Late to the Party: Pokémon Y Review

Pokémon has been a very big part of my life ever since I got my hands on Pokémon Red over a decade ago. Needless to say, I was VERY anxious to play Pokémon X and Y when I found out that a new Pokémon game was being released. I happened to play Pokémon Y, and I was just as happy with the results as I could imagine!

Pokemon Y

The storyline for Pokémon Y is similar to the linear storyline for every other Pokémon game: You’re the new kid who comes to town (and nobody knows if you’re a boy or a girl) and you want to start your very own Pokémon journey. Also, like other Pokémon games, there are differences to the arch-story. In this game, after moving to the quaint Vaniville Town in the Kalos region, the main character goes on an adventure with many other characters rather than the typical one or two NPCs that they encounter – in Pokémon Y the main character travels and runs into four friendly characters throughout the game. Each friend has their own personality, though very one-dimensional and stereotypical. The variety in the four friend characters is entertaining at first, but gets tiresome after a while. Tierno, especially, becomes annoying after the first encounter of his “passion to dance.”

But, it wouldn’t be a Pokémon game without some Team Rocket clones challenging the main character in every other town they travel to. In Pokémon Y, Team Flare obstructs the player’s path on the way to gaining all eight gym badges. Team Flare has the same hierarchy as the other Team Rocket-like gangs in other Pokémon games, but their niche is to “beautify” the Kalos region; meaning, to eventually rid the Kalos region, and the world, of humanity and civilization in order to leave the world in its beautiful, original state. Not very creative when you compare to other villainous gangs in previous games – Team Magma in Pokémon Ruby tried to cover the world in magma, Team Plasma in Pokemon Black/White tried to liberate all the Pokemon from their human trainers, all for the “good of the world.” I found Team Flare to be pretty lame as an enemy; their cause was all-too familiar, they always had weak Pokémon, and provided very little challenge to the player. Entertaining, but ultimately fell flat.

pokemon y presentation

The presentation to this game is ASTOUNDING. Being the first Pokémon game to be released on the Nintendo 3DS, it lives up to the expectations that are given for a 3D Pokémon game. Each city within the Kalos region has its own unique personality, and the graphics portraying that scenery are breathtaking. But it’s not just the scenery that is amazing, Pokémon Y includes a new look to the battle system. The Pokémon moves in the battle system are animated with visuals and sounds that are completely fresh and new to the Pokémon universe. The 3D graphics are definitely a big selling point to the game, and after playing Pokémon Y I can see why that is. I can show you countless screenshots and pictures of the graphics in the game, but it is really something I highly recommend you see for yourself!

The gameplay of Pokémon Y is pretty much the same as every other Pokémon game. The player travels throughout the Kalos region with the goal of collecting eight gym badges, and eventually reaching the Elite Four. I’ve never had a problem with the gameplay of any Pokémon game before, nor do I with this one. It is a very easy formula to follow for all ages, from the intended kid audience to the nostalgic adult audience. However, one of the biggest problems I had with the game was the damn roller skates. Players, after playing the game for a little bit, are given roller skates to allow them to travel faster (similar to the running shoes in previous games). While the roller skates help to travel faster, they are a huge pain in the butt when it comes to directing them; the roller skates are difficult to maneuver and cause the player to swivel all over the road, occasionally bumping into NPCs and buildings. While not an immensely huge problem in regards to the whole game, it’s quite annoying to deal with.

pokemon y starters

Pokémon Y’s starters are the standard fire, water, and grass types that the player can choose from in every other Pokémon game. Though in later games, these types have been combined with another type to create a dynamic Pokémon. I like the effort in giving the starters variety, however it creates a completely overpowered Pokémon that is capable of wiping out nearly every other foe easily, which leaves very little challenge to the player.

Additionally, a new Fairy type has been added to the Pokémon list. The most famous Pokémon with this type is the new Eeveelution, Sylveon. I’m a big fan of this fairy type, as it is one of the very few types that is strong against the powerful Dark and Dragon types; it’s also whimsical and provides fantasy to the game, enhancing it’s wonderfully childish qualities.

Pokémon Y includes a new feature called Mega Evolution. Mega Evolution is an additional evolution to the final evolution chain of specific Pokémon, offered roughly halfway through the game, and can only be used once in a battle by the player. The Mega Evolution is interesting, because it can completely overpower your Pokémon and create a very easy win. However, it comes with debilitating limitations, such as the amount of times a player can use the Mega Evolution and the fact that only certain Pokémon can Mega Evolve while others cannot. Mega Evolution, from what I experienced, was an interesting concept, but somewhat useless in the long run.

Pokémon Y includes many WiFi features through the 3DS, such as battling trainers around the world. This could be a very interesting addition to the game, especially if you’re bored of playing the same storyline multiple times. However, I have not accessed these features yet as I still find the main storyline fascinating and entertaining. But certainly, Pokémon Y is catering to the new generation of technology.

The Verdict: 8.0 out of 10

Pokémon Y is a great game for avid Pokémon fans old and new. Delightfully simplistic, yet complex enough when it comes to maneuvering Pokémon strengths and weaknesses. The linear storyline, though reused throughout all Pokémon games, is still fresh with the addition of new, interesting Pokémon and fun landscapes in Kalos. Team Flare is a bit of a familial let down, Mega Evolution is not helpful, and the roller skates are a huge pain to deal with. But, in general, it is definitely worth the money to buy and play, and I still find myself replaying it multiple times.


Audrey Lips is one of MONG’s newest editor. She is currently balancing a Journalism major while secretly hoping to get her Hogwarts acceptance letter. You can follow her TMI posts on Twitter.

This review is based off of a personally paid Nintendo 3DS game. She has spent over 60+ hours playing.

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