lol.
I was also excited about this feature when I first heard of it too. A way to make EV-training easier? Sign me up! While the training bags are amazing (4 to 12 EVs just by tapping on the screen for a few seconds), the actual training part…. I don’t really like it.
Maybe I’m not experienced enough (admittedly I spent way more time customizing my trainer and in Pokemon Amie than here), or I just suck at this game, I find EV training this way to be rather difficult. It’s more time consuming, and you have to pay attention to the game. And if you fail, you get nothing. I think it’s probably much easier and faster have 4 Pokemon I want to train for a stat in party (1 Pokemon to fight, and 1 to use Sweet Scent to trigger horde battle), since we have Exp All now, and I randomly contracted Pokerus and trigger horde battles while I watch something on TV (since it requires minimal attention).
What I do like about Super Training though, is that it sort of keeps track of the EVs. Unfortunately not numerically, but at least graphically. And it’s easier to tell when a Pokemon is done EV training.
Unfortunately it seems that the only way to get certain evolutionary items (like Shiny and Dawn stone) is through secret super training, which I suck at even more… waaah I miss fun fest missions!
To be honest, I’m a bit disappointed with the music in X & Y. None of the music is bad (‘cept the gym leader music, more on that later), but nothing really stands out either. The route music is rather generic, some of which feels recycled from Gen 5. The battle music is pretty generic as well. I can’t remember most of the town music, except Lumiose ’cause it’s from the trailer and I spent like 3 hours exploring it, and go back there a lot. I think I remember liking Snowbelle’s theme, and that’s it. Shalour’s theme is rather grating with the sound effects, and I find myself having to turn it off.
I like Professor Sycamour’s theme though, at least, the music that plays in his lab. The surf and bike music aren’t that bad either, though I’m starting to get sick of biking music due to riding it back and forth on Route 7…
Team Flare’s battle music is nowhere as memorable and catchy as Team Plasma, but it’s alright I suppose. I do like the jazzy version of the hideout background music.
Now the gym leader music… it’s pretty disappointing. I mean, it’s got a good beat I suppose, but there’s like no melody. Feels like something that plays at a club than while facing the gym leader. The Elite 4 music is better, there’s this nice catchy bit in the middle. I do like the champion theme though, it’s an alright song, and quite fitting for the character.
I’m a bit disappointed that the “Pokemon is in a pinch” battle music introduced in Gen 5 is no longer there. Instead we get the alarm sound effect when HP is down to red. At least the alarm doesn’t play throughout the whole battle, but I liked that touch in BW.
I like how the PSS basically abolished the Union room. I like that you can trade or battle someone nearby without being in front of each other. However, I don’t like that connecting to the Internet basically turns off your local wireless (for 3DS tagging too). Also, connecting to the Internet brings you a flood of random people. While playing through the game, I kept my Internet off, because I didn’t want a random person’s Pokemon that I’ve never seen before to come into my Pokemon Amie. It’s also kind of distracting that the screen scrolls all the time.
Without being able to directly connect to the person in front of you though, I wonder how difficult it will be to battle people at conventions (which I do, as a gym leader). I’d have to scroll through the list of passersby (which at a convention I imagine would be a lot of people) to find the person standing in front of me, hmm… I wonder if it has any knowledge of proximity…
After beating the E4, there’s the Friend Safari, where you can catch Pokemon not found in Kalos; they may have Hidden abilities, have perfect IVs, and have a higher chance of being shiny (in fact, I caught a shiny Shuppet in there 😀 ). It’s an interesting idea, but it makes me feel conflicted. I don’t really like having random people I don’t know on my friendlist (especially since it’s tied to your 3DS friendlist, not just Pokemon), but at the same time, I want chance for more Pokemon. Also, I wish you could filter your friendlist on the main PSS screen and only show like your favourites or something (or at least have those near the front), because I do have friends who play Pokemon, and I want to see them instead of random person I added to my friendlist.
It’d be nice if there’s some sort of bonus for street passing people while you’re not in the game. It could be even be something small like getting Pokepuffs or berries or items (anything Pickup can pick up).
In conclusion, Pokemon X and Y gave Pokemon a shiny new revamp in terms of graphics, and made it easier and more accessible to first-time players and people who used to play Pokemon but stopped. I love the graphics updates, and all the little details that were put in, like Pokemon and trainer animations.
It feels like a lot of Kalos is a throwback to Kanto. The fact that the game gives you Kanto starters (which can mega evolve), the fact that Santalune Forest has the same layout as Viridian Forest, and you can find Pikachu there, the fact that there’s a Snorlax blocking the path that you needed to wake with Pokeflute, and the fact that the way to Victory Road is near where you started. And you can find a lot of Gen 1 Pokemon, many of which can mega evolve. I guess it’s fitting, since I’ve heard that a lot of people who haven’t played Pokemon since Gen 1 are playing this game.
I also found myself enjoying the new features that are not necessarily related to battling, like Pokemon Amie, which allows me to interact with Pokemon outside of battle (and finding some Pokemon unexpectedly cute or funny). Or trainer customization, which helps make the world feel more alive.
One does not simply stop playing Pokemon after seeing credits for the first time, and I am a bit disappointed at the lack of post-game areas, and lack of E4 rechallenge teams. Also disappointed in lack of Move Tutor, but I guess all the first games of a gen lacked those. I think I’ll need to wait for Pokemon X2 or Pokemon Z for those post-game features or something. I like some changes that were made to the interface design and PC box, and disappointed at the lack of change, or features from BW/BW2 that weren’t implemented.
Weather-inducing abilities got nerfed and some moves were adjusted, which is probably to balance the meta-game, but I can still complain about it right?
Despite all my complaints though, Pokemon X was a pretty fun game.
If you’ve read this far, kudos to you, sorry I ended up ranting ^^; I’ll put up some wallpapers soon.