I've gone through quite a few games this past month. I've gone from Animal Crossing then putting it on Beautiful mode so my town could have some independence as I jump into GTAV. Then as GTA Online rolled around, I stuffed my money away into my savings in order to get into Pokemon X. I know Ace Attorney is around the corner and I will love it but I feel that Pokemon will continue to dominate my thoughts for at least another month and I'll continue on with Super Training, breeding, post-game content, trading, and battle testing.
One of the things I think a lot of people miss in describing why this new Pokemon feels like such a fresh return is the Kalos region itself. Previous regions were based on real locations but in the end, it felt like a Pokemon region with its PKMN Centers, mountains, oceans, and so on. The Kalos region has a lot of design choices and little touches that actually make me feel like I'm traveling across a European countryside. The start in your quaint little village with a gate, the variety of cafes dotting the landscape (including Lumiose City's extreme saturation of cafes), the scale and variety of wild landscape you traverse such as uneven cliff sides, verdant forests, somber swamps, and even a mysterious Stonehedge-esque pathway.
Also, Team Flare is, no spoilers, a really entertaining terrorist cell to fight. So Flare might be reminiscent of Magma from the third gen, but it would be more accurate to associate it with flair, as in fashion flair. So I might be a little spoilery about Team Flare's ultimate goal but as a terrorist cell which seems to have prerequisites in joining based on your fashion sense, they want to destroy the world in order to recreate it as a beautiful world, in the most narcissistic sense possible. Early on you'll also come face to face with someone who's obviously near the top of the chain and you find out as well that their narcissism knows no bonds; they have a pretty much apocalyptic sense of narcissism, if you will.
I started with Chespin and chose Squirtle as my second starter and I must say, the design this time around is really awesome. It's also worth noting that the Kalos dex is surprisingly small, that is to say, the actual brand new Pokemon for gen VI. On the other hand, there's also the addition of Mega Evolutions to factor in plus the retconning of many previous Pokemon to be fairy-type, which makes them feel brand new. One example of this brand new feeling also goes along with the nerf in Steel-type resistances. Steel no longer resists Dark and Ghost, which hurts its defensive capability a lot. But Fairy resists Dark along with Fighting. Mawile, a previously useless pure Steel Pokemon, is now Steel/Fairy: a type combination which lets you hold onto Steel's previous defensive glory days. Even more, Fairy is weak to Poison and Steel, which Steel itself is immune and resists respectively.
While we're on the topic of Fairy, it's interesting to see another paradigm shift in types. Fairy wasn't purely introduced to hard counter dragons you see. Fairy is also super effective against Dark and Fighting, two types which have been gaining unstoppable momentum over the past three generations. Poison has also been a largely irrelevant type since its inception, only being useful in its resistance to Fighting and the ability to soak up enemy Poison attacks. Steel is also really bad offensively, only be good against Ice and Rock. But Fairy is magically weak against these fading elements, giving them renewed reason to be reviewed and utilized. Let's face it, when given the choice to use any move and a Poison-type move, why would you use the Poison move unless your strategy hinged on the slight chance on inflicting poison status?
It'll be interesting to see Fairy's effect in the bigger picture of the metagame. The bulk of Fairy-types so far demonstrate a predisposition for being defensive and using stall tactics. So far I haven't caught a Fairy-type I've liked (Flabebe isn't so hot. I'm hoping on catching a Klefki, another new Steel/Fairy) and their newness is proving to be their advantage as my arrival to the Fairy gym proved to be a harrowing experience until I researched their typing further. I didn't have any good Poison or Steel Pokemon, so I primarily relied on the only other type which carried a resistance to Fairy attacks: Fire. Mainly, a Fire/Flying bird you can catch early on as Fletchling which had evolved into a peregrine falcon called Talonflame.
I've captured a lot of new Pokemon but like I said, the actual Kalos dex is rather small, which incidentally has made my primary fighting stable to be somewhat small. Looks like I'll have to revisit a few older Pokemon I can capture but still, the new attacks should still suffice in providing the new experience we want.
December 27's release of Pokemon Bank and Pokemon Transfer is looking pretty far away though. My shiny Rhyperior cannot wait to get in on this Gen VI action!