Review: Pokemon X is like a new old pair of sneakers

I'm proud to admit that I was an early adopter of the Game Boy and its predecessor the Color (in fact, I still play Pokemon Red on my Color). I checked out of the GBA era entirely and only returned for a short-lived and largely underwhelming adventure with Black and White on the DSi. I was cautios about making the jump into 3D with Pokemon X, but desperate for some good games to pass away my winter break, I caved.

Pokemon-X-Pokemon-Y-Get-Cover-Art-Screenshots-Artwork-2The basic mechanics and even the sounds are all very familiar -- as were most of the Pokemon (I was shocked and pleased at how many Gen I monsters kept popping out of the grass) -- so here's the bullet point breakdown of what made this game great for me.
The Good

  • I feared that Mega Evolving sounded like a horrid gimmick at first, but it's actually very cool (making my inner 8-year-old squee) and refreshing.
  • The new Pokemon didn't make me die inside because they were so horribly un-creative (I'm looking at you, Vanilluxe).
  • Pokemon Amie, which lets you play and bond with your Pokemon, was cute and enjoyable. Even better, high affection nets you benefits during battle such as increased experience, shaking off status conditions, and outlasting one hit KO attacks.
  • Super Training makes maxing EVs easy. Maybe too easy.
  • You earn experience points for catching Pokemon. Never again will I have to decide between catching a 'mon or training a 'mon.
  • The new experience share makes grinding less soul-crushing.
  • The roller blades made travel much less painful (I always felt that movement was frustratingly slow in the older games).
  • TMs can be used over and over again.
  • I liked being able to customize my character's appearance.

The Bad

  • The camera angle and navigation (especially in Lumiose) could be very awkward.
  • The "3D" effect in battle was embarrassingly glitchy.

Recently, my favorite pair of tennis shoes -- (DC Chelseas) -- finally fell apart after probably five years in service. I really couldn't stand to part with a shoe so comfortable and loyal, so I ordered a new pair of the same type, but in a new color. To me, that's what playing Pokemon X feels like. Slipping on a pair of new old shoes.

Rating: 4.5/5

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