Pokémon X and Pokémon Y may be the franchise's best games
Pokémon X and Pokémon Y (Nintendo; 2DS, 3DS; rated everyone)
Pokémon is all about collecting. Since the creation of the video-game franchise in 1996, a goal of most players has been to capture as many of the “pocket monsters” as possible. With Pokémon X and Pokémon Y—which are essentially the same except for a few characters—there are hundreds to seek out.
After creating a character, you’ll be given a choice of one of three Pokémon to train, and then you’re off exploring the countryside, searching through the tall grass for wild monsters to add to your menagerie. You’ll also pit your Pokémon against those of other trainers—computer-controlled or controlled by real people via a Wi-Fi connection—in turn-based battles. Pokémon abilities improve as they gain experience, and they evolve as they level up.
The improved animation is a delight, and the more linear path through the environment—and the story—benefits younger and first-time players. In fact, X and Y are perfect for teaching young kids basic game-playing principles, such as regularly saving progress and grinding to level-up characters before boss battles. And there’s no death: defeated Pokémon simply faint and can be easily revitalized.
The only way to collect all the monsters is to trade with others, and the new online functionality makes this easier to do than ever. With new features that enhance the experience and a reliance on proven mechanics, Pokémon X and Pokémon Y are the best games the franchise has ever offered.