Pokemon X ReviewJustin Ling
Pokemon X is one of two games in the sixth generation of the Pokmon franchise, the first generation to make the jump onto the Nintendo 3DS. Taking place in the new region of Kalos, players once again step into the shoes of a rookie Trainer who seeks to prove themselves by conquering the Pokemon League while also dealing with a new criminal organization known as Team Flare. As expected of a new generation of games, Pokemon X brings forth several new features while retaining the franchise's spirit.
The graphics in this game are beautiful, emphasizing the beauty of the Kalos region and breathing new life into the world of Pokmon. Every Pokemon is now rendered into 3D models and their attacks have received souped up animations as well, making each battle in the game very much like the Pokemon battles in console games. Player characters can also be customized now, letting players choose not only the appearance of their characters but also to freely change what clothes they wear; while character customization may seem like a small thing, such a feature is a major addition to the game as it greatly adds to player experience by allowing them to craft a character and give said character a sense of uniqueness.
The characters in the story are as colorful as any others in previous Pokmon games; the franchise has done a good job in keeping special character unique-looking and distinguishable from each other and this game is no exception. The gym leaders are memorable in appearance and the Team Flare members sport a flashy appearance fitting for their name. While the rivals may not have much depth as characters, this is probably not a fault that will deter too many people from this game; there are quite a few sidequests in this game that do offer some great character development in a way that is also very emotionally powerful. As for the new Pokemon, while their numbers might not be as large as the previous generation, most of the new designs are striking and memorable, especially the new legendary Pokemon.
This game also introduces a wide number of new mechanics. One of the most major changes is the introduction of Fairy-type Pokemon, a type that is immune to Dragon attacks; some old Pokemon now carry the Fairy type and the introduction of Fairy-type attacks means that older players will need to rethink some of their strategies. The introduction of Sky Battles, battles where only flying and levitating Pokemon can take place in, does not really add much to the game; it seems to come across as just something gimmicky to show off the Nintendo 3DS's capabilities; however, one can also see it as a challenge given the limitations placed on them. Horde battles can offer an unexpected challenge by pitting players against several Pokemon at once, though there are hilarious moments if some of the Pokemon in the group don't like each other. There are several minigames that can improve a Pokemon's capabilities in battle; Pokemon-amie grants bonuses depending on how much a Pokemon likes you while Super Training allows you to improve a Pokemon's base stats however you please. Both can be quite addicting to play and helpful as well.
Online interaction has also been improved as well. Trades can be done more easily now, especially with the Wonder Trade system which allows players to search for specific Pokemon. The introduction of O-Powers allows players to grant bonuses in battle not only for themselves but to other players as well at half the usual cost, letting friends help each other out. Finally, the Friend Safari is an excellent motivator for finding friends, as more and more Pokemon appear depending on how many friends you have; some of the Pokemon are quite rare and may also carry Hidden Abilities as well.
While the game seems a little more limited compared to the large amount of content from the previous generation, it needs to be taken into account that this is the first jump onto the 3DS. Pokemon X may come across as a testing-the-waters' type game, but it is still enjoyable to play, given the addicting minigames that also improve the Pokemons' stats, beautiful scenery that once again illustrates how huge the world of Pokemon is, and several new battle mechanics to try out. The world of Pokemon is constantly evolving and this game is a fine taste of what the games are now capable of after making the jump to the Nintendo 3DS. Fans of the franchise should definitely check out this game or its counterpart Pokemon Y and see how far the series has come ever since Professor Oak first spoke to the players from the Gameboy.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.