Gotta Catch ‘Em All! Part II

It’s been some time since my last Poké-post, but having recently finished off the two generation VI games, I figured it was time to talk more Pokémon. Once again, all images come courtesy of PokéWalls – and again (again), I urge anyone who’s a fan of Pokémon to check it out, there’s loads of awesome designs over there.

As you may know from my last ‘Gotta Catch ‘Em All!’, I decided that I would undergo the Living Dex challenge; catching one of every Pokémon introduced in the series thus far. At the time of my previous post, I had caught about 143 playing on Pokémon Alpha Sapphire, including numerous legendary Pokémon and starters through the use of Pokémon Bank.

After that, my commitment started to waver slightly. I was excited by the upcoming Pokémon Sword & Shield, but the issue dubbed ‘Dexit’ by Pokémon fans had started to make me wonder whether it was worth it.

Dexit, for those of you who don’t know, is the term relating to the fact that Sword & Shield will be the first core Pokémon games in over a decade that don’t have all the Pokémon built in. So people who have been collecting since the early days of Pocket Monsters, who have brought their cherished critters from game to game, transferring them forward with every generation, will now not be able to make use of a lot of them in this new pair of games. The name Dexit comes from the fact that the new games are based in the region of Galar, which is the Pokémon variant of Great Britain. And you now, we’ve got this whole Brexit thing making everyone lose their shit at the moment. So it fits.

After a while though, I got over it, and my enthusiasm for Sword and Shield is at an all-time high. I can’t wait to play the new games; to once again experience a brand new Pokémon adventure and fall in love with the franchise all over again in the same way that I did with Omega Ruby and Ultra Sun last year.

So, having wracked up a good amount of Pokémon on Alpha Sapphire, I moved over to Pokémon Y, set in the region of Kalos (based on France).

When I’ve written reviews for these games, thus far, out of the Hoenn remakes, X/Y, the Ultras and Let’s Go!, X/Y were my lowest ranked Pokémon games. And while playing through them again introduced me to new and interesting parts of the game that I missed the first time, I still stand by my initial assessment – these games, compared to the others, aren’t that good. So much so that I’ve forgotten most of the positives I’d uncovered when playing the second time.

The story, for one, is pretty bland. There’s a lot of trivial quests to undertake regarding facing off against Team Flare – a group of villains who plan to kill the majority of the population because their leader believes the planets resources are being wasted – however, this isn’t conveyed very well through his subordinates, who are instead just obsessed with imagery and looking beautiful, making them a rather weak group of enemies. Furthermore, the Pokémon they use don’t even fit their agenda. You’d think they would either use fire-types (flare) or aesthetically pleasing Pokémon (beauty), but the majority of them wield miscallaneous dog-themed Pokémon and assorted ugly creatures like Gulpin and Scraggy.

Still, I wasn’t replaying the game for the story. I had returned to Kalos to catch Pokémon, and that is one bonus to the game. While the new additions are pretty few in number (Generation VI only introduced about sixty new Pokémon), there are some pretty cool new Pokémon that I’ve grown to love. Using Bulbasaur as my pseudo-starter, I added to my team with new additions like Tyrantrum and Aegislash, both of whom proved to be pretty impressive powerhouse Pokémon.

Also, due to that limited number of new Pokémon, racking up the new legendaries wasn’t a problem. Legendary-wise, Pokémon X and Y feature seven legendary Pokémon and a couple of mythical Pokémon (although we’ll focus on those mythicals in a later post). Of those seven legendaries, four of them – Mewtwo, Zapdos, Moltres & Articuno – are Kanto legendaries, and thus not Pokémon I felt the need to catch (although I snagged Mewtwo anyway because why not). The remaining three, Xerneas, Yveltal and Zygarde, were easy enough to come across.

When buying back Y, I was lucky enough to find that the previous owner of the game hadn’t deleted his save file, and so to start off, I continued his game to the point where I could catch a Yveltal to transfer to my own game, and subsequently trade for a Xerneas. Then, I played through my own save, caught Yveltal again, and went on to catch Zygarde.

All-in-all, the whole process didn’t take me that long. Whereas I’ve now put over 50 hours into my new save of ORAS, I managed to collect at least one Pokémon from all of Kalos’ evolutionary lines, and the subsequent legendaries, in less than half the time. Furthermore, Zygarde, the final new Pokémon of the game, felt like he was something of an afterthought for the game developers, and rather than having to undergo an intriguing quest to find it, you can just venture into a cave where he’s hiding after beating the Elite Four.

All-in-all, replaying Pokémon X and Y hasn’t changed my opinion for the better on the Kalos region. If anything, I found it more boring and thought it even more underdeveloped than I did the first time I played it; but there are a wealth of Pokémon from various regions to catch, and as a result, my total now stands at 395 (that does include some I went back to ORAS to catch and breed).

Not quite half way, but nearly there! See you next time.

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