Now in its 6th Generation, Nintendo’s series of Pokemon games have made their jump into 3D. Francesca Hepburn sees if the latest offering live up to the series’ reputation.
If there is one Nintendo franchise that never seems to grow old, it is most certainly Pokemon. Whether you fell in love with it through the video games, the TV series or the trading cards – for the vast majority of us Pokemon was everywhere when we were children. The series has continued to influence generation after generation, as evident in its continued success at the top of sales charts and a monopoly of merchandise wherever you go. The Nintendo DS not only saw 2 whole new generations of Pokemon games, but also two well-received remakes of the Game Boy Color classics Gold and Silver. Now the time has some for the series to make the jump to the Nintendo 3DS, but can it offer anything substantially new?
The biggest noticeable change in Pokemon X and Y is the big upgrade in terms of graphics and general aesthetics. The colours are more vivid, the movements of the characters are much smoother than previous games and the 3D enhances the game whilst not being over used. Despite being visually upgraded, Pokemon X and Y have still managed to keep the old antique look of the original Pokemon games that are loved by all players.
As well as better visuals, the game lets you personalise with features such as the ability to change the clothes that your character wears along with the fairly wide range of clothing and hair choices. Whilst this isn’t why most people buy the game, it makes it feel more particular to the player and adds to the overall entertainment.
Surprisingly each Pokemon can still only learn a maximum of four moves, which can be quite frustrating when having to choose which move to forget; although traditionalists would argue that changing this would be giving too much leeway for the players, which particularly for those more experienced isn’t necessarily a good thing. Also adding more slots would affect what is a very tried-and-tested formula, which the makers of Pokemon X and Y have clearly made an effort not to change, no doubt to please players for whom this is not their first Pokemon game.
The pace of the game has improved compared to previous games as whilst the basis is the same, there is always something to do and the game has a feel of fluidity that it arguably lacked before.
Just as in previous games, each Pokemon can evolve when they meet certain conditions. However one of the most exciting features added is Mega Evolutions, which can be triggered once per battle when a Pokemon is carrying a particular item. This not only increases their strength, but there is also the possibility of their ability or types changing too, along with an awesome new look. This is an exciting new feature that all players can appreciate once they have ventured into the Kalos region.
Although probably created to accommodate for a younger audience, quite a trivial feature that adds to the game is the mini games available with your Pokemon. You can now feed them to create a stronger bond, which positively affects the actual gameplay, increasing stats and general strength. There are three different mini games on offer, which include dragging the correct fruit to the right Pokemon and a catching game. All of these have three difficulty levels and are a good way to have a break from the actual gameplay itself.
Overall Pokemon X and Y are impressive and suitable instalments for the series. The new look given to the game really works and the 3D feature is an added bonus making the battles feel just that bit more real. The fact that making the game feel brand new whilst sticking to the core values of the series has clearly been at the forefront when the game was developed is obvious and they have done justice to a long running series.