Weekend Response: Pokémon X and Y Seem Rushed, Need More Polish

This is a staff response piece to this week’s “Weekend Wondering” community poll question: “What do you think of the 3D Graphics in Pokémon X and Y” Feel free to share your own thoughts on the subject in the comments!

Pokémon has finally made the jump from the 2D realm of sprites to a fully 3D (in every sense of the word, given the stereoscopic functions of the 3DS) world. Is the dimensional upgrade the right move for the Pokémon franchise? That depends on if it’s done right. The change gives Pokémon the ability to do new things, but Game Freak has to make sure they don’t rush the sixth generation and release an underachieving game experience. Hit the jump to join the debate.

People have been anticipating a fully 3D Pokémon game for a long time. Sure, there’s been games like Colosseum for the GameCube, but that’s no substitute for a main series Pokémon game that really lets you explore the world. Now we’re finally getting exactly that on the 3DS, which is why it’s imperative that Game Freak give us the 3D Pokémon experience that we deserve.

Early screenshots and gameplay footage show potential, but the game’s graphical style clearly lacks polish. Many are comparing the visuals of the game to late-life DS titles like Spirit Tracks and Dragon Quest IX rather than 3DS titles. While the vast and open world of Pokémon makes it unrealistic to expect X and Y to have the stunning visuals of a game like Resident Evil: Revelations, a more fair comparison would be a game like Ocarina of Time 3D. At this point in time, Pokémon X and Y trail other comparable 3DS titles considerably when it comes to graphics.

It’s a bit of a lukewarm situation to hear the Pokémon Company’s director of consumer marketing say that the game is in an early stage of development. On one hand, there’s a good chance that the final graphics will be significantly improved from what we’ve seen so far. On the other hand, these games are supposed to receive a global release in just over nine months. The Pokémon team may be an experienced and efficient group, but that’s a lot of work to do in a short amount of time, especially when you consider all of the localization work that has to happen for a global release.

Pokémon X and Y have the potential to be the best and most immersive Pokémon adventures to date, but only if they’re done right. These games are going to be extremely important to Nintendo and the sales of the 3DS when the holiday season hits, so hopefully they are up to snuff by then. We should get a better view of how the games are developing, especially in terms of visuals, when E3 rolls around.

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