10 things you need to know, before you play Pokémon X and Y
[gameinfo title="Game Info" game_name="Pokémon X and Pokémon Y" developers="Game Freak, the Pokémon company" publishers="Nintendo" platforms="3DS" genres="RPG, Adventure" release_date="12th October 2013"]
It’s not long before we get to the weekend, where we can finally play on the latest Pokémon games! Pokémon X and Pokémon Y are the first full-3D adventures in the series, where trainers can catch old and new monsters, and engage in dazzling battles.
However, there’s information out there that every potential owner needs to know, before they unplug the phone cord, power on their 3DS and enjoy hours of catching new monsters.
1. There’s Multiple Wild Pokémon in Horde Encounters
Pokémon is always adventurous for new kinds of battles. Ruby and Sapphire introduced Double Battles, where two Pokémon fight on each side, while Black and White invented Triple and Rotation Battles. The latest versions, X and Y, are about to introduce even more types of battles. There’s one that takes place in the sky and requires flying or levitating critters, as the other involves fighting against a gang of wild Pokémon. “Horde Encounters” are new in X and Y, in which a trainer can enter a battle against up to 5 wild foes, using one of their monsters. The player can either attack one of the enemies, or use a move like ‘Rock Slide’, which will hit all targets. This seems daunting at first, but these encounters can deliver a lot of exp, which is nice for level grinding.
2. You can finally move in all 8 directions!
What a relief! In the previous games, the trainer is bound to a grid, meaning he/she would have to move square-by-square in four directions. Well no more in X and Y, as the trainer is now free from the boundaries! They can move in 8 directions all over the area, without any tile restrictions. It’s true, I’ve played a demo at this year’s Eurogamer Expo and I was able to go in more directions, making it nicer for me to navigate through the whole field. If you have played the likes of Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Earthbound, then you will get the picture of how this movement works.
It seems ironic however, as people will be controlling the game via the circle pad (which provides 360 degree movement). That’s likely to be criticised for having grainy movement, but still, it’s better than only being able to go up, left, down or right, wouldn’t it?
3. Fairy beats Dragon, Dark and Fighting – sucks against Poison and Steel
After 12 years of playing since I first dealt with Dark and Steel types in Pokémon Gold, I was mostly familiar with various types in the series. I choose the right critters and moves, when dealing with trainers in many battles. However, I am about to face a new challenge as I learn about the new Fairy type! It was announced earlier this year, in which old and new Pokémon will sport this new type, and are proven to be effective against Dragons. But there’s more information covering it, thanks to the latest official information.
The Fairy-Type will not only be immune against Dragon attacks (like Ground against Electric), but it will also gain an advantage over Dark and Fighting type Pokémon. That leaves ‘Spirtomb’ and ‘Sabeleye’ with their new and only weaknesses! Even Bug moves deal little damage to the sparkly chums. However, fairies are not always invincible, as they will receive double damage from Steel and Poison-based attacks. So if you have Jigglypuff facing against Ekans, then switch out straight away. The Fairy moves will deal less damage to Fire Pokémon as well.
It’s going to be interesting on checking out the new Fairy type, especially that they can take out the worst of Dragons, Fighters and Darklings, so you may want to consider adding one fairy to your team. I think Marril might look perfect for the battles ahead.
The Fairy-Type will not only be immune against Dragon attacks (like Ground against Electric), but it will also gain an advantage over Dark and Fighting type Pokémon. That leaves ‘Spirtomb’ and ‘Sabeleye’ with their new and only weaknesses!
4. You can trade and battle everywhere in the game, even online!
You read it right, the ability of conducting such interactions everywhere in the world is made possible, thanks to the ‘Player Search System’. It allows the player to communicate with others locally and online, without the need to go to the PokeCenter. It provides the facilities of playing battles, making trades, exchanging gifts, and more features. These include, but limited to, making personal greeting videos, trading with others around the world via Global Link, and exchanging O-Powers to improve abilities in the game.
This has been done before in Black and White, where it uses ‘C-Gear’ to interact with players via wireless and intra-red, and conduct trades and battles away from the PokeCenter. I hope it supports Streetpass in the final release of X and Y, and with the box showing the ‘Nintendo Network’ icon, it should make it easier for people to add their friends in for a more unified experience.
