Brief Thoughts from Someone That's Never Played Pokemon

#1 Posted by Chaser324 (5966 posts) -

In spite of being a huge Nintendo fan in my younger days, I somehow never got pulled into the Pokemon games, but now as a grown ass man, I've suddenly decided to change that by downloading a copy of Pokemon X. So, I thought I would share some quick initial thoughts from my first couple of hours:

  • This is maybe the lightest most cheerful game I've ever played. This thing is downright sugar coated. Something about all these kids in the game being so psyched to be fighting Pokemon is kinda contagious and makes me pretty excited about it too.
  • I was never a big fan of the way those older games looked, but I have to say that I really like the overall graphical style of this game. In particular, the Pokemon themselves have some very nice looking 3D models.
  • The gameplay is at its core fundamentally just a stripped down classic JRPG, and it's actually quite a relaxing getaway from the complex systems that a lot of modern games like to pile on.
  • Seriously, we can't just have full analog movement? I'm not sure I can think of a single game I've played recently that made use of this style of digital movement, and at this point I don't really see what's gained by sticking with it.
  • The UI is probably the worst part of this game. It's confusing, a little slow, inconsistent in presentation, and actually kinda ugly. I'm sure once I get more acquainted with where everything is that it won't get in the way as much, but my initial reaction is that it's a bit of a clunky mess. It's not as bad as Gran Turismo 5, but it isn't up to the standards of Nintendo's other RPG hit from this year, Fire Emblem: Awakening. That game managed to present a lot of info with a very slick user interface, and it's disappointing to not see something on the same level delivered here.
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#2 Edited by Nights (587 posts) -

On its face, Pokemon is a fairly straightforward game and doesn't require a "perfect" team to progress through the storyline. With that said, you can get pretty deep in terms of min/maxing if you so choose. Nature, Effort Values (Exp. Sharing has streamlined this process) and Individual Values all play an important role if you want to get the very best out of your Pokemon. I'd wager a lot of people don't even know these mechanics exist. There's actually quite a lot to take into account (especially for a "kid's" game). I've been resetting my game in order to get an ideal nature for my Froakie. I've never battled online, but I'm thinking about getting into it with X/Y. The meta game seems pretty intense.

Anyway, it's always interesting to hear a newcomers opinion on Pokemon. Especially from an "older" gamer.

#3 Posted by Morningstar (2048 posts) -

This is my first pokemon as well, got it today and have spent 2.5 hours with it so far. It's quite charming indeed. Ii's been very, very easy so far though. Hope it get a little more challenging as I get deeper into the game or I won't have the patience to keep playing.

#4 Posted by JackSukeru (5816 posts) -

@chaser324: The Ui has gone up and down over the years, but yeah it's pretty clunky. One tip I can give you about Pokemon PC management, in case you haven't figured it out yourself already, is to ignore the "deposit" and "withdraw" commands in the PC meny and just choose "Move Pokemon". It's still a little clunky, yet once you get used to it it's the best way to organize your Pokemon. I don't have the game yet so I don't know about any possible changes they've made to this system.

@morningstar: I don't think it'll get much tougher outside of gym battles and the Elite Four , but if it's like the older games (which, duh, it's Pokemon) you should be able to change "Battle Style" from "shift" to "set" to make the game more challenging.

What that does is that the game no longer stops to let you know what Pokemon a trainer will send out next, after you defeat their first one. It also no longer gives you a free switch to counter what the trainer selected, instead once one goes down, another comes out and if you want to switch it'll cost you a turn.

#5 Posted by Hunter5024 (5172 posts) -

@nights: Shh! You're ruining the magic for him! Telling people about EVs is like telling people wrestling is fake.

#6 Posted by Chaser324 (5966 posts) -

Yeah, there definitely is some depth in how you manage your team, but thus far it seems like it's largely optional. I imagine if you want to get deep into the multiplayer it might be more critical to your success.

@jacksukeru: Yeah, I managed to sort out that bit with "Move Pokemon" myself. As far as I can tell there's nothing you can't do from that menu you can do in the others.

Also, now that I've gotten the roller skates, I partially withdraw my complaint about the 8-way movement. It's easy enough to alternate between using the d-pad where it's more appropriate to move just up/down/left/right and the circle pad when you want to just cruise and get from point a to point b.

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#7 Posted by Nights (587 posts) -

I wonder what the end-game content is like in X/Y. The Battle Subway and Pokemon World Tournament were pretty awesome in Black/White 2.

#8 Edited by Iodine (532 posts) -

My only advice to you is avoid Spoink like the plague

#9 Edited by SecondPersonShooter (580 posts) -

How have you managed to avoid playing pokemon for so long? Props to you.



Get ready though, what first appears to be a cheerful lighthearted kids game will actually eventually turn into a series of invisible stats only kept track of by calculator if you go deep enough

#10 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4281 posts) -

UI has always been one of the weakest parts in the game, good thing you haven't touched the older ones because this one seems to be a lot better. I just wish the battles progressed faster, they're faster than before but still slow.

#11 Edited by Chaser324 (5966 posts) -

@secondpersonshooter: Yeah, I'm not sure how I avoided it. I think that when the first Pokemon games were released, they were marketed primarily to kids a little younger than me, and I never bothered to get on board then or at any point after...until now. If you're in your early 20's or younger right now, then it's a lot more likely that you got on board as a kid (or that you still are a kid).

After reading @nights's links, I can see that there is a bunch of min/maxing that you could get into with these low-level stats, but good grief that's not going to happen.

