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'Pokemon' evolves

Nov 1, 2013

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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Pokemon XOver the last few years Pokemon fans have been a lucky bunch. With each edition new improvements have enhanced the quality of this timeless series. It is then no surprise to fans the latest - ‘Pokemon X’ and ‘Pokemon Y’ - represents the most wide-ranging changes yet. Everything from the graphics to the gameplay itself have been completely improved and expanded. 

Looking back at crude black and white images and animations of ‘Red’ and ‘Green’ on the Game Boy, it is astonishing to think of how far Pokemon has come. Both ‘Pokemon Black and White’ and their sequels ‘Pok√©mon Black 2 and White 2’ dipped into 3-D graphics but thanks to Nintendo and Game Freak ‘X’ and ‘Y’ are most striking Poke games ever published but are also two of the best looking 3D games to date. The first ever outing on the 3DS really does rival its Wii console cousin: ‘Pokemon Revolution’. The elaborate cut-scenes with their sweeping cameras angles, the flamboyant animation and even the Pokedex itself with its up-to-date look all breathe new life into the experience.

Pokemon XThe battle animations feature some ferociously animated attacks and the charming character models flinch and rock with every Fury Swipe and every Psybeam. My personal favourite though has to be Pancham, the perpetually pissed off panda Pokemon who looks like he just sucked on a rotten piece of bamboo. Whether intentional or not, he just makes me chuckle every time his grouchy puss appears.

The Kalos Region, although smaller and more compact than some of the others players have visited, is full of life. Parfum Palace and the Tower of Mastery with their grandiose, imposing architecture, the lush forests and plains speckled with wildflowers and the inviting coastal towns will make you soon forget you are playing a Pokemon game. 

Pokemon XFor the first time ever, you as a trainer also get some Poke love too. You can visit special boutiques, store to customize your look, race around in roller skates instead of a bike and have the chance to ride a Rhyhorn and a Mamoswine. Using the new Pokemon-Amie feature, you can put your individual Pokemon through their paces developing the certain key attributes you feel are the most important and thus finally have some impact on their stats.

‘Pokemon X’ and ‘Pokemon Y’ introduces the new Fairy type Pokemon and in doing so have shifted Jigglypuff, Marill, Gardevoir and Mawile to the Fairy category. When battling, Fairy Pokemon are strong against Fighting, Dragon and Dark but weak against Fire, Poison and Steel.

Pokemon XEven before ‘X’ and ‘Y” were released fans were pumped about the Mega Evolution option. While it is fun to watch, it is not all it is cracked up to be. Firstly, the applicable Pokemon must be holding the right Mega Stone and you must have the Mega Ring. Secondly, Mega Evolution can only occur in battle and to only one Pokemon per battle. The physical changes and the super charged powers that come with the Evolution disappear when the battle is over. All in all, Mega Evolution is a cool hook, however, it doesn’t really add anything substantive to the game.

Pokemon XOne other slightly weak point is the campaign storyline. There isn’t a whole lot to puzzling out what the evil Team Flare is up to. The sub-plots or challenges are actually more involved. Sure, the Pokemon series has never been known for its plotlines but when compared to the recent offerings, the ‘X’ and ‘Y” story is about as effective as a Magikarp.

With all of its updates and features, ‘X’ and ‘Y’ is not only a must-have for any fan, they will surely draw in new fans who have just discovered the incredibly imaginative world of Pokemon; a series that has stood the test of time because in Poke terms, the franchise has been evolving from a Charmander to a Charizard at a solid and steady pace.

Pokemon X Pokemon X
Format: Nintendo 3DS
Publisher: Game Freak
Developer: Nintendo
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone
Official Site: http://www.pokemonxy.com

Rating: 9 / 10

 
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About G4 in Canada
G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.