5. Pokémon-Amie does affect battles!
One of the new features of the games, Pokémon-Amie, is a tamagotchi-like mini game, which lets players feed, groom and play with their Pokémon. It’s a nice way to increase the trainer’s friendship with the critter. But it’s always worth using it, as it can give your Pokémon some advantages in battle. That’s right, using Pokémon-Amie can provide effects, which can either raise the chances of special stats, including evasion and critical hit ratio, or give out abilities which may allow a Pokémon to recover from paralysis, or avoid a one-hit KO. So the morale of the story is that if you’re going to make your great ‘mon team, then prepare yourself with a huge supply of berries.
6. You can play Mini-Games for Effort Values, thanks to Super Training!
In addition to Pokemon-Amie, you can also access Super Training for stat increases, both of which can be accessed anytime from the bottom screen. Super Training allows a Pokémon to participate in a regimen, where they can fight against a Pokémon balloon by shooting soccer balls into a goal. It may have other regimens in the final release, it may not, but that’s a taste of things of what’s to come in this mode. Going through regimens will give out training bags, which are used to promote growth of a certain critter (increasing their ‘Effort Values’ I believe). Their stats can also be shown via the Effort-o-meter, which additionally shows on how much they have improved via growth. I don’t know yet if this is faster than using Stat-increasing items like Protein and Iron, but it certainly beats having to pay tons out of buying them in shops.
7. The Overworld is NOT in stereoscopic 3D
Those hoping for a ‘true’ 3D experience after buying their 3DS XL’s are going to be left disappointed, as the overworld sections of the game are not compatible with the 3D mode, according to an interview with creator Junichi Masuda. Instead, they have concentrated on providing the details to the world, making it look really beautiful.
“When you don’t use the 3D effect you are able to render quite a bit more on the 3DS. That’s one of the reasons why we wanted to leave it off in the overworld, because it gives us more power to show off more beautiful graphics.” Said Masuda. “…You can just leave it on and then at certain specific moments, the 3D will come on and it will be more surprising or impactful to the player.”
It may not matter much to those who are planning to buy the 2DS to play the new versions on, as they can fully enjoy the vistas of the luxurious environments, without worrying about the 3D mode. But for the rest, it’s likely to disappoint those who wanted to play it fully in stereoscopic 3D.
8. You still need two 3DS systems in order to self-trade
If you bought both X and Y as downloadables from the Nintendo eShop, thinking that you can trade between them on a single 3DS console, then you are really out of luck. Because they don’t contain tools for self-trading within a game, you will need two 3DS consoles in order to trade between two Pokémon games.
Not even Pokémon Bank can do that same service, as according to the official FAQ, moving Pokémon between the Bank and the game will not count as a trade. I’ve used Pokémon Box Ruby and Sapphire before and it only moves Pokémon around, so I guess it applies the same logic to Pokémon Bank.
So yes, if you want to complete the Pokedex without relying on friends or online features, then you have to grab two ‘physical’ copies of the new games – one X, and the other being Y – and a spare 3DS.
9. Download Torchic before the New Year
If you get to play Pokémon X or Y and obtain the Pokedex this year, then you can go to the ‘Mystery Gift’ and select ‘Get from Internet’ to download a special Torchic to your game, making it a third starter Pokémon to add to your collection! He comes with a hidden ability of ‘Speed Boost’, which increases his speed every turn in battle. He also comes with an item named ‘Blazikenite’, a mega stone that cannot be found in normal gameplay, which is needed to evolve the critter into ‘Mega Blaziken’! Hot stuff indeed, and it certainly gets you peckish to get it on your team.
But you don’t have to ruffle your feathers and rush to get the game at launch, as the online event runs until the 15th January. So you can still get a 3DS XL and Pokémon combo, and a special Torchic, for Christmas. (Sorry for the puns).
10. The Pokedex is so big, that it splits into three sub-categories!
If you thought Black 2 and White 2 have got the biggest regional Pokedex in the series, then you should check out X and Y. It’s going to have the biggest Pokedex so far, as it will contain monsters from every generation, including the new ones. It’s so big, that will be spilt into three sections: Central, Coastal, and Mountain. The full listing of the collection has not been revealed just yet, but it certainly means you will be collecting, trading and evolving lot more than ever before.
I hope these pointers have helped you out. Pokémon X and Y will release on the Nintendo 3DS at October 12th, which you can find in stores, or download them from the Nintendo eShop.