It is most certainly a burning question within most of us, especially as we near the release of the Gen VII games, Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon! Are the Gen VI games, Pokémon X and Pokémon Y, as well as Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire, still worth getting even in the midst of the Sun and Moon hype? That’s precisely what I’m going to find out for you, reader, as I provide my own opinions as well as those of the community to help you reach a decision! Let us start with the first set of Gen VI games, shall we?
Disclaimer: There will be spoilers in this article!
Welcome to the Kalos region, Trainer!
The first entry to the Gen VI games thrusts you, as the player, into the world of the Kalos region, which is based on the northern half of metropolitan France. True to French culture, you’ll find a lot of iconic references in Kalos that seem like a direct throwback to France, such as what appears to be a reference to the Effiel Tower in Lumiose City! Aside from that though, Gen VI does change quite a lot about what we’re accustomed to about standard Pokémon gaming, so I’m going to give you a quick introduction about what these features are and their purposes, as they’re pretty neat! With tons of new features ranging from Super Training (a feature that allows for some incredibly easy EV training), Pokémon-Amie (a feature that allows you to actually interact with your Pokémon, and gives you benefits for doing so!), as well as Trainer Customization (something players have been wanting since forever and finally happened!), XY is certainly a game worth looking into.
So readers, is XY worth getting at this point? This is where I’ll leave it to the members of the community to describe their most memorable experiences with the first entries of Gen VI.
The first member I’ve spoken to is Blue, who’s an XY enthusiast! Here’s our conversation on the ins and outs of XY in particular:
colours: When you first got XY, what excited you the most about these games?
Blue: I think it was mainly the aspect of a completely new generation. We were getting a handful of exciting new Pokémon, a beautiful looking European Region, and there were even some new Pokémon at the time that I hadn’t even discovered.
colours: And what features excited you the most? Was it character customization, Super Training, or Pokémon-Amie? Or all of the above, perhaps?
Blue: Mega Evolution mainly. At first I wasn’t too keen on the idea, but after seeing some of the existing Pokémon with their updated designs, it got me super hyped for the whole concept. Character customization was something else that I was really happy to see, although unexpected. I don’t think many people expected this feature but it was definitely something that was generally sought after for a long time. Features like character customization or seasons add realism to the games, and that’s something that appeals to me as a player.
Honestly, I’m not surprised! Mega Evolution came as a huge surprise to a lot of people. In my opinion, Megas are an “either you like it or you don’t” kind of feature. The way that I see it, it was hard to remain neutral about it, so either you were looking forward to the games because of it or you weren’t really a fan of it. I do agree with Blue though – that other features such as character customization were a huge boon at the time and something that players were super happy to see!
colours: For players that are just getting into XY for the first time, what would be your advice and recommendations to them? Any particular feature you would want them to check out more than others? Anything really goes here!
Blue: First and foremost I’d get familiarized with the new type chart. Not only did XY introduce the Fairy-type as the first new type for 14 years, but a few of the existing types have been reworked with new effects that pretty much change up the whole chart all together. It’s good to get a firm idea on type effectiveness as some existing types work completely different to as they did previously. Although it is explained in-game, I would also recommend getting a brief understanding on the concept of Mega Evolution. It is one of the most crucial features of XY which pretty much revolutionizes how battling now works. It just makes it all the more easier going into these games with a better understanding of the concept as there is a lot to take in.
Good advice, there. It’s wise to know exactly the weaknesses and strengths of the Fairy-type. Understanding Mega Evolution is also nice as it is a VERY huge thing in the games and it will be explored upon a lot as you progress on your adventure. Even in ORAS this somewhat the case.
colours: So with all of that being said, would you personally recommend XY as worth getting at this point in the midst of Sun & Moon hype, or would you rather players jump into Sun & Moon?
Blue: Yeah, I’d definitely recommend getting XY in the meantime. There’s still over two months until the release of Sun & Moon and I think XY would be a great time filler in the run up to the release!
The next person I’ve spoken with is Ullion, and this is what he had to say:
colours: So, the first question: What were you most looking forward to when you first heard about XY?
Ullion: Oh geez that was a while ago. But I’m sure it’s the same for me when looking forward to any new game: what new Pokémon will be available and specifically – do any of them have any designs that interest me (like Vikavolt and Salandit from Gen VII and the Aegislash line from Gen VI)?
