Nintendo's been running the Pokemon franchise successfully over the past few years, delivering what fans desired with each new release, whether it was hunting down obscure types for their collection or battling their friends in gyms and stadiums, in an effort to prove who is the best Pokemon master (Pokemaster?) in the world. But until this point in time, Nintendo always kept a simple sort of design to the game, referring to its classic style of gameplay rather than creating an elaborate 3D world.
Like I said, until this point in time. Recently, Nintendo made a blockbuster announcement, confirming the series' move onto a new platform – the Nintendo 3DS. Pokemon X and Y could very well change the way you look at Pokemon forever, thanks to a new 3D game engine put together by the franchise's long-time developer, Game Freak, that really makes you feel like each step you take throughout it is new. But relax – this old-school feeling of being a Pokemaster remains perfectly intact.
That's because, while the graphics may have changed immensely and for the better (just peep out the screenshot above and imagine it moving smoothly throughout a 3D perspective), the gameplay is still all about fighting, collecting an defeating Pokemon, showing other masters that you're in charge. It's still a matter of figuring your way around the game's "rock-paper-scissors" notion, as there are various types of Pokemon to choose from. Nature-based grass/dark ones, fire/psychic capables and water/fighting types are available at the choosing, and you can change up your strategy with each new Pokemon that your opponent throws down. Sometimes you win; but there are also times you'll have to lick your wounds and return another day. It's just part of the series' learning process, so don't be too discouraged at first.
Like all good training games of this nature, Pokemon X and Y is about bonding with your Pokemon, learning where they're used best and eventually evolving them into a higher form, which opens up a plethora of new abilities that make them even more powerful in a fight. So even if you lose, you still gain experience that, eventually, will make your loyal Pokemon that much better down the road.
The world of Pokemon X and Y is vast and quite worth exploring, as you wander through towns and eventually get to showdowns with opponents in gyms and stadiums. You'll also have ample opportunity to chase after rare and wild Pokemon, hoping to expand your collection – even though sometimes you'll need to weaken them enough that you can effectively capture them. (There are some stubborn ones out there – in fact, you can ask most die-hard fans for a list.)
Pokemon X and Y will start you with three basic characters, each with their own special talents, each divided across the various types of Pokemon discussed earlier – so you can be ready for any encounter from the get-go.
The first is Chespin, of the grass-type variety. Unlike other creatures of this type, he's not really a reptile, and instead looks like a mixture of a raccoon and a garden lizard. But he has spectacular fighting capabilities, and his evolution, from what we heard, makes him much more powerful.
The second creature is the Fennekin, who looks like a cross between a big-eared fox and a poodle. This orange-yellow fire-type is cute for its looks, but don't mistake that for "softness", as it can easily blaze enemies with its range of attacks.
Finally, you have Froakie, a big-eyed frog-like water-type starter with oddly placed facial and back hair, gray colored. It starts out with some basic water attacks, but as you take it through the course of your journey, it evolves into a nastier looking Pokemon, one that can do some damage against tougher trainers' picks.
As you can see, Pokemon X and Y give you some good Pokemon right up front, with the ability to expand your collection as you travel throughout each city. And with plenty of opportunity to learn about the varieties available (and make stops at Pokemon Centers – always a plus for fans), you'll find plenty to do.
Plus, the game will feature opportunities galore to challenge others, locally through Nintendo's StreetPass connection and possibly with online components as well, within the Nintendo Network. Though not all of the options have been broken down yet, you can expect more information in the months ahead – with players clamoring that they're the best Pokemon player in the world. (Yeah, right, bring it, chump – we got a hairy frog that says otherwise!)
There's no question that Pokemon X and Y will be an immense best-seller for Nintendo, with its expansive universe, improved visuals and all new Pokemon to collect. And who knows, some old faces might pop up as well. Is that you, Pikachu?!
Pokemon X and Y will ship this October for Nintendo 3DS.