Well, its been a little while since I wrote about the goings-on in the world of Pokemon. For those just tuning in, I’m embarking on a quest to obtain every Pokemon in existence - you can read more about where this started here.
After my last post, where I finished filling out the original 150 Pokemon, I took a break while waiting for the release of X and Y. Now that they are out and I have played through my copy of Y, this seemed like a good time for a new entry in the series. I haven’t done much past completing the main game, so its not as much about catching Pokemon as what I’ve been doing (although there has been plenty of that). As such, I’ll also use this to give some general thoughts on X/Y, Pokemon in general, and where the series is going. If you care about super secret Pokemon spoilers (I’m sure there’s someone?), go ahead and skip this.
Into the Kalos Region
X and Y are the newest entries in the Pokemon franchise, the first to appear on the 3DS, and take place in a new region called the Kalos Region. The aesthetics of Kalos are based on France, and you can see it in the architecture, the way NPCs talk, and by the inclusion of multiple cafes in basically every town. The Japanese take on France is pretty endearing overall, and the world feels vibrant and alive, with people and Pokemon filling the game’s many areas well.
There are (currently) 69 Pokemon species that are brand new to X and Y, which is actually the smallest number of new Pokemon added for a new generation. Excluding the inevitable “event only” Legendary Pokemon, it seems like that is the final number, putting the Pokemon total now at 718. Overall I like the new designs, with some early favorites being the Grass starter Chespin, the Dragon/Poison Dragalge, and the ridiculous Fighting/Flying Hawlucha. Its a hawk in a luchador mask.
Exploring Kalos is as good as Pokemon has probably ever been - it is absolutely packed full of Pokemon new and old, which is a nice change from Black/White’s Unova region, which only contained new species until the post game. As I have been playing Y, I have basically been catching everything I see, so I already have most of the new guys (at least one form of them anyway). One of my favorite things about the new set of Pokemon is how many missing type combos they fill. By my count there were 40 missing type combinations before X/Y released (which doesn’t include the new Fairy type), and of those, I believe 9 now exist, which is pretty good. Of course, the introduction of the Fairy type has introduced more missing combinations, so there’s still a lot of work to be done there.
Team Flare and Yveltal
In Kalos, the evil team of criminals is Team Flare, and they are probably the worst (quality) team so far in the world of Pokemon. Their motives are unclear, and they come across as just being evil for the sake of being evil (even more than previous teams). It honestly feels like they were added to the game as an afterthought, and nobody really gave them much attention. Their antics do lead you to the Legendary Pokemon of your version: Xerneas or Yveltal. Both of those are pretty cool Legendaries, and encountering the Legendary Pokemon is always a cool experience, but this one really did come out of nowhere to me. That said, the events leading up to the Legendaries made use of some pretty good looking cutscenes, which is a new thing for Pokemon, and I think is a good thing for the series. I’m sure there will be some pretty baller cutscenes when they put out the inevitable 3DS remakes of Ruby/Sapphire.
The Champion, and Beyond
The first thing I’ll say about the Elite Four and the Champion is this - I’m pretty sure this is the easiest main Pokemon game so far. Usually collecting all 8 badges is a breeze, but I find myself pretty under prepared for the Elite Four. Not this time, as all of my party was well above even the Champion’s strongest Pokemon. Because of that, it wasn’t quite the same ordeal it normally is, with me mostly 1-shotting everything as it came up. Part of this was because I made use of the Lucky Egg for basically the whole game, but even so, it was kind of anti-climatic. I did insist on facing down the Champion’s Mega Gardevoir with my Dedenne though, who mostly won through the luck of getting 2 Thunders to hit in a row.
With victory in hand - I watched the ceremonial induction of my party into the Hall of Fame: Chesnaught, Talonflame, Diggersby, Dragalge, Aurorus, and Dedenne. They served me well, and I was happy with my group.
So, with the title of Champion in the bag, its time to move on to bigger things. I will soon be resuming my quest to fill out the entire Pokedex, but I have some other tasks to complete as well. First, I think I want to get all the Mega Stones. Mega Evolution is super weird, and the Pokemon they chose to give Mega Evolutions to seems to oscillate between really random and 100% fan service. The fact that Charizard and Mewtwo are the only ones with 2 Mega Evolutions is a pretty clear indication of fan service in my book. The fact that Ampharos gets a Mega exemplifies how random it can be, along with completely horrendous decision making on the part of Game Freak. That said, if I’m going to do a catch ‘em all quest - I need to do it right, so I’ll go ahead and collect Mega Stones.
Additionally, since I want to try training some new mans at some point, I’d like to go ahead and start collecting all the TMs and other helpful items, so I will be doing some of that. The Pokemon Bank still doesn’t open for a little while, so I can’t start the process of migrating everything up yet, but if I do feel like catching stuff, there’s plenty to find in Y. Really what I need to do is probably get more organized about that - I’ll probably start working on making a pass through my spreadsheet, and trying to mark each Pokemon on what version would be the best place to get them from.
The quest continues, and I’ll still be working on this process for a while, but playing through Y was a nice change of pace, and a great Pokemon game.