Well, I just finished playing this and the post-game story with Looker, so I guess I'll share my thoughts given that there's no other place to
complain about stuff
discuss the overall evaluation of the game.Spoilers may follow because we don't have a spoilers tag up in this b***h
though I suppose I'll put them in size 1pt text or something.
The story seemed a bit underwhelming (apart from the feels in the post-game quest), though maybe that's just because I'm comparing it to Platinum and Black/White which were pretty great for Pokemon games. The villainous team just kinda felt like they were kinda put in there as an excuse plot sort of thing. I mean, planning blowing up the world or whatever they were on about
was a pretty dark plotline, but pretty much all the members other than perhaps Malva
were way too goofy-looking/acting for me to take them seriously. Perhaps that's intended for the grunts, but from the admins and especially leader I expect them to actually make sense with their schemes and give off the impression that they actually could do what their evil plan is to do, which Team Flare don't.
As for the rest of the plot, the 3000-year old long haired dude and the stupid flower thing
was kinda cool but I wasn't really sure of what was actually goings on. Is he evil? Is he a victim of a terrible fate? Is he just some rambling drunk guy who never actually was a king and that whole thing was just a legend?
It didn't seem like one of those mysteries deliberately left unsolved for my enjoyment, more of one of those things where I'm sure this guy's supposed to be significant and he doesn't come across as being so. Then there's the rivals. Despite the whole "Oh look! You have 4 rivals instead of 1 or 2 this time! How exciting!" thing they tried to pull off, Serena's the only one who actually counts as a rival (and even she has her moments of being full of s**t. "I think the reason we're so alike is because we have so much in common." Thank you for that insight into the literal definition of the word "alike"). The other four are mostly incompetent annoyances who don't add much to the setting or whatever. Shauna's okay, though it seemed the romance subplot at the castle was sort of forced in for whatever reason (the guy giving you the Protect TM is kind of funny once you realise the lewd joke, if that was intentional. Perhaps that was the reason why they put it in, which I would accept as valid). Other than that, there's that other guy whose name I can't even be bothered remembering whose entire goal is to fill the Pokédex and yet conveniently he's always
several steps behind you whenever you check up with him. Also, he does nothing else. And then there's the obligatory fat guy, who.... dances. I'm not sure where they were going with that one. Game Freak might as well saved themselves the effort and just never put his character into the game. There would be no disadvantage in doing so, in fact it wouldn't change much at all other than saving me a few tens of seconds of dialogue scrolling overall.
As for the setting/graphics: It's a mixed bag. Kalos overall is a nice place (in case you thought from the above paragraph that this review was entirely critical), though Lumiose City is an unnavigateable shithole with terrible camera angles and is probably the worst city in the whole franchise even with the v1.1 patch. Also, Route 1. What the f**k was that? Why would you even bother? Just start me off in the next town over if you're not going to put a worthwhile first route in there, considering the starting town pretty much only serves to contain your house and could have just been absorbed into that other one. But the rest is a worthwhile experience, and allows the 3D graphics to shine (though I will take this opportunity to complain about the 3DS stuff only doing anything in battles, and also the lack of framerate during Horde Battles or with the 3D effect turned on. What are they doing? I know the 3DS has more powerful hardware than that). All the other towns are nice, I particularly thought Geosenge and Anistar were pretty neat. I think the routes and landmarks were the best part here though, in particular stuff like the Poke Ball Factory which was great fun puzzles to be had. Shame they didn't give out free samples or even a little guided tour after you save them from Team Flare
. The NPCs though are what makes me consider this part a "mixed bag" and not "overall good". Basically, 95% of everyone you meet who isn't involved with the plot is a fucking pretentious wanker. Particularly in Lumiose City. Now if it was just the villains who were like this, then that's fine, because you're supposed to want to punch them in the mouth (and I do want especially to punch Malva in the mouth)
. But every single person on the street seems to be unnecessarily rude towards the player or just act condescendingly/vain/pretentious in general. I'm not supposed to want to punch those people in the mouth, but I do. And then they want me to tip them. Yeah, f**k off. This is supposed to be France, not America* . Kind of funny that in Unova they don't have such expectations. Other than that, graphics-wise, I guess the cel-shading effect is okay but I would have preferred something that looks like the Stadium/Colosseum series myself. Normally the plotline (as criticized above) and setting don't bother me in video games, but the NPC's attitudes here and the plot pretending it's deep and not forced when that's quite blatantly not the case just.. I dunno. It's not something that I can just gloss over like I can with such games as Mario or Kirby titles that normally don't focus on this department.
