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Pokemon X and Y Review

Alongside the release of the 2DS is the release of Pokemon X and Y, two of the most anticipated games this year as it is GameFreak’s first installment of the sixth-generation Pokemon games as well as the first 3DS main-series Pokemon game.

Everything from the exciting battle scenes to the lush overworld in X and Y is rendered in 3D. Not upgraded sprites like in Black, White, Black 2 and White 2 – real 3D rendered shapes. X and Y takes advantage of the 3DS’ upgraded hardware to bring us fans upgraded software in a Pokemon game like never before.

Every aspect of X and Y from the waving grass to the obvious references to the shorts kid (only long time Pokemon Fans will understand this) screams charm. The camera zooms in close to your shoulder on Route 1 and in Lumiose City giving an interesting perspective other than a bird’s eye view. Fancy Signs will swing down when you enter an area, showing you the name.

One of the newest enhancements in the main Pokemon games is the ability to customize your trainer for the very first time! Boutiques and Hair Salons are scattered around the Kalos region which allow you to buy clothes and style your hair, respectively. It definitely lets you get into personalizing your Pokemon experience and creates more uniqueness among trainers around the world, even if it is not as diverse as Animal Crossing.

These stores aren’t in all towns, however. Boutiques show up in only a few select cities, such as Santalune City, Cyllage City, and Lumiose City, among others. Very few outfit choices are available at the start of the game, but the selections increase as you go along, and apparently change in each store every day.

In X and Y, you can now run on an 8-directonal grid. Roller Skates and Bikes allow you to break the grid completely and roam at high speeds. Grinding and tricks can be done on the Skates as well as tapping the circle pad in a direction to speed up. The Skates are activated by the circle pad and running can be used with the D-pad. The bike can use either.

Wild encounters in caves have a lower chance of happening now. In fact, I didn’t even know you could even be attacked by them in the snowy cave until the third or fourth section of it.

What I also noticed is that as the games go on, the HP/EXP bar get smaller and harder to see, but my eyes soon adjusted to it.

The battle sequences are also sped up a bit, and look remarkable. Pokemon not only are in 3D and move as if they are alive, but they have certain actions depending on the move being used. No more little sprites merely shaking or growing when a move is used – in Generation 6, they really move. Instead of falling through the floor when a Pokemon faints, it has its own unique fainting pose (I’ll just call it that) and shrinks.

A new type of battle is Horde battles. They are battles that appear at random and pit one of your Pokemon against 5 wild ones. Make sure your Pokemon can sustain multiple hits in one turn and has a move that can attack more than one enemy at once. You won’t have to worry about your Pokemon fainting if it’s leveled up enough, though, because Pokemon in Horde battles have significantly low levels.

One of the setbacks is that the 3D option is only open for select scenes in the overworld, and can only be fully used in battles. 3D is not usable in Double, Triple, and Horde battles – only Single battles. When it is turned on, the game lags a bit and movements are a bit jerky. The game can be fully enjoyed without the 3D, anyway, especially to fans who got the 2DS alongside X and Y.

A new addition forces some veteran players to alter their tactics with the new Pokemon type, Fairy. Fairy types center around elegance but can pack quite a punch, especially on Dragon types, which are weak to Fairy. Apparently Fairy types were introduced to even out the unfair advantage Dragon types had over the battlefield, as Dragon moves have no effect whatsoever on Fairy. Fairy’s other weaknesses are Poison and Steel while it is resistant to Fighting, Bug and Dark. It is super-effective against Fighting, Dragon, and Dark and only does half damage to Fire, Poison, and Steel types. As of known, there are only 5 Fairy moves. There are numerous Fairy type Pokemon that are old (Jigglypuff, Mr. Mime, and Ralts) and some that are new (Flabebe, Sylveon, and Xerneas).

Pokemon X and Y’s story is near to the same old Pokemon story. You are set off from a small, humble neighborhood on a journey around the region by a Pokemon Professor, all while beating the 8 gyms and foiling the plans of whatever evil team of bandits that roam the area. But you do not receive your starter (Chespin, Froakie, or Fennekin) from the professor, because it is given to you from one of your self-proclaimed friends. You eventually DO get a starter from the professor, but he gives you the choice between the original Kanto starters from Generation 1 (Bulbasaur, Charmander, or Squirtle). The nostalgia adds a touch to the game for trainers who have played the previous installments. The story is mainly light, which is probably a good thing.

Some may consider this nostalgia, and some may not, but old Pokemon from previous generations can be caught during the game’s story, like Black 2 and White 2. Generation 6 does not add as much Pokemon to the roster as opposed to the previous Generation 5, but it still adds enough. Since the Pokemon count is over 700 by now, it certainly adds more variety to the game and adds suspense about which Pokemon will show up on a route.

Pokemon X and Y’s version of the C-Gear is less confusing for new players compared to Black and White. It has 3 options – Player Search System (PSS), Pokemon-Amie, and Super Training.

Player Search System eliminates the need for Global Trading/Battling sections of the Pokemon Center as everything is on the touch screen. By connecting your game to the internet, you can interact with players across the world instantly by tapping the icon of their customized trainer and selecting what you wish to do with them. There are friends (people you traded 3DS friend codes with), Acquaintances (people you interacted with at least once), and Passerby (other people you do not know who are nearby). You can set your own quote or shout out a message whenever you like.

