Want to be the very best? Want to catch them as a test, but train them as a cause? Well good news, Pokemon X and Y are here! The much loved franchise is back, with its first 3DS exclusive and they’ve gone all out. The Pokemon battles and world alike are all 3D, adding new life to a familiar world of catch Pokemon, level said Pokemon, beat everyone else into submission. And worry not fans of the “retro” Pokemon, the Pokemon in here will span all the Pokemon from the past games. Whether they can all be caught remains to be seen, but not long is left to wait.
So why do the Pokemon games always get met with largely popular approval when, after all, it’s always the same rinse and repeat pattern of game-play? Well, in this case nothing is more apt than the phrase “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and this series is anything but broke. Ever since Pokemon red and blue on the Game boy, gamers have loved the collecting, leveling and discovering aspects of this world. Even after all the iterations, I myself am looking forward to seeing the new Pokemon, what they evolve into, how they act and now how the moves look in this new 3D battle system. Of course the same issues will arise, namely stupidly difficult to navigate towns – usually down to some “story based” blockade that makes you follow the set path for a while if you want to go anywhere at all. Plus the somewhat tedious grind of battling wild enemies to level your team, just high enough, to deal with the upcoming challenges. These though tend to be small prices to pay when the overall experience is often one full of fun and discovery.
The main hurdle this time around, which is no fault of the game-play, is the amount its audiences will be reduced by due to its exclusivity to the 3DS, XL and 2DS. Many parents won’t head out and buy their children a new console just because a game they want happens to be exclusive to it. Especially if their old DS consoles are still working fine, just a touch outdated. Having worked in game retail for some time, I know first-hand how often parents have come looking for a game that turns out is exclusive to a certain console. Does this persuade them to buy said console? No. They merely point out how foolish it is to reduce the market share by not distributing it to every available option, then explain to the child they can’t have it this time, and move on with their lives. And to an extent I have to agree. People shouldn’t have to buy a new console to play a new game. I’ve always believed backwards compatibility to be a good selling point for the new consoles, but back catalog support wouldn’t go a miss either.
Of course saying this I don’t own a 3DS anymore. Will I be buying one to play Pokemon X or Y? You can bet your last rare candy on it.