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#12 Posted by AlwaysBeClothing (1423 posts) -

What's funny is that my initial impression is how much faster this version is than previous ones. What I hear about improvements done as far as leveling and exp share, seems like it'd go much quicker. The menu has always been kind of terrible since I believe the GBA days. At some point I'm going to turn off battle animations to speed things up but right now they're targeting me in the nostalgias.

I should name all my pokemon after the Animal Crossing villagers I've left behind.

#13 Edited by I_Stay_Puft (2596 posts) -

@alwaysbeclothing said:

What's funny is that my initial impression is how much faster this version is than previous ones. What I hear about improvements done as far as leveling and exp share, seems like it'd go much quicker. The menu has always been kind of terrible since I believe the GBA days. At some point I'm going to turn off battle animations to speed things up but right now they're targeting me in the nostalgias.

I should name all my pokemon after the Animal Crossing villagers I've left behind.

NO! You name them after rap artist or food. Oh the memories with Xzibit, RJD2, Ice Cube, T-Pain and Bacon. The correct way to name your pokemon.

#14 Posted by JackSukeru (5816 posts) -

@i_stay_puft said:

@alwaysbeclothing said:

What's funny is that my initial impression is how much faster this version is than previous ones. What I hear about improvements done as far as leveling and exp share, seems like it'd go much quicker. The menu has always been kind of terrible since I believe the GBA days. At some point I'm going to turn off battle animations to speed things up but right now they're targeting me in the nostalgias.

I should name all my pokemon after the Animal Crossing villagers I've left behind.

NO! You name them after rap artist or food. Oh the memories with Xzibit, RJD2, Ice Cube, T-Pain and Bacon. The correct way to name your pokemon.

I went from never renaming my Pokemon, to giving them really ordinary human names, to eventually just making the dumbest and/or laziest names I could think of based on the Pokemon's appearence. Caught a Slugma? Name it Fireslug! Got your hands on a Metang? It is now named Steelfistr!

#15 Posted by Chaser324 (5966 posts) -

NO! You name them after rap artist or food. Oh the memories with Xzibit, RJD2, Ice Cube, T-Pain and Bacon. The correct way to name your pokemon.

I've just been naming them pretty randomly, but I did actually end up naming one Redman and another one Cheezeburger.

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#16 Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw (5797 posts) -

I only just recently tried Pokemon Black, and I discovered I'm about two decades late to really get the appeal. That said, I'm certainly glad so many people are enjoying this new one. It's not going to be a purchase for me, but I like reading your thoughts as a new player in a similar boat as me from a few years back.

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#17 Posted by GoranP (1097 posts) -

@chaser324: Basically you can play the single player aspect without too much real depth and just have an enjoyable time, etc. The hardcore strategies and EV training stuff comes into more competitive online play. It's a weird split because the game doesn't really prepare you for that too much.

#18 Posted by I_Stay_Puft (2596 posts) -

@chaser324: Naming can actually be a strategy when competing with real people. Take for example naming your Bug type pokemon Mewtwo, obviously the other person will think you are using a powerful psychic pokemon and switch to a pokemon that is stronger suited against psychic types. To their surprise the pokemon they thought they were fighting isn't who its suppose to be, equating to a possible free hit. The strategy within the strategy of poke' battles.

#19 Posted by ervonymous (1226 posts) -

Shh! You're ruining the magic for him! Telling people about EVs is like telling people wrestling is fake.

I didn't remember EV and natures were a thing for the first couple hours, after the epiphany I spent too much time trying to get a purebred sword-ghost.

Not again.

#20 Edited by Nights (587 posts) -

The online portion of Pokemon X/Y is so much better than its predecessors. Browsing the GTS or trading with my friend has been smooth as you like. On-screen notifications are a welcome change. "___ Has Come Online! ___ Wants To Trade!"

http://www.smogon.com/ is a great place to start for those interested in the Pokemon meta.

#21 Posted by I_Stay_Puft (2596 posts) -

@chaser324: A reminder if you are new to the series Chaser324 don't forget to grab the Special Torchic in the gift menu. These can prove invaluable later on as they are usually limited time offer and sometimes unlock some sort of side content that is only available with the gifted pokemon / items.

#22 Posted by IrrelevantJohn (928 posts) -
#23 Posted by Red (5991 posts) -

If you want to get in on the more competitive side of pokemon battling but don't want to put in the effort and calculations required to adequately EV train your pokemon, I highly suggest going to smogon.com and using its battle simulator and teambuilder. I honestly don't have the time to grind all my pokemon up to 100, get all the hold items they need, and do all the math for EV training, but high-level competitive pokemon play can be very, very fun. I honestly can't think of any other turn based strategy game nearly as competitive or customizable.

#24 Posted by MB (11298 posts) -

I missed Pokemon completely as well, I'm about ten years past the target demographic.

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#25 Posted by Jolt92 (1529 posts) -

I haven't really played a Pokémon for real since Ruby, but goddamn this has hooked me. I'm enjoying it almost as much as Red did when I was a wee little boy.

#26 Posted by Chaser324 (5966 posts) -

@mb: Yeah, I'm sure if I were four or five years younger that I would've been fully into Pokemon.

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#27 Posted by Gonmog (572 posts) -

I dont get the "i was to old for it" when it came out. I mean...it's a game. :/ You missed out on some cool things!!!! I was 15/16 when the game first came to the states. I picked it up cause of the ads in gamestop. The Gota Catch Them All tag line seemed interesting....and the game was sure interesting. Lots of school time was wasted playing that with friends in a corner lol

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