The Pokémon series has stuck closely to its core formula since its ‘90s inception on the original Game Boy. Those basics are still in place for the upcoming 3DS title Pokémon X and Y, but the newest entry benefits from some fun tweaks. From riding creatures to Mega Evolutions, here are five cool things I liked in my brief hands-on time with the game.
Speedy Movement: Some past Pokémon games gate your ability to dash, or make you feel sluggish when not riding a bicycle. Pokémon X and Y allow you to break into an ice skating-like dash right away, and it feels liberating.
Riding Pokémon: During my brief time with a game a small, dog-like Pokémon critter wandered a courtyard. I hopped on the critter and took him for a few laps. Not only is this an effective mode of transportation, it’s also adorable.
Gorgeous Visuals: This 3DS (and 2DS) title has a colorful, cartoonish, cel-shaded look. During battles the camera zooms in close on Pokémon’s faces for a great view of your favorites. These cute creatures now finally move and look like they would in an animated show.
Pokémon Playtime: Any of the creatures in your collection can be played with. Feed them snacks using the touchscreen. Tilt your head back and forth and watch them mimic you. They even request you to wink or smile, and the handheld’s camera will recognize whether you did it or not.
Mega Evolution: My hands-on time concluded with a battle against Professor Sycamore, in which he demonstrated Mewtwo’s ability to Mega Evolve using a specific type of Mega Stone. Mega Mewtwo benefits from a temporary power-up, but still uses familiar psychic and shade abilities. However, with Mega Evolution these abilities are way stronger and he takes on a different appearance.
My time with Pokémon X and Y was very short, but rest assured that this is the same familiar RPG formula fans have come to know and love. Thankfully, the visuals have received a much needed visual update and the new features like Mega Evolve and Pokémon play sessions inject something fresh into the mix. The games launch on October 12 alongside the Nintendo 2DS.