GAME NAME: Pokémon X and Pokémon Y
DEVELOPER(S): Game Freak, the Pokémon company
GENRE(S): RPG, Adventure
RELEASE DATE(S): 12th October 2013
The whole world is getting closer to the release date of the brand new Pokémon games, and I get to play on its demo at this year’s Eurogamer Expo. There have been a lot of trailers describing its gameplay, but after trying out the demo on the new 2DS console, I will give out my opinions on how well the game went.
There was a small booth in the Expo with two 2DS consoles, each with a copy of Pokémon X/Y. It seems like the Nintendo exhibitors have expected that it may not draw a huge crowd, but that turns out to be underestimated, as it generated a queue so long, that it exceeded 3 allocated queue lines. Despite that I came in early, I still had to wait at least 1 hour in order to play the game, so it’s likely to end up as a very popular title for all ages this year.
After much research after the event, it was the same demo hosted at other events, including PAX 2013, which lasted for up to 10 minutes. It allows the player to enjoy finding wild pokemon and take part in battles, as well as exploring a small, but pretty village. It’s not very long, which may not be enough to explore a wealth of features packed inside the demo.
Once I chosen a language and started playing on the new 2DS (which I was told that it’s comfortable to hold), I’ve arrived at the town, chatting to the other person. But as soon as I walked up to the tall grass, a wild Pikachu appears, and a Chespin jumps out of my bag! The battle mechanics here doesn’t feel a lot new, as it follows the one-on-one turn based format, but I did marvel at how stunning the battles looked! The models shown are very detailed, as they are smooth and nicely presented. The attack animations looked nice too, and some of the battle was shown at a camera angle behind my pokemon’s back. Compared to the previous games for the DS, it fully runs at 30 fps, but it runs efficiently and the battle pace is nicely nimble. It really reminds me of the Pokémon stadium games on the Nintendo 64.
…as soon as I walked up to the tall grass, a wild Pikachu appears, and a Chespin jumps out of my bag!
After knocking down the hapless mouse, I return to the town and I get to explore around more. The overworld is highly detailed, with glorious plants swaying and small pokemon walking around the whole area. However, I’ve discovered that I can now move around in all directions, as opposed to the 4-way movement in the previous games. It’s much better, and it makes it easier for trainers like me to navigate through the whole field. The camera also points via the top-down view often, which is good since the awkward camera angles would otherwise ruin a fine game like this.
After much exploring, and two wild encounters with Skitty and Flabebe, I’ve walked up to Processor Sycamore. He gave me a Mewtwo to fight with, which then leads to a battle in which I get to fight three of his pokemon. As he sends out his crobat, I can trigger Mewtwo’s new mega-evolution by selecting the ‘Fight’ button, and then hit the Mega-Evo tab as well as a move to use next. This results in the creature turning into his more deadly form, and then he takes the bat down with his Psystrike. His form lasts while he is on the battlefield, so I was able to use different moves to take down the rest of the professor’s critters. Once the battle’s over, the demo ends with a trailer showcasing more features, which can be found in the full versions.
The demo’s great, even though it’s short and doesn’t give players enough time to check out all features in there. However, from the graphics and exploration point of view, it already looks promising. Although I have a concern that the interface overlays for the top screen, which appears during battle, may appear quite small. They might look well on the 3DS XL screen, but not likely to be so much for systems like the forthcoming 2DS.
I’m assuming that this game will no doubt feature tried-and-tested patterns, including the gym leaders and a team of robbers (i.e. Team Flare). Also that even the demo didn’t display huge changes to the gameplay, but Pokémon X and Y never fails to make the whole experience fresh. The graphics excel with high detail and brilliant animations, as well as neat traditional camera angles. Also the additions of more movement directions and mega-evolutions made the game more interesting. I may give out a more thorough picture of this game if I played more hours out of it, so I may plan to write a review of these titles for this site, especially after playing the games of each Pokémon generation.
Pokémon X and Y will be available to buy at 12th October at retail stores and the Nintendo eShop, and based on the popularity at the event, it could be a huge seller during the holiday season.