Pokemon-Amie is a new way to interact with your Pokemon and raise their stats as well as their friendliness towards you. This can be done by feeding them Poke-Puffs, petting them, and by aligning your face with the 3DS camera and copying their actions, though since I haven’t had much luck with aligning my face right, it is hard to do so. Minigames can also be played in Pokemon-Amie. By playing them, you can earn Poke-Puffs and up your Pokemon’s friendliness. Other trainer’s Pokemon from the PSS may walk by yours on the customizable terrain on the touch screen when Pokemon-Amie is selected. You may randomly receive Poke-Puffs from time to time from them.

Ever had trouble raising your Pokemon’s Effort Values (EVs) in previous installments and spending hours on end doing so? Well, the new Super Training option in X and Y will make it much easier (and a bit fun) to do this. Effort Values give bonuses to a Pokemon’s stats, depending on the Pokemon they defeat in battle. In Super Training, you apparently shoot a ball at target on a giant Balloon Pokemon in the fastest time possible and getting hit the least times. Shooting the targets faster prevents the Balloon Pokemon from shooting a giant soccer ball at you and lowering your score. Once you select which stat you want to raise, you will be put against a Balloon Pokemon, it’s species varying on the stat chosen. Each Pokemon can only have its stats raised a certain number of times though, then the game will say that the Pokemon’s stats cannot be raised any higher. When you succeed in a minigame, you will win a punchbag that raises a stat. You can use these punchbags in the touchscreen when in the overworld by having one of your Pokemon selected on Super Training and tapping the screen to make it hit it. Once the punchbag is hit a certain number of times, it will be knocked off and will raise the Pokemon’s stat depending on what it is labeled. (Note: The Pokemon selected will hit the punchbag once in a while, so tapping is only necessary if you want to break it fast.)

If you get X and Y early, you can select Mystery Gift and receive a special Torchic over the internet, courtesy of GameFreak and Nintendo. This particular Torchic comes with the hidden ability Speed Boost, which ups the Pokemon’s speed after each turn, making it into a fine sweeper. It also comes holding a Blazikenite, the Mega Stone for Blaziken. Since the Torchic is traded, it will eventually out-level the rest of your team, making the Pokemon Gyms, as well as the story, a breeze.

A Lucario holding its respective Mega Stone will also be rewarded to you after beating the third gym (a fighting type one, by the way) from the Gym Leader herself, Korrina. So assuming you got the event Torchic and fully evolved it and your Kanto starter, you will already have 3 Pokemon that can get their Mega Evolutions by the first few Gyms.

Pokemon X and Pokemon Y provide many ways to trade Pokemon, have exciting battles, customize your trainer, and interact with other players and may still have numerous secrets that GameFreak is waiting to reveal. It presents a challenge that is old but at the same time somewhat new for veteran players and something entirely new for players unfamiliar with the franchise. Over the Generations of games the Pokemon Formula is reused but made better each time. I feel that X and Y is an amazing addition to the Pokemon series and that GameFreak continues to spin out great titles like this one.

Make 3D Lego Videos with Ease Using the 3DS Stop-Motion Feature

The 3DS’s stop-motion feature in the camera app can be great for making Lego videos and if you have the right lighting ad skill, it could turn out to be a masterpiece.

Trying out the stop motion feature for myself, I made a bunch of Lego shorts with the 3DS with each one being a few seconds long. So I clumped them together and edited it a bit with a feature on the computer to form a longer video. The shorts at the beginning aren’t the best as they are jerky and lack proper lighting, but as I did more I made them a bit better.

The video below involves two Lego pedestrians named Stubby (blue) and Jeff (grey) living through small incidents that happen. There are no voices but music is played in the background.

 

 

Okay, it’s not the best, but you get the idea. With practice, it’ll get better. The 3DS’s stop motion feature allows you to do something quickly that would normally take a lot of your time.

How to Create 3D Stop-Motion Videos with the 3DS Camera

The 3DS comes with a load of features. It has a gyro sensor, microphone, connection to the internet, a camera, and many more. They are all great and bring a sense of fun to using the 3DS in their own way, but right now I’m going to focus on the camera. The 3DS camera, though a bit fuzzy, can take 3D pictures as well as videos. That’s pretty impressive for a small device when you think about it. Included in the camera is a stop motion feature. With this, you can make inanimate objects seem like they are moving by taking multiple shots and slowly moving the object after each picture. You can do this easily by touching the red lever in the 3DS camera app. Then, out of the tabs that come up, hit the one to the far right with the gear on it. By selecting the button that says “Stop Motion”, the 3DS will allow you to take quick pictures and when you are done, it “Done” and the 3DS will string together the picture you took to a make a stop motion video.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Well, it didn’t used to be. Before, people had to take pictures with an actual camera, which takes a lot of time. With the 3DS, you can take a picture with the tap on a touch screen. Like I said before, the 3DS’s camera isn’t the best of the best, but with good lighting and the right distance you can make a better-than-average stop motion video.

Now, I don’t know about you, but the first thing that came to my mind when I think of stop motion is Lego videos. You can create basically any kind of object with them and therefore basically any kind of stop motion video. Move them a bit after each picture, remove your hand from the scene and snap the pic. Then do that once more. Yes, moving the object the smallest distance possible results in movements that flow smoother. Yes, it’s a bit tedious. Yes, you might knock something over, but this won’t ruin the video. All this can become easier and avoidable with practice and skill.