Pokemon X and Y Review – The boys Arbok in town 
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Darryn Bonthuys
October 21, 2013 at 12:30 pm

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 Growing up, it’s hard to have not heard of Pokemon. Whether you watched the cartoon, traded the Tazos at school or actually played the game, Pokemon has proven to be a heavyweight game series. Not much has changed, and if you’ve arrived looking for a fresh new Pokemon experience, then you’ve come to the wrong franchise. And I’m down with that.

There aren’t that many games out there that can get away with repeating the exact same gameplay formula year after year, but Pokémon is one of those few games out there that can.

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It’s the same old setup. You’re a young boy/girl, who gets tasked by your regional professor to grab a pokedex, a starter pokémon and to get outside and catch ‘em all. You’ll still be encountering wild pokémon, you’ll still beat them to within an inch of their life and you’ll still throw your balls at them until they’re captured. Pokemon can only have four moves, they’ll still evolve under certain conditions and there’s a Pokemon champ waiting to be beaten once you clear the eight gym leaders and the Elite Four of the Kalos region.

That’s always been the key ingredient in creating a great Pokémon game, as a world awaits you that can only be conquered by capturing, training and learning.

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The adaptive EXP system has stuck around for this latest iteration, rewarding players for not only soundly defeating wild pokémon, but for capturing them as well. And after years of risking it all in order to get that rare and elusive Pokémon to just the right amount of health so that you can grab it, it’s a welcome change.

Evolution gets a big new addition in X and Y, with the introduction of mega-evolutions. Adding a new tier to the current limit that fully-evolved pokémon have, it allows players to unlock new forms and abilities for their battle monsters.

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Mega-Evolution gives pokémon a massive stat boost, while also mixing up several types and powers. The catch here is that only certain pokémon are capable of going over 9000, provided that players have the right stone equipped to that pokémon and the mega-evolution bracelet. Those items get picked up around the halfway mark in the game.

A new Pokémon type has also made a debut in this iteration, the first such debut since Pokémon Gold and Silver introduced Dark and Steel attributes to the franchise. The Fairy type helps bring dragons under control, as they’re immune to attacks from that type. There’s plenty of them to be found as well, as several pokémon have been given the Fairy-type classification as a secondary attribute.

Dragons beware.

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One aspect of Pokémon that is missing though, is a decent story. Pokémon Black and White managed to craft a compelling tale back in 2011, but X and Y largely does away with this, offering a mere hint at a tale that gets briefly told near the end of the game, then quickly wrapped up and left to be forgotten about.

It’s a golden opportunity that is completely glossed over, as players have to instead deal with an annoying quartet of friends who would make even the most devout Buddhist question his no-kill policy. By then 20th time that your mates refer to you by your badly chosen nickname, you’ll want to introduce Tierno to the business end of your feet so that you can get him to shut up about assembling a dancing pokémon crew.

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At least this year, your rival is less annoying, but only slightly, ambushing you at several locations for an impromptu battle. Still, this is a part of Pokémon, and not having a rival would be unheard of in this franchise.

But the biggest change in the game, has to be the visuals. I’m a keen advocate of gameplay over graphics, but in Pokémon X and Y, it’s about damned time. After years of sticking to sprites and low-res visuals, going for broke with three dimensions has made one hell of a difference.

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Battles look fantastic, dynamic and feel unique. There are hundreds of animations, with various pokémon popping out thanks to the 3DS tech powering the game. It’s beautiful, but not without a few catches. Turning on the 3D option can lower the frame rate considerably, and bring gameplay to a standstill during some of the more animated attacks.

But other than that, the game looks fantastic. Most of the time, the world is rendered in 2D, with select areas offering a 3D perspective. But the Kalos region looks fantastic. Grass rustles, the wind blows over the waters and characters look great. The signature artistic style of Pokémon has been retained, and while I’ll always miss hand-drawn sprites, GameFreak has done a helluva job in making hundreds of various pokémon look unique and charming.

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Players can now also hit the streets in up to eight directions, giving the franchise that little nudge that its been needing to feel like a current-gen title. Beyond that, there’s a new side to trading and battling random persons to discover, while winder-trading proves that jackasses are everywhere. Honestly, I trade a Gengar and get a Bidoof in return? Geddafugouttahere!