Soundtrack: I pay no attention to sound effects, so I won't mention those. But the music is great and is a recommended purchase if you don't mind importing expensive CDs from Japan or have an iTunes/I think it's on Amazon account. The composition isn't on the same level as perhaps RSE but it's still pretty good, and of course the arrangement ends up being great now that the console has no limitations on using synthesized on the fly MIDI low-quality sound font stuff (as with gen 4) or hardware causing audio quality issues (as with gen 3). We already had a taste of what Game Freak's music people can do with the brilliant title theme
from B2W2, and now we have an entire soundtrack with that orchestra goodness (though I think it might be one of them fake synthesized-type orchestras). Also, some electronic stuff as well, because why not. The only thing I'm not so sure about is that some of the battle themes seem a bit "happy" or not even "battle themey" at all (the Gym Leader theme
comes to mind), but even if they aren't necessarily as suited to battles as previous games did quite well they're still great to listen to on their own if you like video game soundtracks (stuff like Battle! (Successor Korinna)
may be a bit of an unexpected genre change for some though). Battle! (Lysandre)
definitely stands out as the best battle theme of this game though. As for the rest, there are quite a few notable/memorable tracks, such as Santalune Forest
which single-handedly caused me to be excited for the official soundtrack release just by it being there. How About a Song? "An Unwavering Heart"
which is a rearrangement of Unwavering Emotions
from BW, but now that it's not synthesized by a DS it's a huge improvement. Maybe that is a real piano after all. I can't remember when it plays in this game, but it definitely invokes feelings of feel quite well. Maybe you should bring along a portable music player + portable speakers with you wherever you go, and play it whenever you need to have a heart-to-heart talk with someone. Anistar City
is definitely the best town theme of the series, beating out my previous favourite of Slateport City
from Gen 3. It actually makes you feel as though the city you're in is actually a place of great wonder and mystery, and not just some stopping point on your journey to pee and stock up on food or get the Gym Badge there or whatever. Also, it's just a good composition by itself. Boutique
is another one where the genre might be a bit off-putting for some people (to be honest I'm not sure what genre it really is, I guess I'd have to call it some sort of instrumental synthpop), but I thought it was pretty alright. I wouldn't mind if it was playing in actual shopping centres (it might make clothes shopping actually interesting, though it didn't make clothes shopping in this game interesting but I'll leave that for the gameplay part). Super Training!
is a nice training montage-type thing that also serves its purpose quite well of getting you pumped up for stuff, so for those of you who exercise and that sort of thing it'll probably work out great (pun not intended) as background music. There are many other cutscene themes and route themes that are great too, but they don't really stand out against each other as such, so I won't mention them here. Not counting the 5-second jingles that are always uninteresting, the only disappointment perhaps is the lack of bonus tracks that they usually put on the soundtrack's last disc. You get four themes straight from Gen 1 that fans of Pokémon soundtracks would have already (not even unreleased tracks they forgot to put on RBY's soundtrack, although not counting beta songs I don't think there are any, like they did with B2W2's bonus tracks being some stuff
from Emerald and Platinum), and the Pokémon Origins rearrangements
of those themes. It's not that those rearrangements suck or anything, because they don't, but it just seems like a bit of a letdown to me that they give you rearrangements of Gen 1 instead of XY's new music. I suppose I have high standards after such gems as the vocal Slateport City theme
from RSE or Last Battle! -N^n mix-
from BW, but anyways. I've ranted enough. Overall, it's perhaps worthwhile leaving the sound on for this one.
