Pokemon X Nintendo 3DS Review

PokemonX-3DS-Review

The time has come as another pokemon game has been bestowed to the public. It’s time for fans of the franchise to rejoice as they get to catch, battle and discover new pokemon in Pokemon X. My only experience with the series prior to this was Pokemon Black Version 2. I missed playing all of the earlier iterations of the games and missed the TV show simply because I wasn’t interested at the time. Later on, a friend of mine told me to at least give the game a try. So I did and it instantly had it’s hooks in me.

The main concept of Pokemon X follows its predecessors from the older games as you the player play as a boy or girl who sets off on a journey across the region to become the best pokemon trainer out there by catching pokemon and battling other trainers and the 8 gym leaders to eventually face the elite four. Overall this concept did work despite it repeating itself multiple time throughout the series it still holds up as an easy concept to follow.

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The gameplay for Pokemon X is your standard turn based gameplay where you choose what your pokemon does to defeat the other trainers pokemon. Sounds simple right? Factor in the mega evolution’s, status effects, moves that will cause extra damage when used in conjunction with another move; the list goes on as the game has a big element of strategy to it. Well for its gameplay being targeted towards hardcore veterans of the series who know the ins and outs of the battle system; the game also eases players into the games mechanics early on to give its players an idea of what something is and how it can be used to its full potential. The also rewards player for talking to the NPC’s in the game world who either have nice random chatter, valuable tips to get better in battle and even will give players free items from time to time which I found was a really nice incentive to explore and see what the game has to offer. This time around there is another type of pokemon; the fairy type. The fairy type in my opinion wasn’t very appealing to me because I never encountered more than 3 pokemon of that type. Had I encountered them more I would’ve considered using them more in my party line up. For the first couple hours of the game feel like a tutorial and waste no time in getting the player everything they need to get them going on the game. The big selling point of the game was that certain pokemon you can catch have a mega evolution that you can use in battle. The mega evolution can be a game changer in some battles if you need to deal an extra amount of damage in a clutch situation. As cool as it was seeing your character transform your pokemon into a super version of its self, the mega evolution just didn’t feel needed if you already had a high level pokemon. It’s not a complaint, it’s more just an observation.

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The gym battles felt easier than the previous games as in the past the battles required a little bit more strategy than ones featured in X however the scripted story battles do offer a little bit of challenge as you have to account for your weaknesses in your party and adapt to the changes mid battle which made the standard battle feel a bit more interesting. Also whats new is the pokemon training. In this mode you can train your pokemon and raise their stats by participating in mini games. I was never able to access this feature but I know it is a nice addition to the game as it opens different options to the player who don’t want to grind for long periods of time. It’s always a nice thing to see your pokemon evolve over time as you level them up and see them physically change into a more awesome form than it was before. It makes the player feel like they have a powerful team to battle almost anyone. Speaking of battling anyone; Pokemon X feature online wi-fi battles where players can battle each other in a ranked battle system to earn different titles to show off how awesome of a trainer you are. I only played about a few battle and they were very satisfying as some battles lasted as long as 40 minutes! It’s a nice feature that adds hours to the game if players are looking for something to do after the games credits. A very neat feature that was introduced was the ability to customize your character which has a nice amount of customizable gear for your character. My only problems with the game were with some of the pacing in between traveling into different cities via routes. Sometimes the amount of trainers you have to face just to progress along a route can very annoying at times because later during the game I felt a little burnt out by going through the regular routine by randomly encountering a trainer, finishing the battle in about 30 seconds to move on and beat another trainer. After that it was rinse and repeat. Overall the gameplay felt really fun early on but starts to feel like a chore later on as it tends to get really repetitive quickly as you sometimes find yourself using the same moves over and over again just to speed up the story and get to the end. Lastly a huge annoyance was finally fixed which was the movement speed of your character. This time around the game gives you roller blades early on which make your character move very quickly. A little later on the game will give you a bike and you go even faster on that! This alone makes the game more enjoyable for me because I didn’t have to move slowly from one place to another.

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The graphics in this game look very good on the Nintendo 3DS as colors are vibrant and the animations are really fleshed out this time around to see your pokemon perform the moves rather than see a comical sprite moving around like in the past games. The only issue seems to be drop in frames when battles are done in 3D. The look and feel of each location is unique with the updated graphics. It’s great to see characters in the game world with detailed environments. Everything from seeing the grass move in the wind to the snow in the mountains all looks great.

I will summarize the plot as quickly as I can for you with no spoilers. The plot is the same from the previous games where your character receives a letter from the professor selecting you to go on a journey with pokemon and eventually be the best trainer out there by battling each gym leader and encountering as many pokemon as you can along the way. There’s really no specific story here other than a few side stories that intertwine with the main story’s objective.

In the end Pokemon X is a really great game with in-depth mechanics and loaded with options for the player to keep themselves invested in the game for hours. This is definitely a game I would recommend getting if you’re planning to get a 3DS. There’s even a pokemon X and Y bundle which a custom 3DS with the legendary pokemon design on the system! Anyway there is enough content in the game to keep pokemon fans and newcomers to the series playing for a long time. Now if you’ll excuse me I’ve got some legendary pokemon to catch.

Brian McCoy

Multiple platform game reviewer and college student with a huge passion for video games.

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