As a gamer, you’ve probably played a game in the Pokemon franchise. Let’s face it, nearly all of us have been Pokemon fans or at least played one of the games at some point in our lives; and who can blame you? Pokemon is a hugely profitable goldmine for both Gamefreak and Nintendo, and is among one of the longest running and most popular game series the industry has seen to date.
Unfortunately, the Pokemon series of games has fallen into a decline as of late, a stagnancy in its developmental cycle. There have seemed to be fewer and fewer new features and innovations with each generation of games recently, the only major changes seeming to be new Pokemon additions. Luckily for us however, Pokemon X and Y will change all of that, breaking away a little from the archaic Pokemon formula we all know and have been seeing so much of lately.
From what we’ve been shown so far, Pokemon X and Y look to be the biggest generational leap we’ve seen since the Johto->Hoenn days. They’re packed to the brim with new features and additions, including the advent of the all-new fairy type, the HUGE graphical leap, horde battles, the Pokemon Bank, Pokemon-amie, and more!
The first (and potentially the biggest) new addition to the Pokemon series is the Fairy type. There haven’t been any new types added since the Pokemon Gold and Silver days, and that was over a decade ago- making this quite the exciting new addition! In fact, it’s not just new Pokemon that’ll be affected, as Gamefreak are retro-fitting some Pokemon such as Marill and Jigglypuff. It’s all quite exciting and new!
Another major change from even just the previous generation of Pokemon Black/White 1/2 games is the complete graphical overhaul. We’ve finally made the leap from 2D sprites to 3D models, and boy is the air fresher and the grass greener because of it. I’ve been waiting to see graphics on this level in a mainstream Pokemon game for the longest time now, so I’m quite glad that I’ll finally get my wish. While the overworld may not make use of the 3DS’ 3D effects, it’ll still be a huge change in graphical fidelity, which is nothing but good for the series.
We’ve also got something that’s really pushing the boundaries of the traditional Pokemon formula, that of course being the new horde battles feature. If you’re a particularly unlucky fellow then you’ll have the potential to encounter up to five enemy pokemon at once. But that’s not all. These battles won’t function in the same way as double or triple battles- you won’t be releasing any extra pokemon… they’re strictly 1v5. The risks and dangers are high, but the rewards of successfully completing an encounter are even higher.
While for some people the Pokemon Bank is a “rip-off”, “scam” or even a “money grab”, for the less easily angered of us out there, it’s a fantastic cheap service from Nintendo that’ll allow us to store thousands of pokemon for the low price of (approximately) $5/year. It’ll be especially fantastic for those of us that’d like to run through the games multiple times, as that way we’ll be able to store all our important Pokemon without losing them. Won’t that be awesome? :D
As if all that stuff weren’t enough, the new Pokemon X/Y games will also be including a feature called Pokemon-amie. While there hasn’t been very much released on the system as of yet, I can confidently say it’ll be amazing. It’ll lower and remove the barriers between you and your Pokemon, making use of the 3DS’ 3D capabilities to allow you to interact with your Pokemon in more ways beyond the traditional… including by feeding, controlling, petting and playing with them.
Overall, the point I’m trying to make is that the new Pokemon games are looking fantastic. I haven’t really seen anybody saying that they’re NOT looking forward to these new releases, and to be fair.. how could you possibly not be? To me, Pokemon X/Y represent everything we love from the previous games with (hopefully) fewer of their problems and a bunch of major improvements and innovative feature additions made along the way. In fact, I’ve even been seeing a lot of people who normally wouldn’t care much (my friends and I) becoming really hyped up about the games and jumping right onto the hype-train. These games really are revitalizing the Pokemon franchise, and in more ways than one.
But where will the series go after Pokemon X/Y have been released? What do you guys think, will the series continue to hold strong after these latest releases or will it continue its crumbling path towards its inevitable demise? Be sure to let me know in the comments!