Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pokemon X Brings Back that Red and Blue Nostalgia

So I'm going to be honest here, I was pretty skeptical of X and Y at first.  Don't get me wrong, I'm all for change, but I do know that sometimes change just flat out doesn't work.  When it was first announced,  I enjoyed the new look of the game itself.  While Black and White brought a more modern look the game series, it is absolutely nothing compared to the look that X and Y bring to the table.  Roller skates were a cool alternate to the classic bike, and it seemed like Game Freak was really trying to stretch for new content.

With Mega Evolutions being introduced, I found myself at an odd end of the spectrum.  I really liked the idea of Mega Evolution.  Seeing Charizard and Blastoise look like even more badass than usual was something new, excited, and invigorating (Venusaur got the shaft end), and hearing that both X and Y had different Mega Evolutions was an interesting concept.  But it was after these were released that I decided to stop looking into news for X and Y.  It wasn't that I wasn't interested, it was more that I enjoy surprises.  And so I set out to retain as little information about the game as I possibly could have.  For those of you who have not bought the game yet, and are similar to me, going in (half) blind, I suggest that you go out, buy the game right now, and do not read this any further.  For if you do, you may not be blessed with the same feelings that I have been blessed with tonight.

Between schoolwork and work-work I found that I was not able to find time to buy and play Pokemon X (which was my choice) when it was first released.  However, tonight that all changed, as some free time has come my way, I went out and bought the game.  As I already stated, I knew that game itself was going to be something new, but I could have never imagined just how new this experience is.

I've bought and played at least one game in each generation of Pokemon (excluding black and white 2), and I've while I've always liked the formula's that they've provided, I did find it getting rather stale by the time I played Black.  While they did add some new things here and there, it wasn't enough to keep my interest.  In short, I beat the game and that was pretty much the end of it, never picked it up again.

Let me just say, that the first three hours that I have experienced of Pokemon X has completely blown away any Pokemon game over the last decade.  I may even argue that it is better than the originals, albeit, as I said, I have only played around three hours of the game so far.  But what a glorious beginning it has been.  Right off the bat you're thrown into the adventure, you walk outside and meet up with some new found friends (there are 4 "rivals" it would seem this time around), and the sense of adventure that is presenting before you is like a work of art.

Receiving your starter Pokemon is like Christmas morning, with surprises around every corner.  You will soon find out that you can pet your Pokemon, feed your Pokemon, play mini games with your Pokemon, and by doing this you can raise their affection level, their base stats, and even give them special abilities such as helping them dodge attacks, and survive deadly blows by being "in synch" with it's trainer.  I found myself spending more time petting and feeding my Pokemon than I did battling with it or adventuring.  Hell, sometimes I even felt such a connection with the little guy that I felt bad sending how out onto the battlefield.  This simplistic feature truly does bring you and your Pokemon closer than ever before.  It's like mixing Nintendogs with Pokemon, and the two harmonize perfectly.
Wow!  Is this real life?!

Of course the 3D visuals are amazing for a Pokemon game, between the look, feel, and the different camera angles, I sometimes forget I'm even playing a Pokemon game.  However, what threw me off even more so was the music in the game.  While it did have a Pokemon feel to it, it also... Didn't.  I don't entirely know how to explain it, but the music was different in it's own way, that it truly felt like you were setting off on an adventure, yet it still had hints of the classic Pokemon sound.

Battles are stunning, and they are far more immersive than any Pokemon game before.  The camera angles make you feel like you're truly in a battle.  The start is always the other trainers hand throwing a Pokeball, the music makes you actually feel like there is something at stake, and sometimes it even feels like you are watching a Pokemon battle on television.  Each Pokemon's animation really makes sense, and instead of them just moving back and forth, it really feels like they each have their own personality, a Pidgey does not react like a Caterpie, and with good reason.  However, this is still somewhat of a new concept, and I absolutely love it.  The attack animations are also very unique, and they only make the battles seem that much more realistic.

I was in shock and awe when I realized that I not only get to choose one of the three new starters, but also one of the three original starters.  And while I am true to the fire starters, it was a tough decision.  Sure,
Charmander is my favorite, but I already have Fennekin, and whats the point of having two fire starters?  I ended up going with Squirtle, to say the least, and something about all of it just felt right.  I felt like the adventure was starting all over again when he entered my team!

Pokemon X and Y is truly amazing, it brings to the table many new idea's, and all of which work amazingly well.  I've never felt such a connection with my Pokemon.  Between th
e ability to communicate and care for them, the realistic battles, new music, and awesome new graphics, I feel like my Pokemon are realer than they've ever been before.  I find myself truly caring about them, rather than mindlessly using them to do my bidding.  And while I realize not everyone feels the same way I do, the sense of nostalgia that has been brought to me is something that I thought I would never experience again.  I feel just like my six year old self did when he received Charmander for the first time.  It's new, it's invigorating, and I don't care if it's weird, because I'm loving every minute of it!

Oh, and I cannot wait to see how it feels to have my Blastoise Mega Evolve for the first time!


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