But with the formula intact and new visuals making this sixth generation of Pokémon stand out, it succeeds in creating a richer universe for people to battle and trade with each other. By standing firm with its age-old model of gameplay, X and Y runs the risk of becoming stale, but it somehow manages to evolve that. Just battling your way up to the Pokémon League is an easy 2-25 hour journey, and every hour feels well spent along the way.

Thanks to some proper use of the second screen, raising pokémon is now also a more intricate affair. The biggest change, that is certain to piss off the community of EV Points enthusiasts who math the hell out of evolving their pokémon to have the best possible stats, is the Super Training simulator. While its not necessary for players to make use of it, playing several of the mini-games inside of it will allow them to bypass the rigorous training needed to get those maximum values, and join those elite ranks of players.

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Pokémon-Amie gives players a virtual pet, whether it be an Eevee that you just captured, or a god of space and time such as a Giratina that you just imported. You’ll need to invest time and effort into this system, if you’re looking to evolve certain pokémon such as Sylveon and Crobat.

Pokémon X and Y is the same old Pokémon game in a flashy new wrapper, throwing in several new creatures and features. And really, that ain’t so bad at all.

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Conclusion

It's the same old Pokemon that you know and love, but shinier than ever thanks to the graphics. X and Y doesn't shake the age-old formula up when you examine it closely, but it really doesn't need to as it shifts the franchise into a more modern age.
8.5

Pokémon X and Y was reviewed by Darryn Bonthuys on a Nintendo 3DS

Because he's the writer that Lazygamer deserves, but not the one it actually needs right now.So we'll hunt him. Because he can't take it. Because he's not a hero. He's a loud-mouthed journalist, a watchful procrastinator. A dork knight.

  • Hammersteyn
    • Major Commodore 64 Darryn B

      Lulz, fixed it. Glitch on our WP.

      • Admiral Chief Ninja

        Too late

    • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    • NecroRince

      Sounds about right… BOOM!

  • Spathi

    Loved the review and wholeheartedly agree. Value is definitely a 1.1. All these Pokemon shit games are exactly the same! :P

    • Otto_ki

      I sense a Wild Kyou is gonna appear.

      • Spathi

        Hahahah, no definitely not. I don’t hate Pokemon, I just don’t get it. I love Psyduck though… :)

        • Otto_ki

          Was actually revering too Kyou the crazy raging boy in all the Pokemon topics XD

          • Spathi

            No I get it, I thought you were alleging I was Kyou!

          • Otto_ki

            Hahaha i get it but he will be here soon :P

        • Otto_ki

          Was actually revering too Kyou the crazy raging boy in all the Pokemon topics XD

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          Or as it’s known by it’s slave name… GEOFF.

      • Spathi

        Hahahah, no definitely not. I don’t hate Pokemon, I just don’t get it. I love Psyduck though… :)

      • Mystery Man

        Yes and he appears at LEVEL 99!!

      • Mystery Man

        And yes he can attack twice in one turn since he has Double Move learned at Level 32!

  • NecroRince

    Let’s all be honest here. If I dug up some roots, dipped it into yellow paint, slapped a Pokemon sticker on it, Darryn would buy it, and love it… 0-O

    • Major Commodore 64 Darryn B

      I’d love it all night long.

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

        WINNA!!!!!

    • Umar heartless

      Or a bunch of keys…oh wait

    • Hammersteyn

      He’s Bryce Lawrence when it comes to Pokemon

  • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    Awesome review. Saw it on a 3DS XL over the weekend. I needed a bucket for the drool and my wife had to restrain me from whipping out my credit card right there and then.

    • TiMsTeR1033

      I am hoping to get a 3ds in 2 weeks for Bday… Not for pokemon as per say but for all the other mario games and all.. Plus when bored at work, I have a solution!

      • Umar heartless

        *whispers*…Vita………….

        • TiMsTeR1033

          Okay and what games will I play on that?

          • Umar heartless

            *double whispers *…many….awesome….games

          • TiMsTeR1033

            Besides Jrpgs?

          • Umar heartless

            *TRIPLE WHISPERS*….guacamelee,spelunky,walking dead,gravity rush,muramasa,lone survivor…amongst others……..

          • TiMsTeR1033

            Okay but when is that cheaper one coming out??

          • Umar heartless

            supposedly very soon. I’m just kidding though, you would probably enjoy the 3ds more for Mario

          • TiMsTeR1033

            Would be my first Nintendo console!

