Sunday, November 3, 2013

Pokemon Has Evolved to the Third-Dimension

Ever since the beginning I've been a fan of Pokemon.  I still remember eavesdropping on a classmates conversation about the game and going to K-Mart that same day to get a copy of Pokemon Blue.  The game had entranced me and ever since then I've had become a fan and played each generation ever since.  Now that Pokemon X and Y is out it not only introduced a new generation of kids to the series, but introduced the main series to the third dimension.  The question now is did this series now evolve into a Dragonite or a Bibarel.

Pokemon has never been known for it's stories.  With just a basic framework of get 8 badges, beat Team [Insert Name Here], then beat the Elite Four.  It's served Game Freaks for years and there is nothing wrong with it, but there is no good glue to hold the bits together.  As always you are a ten year old trainer tasked to solve a mystery more suited for a scientist then a child but child labor is cheaper though.  Eventually you run into more story related people, first is Lysandre who's outfit screams "I am leader of Team Not Rocket" and the other is Diantha who foreshadows that she is the champion.  After getting a few badges from the everyone is a winner league, you run into Team Flare who is the evil group of this region.  Which opens a few interesting themes the creators could inject into the story.  Going from how Team Flare talks they want to kill off most people to conserve resources in a very crazy population control scheme.  There is a subtle theme of classism in the story given how only Team Flare would survive while everyone will die with an absurd entry fee to join.  But the story trips over itself snapping its legs though with plot holes and bringing up plot points but barely touching it.  Why is it I had to fight for the right to use Mega Evolutions, yet three other people also some how have the ability.  Which is compounded even more when Lysandre himself uses it as reason for his plan, saying "There was only one and you had to fight for the resource".
I like how no one in game seems to think he isn't evil.
What is the point of the legendary outside of a power source for a weapon that looks like a nuke.  What was with the tall guy who only shows up three times, we know he was the king who launched a nuke yet almost nothing else.  All this screams "we will expand upon these points when we make Pokemon Z".  The reason why I harp on the story is that in a RPG people normally play for the story.  And it feels like they want to touch on a lot of interesting concepts, but they want to leave holes open to fill in for the "third version" of this set of games.  And I know this is gear towards kids, but kids are not that stupid.

The three big things Gamefreaks gave us is the new Fairy type, Mega Evolution, and the game is now in 3D.  Fairy types changes the type match up and allows some pokemon who was not as good to have some worth.  Bringing in Fairy type curb has stomped Dragon types, and it makes me giggle knowing if I could take a fairy type to fight lance in Red and Blue he would be crushed.  Being only weak to Steel and Poison types and strong against Fighting, Dark, and Bug (while immune to Dragon) it seems that Fairy types will be "hard" to kill in the metagame.  I just like it because I can make my joke about having a male Gardevoir named Bridget even funnier.  Mega Evolution sounds interesting but how it is now it's just a gimmick, my key issue is that not enough pokemon can use it.  It feels they just picked pokemon they could make look "cooler" and ran with it.  It mostly feels like a situational tactic to use, and with so many pokemon that can't use it versus that can use it I wonder how useful it really is in the online battles.   But what most people who played pokemon might notice is after so many years pokemon is now in 3D.  Which I'm glad because I'm honestly sick of the whining from fans for it seeing how the DS could not render 3D without ugly textures, yet fans wanted it for that system.  No one seems to sit back and think about how many DS games that use 3D didn't look that great.  But for me the big changes was EXP Share, the changes in breeding, EV training, and I can customize my character.  Being able to train a bunch of pokemon quickly is a massive plus for me and knowing their EV and being able to directly train them makes playing the meta much more approachable.  Having better control over the stats via breeding shows Game Freaks wants to get rid of any need to hack pokemon.  The last feature is character creation and I just love how I can now make a trainer closer to my look giving it a more personal journey through the game.  Not much with it besides you can change how you look so like most games with the feature it's just there.  Even with these changes pokemon is still pokemon, so if you hated pokemon before this won't change you.

After finishing the story I couldn't really find an excuse to want to start over outside of playing through it again with a challenge imposed on myself seeing how boring the story is.  Even post game feels a bit boring seeing how I can only hunt for mega evolution stones only between a certain hour.  And it feels very sparse for what you can do after you beat the story.  After all is said and done it's not a bad game doing what it is trying to do just fine, but if your bored of pokemon or never liked it I would honestly skip it.

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