And another thing to go with what I said, I guess, is if there are any new dual-typings. I always love hearing about new dual-typings that come into games!
This interested me, as well! It’s always fascinating to learn about new type combinations in upcoming generations.
colours: And what were your thoughts when you discovered features like character customization, Super Training, and even Pokémon-Amie were in the game?
Ullion: In order of least interested to most: I am still yet to touch Pokémon-Amie. Hell, I’m not entirely sure what it does. I’ve just never bothered with it. xD Super Training I haven’t really done much with either. But! It does help keep track of EVs when EV training the old way, so I love having it around. (Not that I EV train a whole lot anyways) OH MY GOD. I love trainer customization. One of the best ideas ever. This one feature alone was what made me love the Kalos games. I’ve always loved being able to change how I look – and progressing through the games opens you up to more customizable options? Hell yeah!
colours: Also, what were your thoughts on Megas? Can’t wait to hear this!
Ullion: Hmmm, I think I’m sort of split on Megas. Mainly, I love the concept behind Megas, especially when they’re used to make lesser known or remembered Pokémon more relevant again (ie. someone like Pinsir). Unfortunately I feel like stronger and more heavily used Pokémon got a lot of the Mega treatment that sort of ruined it for me (even if only by a bit). Things like Mega Mewtwo, Alakazam, etc I feel like were unnecessary. I’d like to see Megas being continued further down the line (looks like we won’t be getting them for Gen VII sadly), but for them to focus solely on the lower tier Pokémon.
Can’t disagree there. Why did Mewtwo receive a Mega, anyway? And why is it, to this day, the only Legendary to receive a split Mega Evolution?
colours: And a possibly more interesting question: for players getting into XY for the first time, what would you recommend they check out as soon as possible? Any feature they should be excited about more than others in particular?
Ullion: Hmm, for the first time? Honestly, maybe just to enjoy using the roller skates to get around and messing around with trainer customization for a while. At least for me, that was a good source of my enjoyment in XY since they didn’t add a large number of new Pokémon. Another thing new players (more specefically: new players to this generation and not Pokémon as a whole) would be to try out using a Fairy-type Pokémon. Their introduction in the XY games was a good way to shake up the balancing between types, and I enjoyed using a Florges in my most recent playthrough of Y.
And I regret having yet to try a Sylveon, too.
colours: So, going by your experiences with XY, do you think the games are worth getting at this point in the midst of Sun & Moon hype, or do you think it would be a better idea for players to go straight for Sun & Moon?
Ullion: If they have the free time and money to spare and are looking to get into the swing of Pokémon games before Sun and Moon hit, I definitely think they should! In terms of just enjoyment though? I’d still recommend it easily. The game looks great to me and was a blast to play through. Were there things wrong with it? Could it have been improved upon? Without a doubt, but I don’t think that takes away too much enjoyment from playing through XY for the first time. I found the games to be much more excitable and fun to play through in comparison to the Gen V games (where I can barely recall what the towns, gyms, NPCs and new Pokémon were). Also, I think XY did a good job in not shoving it’s story down your throat while playing through most of the game (since most of the important stuff happens all at once).
I’ve also gotten an opportunity to speak with Achromatic about his thoughts, as well!
colours: If you can remember, what were you looking forward to the most initially about XY, and why is that?
Achromatic: 3D graphics and landscapes by far! That was incredibly new and exciting and has never been done in a main series Pokémon game so that’s what I wanted to check out the most.
colours: And what were your thoughts about the addition of new features such as Mega Evolution, Super Training, and Pokémon-Amie?
Achromatic: Not really fussed by Super Training or Amie, they’re both just… eh features, just there. Mega Evolution was really cool and I loved it when it was first a thing, but now I’m not so fussed.
colours: So going from your experiences in XY, do you think they are games that are still worth picking up, or would you advise players to dive straight into Sun & Moon?
Achromatic: Uh… I think they’re better diving straight into Sun and Moon, honestly. it already looks much better.
I really don’t blame Achromatic for his apparent disinterest in XY. When you see Sun and Moon in comparison to X and Y, it really seems like XY is really severely outdone by the visuals of the seventh generation games. It’s also a fresh perspective and a reminder that not everyone was really that enthused by X and Y.
