Playthrough: The Age of Revolution

Pokemon X

We begin with a description of the scene: a young boy or girl is summoned to appear before the local academic–a worthy who goes by the nickname of ‘the Pokemon professor’. This sylvan-surnamed individual dispenses a pet–aligned generally with water, fire, or grass–to the excited child. In the process, a whole world of opportunity is made available, for now, with the power of Pokemon to aid him, the youth can set out into the wild. There, he will do battle with countless other Pokemon, enlisting a few in his party, and becoming stronger through chasing the rest away in combat. But Pokemon are not the only concern with which our intrepid hero must contend: adults, motivated by greed and malice, seek to destabilise the security and peace of the world. The hero will find himself caught up in that struggle, forced to face down two parallel sets of goals: his own effort to prove himself in the Pokemon League, and the necessary task of defeating those who would endanger or oppress others for the sake of private gain. Along the way, he will have the support of family, friends, and allies–for the hero will encounter many people in the course of his journey. By proving himself, he can depend upon their support later on. Friendship is key: between a trainer, his Pokemon, and his friends.

Pokemon X & Y Starter Evolutions

Since the release of the original Pokemon in 1998, the story formula related above has remained more or less unchanged. New Pokemon have been added, along with new modes of gameplay, new mini-games, new side-stories, and new anime episodes which expand upon the world. Yet, with each release in the franchise, Pokemon has remained steadfastly true to the original story: a tale of self-discovery, burgeoning friendship, and the realisation of the value of cooperation. Pokemon neatly straddles the line between the concepts of individual exceptionalism and the power of collaborative accomplishment. Additionally–most recently in Pokemon Black and White–Pokemon has tried to address issues of complex morality regarding its own subsumed premises: is it just, after all, for the world to be so dependent upon Pokemon? Or are we as critical players exercising our own form of cultural imperialism by attempting to judge the fictional culture of the world of Pokemon by the standards of our own culture’s morality? Is it even possible for us to evaluate Pokemon by its own standards?

Beautiful 3D!

Now, fifteen years on from the original release in North America of Pokemon Red and Blue, the Nintendo 3DS has received its first entry in the franchise: Pokemon X and Y. In addition, these most recent games in the series are the first ‘main series’ Pokemon games to be presented in 3D. Other games in the franchise have used 3D environments in some way or another, but never to the same level as in Pokemon X and Y.

With these innovations have come challenges unique in the history of the franchise: have the programmers and developers properly anticipated those challenges? Have they incoporated these innovations in a way which is beneficial to the presentation of the game? Or, do the new features and gameplay mechanics actually detract from the simplistic and basic premise of the Pokemon style?

Use the comment thread below to discuss your approach to the game, challenges you have faced, tactics you are employing, and what you are getting out of your playthrough. Do you feel that the presentation of Pokemon X and Y has changed for the better relative to the preceding games in the series? Are there aspects of the game that you would change still further, or that you would hold up as an example of what need not be changed? How has your experience with other Pokemon games shaped your impressions of the most recent release? Do you have any stories about your first Pokemon experiences? Tell us in the comments!

The aim in this playthrough is to complete the entirety of the game in four weeks. For our first week, we invite users to wrest control of the first three gym badges from their holders. However, feel free to join in, even if you are behind on the playthrough. Anyone and everyone is invited to participate, regardless of game format, speed of play, or familiarity with the series. Tell your friends!

Without further adieu, it is our very great pleasure to invite you now to join the The Starlight Megaphone staff members, guests, and readers as we select a starter, meet with a Pokemon professor, and indulge in 3D Pokemon battles in The Age of Revolution: A Pokemon X/Y Playthrough!


  1. So I just started last night and immediately found an annoying feature. The Pokemon nicknames are filtered! I couldn’t name my Chespin Spike because it either contains a slur or because it’s vulgar in some other language. This sucks! I understand the need for a filter, but it should be applied at the interaction level, where the default Pokemon name is used when something triggers the filter. This annoyed the crap out of me so I ended up using some 13375p3@k to name it 5p!k3. I’ve also read about a couple of game-breaking bugs and it makes me wonder if this game was really ready for showtime and worldwide simultaneous release.

  2. @DiceAdmiral: I had NO idea there was a name filter. Are you saying I won’t be able to get a Doduo and call it TwoHeadsOneDuck?

  3. @Lusi: I don’t know about that particular name, but many common names are filtered. Btw, I approve of your naming conventions. I like to nickname all the Pokemon that I intend to use for at least a while and that is some grade A material.

