Pokemon Y: An Interesting Franchise Facelift

Pokemon Y is a great title and is totally worth picking up!

Pokemon Y is a great title and is totally worth picking up!

I just picked up a 2DS and Pokémon Y because my roommate guilt tripped me, and he had wanted Pokémon X. I have to say, the last Pokémon game I played was Pokémon  Diamond, so not only was the new interface a shock, there were two new generations of Pokémon I hadn’t ever seen before.

I will try and keep this review as spoiler free as possible.

Y Boxart

Set in the Kalos region, which is allegedly based on France, Pokémon Y features over 51 new Pokémon. In addition to the new Pokémonyou can see any of the previous generations right from the get go! 

I wrote about a list of new features earlier this week, but here’s a quick recap:

Player Search System

The PSS now allows you to battle, trade, and communicate with other Pokémon players around the world. 


Bonding with your Pokémon has never been easier! The Pokémon-Amie lets you play with, and feed your Pokémon.

Super Training

 Thanks to a virtual training environment you can now train your Pokémon outside of battling through a series of mini-games.

Character Customization

Playing dress up! You can customize your character’s outfit, hair style and even eye colour!

Fairy Type Pokémon

Fairy is a new Pokémon type that is super effective against Dragon Type Pokémon.

What’s still the same?

The whole concept of the Pokémon franchise!

  • You still play a young trainer starting out on their journey
  • There are still only three starter Pokémon to chose from
  • You battle your way through the Kalos Pokémon League
  • 8 gyms, victory road and the Elite Four
  • There’s still a team of villains bent on taking over the world

The game itself is goes along at a faster pace than any of the previous Pokémon games. No more spending 20 minutes hunting down the running shoes! You gain access to them immediately. Then dash off to meet your friends! That’s right, FRIENDS! No longer are you stuck with just one rival. You regularly meet four other friends, all on their journeys for different reasons, including but not limited to: making memories, completing the Pokédex, and assembling the world’s best dance crew. 

The starter Pokémon are the usual, water, fire and grass types: Froakie, Fennekin and Chespin respectively. Your rival neighbour will pick whichever type is super effective against the Pokémon you choose.

Not long after this you get the mighty and powerful bicycle–in your choice of green or yellow. 


And then you’re off! Smashing through the first few gyms only took me a couple of hours, but I only focused on leveling my Pokémon. My roommate focused on filling his Pokédex so it took him almost 12 hours of gameplay to reach the fifth gym.  So your mileage and playtime may vary.


The Gyms are just like any other Pokémon game; a bunch of trainers and one Gym Leader that all use a particular type of Pokémon depending on the gym. Solving puzzles and mazes while battling trainers to get to the Gym Leader. I felt that while the layouts were new and refreshing, the battles themselves were lacking especially since I used Pokémon that would be super effective against the Pokémon used in each gym. Yes, I’m aware this makes them far less challenging but for many of the battles I was facing Pokémon several levels stronger than my own and still having little difficulty getting through them.

Mega Evolution

For those of you who wanted to see mega evolution right away, you need to be patient; it is unlocked when you are given a special accessory by one of the Gym Leaders. 

Personally I felt that Nintendo and Game Freak took the easy way out with mega evolution. It seems like more of a gimmick than anything, and the mechanic feels almost shoehorned into an already awesome game.

Especially since Pokémon X has more interesting mega evolved Pokémon. For example Charizard’s mega form gets a type change to Fire Dragon, while in Pokémon Y it remains a Fire Flying type.

Mega Charizard X  and Mega Charizard Y


Much of the music in the Pokémon franchise has stayed pretty much the same since the series started almost 20 years ago. In Pokémon Y it appears to have finally received a revitalization. Many of the songs you know and love are still there, like the Pokémon Centre Theme, but there are now many different pieces when you battle, ride your bike, travel in a cave, down the various routes.


Gameplay is virtually unchanged from the series début back in Pokémon Red. The biggest change is the ability to move diagonally. This groundbreaking concept is new the series and it’s super enjoyable! 

Everything else still lives up to the gold standard that is Pokémon.

There may be some changes behind the scenes to the math governing catch rates, breeding and other such mechanics but I am not knowledgeable enough to notice anything.


 The graphics received a major overhaul for the Kalos region, and it shows! No more 2D sprites–Pokémon and player characters are all rendered 3D objects. Everything looks absolutely beautiful!

Playing on a 2DS, I can’t speak for the 3D, but my roommate said it was “decent.”


Pokémon Y is awesome! Buy it now! Gamesync is now functional so cloud saves exist, the battles are fierce, the gameplay is timeless–and you just Gotta Catch’em All!

Pokemon Y is a great title and is totally worth picking up!

Pokemon Y: An Interesting Franchise Facelift

Pokemon Y is a great title and is totally worth picking up!

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The Ian M

Hi I'm Ian!