So what do you think, reader? Based on the thoughts given about these games, are you convinced that you should purchase these games in the midst of Sun and Moon hype? It’s definitely obvious that there are pros and cons to X and Y, but if you’re a newcomer, is it better to experience the Mega Evolution lore, or dive straight into Alola? Hopefully these answers would make the decision easier! But there’s one more set of Gen VI games that we’ve yet to get into, and that’s Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire!
Welcome to the Hoenn region (again)!
For those of you who’ve never played the original Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald games, which marked the set of main Gen III games, welcome to the Hoenn region! Hoenn is known for being a tropical region, with half the region being land the roughly the other half being surfing routes (it’s essentially why you would see jokes and such about there being “too much water 7.8/10” and the such). It is worth noting, however, that Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are strictly Ruby and Sapphire remakes, so fair warning for those of you who are hoping for more of an Emerald experience. That said, let’s go around the community and see what some users think of ORAS and whether or not they’re worth getting at this period in time, shall we? First up is bobandbill!
colours: What were you most looking forward to when ORAS was announced? Was there any particular features that TPCi marketed that hyped you up for the games?
bobandbill: That’s an easy one for me – I was looking forward to Secret Bases the most! When I played RSE with friends they were a particularly fun aspect, combining both the room decoration in GSC with the ability to battle friends’ teams. It also was a very useful way to grind up levels on top of beating the boring old Elite Four again.
As a result, I was quite excited when they announced Super Secret Bases for the games. It was the first mention of them, and it confirmed a lot of my hopes for the feature (being able to share Secret Bases across the internet via the QR codes, for instance).
colours: Yeah, Secret Bases is defintiely a feature that was loved by a lot of fans–personally, I’m also a huge fan of how ORAS also allowed you to set up your own “Gym” of sorts in your own secret base and even have your own Trainers in them, which was fun! So, another question: After going through ORAS, what were some concerns and perhaps criticisms that you have about the games?
bobandbill: The big one is the lack of the Battle Frontier. It was a much loved aspect of Emerald, and would have added so much post-game content to ORAS. Alas, we were left without it, and in fact teased by a in-game model of it… Its absence also left the curious NPC, Scott, out of the remakes, and that was disappointing to me – I like to joke about him.
On the topic of side content, a few small things were missing too all over the place, and they added up. No Berry Mixing minigame for Contests! A lack of puzzles and difficulty increase of Trainers in the Trick House! And while it was out of Game Freak’s hands to keep slot machines in due to harsher game ratings and anti-gambling laws, no Game Corner games of any kind (no substitute like Vortorb Flip?) was also a negative for me.
My last whinge is reserved for the rivals. I never liked Brendan/May in RSE – they had little personality and were all too happy to be beaten up by you, give you an item to progress on, and then give up by Lilycove (before the 7th Gym!), yet have the audacity to try and give you advice against the Champion… and turn up late to even give said advice. Quite a disappointment compared to Blue and Silver – characters who had development and who you wanted to defeat in battle. In RSE I couldn’t care less beyond hearing their nice battle theme again.
Sadly ORAS added even more focus to them in the game without actually changing them, seemingly shipping you with them in the Delta Episode. Consider the game showing you even more of a character you already don’t like and try to tell you how great it is you can go out with them – it just makes you dislike them some more. We did see more of Wally than in RSE (and he got a great if short theme song), but he was also slightly lacking in airtime. If his
airtime had been swapped with Brendan/May I would have been much happier.
I think it’s important to consider what bobandbill is saying here about the lack of Battle Frontier. That may be a dealbreaker for some of you that are looking for a more competitive experience. You see, XY and ORAS share a battle facility called the Battle Maison, in which it’s basically a scaled down version of the Battle Tower in a way. Be aware of this if you’re looking for an extensive post-game. While ORAS does have an interesting post-game plot of its own, it’s pretty short-lived, which is something to keep in mind.
