With every Pokemon generation comes the great debate of “which one’s the best” and the even more debated “which one’s the worst”. It’s part of what polarizes the Pokemon community, while also part of what makes it special – there are fans of each and every gen. And with the recent release of Pokemon X and Y, I’m here to tell you why they’re the best and worst of the bunch. And no I’m not bringing up the keychain Pokemon.
Small Touches - Pokemon X and Y, if nothing else, add a alot of little quirks to a game basking in newness. Things like squatting down to talk to little kids (before taking their money of course), getting your haircut at a town barber shop, completely superior menu options, and the entirety of Pokemon-Amie make this gen the most fun, by far. It’s not perfect, but the little things about this game – from the music to the aesthetics to the exploration – make it the best generation of Pokemon yet.
Training is Fun – With the buffs given to old items like the Exp. Share, training is not the huge grind that it was in generation’s past. Even the previously gargantuan task of making your Pokemon the best it can be has been made more accessible (it’s still not a cakewalk). EV and IV training is simplified, and concocting the greatest Pokemon you can achieve is still a very satisfying task. Nothing is more satisfying than mowing down opponents with a Pokemon you’ve poured your heart and soul into.
Mysteries! - Pokemon X and Y are full of weird, seemingly endless mysteries. These don’t really tie into the main story, nor the post-game story – rather, they’re isolated occurrences. Tales of ghosts (human ghosts, mind you), legitimately creepy Pokedex entries, and all sorts of hints to the future of Pokemon all make these two games very fascinating on a mysterious level. Who knows if we’ll ever get proper resolutions to our questions, but for the time being, let’s just gawk at some Pokemon who are literally the spirits of dead children.
Social Features Don’t Suck - With Pokemon X and Y, the social features that come with each and every game finally feel like it was made in the last five years. Saving data takes a fraction of the time it did before, connecting to friends both local and online are almost effortless, and competing in battles and trades across the world is definitely something special. The games also allow two people to become friends without exchanging friend codes. This is hopefully a precursor to an acceptable online environment for Nintendo systems. We can only hope.
Same Old Song and Dance - Seems like some things will never change. We’re still starting from small routes as we grind our way up the Gym Leader ladder to eventually reach the Elite Four and the legendary Champion. I know Pokemon will never diverge in a Skyrim sort of way, but a little more variety would be appreciated. Scale the Gym Leaders’ levels and Pokemon to the ones you have in your party or something, as the formula we’ve had for the last decade and a half is starting to overstay its welcome.
Polygons Aren’t Pretty – Some of the 3D translations of Pokemon are just plain ugly. The spritework found in the Black and White series was some of the best we’ve seen in terms of creativity and showing Pokemon in a new light. I’m not saying the transition from 2D to 3D was bad in Pokemon, but some of the designs reek of “thrown together at the last minute”, and we’ve yet to see most of the 680+ Pokemon in X and Y to begin with. Once Pokemon Bank drops later this month, expect to see more ugly translations to the third dimension.
Short Postgame is Short. Compared to Black 2 and White 2, X and Y are seriously disappointing when it comes to the postgame content. It’s the shortest it’s been since Ruby & Sapphire, and that was 10 years ago. You can catch Zygarde, Mewtwo, and one legendary bird from the first generation, and then do a bunch of Looker missions in Lumiose City. Those missions are definitely a quality over quantity scenario, but still – the amount of things to do once you’ve bested the Pokemon League are egregiously short, and the region of Kalos itself is pretty lacking compared to Unova and Sinnoh.
The Gimmick Doesn’t Work. Here’s my biggest fault with Pokemon X and Y - they can’t even be bothered to fully flesh out the 3D options in the game. You only get 3D in specific dungeons and battles. There’s no 3D for double, triple, or horde battles, only one on one fights. It’s understandable that they possibly need more time to get used to the 3DS’ engine, but it comes off as rushed when games like Super Mario 3D Land thrive off 3D.
Troll Tuesday does what it intends. Intentionally irritate, yet insights on issues of the Industry, always on Tuesday whenever ready and always teasing whenever needed.