    Another thing: I was perusing the XY Pokedex at and there doesn’t appear to be the trio of legendaries like in previous geneations (Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres etc.). I think that’s a weird choice. I hope Z version doesn’t have totally unique Pokemon.

  4. This is beginning to turn into a complaint fest, but I also don’t like the 3D controls/camera. In the first city you have to walk under canopies to visit shops and whatnot, and since the overhead view doesn’t allow that it does a jerky zoom and changes the angle. It does this frequently and much to my annoyance. It feels like they didn’t design the world for the camera they had like they did with every other Pokemon game, so they forced the camera to do something strange to work with the maps they built.

  5. @DA – It takes some getting used to. I tried to play the Paris part (or whatever that place is called) like the rest of the game and it didn’t control well, but if you take a second to try different things, you’ll be able to control it with ease. It’s the downfall of people who have been playing Pokémon for 15 years, you don’t even notice the things you do habitually. This game is awesome.

  6. I have heard that playing with the 3D effect on causes a VERY bad drop in framerate–far below 30fps even. Can anyone confirm?

  7. I dunno, I leave the 3D off most of the time. Not only does it strain my eyes and drain the battery faster, but I’ve got a couple of air bubbles under my screen protector and that makes the 3D really grating. I’ll test tonight.

  8. Can confirm. 3D isn’t always available anyway, and when it is, it’s subtle and pleasant, but the slowdown really isn’t worth it. There’s occasional slowdown even in 2D.

  9. I’ve only put 15 minutes into it. Enough to pick out my Pokemon. I’m already irritated by the switching from 3D to not 3D. Not that it needs 3D but its just jarring to jump from on to off.

  10. So the article text is back? It just said “POKEMON” over and over a little while ago.

  11. So, I may well end up further ahead than some of the others, but I’m currently ten hours in with three badges. So far this generation is looking pretty easy to level pokémon.

  12. Definitely is. Exp. Share seems to be easy mode. Which I wouldn’t mind so much if they offered an item with the function that the old exp. share used to have. I don’t want to over-level all my Pokémon, just share half the exp with a single lower level one so that it can catch up.

  13. I’ve noticed many framerate issues during battles, even without the 3D turned on. Besides the issues with framerate, the 3D makes the graphics look less impressive. The EXP Share makes leveling really easy, which would be nice if it was only directed towards one Pokemon, but it gives EXP to the whole party.

    @DA: Last generation had name filter as well, but I think it was only used when Pokemon were traded on the GTS. Cofagrigus couldn’t be traded without a nickname until the filter was later altered.

  14. There are many pokémon in my collection that still need to be evolved through leveling, and this generation would be perfect to finish them off. I find it frustrating that I have to wait two more months to move my collection over. At that point I likely will have moved on to something else.

  15. @Imitanis: I think that goes back a bit to what DiceAdmiral said, perhaps the game was not ready for a worldwide release. A staggered release, or a March 2014 worldwide release, would have allowed some of these things to be fixed.

  16. I agree with Gyme. It feels a bit rushed. Maybe there will be a Z? It makes sense Nintendo rushed it considering their current situation. Oh well. It could also just be Game Freak is a 2D company? This is their first attempt with polygons. Maybe they just are too inexperienced or proud to bring in outside help? Its not like the 3DS isn’t able to handle these graphics.

  17. I think Kisaki has it right. Game Freak has been making 2D games for more than a decade and a half, and now they are moving to a new medium. Mel has reminded me of the example of Fire Emblem–when that shifted mediums, we ended up with similar roughness. The horses’ legs in that game were rendered so that they bent backwards. Hilarious and awful!

    If we remember the original release of PKMN without rose-coloured glasses, we should remember that it had some rough edges as well. There were balance issues, bugs, and a some gameplay designs that were unfriendly to say the least. In time, these things were hammered out.

    Learning and developing is a process. This is the first 3D PKMN game that Game Freak has done, and some roughness is to be expected. But also, improvement is to be expected. More importantly, we should ask ourselves if these things make the current release of PKMN a ‘bad game’–but I very much doubt that many of us would say that it does.

  18. What Caspius said. It’s a pretty smooth transition when all is said and done. I’m impressed by far more than I am annoyed by. There are certainly changes to consider, but I hope to frame my reactions as just that: reactions. I feel more time and perspective is required to form a true opinion.

  19. Rose tinted glasses on and all but the bugginess of the originals was part of the fun. Missing no and getting stuff above level 99 was part of the playground discussion. But no these “issues” don’t detract from the core which is still a ton of fun. Hopefully they are sorted out in time for the hinted Ruby/Sapphire remakes.

