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Davis, California

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

New generation of Pokemon hits stores

The wonderful adventure of Pocket Monsters (aka Pokemon) began on the fateful day of Feb. 27, 1996, over 17 years ago.

Looking back, those of us who have religiously played each passing version have either sold our outdated gaming consoles, or simply stored them in the hopes we might find a few minutes in our adult lives to return, nostalgically, to our past avatars — hurling a Blastoise, Venusaur or Charizard towards Lance from the very first elite four challenge, a victory we still hold dear to our hearts.

Ultimately, perhaps the most magical part about Pokemon is the game’s ability to unite every possible societal subculture under one banner. The line of poke-fanatics outside GameStop awaiting their shiny new copy of the sixth generation game included jocks, hipsters, tweens, sorority girls, basement nerds, the occasional professional adult and an impressive sampling of everyone else under the sun. Of course there are those out there who judge us for our Poke-passion, but, to put it very kindly, they have literally no idea what they’re missing — especially now.

The Kalos Region:

Just a few days ago, Pokemon versions X and Y (generation six) were released for the Nintendo 3DS and 2DS gaming consoles, and they are a Game Freak-ing masterpiece to say the very least. Generation six is set in Kalos, a new region of the Pokemon world curiously fashioned to resemble France. The Kalos region features highly realistic geography, where an intricate network of waterways and rivers weave through the region. Vast mountain ranges soar into gelid high altitudes and fall into expansive plains below, and a sizable ocean exists off of the region’s Western Coast.


Versions X and Y feature more than 65 new Pokemon, and allow the user to “Mega Evolve” certain party members — such as the original starter Pokemon from the first generation (a comprehensive list of mega-evolution species can be easily found on the web). This new mega-evolution ability is exclusive to the Kalos region, and puts an exciting new spin on some of the oldest pokemon companions.

To get a Pokemon to Mega Evolve, they must be holding a species-specific Mega-Stone, Mega Ring and a Key Stone, all retrieved at specific points during the game. If the Pokemon of interest has these items, the Mega Evolution can occur during battle, allowing a trainer to manipulate the appearance, special abilities, stats and sometimes even the Pokemon’s type, all at the touch of a button. I mean, how cool would a Blastoise be with a few extra water cannons up it’s sleeves?

These games have also seen the introduction of a new type of Pokemon — Fairy, which is super-effective against Dark, and Fighting, immune to Dragon, and not very effective against Fire and Psychic type.


Pokemon X and Y are a massively impressive departure from old gameplay. They look and feel almost nothing like past versions of Pokemon, yet are 200 percent better. X and Y allow players to walk on an eight-directional grid, which allows more realistic, diagonal movement (previous versions only offered a four-way movement grid).

Additionally, since the game is offered on the Nintendo 3DS console, the game can be played with or without a 3D option engaged. Nintendo fabricated the uppermost screen of the 3DS to create a multi-dimensional gameplay option. The bottom screen remains in 2D, but the top screen can display all gaming images in a three-dimensional fashion. Whether you use it or not is based upon your personal preference and/or tendency to experience headaches, nausea or something else unpleasant. It’s not for everyone, but it certainly is an evolving form of gameplay.

“When I have it on, it makes me feel cross-eyed. And it hurts my brain,” said Clayton Rizzi, a UC Davis alumnus.

“I think the 3D option is more an aesthetic feature than anything else. I usually play with it off, but every once in a while, I like to see how the game looks in 3D,” said Logan Mayne, a UC Davis grad student.

In addition to a 3D option, the true awesomeness of Nintendo’s connectivity settings have certainly manifested in X and Y. Players are able to connect, battle and trade with other trainers via the internet option dubbed the “Player Search System.” This means that, if you have the internet available, you can seek out fellow Pokemon trainers from anywhere in the world. Just to put that in perspective, the game is offered in Spanish and English speaking countries, Japan, Germany, France, Italy and Korea and is played in many more.

Pokemon versions X and Y have introduced revolutionary features to the gameplay of the classic Pocket Monster saga. There are innumerable improvements to be found and experienced within versions X and Y, and it is each player’s duty to discover them. Whether X or Y is your first, twelfth, or twenty-third Pokemon endeavor, either version is sure to captivate more hours in your day than you thought previously possible; after all, you’ve “Gotta catch ‘em all!”

EMILY SEFEROVICH can be reached at science@theaggie.org.


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