Top Ten: New Features of Pokemon X and Y
It’s happening! Saturday, October 12th, Pokemon X and Y are set to release around the world. Children will disappear indoors for weeks, the faces on public transit will vanish behind 3D screens, and those on the outside will hear only the near-gibberish of conversations involving animal puns. It will be glorious.
In the weeks leading up to this moment, announcements about the game’s new features have been spat out in droves. There’s a lot of information to take in, so just to help out anyone who hasn’t heard yet, here’s a summary of all the reasons you should be excited about X and Y.
1. Mega Evolutions
The next generation’s big selling point, mega evolution is the ability to further evolve a Pokemon already in its final evolution, giving it increased stats, new passive abilities, and a new look.
The mega forms are extremely powerful and create new opportunities for strategy. Of course, they come with limitations. A player can only mega evolve one Pokemon, and only a single time per battle. Also, only a handful of Pokemon have mega forms, some of them changing depending on whether you’re playing X or Y.
Bulbapedia has the list of revealed mega forms. Remember, these are only what we know so far:
Leaks have also revealed Mega Gengar, Mega Gyarados, Mega Abomasnow, Mega Tyrannitar, Mega Aggron, and Mega Gardevoir.
Pokemon has always been a suedo-online game, but how do you differentiate yourself from all the millions of identical Pokemon and trainers? Well, finally players can customize their trainers. There’s no word yet on how new items will be unlocked, and honestly it could be a DLC/micro transaction scenario. Regardless, this is a feature that probably needed to show up by now.
3. Anytime online play
A big improvement to the game play side of things, now WiFi battles between local players can be done pretty much any time you’re not in a battle or event. Details on this are vague, but it promises to reduce the downtime on PvP and trades.
4. Full 3D
Practice crossing your eyes because Pokemon is now in full 3D!
This series first promises to change how the battles look and feel. It doesn’t sound like much, but this should be a massive visual update.
Just try picturing this in 3D:
5. Super training
Previous Pokemon installments used effort values to upgrade your Pokemon’s stats, and it was a grind-fest. EV training involved making your Pokemon fight specific Pokemon over and over until a specific stat was raised to the desired level. X and Y are done with that nonsense by introducing the vaguely-named super training, a series of mini-games that allow you raise your Pokemon’s stats without the grinding.
Most intuitively, super training shows the once-hidden effort values of your Pokemon, which takes the guessing game out of the training.
6. Double starters
Remember these guys?:
They’re back! On top of three fresh-faced new starters, trainers will be able to pick up one of the three original starters as well. Plus, they all have mega evolutions. Plus,Torchic will also be available.
7. Fairy type
So, dragon-type’s pretty tough, right?
Wrong! For the first time in ten years Pokemon is getting a new type. Fairy-type Pokemon are being introduced as a counterbalance to dragon-type. Certain original-gen Pokemon like Clefairy are now fairy type, and Eevee is getting a new fairy-type transformation.
Fairy types will be immune to dragon, and is super effective against dragon, fighting, and dark.
8. Horde encounters
Wild Pokemon can now attack in groups of up to five. These Pokemon can work together and act a team.
This allows players to mop up the more common Pokemon a bit faster while creating more opportunities to strategize as they move through areas. Also, horde battles will be a great way to level your Pokemon by turning five grind battles into one challenging battle.
9. Pokemon bank
Here’s one for all you players who devoted time to Pokemon Black/White/2. All those Pokemon you caught and trained are not going away. Using the new Pokemon bank, players can transfer their gen. V Pokemon into X and Y. Also, players will be able to save all of their Pokemon onto an online server for storage in case they have little brothers who get onto their game and erase all of their save data even though Mom said he had to ask me before he used it.
But I digress. The new bank and transfer system are not free to the game. It costs five bucks a year to access the bank, and Nintendo has announced that this is for upkeep costs as they hope to keep the system going for years. This could mean that eventually, in future generations, every single Pokemon could become available via the bank system. At the very least, it guarantees every Pokemon since Black and white.
And finally, the bicycle is dead. Pokemon mounts for land travel are here, which makes sense since the flying and swimming variety have been around since the original games. Really, it’s kind of weird that this hasn’t been in a Pokemon game until now.
Still, here’s Gogoat, the first revealed poke-mount: