The recent release of Pokémon X & Y introduced slavers fans to the sixth generation of Nintendo's pocket monsters, bringing the total roster to approximately 700 billion. Are the new beasts really worth tracking down? Game Informer's resident Pokémon expert is on the case.

I haven't played either of the new Pokémon games, but I have a long and storied history of evaluating Nintendo's fantasy creatures on a professional level. I analyzed the new Pokémon of Black and White, rebutted Kyle's terrible choices for the best Pokémon of Black and White 2, and have already sized up X & Y's Mega Pokémon. Now that Pokémon X & Y have been out in the wild for a bit, it's time to critique some of the newest entries to see if Game Freak has still got it.

Talonflame is clearly just a hawk, but at least he's an awesome hawk. Not only does he have a great name, but Game Freak has obviously learned the age-old design lesson that flames make everything better. Additionally, Talonflame is classified as a Scorching Pokémon, and one of his abilities is called Flame Body. We get it, Game Freak – the bird is on fire. You had me at "Talonflame."
Official Pokémon Rating (as decided by me): 9


Well, it didn't take long to arrive at the other end of the Pokémon spectrum, did it? Litleo looks more like a stuffed animal than a wild beast destined for Pokémon's cruel gladiator arenas. Litleo is technically a fire-type Pokémon, but unlike Talonflame, he's only got a cute little red mohawk – not quite as intimidating. He's also classified as a Lion Cub Pokémon, which is a nice way of saying he's still just a baby. Unless Litleo is going to cuddle opponents to death, he's not much of a threat.
Official Pokémon Rating: 4


Ahh, now I get it – you have to put up with baby Litleo's worthlessness until it evolves into a Pyroar. Everything about Pyroar is amazing. Its name is one of Game Freak's better puns, it looks bad-ass, and it's classified as a Royal Pokémon, so you know it's objectively better than everyone else. According to the Pokédex, Pyroars can breathe fire in excess of 10,000 degrees Farenheit. I'm no scientist, but I'm pretty sure that's hotter than the sun. If that's not enough for you, the mane of a male Pyroar is shaped like the Japanese kanji for fire. That's almost too clever for a Pokémon; Game Freak really hit it out of the park with this one.
Official Pokémon Rating: 10,000°


These juxtapositions are killing me; how can Game Freak create something as cool as Pyroar and then follow it up with Flabébé? Classified as a Single Bloom Pokémon, Flabébé is just four inches tall, and has a terror-inducing ability called Flower Veil. According to the official Pokémon X & Y website, Flabébé "clings to a flower early on, and then cares for it for its entire life." How the heck is it supposed to fight when it's preoccupied with caring for a stupid flower?!

Wait, I see what's going on here. This must be another one of those Litleo/Pyroar situations, where the first form is a dumb weak baby and then it turns into something amazing. I'm on to you, Game Freak.
Official Pokémon Rating: Setting Us Up For Awesome


Nope. It's just as dumb.
Official Pokémon Rating: Good For Gardening, Not Much Else

Coming Up Next: Things Get Weird...