I've been with the Pokemon series since the beginning, and over the years I've experienced first-hand how the series has evolved. Naturally Pokemon has become one of my all-time favourite franchises, and Pomemon X and Y were some of my most anticipated games of the year. Now that I have had Pokemon Y for over a week I thought it was time to give some impressions of the game so far.
The first thing that will strike you about X and Y is that, apart from it's graphical overhaul, the games are still typically Pokemon. You still travel across the world, battling and collecting Pokemon on your quest to become the best trainer in the world. For those hoping the sixth generation games would break the mould you'll be disappointed. But Pokemon ranks alongside other franchises such as The Legend of Zelda, Street Fighter, Dynasty Warriors and Super Mario as a franchise that is best it's type of game has to offer, therefore the necessity to change isn't required or really needed. We've seen many Pokemon clones over the years, and none of them have even come close to matching Game Freak's creation. And that is the joy of Pokemon. Nothing else is quite like it, even when other games are designed tobe like it.
But talking about the graphics, Pokemon has never looked this gorgeous before. It's still played from a 3/4 over the head perspective, like all previous main series games before it, but the worlds of past games have never felt this much alive. And the story, so far, is a lot more jovial and child-like, which is a nice change back after the rather serious tone of Black and White.
While the story still sees you collecting gym badges through your adventure, you've now got 4 friends who are also helping Kalos's regional Professor, Sycamore, to find out more about the mysterious Mega Evolution. Mega Evolutions are probably the biggest new feature to X and Y, as they introduce additional evolutionary forms to Pokemon that were once previously finished in their evolution. Pokemon like Blastoise, Charizard, Venusaur, Lucario and Gyarados, amongst others, can now Mega Evolve - although the effects only last one battle and require items to even activate in the first place. Mega Evolutions are interesting, but outside of a few stat boosts they don't really add anything new to the game play and feel rather pointless overall. I've not experienced them fully yet though, as I'm not even half way through collecting the gym badges, therefore I'm quite a way from beating the game. So hopefully their usefulness will improve.
The game feels very polished, but the battles suffer from serious frame-rate dips when the game is played with the 3D effects turned on. Sometimes the drop in frame-rate is so bad it feels as if the game is running in only single digits. But if you have the 3D turned off (which I would recommend) you won't run in to any of these problems.
Overall my experience with Pokemon Y so far has been thoroughly enjoyable. Nintendo are criticised often for milking their main franchises, but just like Mario and Zelda the Pokemon series has now reached a point where Nintendo have really perfected the formula. These game, much like all the past main series title, are must owns for anyone who has Nintendo's portable machine.