If you visited any webpage, any tumblr, or talked to any person that remotely liked Pokémon on Tuesday, you’re probably more than well aware that The Pokémon Company released some big news. Though I was excited to find out what it was myself, I only had to load up my dash to be assailed with roughly a billion posts on the newest game to enter the franchise: Pokémon X Y. There are cries of it being way too early for another game to come out—Black/White 2 only debuted in October—yet those naysayers are drowned out by those who are ecstatic to see another generation of cute, powerful monsters enter the fray. Let’s take a look at what we know so far.
As it’s still a Pokémon game, there’s no doubt we can expect the same kind of set-up: get eight badges, become a Pokémon master, and all that great stuff, but what’s really got people excited is the shift from 2-D sprites to full-blown 3-D graphics. It’s nice to see Game Freak try to take advantage of the graphical capabilities of the 3DS and while the graphics do look nice, the changing point-of-view from overhead to behind to side-view may cause me to get ill if they’re not handled well. From what has been seen of the environment, fans have guessed that this game our protagonists will be journeying around France and perhaps around other European areas. There’s an area that has an Eiffel Tower type structure and one of the screenshots going around is the female protagonist running past a bunch of flowers which reminds me a lot of Holland, so we may not be too far off. Either way, it will be nice to see an entirely new area and what the developers come up with in terms of town design. Speaking of the protagonists, there have been whispers about whether or not this gen will be the gen of character customization. If this is the case, Nintendo just take my money. I have been dying for some character customization in this game and if Harvest Moon is taking the plunge and doing it, Pokémon may as well too!
Of course, the main draw of any new Pokémon game is the new Pokémon and they did not disappoint. The two legendaries are suitably mystical and powerful looking (I’m never too interested in legendaries, so pardon me if I sound a little underwhelmed). We have Xerneas, an elk that bears a striking resemblance to the forest god from Princess Mononoke, and Yveltal, a… fuck, I don’t even know what that is. A bird? Well, it flies, so I guess it has to be a bird of some kind, but the important part is that it’s shaped like a ‘Y’. The thing about the legendaries is that since Gen 2 (Silver and Gold), they’ve been colored after the title of the game. Obviously X and Y don’t have a color, but to see them take red and blue again is frankly disappointing.
What’s not disappointing is the new layout of starters. I wasn’t too overwhelmed by the last gen’s choices—although I have come to love my Oshawott, Derp—but these three seem really promising. There’s a chestnut-hedgehog inspired grass type, Chespin, and fennec fox fire type, Fennekin, and a bubbly frog water type, Froakie. Now, I’m showing my type favoritism here, but I’m really excited to see how the evolutionary tree for Chespin turns out: I’d love to have a huge ol’ hedgehog in my party. It would be majestic. Honestly, though, I really like all three of these and fandom at large seems to agree with me. The only grumbles I’m hearing are that if Fennekin turns out to be another fire-fighting type there’s going to be revolt. No pressure.
I know that it’s not even been a week since the announcement first came out, but I wish we knew more about the mechanics that would be available in the game. I’m going to be exceedingly put out if secret bases don’t make a return in all their glory. Also, berry farming should be revamped back to actual berry farming—like, growing the trees—rather than making me go online to Dreamworld every time I want to refresh my stock. I can dream, can’t I? So, Pokémon fans, what are you opinions on this new member to our family? What do you want to see make a return? What would you like to see implemented? What I’m most interesting in seeing is how X and Y turn out to be incorporated in gameplay. There have been ideas that it may have to do with finally being able to breed your Pokemon on a more intricate, genetic level which would be great, because I hate breeding for the right natures. Needless to say, I’ll be keeping an eye on future developments.