Fans see Pokemon in 3D for first time

Saatvika Deshpande, Staff Writer/Artist

Excitement evolves with the release of Nintendo’s “Pokémon  X” and “Pokémon Y,” two new versions of the popular video games which were released worldwide last Saturday.

X and Y host a myriad of all-new features, including the ability to change outfits, choose different ethnicities, and– wait for it–– sit on benches.

According to an online poll held by this month, Pokémon X and Y are the most anticipated games this fall, with more than 40 percent of votes.

X and Y were the first to use the 3DS as a gaming platform and the first to be playable in 3D.

Excitement runs high surrounding the myriad of new features that accompany these new installments, though opinions vary on which new feature is the most innovative.

“The Mega-Evolutions,” said freshman Tiara Lewis. “They sound pretty cool.”

The all  new Mega-Evolutions are a feature in which certain older-generation Pokémon can change form, but only for the duration of a battle.

Pokémon-Amie is another addition to the franchise, where the player interacts with their Pokémon, which leads to increased strength in battle and other effects.

In the past, gamers have become increasingly focused on the battle statistics of any individual Pokémon, despite the plotlines highlighting the importance of caring for your Pokémon.

But the Pokémon-Amie feature emphasizes the bond between trainer and Pokémon, strengthened by repeated contact with each other.

“I like being able to touch  the Pokémon and feed them,” said senior Yunha Kim.

Senior Abbey Radermacher is also looking forward to the new features.

“My favorite feature is the fact that the player character is customizable,” said Radermacher.

X and Y introduce salons in which the player’s avatar can change their hair and clothes. This allows the player’s avatar to better represent the player themselves.

“A lot of the time, I find that the initial  characters are one-dimensional,” Radermacher said.  “I like the idea that you can have more variety.”

Variety seems to be the theme in these paired installments. Along with the fact that the new region featured in these games is based on France, the games introduced elements that completely changed the battling component of the franchise.

Among these was the reveal of the all-new Fairy-type,  something that skewed over the carefully analyzed type balances that have held steady since the release of “Pokémon Gold” and “Silver” games in 2000.

The creation of the Fairy-type drastically reduced the usefulness of the previously overpowered Dragon-type.

It was a change that wasn’t  welcomed with open arms, but the pros seem to overshadow the cons in this case.

Besides the Fairy-type reveal, there was also the creation of “Sky” and “Horde” battles, which are set in midair and against multiple opponents, respectively.

It’s a change that would have been unheard of back in the good ol’ days of pixelated battles and 8-bit soundtracks.

“[Nintendo] is aiming at a more technological audience,” said Kim. “There are more components to the game, to make it more interesting.”

It’s true that the players of the original games, “Pokémon Red” and “Blue” versions, would be about college age by now. The changing audience prompts Nintendo to continuously tweak the features of every new released game in order to appeal to every new generation of gamers.

“The games have gotten a lot more fancy since I was 10,” said junior Jerryl Oquias. “I guess the makers of Pokémon are trying to do something new with the game.”

It’s a given that the X and Y versions are full of shiny new odds and ends. But have the central ideas of Pokémon, the franchise’s core values been lost among the wonders of new technology?

Nintendo’s safeguard against this happening lies in the innovative invention of the Pokémon Bank, which is a way to store players’ Pokémon data directly in the 3DS.  This allows players to withdraw old Pokémon as they see fit.

It’s a feature that has potential. Not only can a player store tons of Pokémon for decades to come, but there’s the possibility of actually passing Pokémon on through the generations like a family heirloom.

Nintendo is giving players a way to keep Pokémon alive for years and let future gamers experience the digital creatures we hold so close to our hearts.

“I think that it is a great franchise that will never die, because it’s both old school and really new at the same time,” said junior Chelsea Rodriguez .

But Nintendo hasn’t forgotten about it’s original gamers. X and Y contain many throwbacks to the original Red and Blue versions. Not only are the infamous starters–grass-type Bulbasaur,  water-type Squirtle, and fire-type Charmander–returning, but so is the token “Legendary Pokémon” Mewtwo. Each of them come with their very own Mega-Evolution.

School librarian Shanon Paladini thinks the changes accompanying the new games will bring the Pokémon fan community closer together.

“It’s a game that crosses ethnicities,” Paladini said. “A game that comes from all different backgrounds.”

No matter what changes, one thing will always remain the same: you still “gotta catch ‘em all.”