          • Umar heartless

            For a first Ninty console….you have to get a wii man….c’mon

          • TiMsTeR1033

            Wii U?

          • Umar heartless

            Might as well, it is backward compatible

          • TiMsTeR1033

            Dude when was the last time you saw a Wii U in stores? Cna doesn’t sell them no more, Bt games dont either… So You tell me where? Prob look and listen…

      • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

        I would be so jelly

        • TiMsTeR1033

          If I do Ill take a picture. lol

          • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

            That would be cruel

    • Otto_ki

      Soon those Christmas specials will pop up and you will join the Elite few Pokefanboi’s :P

  • Mark Treloar

    Value is 1.1?

    • NecroRince

      It’s the same game over and over again 0-O

      • TiMsTeR1033

        Yet it sells so well..

        • Hammersteyn

          Like COD?

          • TiMsTeR1033

            That’s very different… wait actually not! both kids play!

        • NecroRince

          Agreed. Though not among the ‘educated’ ;)

    • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

      Was a mistake lol. Refresh page

  • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    Awesome review Mr Bonthuys.

  • Umar heartless

    Loving the new Pokemon, seems like XY really breathed new life into a very stale franchise (Sorry Pokemon fans, myself inclluded)

    • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

      It was becoming a bit stale yeah. But it’s like an addiction. Need to explore. Need to see what cool things are hidden. Need to find cool secrets. Need to capture rare pokemon. Need to train them super strong.

      It’s real old school. The games still hold that “I wonder what’s around the next bend” feeling.

      Like when you get to a cave and you think that you must somehow be able to go deeper and find something cool and then you do and you feel like a champ!

      Sorry. Rambling now. I will stop

      • Umar heartless

        Oh believe me I understand the feeling lol … :)…It just need to unleash some more potential

      • TiMsTeR1033

        What does your wife think of your pokemon wanting needs?

        • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

          She laughed and would not stop laughing at me when I told her I could recite the original pokerap off by heart and then proceeded to prove myself.

          It was devastatingly effective

          • TiMsTeR1033

            How old are you now? lol

          • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

            *cough* 28 *cough*

          • TiMsTeR1033

            Well I will be 26… on the 3rd Nov.. Do I remember almost all the original pokemon yes I sadly do! do I remember the sounds they make, most prob…. Have I watched most pokemon movies Guilty as charged…

          • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

            Yep, yep and yep

  • Admiral Chief Ninja

    Heh, Tazos.

  • NecroRince

    Where is Syru or whatever his NAME IS RAGE ANGRY DONKEY MADNESS BALLS!

    • Otto_ki

      You mean Kyou the pokefreak :P

      • NecroRince

        Ahh, yes yes, that would be the one…

  • Otto_ki

    Awww jiss! Pokemon news time, im just a little late today XD. This has definitely been one of the great ones that will give you nostalgia overload later in your life.

    PS. as the previous posts with Friend Code sharing showed a lot of interest. Once again feel free too leave your Friend Code here and i will add you. let the trading begin :P

    3411-1382-4973
    (Yahtzee)

    • Tiaan Pat

      Just a few more days then i will add you, BT Games are a full 2 weeks late with my 3DS XL :( So amped for this game :)

    • Craig Boonzaier

      Yes indeed.
      Need to go add everyone tonight.
      FC: 0817-3815-2714

    • Verrayne

      Verrayne
      1349-5370-4901

    • Shade

      Add a real Pokemon Fan ;p

      3539-9155-5033
      Ashesshade

  • J_Joestar

    “The catch here is that only certain pokémon are capable of going over 9000″

    What? 9000!

    lol when one of the in-game trainers actually reference an old DBZ meme.

  • ???

    FUCK POKEMON X AND Y MOTHERFUCKER!!! THEY FUCKING SUCK!!! GAME FREAK, YOU FUCKING SOLD US OUT!!! I WANTED THIS GAME TO FAIL REAL HARD!!! NINTENDO SHOULD FIRE GAME FREAK!!! NEW POKEMON SUCKS AND THE MEGA EVOLUTIONS SUCK ASS!!! I DID NEVER BUY POKEMON X AND Y BECAUSE IT’S A WASTE OF MY MONEY!!! DON’T TRY TO PERSUADE ME INTO BUYING THIS STUPID GAME BECAUSE IT WILL ALWAYS FAIL!!! FUCK THE NEW POKEMON ANIME BECAUSE IT SUCKS!!! I WONDER HOW MANY FANBOYS ARE GONNA CRY TO YOUR MOTHERS BECAUSE YOU GOT BUTTHURT OVER MY COMMENT!?