Now then: The gameplay. This is where it gets interesting, and I have a lot to rant about, either positively or negatively. So I left the best paragraph for last. I'll talk about some of the new features first: The Fairy type I think is a welcome addition, particularly as it's obviously there to balance out the previously Dragon-oriented metagame (don't get me wrong, I love me some Dragons, but when someone can seriously make a team where the every single one is a Dragon with their only moves being Choice Band + Outrage and actually get anywhere, you know they're overpowered), and it looks like it's going to do that fairly well. I think most people complaining about it being too "girly" or whatever should know that these are the kind of fairies you see in mythological-type stuff and not Tinkerbell or whatever. Trainer customization I felt was a bit overhyped, though I'm spoilt by stuff like the Saints Row series where you can be a naked woman and I have to remind myself that I'm playing Pokémon and I can't be a naked woman for obvious reasons. Either way I didn't really feel it was really worth my time to go clothes shopping (the fact that I don't like it in real life has nothing to do with this), because your choices seemed a bit limited so you don't really have the opportunity to express yourself through clothing, or whatever the idea of fashion actually is. And there's some arbitrary restrictions there as well. I don't want to wear a hat. Stop making me wear a hat. Other NPCs aren't wearing hats, and they aren't getting sunburnt, so you can shove that line of reasoning up your ass. Also, I don't know if this is really the place and time to be brining up some kinda transgender debate, but is it really necessary to stop males wearing dresses or whatever? I have no inclination to do so myself except as a female character, but if someone wants to, there's absolutely no reason why they shouldn't be able to. They're not harming anyone. And this is actually something that part of the community does care about, I remember reading an article the other day about Animal Crossing and the aforementioned Saints Row 2 being lauded because they let you dress however you wanted or something like that. And I for one see their point of view and agree with it. It's a bit annoying that they took such things out of the bottom screen like the time, but what they have now isn't too bad. I haven't explored around with Super Training yet but it seems it might finally lay waste to tedious and boring EV grinding, Pokémon Amie didn't interest me that much, and I'll get to the PSS later when I talk about the multiplayer stuff. The new battle types are a bit gimmicky, Sky Battles in particular just piss me off because some Pokémon quite obviously capable of Fly or otherwise flying are arbitrary decided to be flightless so the only time I ever got the opportunity to try one was when I was training an Aerodactyl and accidentally accepted a battle with one of those NPCs. That was the only time in the entire game I lost (Aerodactyl was still only level 20 or so and this was later on where the NPCs were 45-50 or so). Basically, if you ever hear the line "Care for a Sky Battle with a Sky Trainer?" just punch whoever's saying it in the mouth. Horde Encounters are mostly just annoying except when you have a move that hits all opponents and then they become free EXP fountains. There isn't much else changed in terms of battling, apart from reducing notable moves with 95 and 120 base power to 90 and 110 respectively which I really can't understand why they did that. That, and Megas, which I guess brings some previously mediocre Pokémon into stardom and some already frequently used ones into being more frequently used, but I can't help but feel the decisions as to which Pokémon get Mega Evolutions and which don't and what improvements do they add seemed a bit arbitrary. I dunno. The concept just bugs me for some reason (no, it's not because of anything to do with Digimon, because that's stupid and you should feel stupid if you think Pokémon is ever ripping that off). So other than those new features and whatnot, there's the new Pokémon. Or lack thereof. Only 69 new mons (plus maybe 3 event ones) is definitely the biggest disappointment of the game. I appreciate that it's probably harder to make new artwork when you have 3D models instead of sprites, but I just felt really ripped off when I heard that 69 is all we're getting. That's not even half the amount other new generations add. The handful that are new aren't bad as such though (I did kill myself laughing when I found out Malamar's evolution method though, I seriously thought that was an actual joke. And f**k Furfrou. I want to punch that thing in the mouth).
As for what you expect to be there: I thought the pacing was okay, though it does get a bit drawn out around between the first and second gyms. I'm not saying it should be a non-stop go to gyms fest, but the castle subplot in particular just seemed like it was thrown in there deliberately to take up time. I don't give a s**t about this giant douchebag who was too much money and not enough modesty (fuckdamn I hope he dies of cancer) or you and your fucking poodle. Whoops, I already complained about all that in the setting part. But it pissed me off that much that I have to mention it twice. After that it manages to keep things interesting. The puzzles in gyms and some dungeons were okay, though Lysandre
Labs was more tedious than challenging. Especially when you return to it in the Looker sidequests, and the whole thing just seems copypasta'd from when you visited in the main story even though you're supposed to be on another floor
. Anyway, there is one important thing I have to say about this game above all, and I will put a newline here so you know s**t's about to go down:
The difficulty. Or lack thereof.
Now I'm normally a person who plays things on the medium difficulty settings or sometimes lowest when I have a choice (in this one I don't, because they took out the hard modo thing from B2W2), but this goes a bit far. I should not be able to just storm through the E4 without using any healing items and in under 20 minutes (only took that long because of battle animations and a stubborn pumpkin thing who took two hits to KO instead of one like everyone else), or at least not without any actual effort. And it's not just the E4, it's like that for pretty much the entire game. Perhaps this is just because of the Exp. Share's new mechanics. Either way, do yourself a favour and turn it off
. As I said, I'm usually not a "HARDMODO ONLY BECAUSE I'M A HARDCORO MAN" type of person, but being able to just casually stroll through the entire game without lifting a finger just cheapens the entire experience. As I see it, video games should make you feel as though you worked hard to get through the game and you earned your ending, even if you actually didn't.
So that's probably the main sore point for me. Anyway, it's engaging enough that you'll want to play it all the way through, there's not much post-game content which is a bit of a bummer, and I kind of miss the extra facilities that Emerald and Platinum had in their battle facilities (though being able to interrupt your streak freely at any point and come back is a very welcome change), but that brings me to (ooh nice save, I was about to end this section and forgot I was going to talk about this)... the multiplayer.
