Once again, back, it is the incredible! In less than one month, 3DS and 2DS owners will be able to get their hands on Pokémon X/Y stateside. In preparation for this joyous release (October 12, 2013 for those counting down), I have compiled some of the bigger changes to the mechanics, graphics and overall gameplay of the up coming 6th generation titles.
- NEW POKÉMON TYPE: FAIRY
Not since the olden days of Pokémon Gold/Silver on the Gameboy Color, have fans seen a new type classification in the Pokémon world. X/Y will introduce the Fairy-type. This will not only include new Pokémon to the series (like the new Eevee evolution, Sylveon and Pokémon X’s cover creature, Xerneas), but even old favorites will be retyped to be included in the Fairy class (like Jigglypuff and Marill). What is most interesting about the new Fairy-types is where they sit in type match-ups. Fairy-type attacks are only the third Pokémon type that is super-effective against Dragons. They are also super-effective on Fighting and Dark types. On the flip side, Fairy-type attacks only dish out half damage to Fire, Poison and Steel -types. As far as defense goes, Fairy-types take half damage from Fighting, Bug and Dark-types and take super-effective hits from Poison and Steel-types. The kicker though, Dragon-type attacks are completely ineffective against Fairy-types. Game changer? I think so.
- MEGA EVOLUTIONS
Once upon a time, way back in the Pokémon Red/Blue days, there was a rumor of God-Pokémon. They were to be an evolution of the final stages for the Kanto starters: Charizard, Blastoise and Venusaur. Back then, this was of course, a lie. Now, it is truth. Along with those starters, other favorites including Lucario and Hoenn starter, Blaziken, will have mega evolutions. These powered up forms increase stats and may even grant your Pokémon a new in-battle ability; however, these effects do not last. There are two things that will keep players from spamming these unique evolutions: each Pokémon will require a specific mega evolution item in order to evolve and these transformations can only take place during battle. For those of you, like myself, that have a couple of Kanto starters in your box, you cannot just spam a fleet of Mega Blastoises (assuming that is the plural of it). Also, in keeping with the theme of version specific Pokémon, the legendary Mewtwo returns with a mega evolution that is dependent on which version of the game you are playing.
- TRAINING IMPROVEMENTS
For those who are not aware of the depths of Pokémon, allow me to put you on game. There are three types of stats in Pokémon: the stats you see (Attack, Special Attack, Defense, Special Defense, HP and Speed), the stats you do not see (Effort Values) and the stats you almost do not believe exist (Individual Values). The first comes as simple numeric values. You can have a 100 for Special Attack, which determines how effective your special attacks (i.e. flamethrower or water gun) will be against your opponent’s Special Defense. Savvy? Excellent. What a lot of people do not know about are Effort Values or EVs. To put it simply, every Pokémon has a particular stat tied to it (i.e. Pikachu is worth two Speed EVs). For every four points you accumulate towards a stat, your stat will go up by one (if you knock out two Pikachus at two Speed EVs each, your Speed will go up by one). Originally, you would not be able to see these values in any concrete way. X/Y will not only give you an easier way to earn these points, but also allow you to watch your Pokémon grow through the use of mini games. Though they have yet to show the full list of games, the basic premise will be play the game, earn Training Bags and then use Training Bags to raise your stats. Far easier than having to hunt down a particular Pokémon and battle it ad nauseam, until you achieve the desired effect. The final stat, Individual Values or IVs, deals with a Pokémon’s most basic statistical levels and determines what the highest level of a particular stat may be. This is a completely different level of depth, which does not seem to have changed much in this new generation. Just remember it is indeed there.
- AND SO MUCH MORE
Honestly, there are a lot of new minor details, which may not stand out until your average players are hours into their adventure. You will be able to customize your character’s look to a fair extent (hair style and color, skin color and even style of clothes as you get further into the game).
Play with your Pokémon to increase friendliness:
Battles in the skies for Flying-types and Pokémon with the Levitate ability:
Horde battles against multiple Pokémon:
And, you can even ride some of the Pokémon!!
Long story short, this is going to be one for the books. If you have been sleeping on the phenomenon that is Pokémon, this is an awesome time to make your 3DS useful again. Hopefully, this will help get you ready for greatness. October 12, 2013, it is going down.
~the Ace of Spades