PJN in JPN: Playing the Pokémon X & Y Demo and the Pokémon Game Show
Whole gallery of pics at the bottom!
I’ll break this post into two parts with the demo experience first, because I know that’s what most of you are interested in. After that is my description of the event itself 🙂
The Pokémon X & Y Demo
Above is the video my boyfriend took while I was playing. Luckily I didn’t have to juggle both the 3DS and something to record it with at the same time. I know that some demo footage has already been uploaded, along with pictures, as well as the Pokémon Smash presentation BUT… I know that we as Pokémon fans want all the footage we can get 😀
There were two main differences in the demos offered. The Pokémon Y demo featured the female protagonist and she ran, while the Pokémon X demo featured the male protagonist who wore rollerblades. The bottom screen had pink and blue accents respectively depending on the gender. There was no character customization features offered unfortunately.
When outside of battle the 3D effect was disabled. I’m guessing this was just for the demo and that the retail version will have 3D enabled everywhere. As you can see above, running was effortless and felt quite natural. I had personally been a bit apprehensive when it was demonstrated that X & Y ran on an 8-direction movement system. It could’ve felt blocky and unnatural, but in reality it feels like most 3D games with free movement. So liberating to be able to move diagonally!
Getting on Skiddo was very easy, you just had to go up next to it and press ‘A’. To get off it was simply a matter of hitting ‘B’. I can see where it might be a faster way to travel if they’re widely available in locations such as Lumiose City. If it was kind of a time consuming process I could see people skipping it in favor of running, but actually it could be quite useful in the game if you have somewhere to go and there’s a ride-able Pokémon nearby.
Otherwise there were a few cool touches, such as a Marill running around with a small 3D sprite. Visible in the demo video above are also flowers (around 2:30 I think) which you can run through and wild Pokémon can jump out at you, just like in grass.
One thing I was not keen on was the rollerblades. Moving in them felt imprecise and they had a similar mechanic to the acro bike (although less severe) in which there was a slower start before getting to the “cruising speed”. They also slowed when going through grass so it looks like they’ll be most useful on roads, but less helpful during adventuring in tall grass.
Everything seemed smooth and definitely wonderful visually with the 3D graphics and dynamic camera. If I had to make an unscientific guess to the best of my ability, I’d say it took a little longer to battle than in Generations I ~ V, but honestly it could be the same. Menus looked very nice. SADLY, the ability to see a Pokémon’s stats was disabled. Sorry guys.
Mega evolution was super easy and you still get to attack the turn in which you Mega Evolve. What a relief right?! I see the ability to CHOOSE when you Mega Evolve as a great addition to the series because, as we’ve seen, some Pokémon change types which adds an element of uncertainty when facing a Pokémon who has the potential to Megavolve.
I don’t know what else I can say that you can’t see in the demo vid above.
The bottom screen seemed to have icons for menu options (the convenience of HGSS returns?!), but in the middle had a menu sprite of Chespin that you could click on which would bring up the Amie mini-game. You could feed your Pokémon Pofflé which looked like macarons. Tried giving a variety to Chespin, but it was a picky little Pocket Monster and made various sad or angry faces. I see potential for some fun interactions, but I guess it hinges upon how developed the mini-game is and how much there is to do within it in the full game.
Basically the event was a hodge-podge of all the different games under the Pokémon brand. There were Wii U stations for Rumble U, places to battle with the DS games and TCG cards, and also some Japan-centric properties like Pokémon Mania and Pokémon Tretta. Also plenty of photo spots, as well as a booth to reserve X & Y, along with a mini Pokémon Center shop to buy merchandise.
Before getting to all of that however… there was a line. I was expecting a little worse, it was only about 30 minutes. There was actually a weapon check and any liquids brought in had to be sipped in front of guards so they knew they weren’t liquid bombs or something. Although Americans are probably used to such measures at events, it was a little surprising given that Japan has a ban on guns and mass violence is rather rare. Everyone was then put into groups and we sat on the floor and waited until our group was allowed to enter the event.
Junichi Masuda took the stage at 11am and I had a fanboy moment getting to see him in person. It was very, very cool, especially since I’ve been running a site dedicated to the game series which he’s leading for 10 years.
I spent my time walking around, playing the XY demo (twice), downloading a Pokémon to my Japanese Black 2 copy (I chose Ray Rizzo’s Metagross), and also watching the presentations on stage. Most of the activities were geared towards younger fans (5-12 about), but there were plenty of older fans around and a few great cosplayers.
Hope that you enjoy the pictures 🙂 It was tons of fun!