By Crystal Colwell / October 29th, 2013
|Title: Pokémon X
Developer: Game Freak
Console: Nintendo 3DS
Release: Oct 12, 2013
As stated in my preview of Pokémon X, this is my first Pokémon game. Ever. I wont be able to tell you what cool new features have been added, or why you should love or hate the new Pokémon featured in the game. Instead, I offer a fresh look at the series as a Pokémon newb. I wanted to see what all the hype was about, and find out if the series is easy to pick up now, or if you needed to have jumped on the “catch ’em all” craze years ago to fully enjoy it. Be sure to check out our Pokémon Y review written by Josh Speer, Pokémon vet, who can tell you about some of the differences, and offer insight on the new features versus the old features.
The story of Pokémon X actually intrigued me a little bit. I didn’t think the game was very story-heavy when I first started playing, and I will still say that it doesn’t have the most in-depth, all-out, stellar story ever, but that’s not always a bad thing! The story that it does have is pretty good! I found the messages about being considerate of others who may be different than you endearing, and something that everyone needs to be reminded of once in a while. The overall story was quite good, as well, and I definitely didn’t want to let any harm come to the Pokémon of the world!
As I set out into the world to figure out what was going on, I had a decision to make. A very important one! Which Pokémon do I take? Which Pokémon becomes my very first one? The method I went with was to stare at them, pick one that looks cute, and hope for the best. It worked! I ended up keeping my first Pokémon through the entire game. I chose Froakie, and I still love him! He has some cool moves, and looks all bad-ass after he evolved.
Much to my delight, the game does do a good job of explaining a bit about what is going on as you play. As long as you talk to everyone, as you should do in most RPG’s, you will be OK. The people littered around the towns offer items, advice and information on certain parts of the game. I only found myself lost wondering exactly where I should be going once, and that was my own fault because I forgot what town I needed to head to next. I can’t blame my bad memory on the game!
When I first started exploring I was pleasantly surprised to find that I liked the visual style of the game. Even my character looked pretty good after I customized her. I gave her new clothes as I reached each new town, so her wardrobe is now quite extensive! Each town offers a unique landscape to explore. Most of the towns are smaller in size, and one even has a train-type service that transports you to a different part of the town. Only one area really annoyed me – the caves known as Victory Road toward the end of the game. The rest were easy enough to navigate. The paths between towns were all set up in a different manner, and nothing felt repetitive as you explored the land and wandered to the next town. Most of the trainers you come across are carbon copies of each other, but the rest of the landscape offers such a unique look that it balances things out.
The menu set up is really efficiently. You can get to your Pokémon,various items and save the game from the bottom screen of the 3DS. The Super Training menu, Player Search System and Pokémon-Amie menus can be pulled up here, as well. I liked having everything accessible from on-screen locations. Basically, you don’t have to search for what you need, everything has this ease of access thing going on, so you can spend time battling your Pokémon and fleshing out the story instead of searching for everything you need to accomplish this.
The battle mechanics work really well. The moves your Pokémon have available to them are shown on the bottom screen. Click one, and watch as your Pokémon attack or cause stat damage to their opponent. My only complaint with this part of the game is that you have to remember which move does what, as there is no on-screen summary of each move during battle. With so many Pokémon and different moves, it can be a bit hard to remember what each one does. If there is a way to view this that I have overlooked, someone please enlighten me because it would be darn handy! In battle, the game does remember the last move you used, so, when you find one you like, and that works, you don’t need to worry about remembering which one it was.
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