Brendan/May as rivals are of a subjective point. I personally didn’t mind them as much; but I do agree with bobandbill that they aren’t exactly what you would define as a “rival”. Wally was more of a rival and had arguably more presence than Brendan/May in these games.
colours: I agree that no Battle Frontier was a real bummer–and the vibe that I got from these games was more Ruby/Sapphire than Emerald, which was fair enough given these games’ purpose, but I’d rather ORAS incorproate more of what made Emerald really fun, such as the plot elements and even Battle Frontier itself!
So on the flipside, what are some things, aside from Super Secret Bases, that you felt ORAS did well in?
bobandbill: One of my other gripes with RSE was the plot. It had nice potential – two teams fighting each other, essentially being eco-terrorists! Each with their own goals and beliefs that didn’t fall under “we want money and power”! But there are some things I can’t overlook, such as… trying to erupt a volcano to help the environment. Using energy from a meteorite. And let’s not get into the physics of how Drought or Drizzle wouldn’t work beyond ‘to make it rain you need to make water evaporate to form clouds’…
But ORAS did well to improve on this aspect, I thought, rival characters aside. No longer were volcanoes there to be erupted to ‘help’ the environment – it was part of the plan to control/power up Kyogre/Groudon! The Admins of the teams had way more characterisation as well, down to little details in their rooms within their hideout. And then we got the bonus Delta Episode, and while that wasn’t perfect, there’s something undeniably cool about catching a Rayquaza – that can Mega Evolve – and riding it into outer space to fight Deoxys.
The Abandoned Ship (or Sea Mauville) sidequest was a very nice addition as well – excellent storytelling there throughout. It added backstory to Devon, Wattson, Stern and Dock, and even Professor Cozmo, while touching on subjects like overworking, to family disputes, to same sex couples. More of that please, Game Freak!
Two last things – Soaring was a great feature and being able to Fly to Routes was something solely overdue. And DexNav was fantastic. I spent a lot of the game exploring routes to catch all the Pokémon I could and get ones with better stats or special moves for my team. All my love to that feature.
I do agree with bobandbill in regards to the plot though; for those readers out there who are looking for more of an Emerald experience, keep in mind that these games stay strictly true to the original Ruby and Sapphire games. This sadly means that wonderful cutscene of Rayquaza coming down from the sky in Sootopolis City during the climax of the plot is not a thing, since Rayquaza is a post-game legendary.
colours: With all of that being said, for those who haven’t experienced Gen VI yet, would you recommend ORAS, or would you rather recommend diving into Sun & Moon instead when it releases?
bobandbill: We’re roughly two months out, so if they want to play the games they better get in quick! But yeah, overall I was pretty satisfied with the games and they’ll offer a good chunk of entertainment. I also personally prefer them to the other sixth generation games in X and Y – they have the neat features like Amie and Super Training of those games, with more side/post-game content and a better story (even a better set of rivals imo which says something!).
And hey, if players don’t feel like they have enough time in two months to beat ORAS, then it’ll likely drop in price a while after Sun and Moon are out. So I’d definitely recommend playing ORAS sometime.
bobandbill is right on that point. If you’re thinking of picking up either ORAS or even XY, you do only have about two months left until Sun & Moon’s release! But here we have another opinion from a different user: Rivvon!
colours: During the early announcements of ORAS (so anytime within the first few months really), was there anything in particular that TPCi teased that hyped you up?
Rivvon: I was really interested to know what exactly were the new forms of Kyogre and Groudon and how the plot would be tweaked to accommodate for them. I don’t remember exactly how early the starter Mega Evolutions were revealed, but the idea that Swampert was going to get one was also really exciting!
Personally, I think Mega Sceptile is really neat!
colours: To be completely honest, the starter Megas were my absolute favourite! So let’s dive a bit deeper here: What were some criticism and concerns that you’ve had playing ORAS that differed perhaps from initial expectations?
Rivvon: I was hoping there would be some Mega Evolutions in-game that weren’t revealed beforehand, like in X & Y. But that’s more a criticism of the marketing rather than the game. A criticism I have about the game itself, though, is that the AreaNav section that shows you Trainers who can be rematched also includes the Gym Leaders, which leads players to believe they can be challenged again, but they can’t. I think a lot of people were expecting Gym Leader rematches to return from the originals so this already poor design choice was made even more obvious.
