This year’s E3 has been a great one for fans of the Pokemon franchise, but the Nintendo Direct presentation didn’t even manage to scratch the surface of the new features found within Pokemon X and Pokemon Y. While the time allotted for the games’ representation in the Direct was rather short, a behind-closed doors developer’s roundtable gave us a better look at what fans can expect from the new pair of core Pocket Monster titles.
First and foremost, it’ll be easier than ever to connect with other trainers around the world, and this ability comes courtesy of the new Player Search System (or PSS). Implemented with both the online aspect and StreetPass features of the Nintendo 3DS, the PSS allows trainers to interact with other wannabe Pokemon Masters from all over the world through several different means. Trading and battling with passersby and friends thousands of miles away has never been as user-friendly as it is in Pokemon X and Pokemon Y.
Also announced during the recent roundtable was the inclusion of Horde Encounters, which will pit players against (as the name implies) hordes of wild Pokemon. Appearing in sets of five, hordes will traditionally feature a number of the same monsters (the ones showcased included Houndour, Axew, and Tauros), but once in a while a unique monster will make an appearance within the horde — the example Pokemon X and Y director Junichi Masuda provided was Miltank mixed in with a herd of Tauros.
Another new feature, as demonstrated in the trailer above, are Sky Battles. These unique opportunities for air-based combat require certain Pokemon that have the ability to fly, but some creatures (such as Haunter) are able to participate in the battle as a result of their abilities. These battles can only be executed with special trainers that can be found perched on cliffs and a myriad of other perilously tall objects, but the end result is a cool new battle mode that helps to mix up the gameplay of X and Y.
The last feature that was talked about was Pokemon-Amie, which allows fans to interact with their Pokemon through a means that doesn’t include having them beat each other to the point of unconsciousness. Players can pet their monsters, feed them, and build a bond that reflects how each Pokemon actually feels for the trainer in-game.
While all of these new features combine to make one of the more unique Pokemon experiences to-date, the ‘gotta catch ’em all’ mentality of the franchise is still as strong as its ever been in the upcoming pair of titles. It’s for this very reason that new monsters are such an important trademark of brand new iterations, and there will more than just a few new creatures to collect. Masuda was kind enough to showcase several never-before-seen Pokemon — all of which have a very unique style.
The three new Pokemon that Masuda focused on during the Pokemon X and Y developer roundtable were Talonflame, Clauncher, and Skrelp — based on a falcon, lobster, and seahorse, respectively. Talonflame is actually on evolution of the previously announced Fletchling, and knows an incredibly powerful move known as Brave Bird. Meanwhile, Clauncher is a water-type Pokemon that features one horrendously oversized claw that it promptly uses to execute the Crabhammer move. Last, but not least, Skrelp which is a poison-type that is reminiscent of a piece of rotting seaweed.
Accompanying new monsters, however, is the addition of a new type. For the first time in 12 years, the Pokemon franchise has added a new type known as the ‘Fairy’ type. Being applied to existing Pokemon such as Jigglypuff, Maril, and Gardevoir — as well as the previously announced Sylveon — the fairy-type will dramatically change the formula of battles. Be sure to keep dragons away from this type, because fairy-types have an advantage over the incredibly powerful variant.
Pokemon X and Pokemon Y will be releasing simultaneously around the world on October 12, exclusively for Nintendo 3DS.
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