Video Game Review: Pokemon X

Details: Beat the main game in about thirty-two hours. Played about three more hours going through post game content. More information can be found at https://www.pokemon.com/us/pokemon-video-games/pokemon-x-and-pokemon-y/

Score: 6.8/10

There is no reason to play this game at the present date unless someone has given you a free copy. Pokemon X and Y is a decent Pokemon game, it is simply outdated. The story and gameplay follow the well established Pokemon game formula, minus all the improvements in Ultra Sun and Moon. If you need to play a Pokemon game right now, go get Ultra Sun or Moon. Otherwise, just wait for Pokemon Sword and Shield.

The story for this game is similar or exactly the same as in other Pokemon games. Where Ultra Sun tried to change things a little with island trials, X and Y stick with the tried and true gym battle system. Your character has to beat eight gyms, then challenge the Elite Four and defeat the champion. Along the way a secret criminal organization also threatens the world and must be defeated by your character.

The main difference I liked in this game was that instead of there just being a rival, there is a whole group of friends who travel with you. Their participation in the game is a little light and I would like to have seen more of them in the game.

The best bit of story occurs after you beat the Elite Four. It’s a detective story that takes place in Lumiose City.

Gameplay is the same Pokemon, turn based formula. I played this game after playing Ultra Sun so it definitely feels like it’s missing a bunch of features. The big addition is mega evolution, which powers up a pokemon for the rest of the battle, also changing types in many cases. It’s actually not that drastic of a change and resembles Z moves in that it a single, temporary power up. Otherwise, this is cookie cutter Pokemon gameplay.

Visually and on a technical level, this game is about as pixel-y and crappy as most 3DS games. The resolution on the 3DS is crap. Accordingly, so are most visuals of games on this handheld device. The game is still playable, it’s just that it isn’t great.

One thing they tried here that didn’t work for me was that exploring Lumiose City zooms in the camera behind your character so you can view things from a third person perspective. This mostly made me motion sick because there was no way for the player to control the camera. The camera just slides around trying to follow behind the direction your facing. It’s a janky camera system that left me feeling motion sick. Also, the crappy, pixel-y visuals only look worse when you zoom up on them from the third person perspective. They were better off using a fixed camera view from a distance. They needed to improve the game on a technical level before trying something like this.

Artistically, the game looks interesting. The entire art direction of this game takes inspiration from France. Just about every major location is a place that takes heavy inspiration from a real tourist attraction in France. Paris is represented by Lumiose City. Mont Saint-Michel is represented by the Tower of Mastery. It’s all there and actually adds a lot to the game. If only the 3DS didn’t make every visual look so crap.

The music is fine. It’s mostly synthesized music. Ultra Sun and Moon had a far superior soundtrack.

Overall, the game is okay. I don’t recommend it though. As said above, play Ultra Sun or Moon or, even better, just wait for Pokemon Sword and Shield if you want to play a Pokemon game.

Score: 6.8/10

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