Agreed here. I was pretty upset myself when I found out that Gym Leaders weren’t re-matchable. This could’ve been forgiven if ORAS had some sort of Battle Chateau-esque system in place (or just borrowed Chateau itself from XY), but unfortunately that wasn’t the case.
colours: What were some things that you feel that ORAS did well?
Rivvon: I think ORAS’s improvements to the Secret Base system were nice. They weren’t too extravagant but I think the simplicity works in their favor. I also think the DexNav is one of the best additions to the franchise; it’s really helpful for catching Pokémon either for your PokéDex or for starting out your competitive teams. It adds a level of convenience that I really love.
colours: With your experiences playing ORAS, do you think it’d be worth it to get these games in the middle of Sun & Moon hype, or would you rather players wait until Sun & Moon’s release?
Rivvon: It’s kind of hard to say; the games are very good but I don’t feel they are the strongest remakes the series has seen. As such, I’d probably not recommend them to those who have already passed them over and are waiting for Sun & Moon. There’s a good chance that the Pokémon you catch in the generation six titles won’t be allowed for use in competitive play in Sun & Moon (in generation six, Pokémon must be obtained in generation six in order to be allowed for use). So for those who haven’t gotten the games yet, it may just be best to leave them be and trade for the Pokémon they need once they get Sun & Moon. But if they seem really interesting or someone wants to get a little bit of extra Pokémon gaming in before November, then Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire are solid titles to get.
Lastly, I’ve also had an interesting discussion with Altairis and gathered her thoughts on whether or not players would be better off going into ORAS or waiting for Sun and Moon!
colours: Was there anything in particular within the early ORAS announcement that got you hyped for it?
Altairis: Other than Mega Sceptile, which was my favorite and first starter ever in a Pokémon game, I was really excited by the glimpses of the animation we got. I was not a huge fan of XY, but I absolutely loved seeing Hoenn in 3D.
I remember one of the trailers (I think) showed Brendan and May on the route before Petalburg looking at Beautifly and I remembering thinking “this game is going to be so awesome!!!”
Maybe it wasn’t in a reveal trailer, but I definitely saw that scene before the game came out.
colours: So after playing through ORAS, were there any criticisms or concerns that you’ve had about them?
Altairis: Yup, for me, I definitely disliked how they decided to redo Mauville City. Pokémon seem to be wanting to include really huge cities, which I don’t personally enjoy in a game, because they’re easy to get lost in. New Mauville also seems pretty… cramped, since it has a roof and all, it seems more like a building than a city. I also didn’t like how they allowed players to “teleport”… not really sure what to call this, but after beating the Lavaridge Gym, the rival asks the player if they want to walk back to Petalburg, then BOOM! You’re there.
Also, the lack of Battle Frontier, but I could go on about that :c
I can definitely relate to the disappointment about the lack of Battle Frontier, again. Personally though, the teleportation and Mauville didn’t bother me; I thought it looked pretty nice!
colours: And what are some things that you felt ORAS did well at?
Altairis: It did well at maintaining the feel of the original games, which was important for me, while still feeling like a new game and not the same Sapphire I’ve played a million times. It also introduced a ton of new features that I personally really enjoyed, such as getting rid of the Fly HM in favor of using Latios or Latias to move around and the DexNav. It definitely didn’t feel like a copy of the old games, but an upgrade, for sure.
colours: In your own opinion, do you feel that it’s still worth it to get ORAS even in the middle of Sun and Moon hype, or would you encourage players to wait until Sun and Moon release and get those games instead?
Altairis: I would definitely encourage players to check out ORAS if they have an interest in Pokémon. Sun and Moon is giving us a Pokémon experience that is definitely different than what we are used to, as seen by the lack of gyms, for one. ORAS is a traditional Pokémon adventure that has been loved for generations, so if you get ORAS and then play Sun and Moon (or the other way around), the games won’t seem to repetitive. It also looks like there are probably a few Pokémon that we won’t be able to get in Sun and Moon due to the new Alola forms, so if you’re a collector, it’s definitely worth it.
What do you think?
There are both pros and cons to getting either set of Gen VI games, as described by those interviewed. As of right now, we’re getting really close to the release of Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, so whether the Gen VI games are still worth buying is definitely a tough choice. What choice will you make?
Edited by 5qwerty, Altairis, and ddrox13.