    • CAPS

      sssshhhhh, here be dragons

      • ???

        SHUT UP ASSHOLE GUY!!!

        • Brutus

          Trolls and their love of caps lock. In case you did not know, being a pathetic excuse of a person with a brain does not excuse your piss poor grammar. There are other forms of punctuation besides exclamation points. Now go find a way to enter the Darwin Awards and make the rest of humanity happy.

          • Kyou

            GET LOST ASSHOLE GUY!!!

          • Shade

            Ah a clown my comment got deleted!

  • Kyou

    FUCK POKEMON X AND Y MOTHERFUCKER!!! THEY FUCKING SUCK!!! GAME FREAK, YOU FUCKING SOLD US OUT!!! I WANTED THIS GAME TO FAIL REAL HARD!!! NINTENDO SHOULD FIRE GAME FREAK!!! NEW POKEMON SUCKS AND THE MEGA EVOLUTIONS SUCK ASS!!! I DID NEVER BUY POKEMON X AND Y BECAUSE IT’S A WASTE OF MY MONEY!!! DON’T TRY TO PERSUADE ME INTO BUYING THIS STUPID GAME BECAUSE IT WILL ALWAYS FAIL!!! FUCK THE NEW POKEMON ANIME BECAUSE IT SUCKS!!! I WONDER HOW MANY FANBOYS ARE GONNA CRY TO YOUR MOTHERS BECAUSE YOU GOT BUTTHURT OVER MY COMMENT!?

    • Mark Treloar

      Since you are saving your money not buying the new Pokemon. You can spend it on this.

      http://www.sasop.co.za/D_UC_PsychServices.asp

      • Kyou

        I DON’T LIVE IN AFRICA DUMBASS!!! SO GET LOST ASSHOLE GUY!!!

        • Mark Treloar

          regardless its something you need very soon.

          • Kyou

            I SAID GET LOSTASSHOLE GUY BEFORE IT GETS REAL UGLY FOR YOU!!!

          • Mark Treloar

            Threats like these are precisely the reason you need professional help.

    • Shade

      Hey if you don’t like Pokemon then you don’t need to be abusive about it (using such bad language) just state it like a civil person/grown up instead of typing it in caps and being a yerk about it/troll…and then why do you even bother reading a article like this in the first place…nvm your a sad kid most probably with nothing better to do right…go find some other place to be bothersome!

      Here’s a example: “I don’t like this game because… something…something”
      See that gets the point across ^ and maybe you’ll actually make some friends to instead of enemies.

      • Kyou

        SHUT UP ASSHOLE GUY!!! GET LOST AND GO BULLY SOMEONE ELSE BEFORE IT GETS REAL UGLY FOR YOU!!! I MAY END UP HACKING THIS WEBSITE AND TAKE IT DOWN RIGHT NOW!!! NOW FUCK OFF GO PLAY YOUR SHITTY ASS POKEMON X AND Y BECAUSE I DON’T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT ANYONE WHO STILL LIKES POKEMON!!! I’LL SAY IT AGAIN!!! FUCK POKEMON X AND Y!!!! KEITAI DENJUU TELEFANG 2 FOR THE FUCKING WIN!!!

        • Austin

          THAT’S MY BITCH KYOU!! HE’S GONNA BE A REAL GANGSTA MOTHERFUCKER!!

          • Kyou

            YOU GOT THAT RIGHT BRO!! BUT STILL, I’M GONNA FUCK SOME BITCHES REAL HARD!!

  • Kyou

    GUESS WHAT ASSHOLES!? I JUST DESTROYED ALL OF MY POKEMON GAMES ALREADY!!! ARE YOU HAPPY!!? NOW LEAVE ME ALONE AND DON’T BOTHER LEAVING A REPLY BECAUSE THIS IS THE LAST TIME I’M VISTING THIS SITE AND I’M LEAVING THIS SITE FOR GOOD!!!

  • Kyou

    FUCK POKEMON X AND Y!!! KEITAI DENJUU TELEFANG 2 FOR THE FUCKING WIN!!!

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  • Person!

    Hahahaha! “You’ll throw your balls at them”
    NO I WONT!