Lots of fun to be had. I haven't delved into the joys of IV and EVing yet, but it looks like won't be as tedious this time round and I can actually focus on the battling part which as I said doesn't bring as much changes to the table as perhaps gens 3/4 did. But it still should be nice once I get a proper team going and don't lose horribly to those two Japanese people who challenged me using the passerby feature. On that note, I think said passerby thing is nice, just because of being able to grind your O-Powers on and battle whoever you want without having to even talk to them (for those who don't know me yet, I like things that avoid social interaction when possible). And Wonder Trade is deserving of the name Wonder, it's great to not have to worry about who wants what for which whatever like with the GTS and instead just get something in return for whatever you feel like giving away. Basically, if you have wireless internet, you will never have to release anything ever again. Don't expect Shiny Mewtwos or whatever out of it, but I've gotten things like Hydreigons and level 45-60 stuff which could be useful if you get them before you're at that part of the game. But mostly a bunch of level 1s of stuff people breed a lot, like starters or Dratini or Eevee. I haven't tried the Battle Spot yet, but I'd be willing to bet it's the same as random passerbys challenging you. The one part of multiplayer I will complain about though is the use of StreetPass, because all you get for going past someone is like 1 single PokéMile which doesn't get you much (and in comparison Wonder Trading gets you a few hundred IIRC). I don't know why I even bother going through all the Holo Caster menus, listen to fucking Malva and her punchable mouth
, have the camera unnecessarily turn on and have a closeup of my bag or my leg or something, and save the game for all that. Especially as this would have been a great opportunity to reintroduce Mystery Gift like it was in GSC, where you pass someone and both you and them get a [maybe rare] item. And while I'm complaining about the lack of integration with the 3DS stuff, they didn't utilize the pedometer/play coins one single bit. Game Freak would have enough clout to make Nintendo get rid of the 100 a day limitation due to how significant Pokémon is (I'm pretty sure it's the reason for at least 80% of 3DS owners owning a 3DS), and then they could have single-handedly eliminated obesity worldwide by letting people run around to their heart's content in exchange for new Pokémon ala HGSS (level ups aren't really necessary because in this gen you get them for nothing anyway).
Well, I think that's everything (not like anyone is going to be all like "Hey Zowayix, you stupid piece of s**t! You forgot to mention the blah feature and I wanted to know what you thought about blah or if you thought it was blah"). Hopefully when I copypasta this from my text editor back into GCLF it won't go past some character limit and set fire to the servers** or something. END OF BALL BONUS
In conclusion, I would rate XY overall an above average out of 10. I wouldn't call it the worst Pokémon game (if it was I would say "least favourite" anyway to not imply that it's bad), but certainly not the best; comparing all the generations to each other (warning: Heavy doses of opinion incoming), I would say it goes something like 3 > 5 > (6 or 4 swapped around in some way) > 2 > 1. I'm not sure whether I would rate it better than gen 4 or not, as on one hand gen 4 definitely wins in the challenge and plot department and on the other hand gen 6 wins in areas like multiplayer, soundtrack, variety of Pokémon available, and certainly in speed of battles/navigating the environment.
Goddamn that's some walls of text there. What the f**k it's 2:25 AM did I just seriously spend like over 2 hours writing all that s**t goddamn f**k on a titties
* I have never been to France, so maybe they do have tipping there. Either way in my glorious homeland they don't. We just pay people enough in the first place, and in a fantasy world like Pokémon where you have free health care and whatnot, I expect the same to happen. I don't know the economical effects of money being easily acquired through battles/Pay Day/etc but I'm sure it doesn't result in cafe workers being paid below minimum wage. Though whichever way you look at it the people in that wanky castle where you battle stuff and get no reward except a title you don't care about have no excuse. You're already expecting me to pay 5 million dollars or whatever just to challenge your shitty castle when I wouldn't really want to if it was for free. You can f**k right off. That entire building can f**k off completely. I would be pleased if it just burned to the ground. With the people still inside.
** If this site runs on such server hardware where the components have such lack of thermal control that they can plausibly catch fire instead of automatically shutting off, and the OS's hardware APIs for controlling fans and stuff (even when the servers would be cooled by a big ol' noisy thing which the individual servers probably don't have any control over) are able to be accessed by people just running websites on the servers (who would just be ordinary user accounts if not using a separate authentication system entirely) and not restricted to sysadmins only, and the web server application either uses those APIs or has security holes in it that allow them to be accessed, and somehow posting a large comment causes them to be activated (I suppose in the case of a security hole if SMF was really badly programmed it could cause a buffer overflow) then I think it'd be time to move to a new host. But somehow I don't think that's the case, so this place should be fine.