  20. It’s interesting to note that Prof. Sycamore does not directly give you your first Pokemon like previous professors. You get it from some fat kid who has them all in a bag and meets you in an outdoor cafe. The whole starting process is very streamlined. I caught 2 Pokemon before the game even attempted to show me how.

  21. There are also at least 6 different Pokemon to catch in the first route, which is pretty cool and gives you a full team to start the game.

  22. @Dice: I just worked out that the reason they wouldn’t let you use Spike as a name is because it contains the word SPIK, which is probably some sort of analogue of SPIC as far as Nintendo is concerned.

  23. I thought that too Lusi, but the game could easily be filtering in other languages as well. I heard that pik is Norwegian for penis, so I dunno. 5p!k3 is what I ended up using, and I decided to use the l33tsp3@k for the rest of my nicknames too while I was at it. I have 5t!ng3r and Ch!rp and M0x!3 and a couple others. I may need to look up proper l33t5p3@k translations for further names.

  24. Just got my first Pokemon, the firetype, Blazitf*g420.

    The visuals and music are just delightful, and make me happy.

    I have been enjoying the game’s camera up to this point.

    The game’s analog movement is just attrocious. It is clear that they made this game for use with the dpad, because controlling it with the analog stick feels like controlling something like CT with an analog stick…

  25. LAUGHING OUT LOUD!! The swear filter won’t allow you to use the word ‘OBAMA’! ^_^

  26. @SN: You need to give people your 3DS friend code (and add people yourself) so that we can see each other in game and share EXP bonuses and such.

  27. I named my Pansage Grass0bama (using a zero instead of the ‘O’).

  28. @SN that’s why the filter is silly in the first place. They can’t catch every conceivable derogative and trying to just prevents legitimate names. I’d compare it to DRM: You hurt the people who are playing by the rules far more than you actually prevent the rule-breakers from actually doing so.

  29. My party at present is:


    So much for Nintendo’s swear filter!

  30. Yay, we have SN’s 3DS code (it was in his staff profile), but it isn’t going to do anyone good unless he adds you, though.

    (I added him ages ago, but he never bothered to add me (or anyone else), so none of us have him in our friend lists.)

    Julian only plays PKMN to spite Nintendo!

  31. I got a bit further. Got my first badge. I like how streamlined it is. Roller skates and exp share make it much easier to play casually. I am frustrated with the no overworld 3D. The first gym would have looked cool. Also the circle pad controls are awful. I do like the fully animated battle animations. I haven’t turned them off yet but I’m sure I will eventually.

  32. Really dude? I gave you a Torchic and you Wonder Traded me a level 2 Bunnelby?

  33. @Jordan: When I get something I don’t want from Wonder Trade, I put it back into Wonder Trade, which is how I got that Bunnelby, and how you got that Bunnelby. Surprise!: I suggest you use the same method.

    It’s not my job to be a one-man filter for pokemon that I guess others might not want. What would you have me do? Everytime I get a low-level, starting-area pokemon from a Wonder trade, do you want me to take it out and release it, and then replace it with something I’ve spent hours levelling? Have you done that? If so, you are an imbecile.

    Here’s an idea: Stop complaining and don’t be absurd. Put what you don’t want back into Wonder Trade and spin the wheel again like everyone else until you get what you do want.

    I can only imagine how hard you must think your life is! You expect the rest of the world to read your mind and predict the future and game the system so that somehow, magically, we are supposed to know that we are going to be trading with you, and we will magically have the pokemon you want, and that we will put that into the wonder trade and we will magically be connected and you will get everything you want with the minimum of effort and that would be just great for you, because after all, you are the most important person in the world, and the sun revolves around you and when you don’t get what you want, then someone is at fault and that person should be chastised, because, after all, you are central, aren’t you, you self-entitled little shit.

    tl;dr: Go whinge someone else. We all think you’re a bag of cocks.

  34. Hey, I just watched a movie about this. It’s called Coraline. It’s excellent.

  35. @Dice: You can’t pick who you wonder trade with. You can’t pick what you get. It’s random.

    You put a pokemon in and get a pokemon out. Most of the time, you get Gulpin, Pikachu, or Buneary. So you put it back in and try again.

  36. @Dice: Because my profile greeting is “!”, and my character name is Caspius, as you would know if you exchanged friend codes with people.

    (There’s that tone of incredulity again!)

  37. Actually, you know what, I don’t have to really explain.

    You own the game. Go do a wonder trade and see how it works.

  38. No badges needed. You do it from the lower screen. Connect to the internet, go into your PSS menu, and choose wonder trade. It is self-explanatory.

  39. hmm, I guess I could turn on wireless. I usually leave it off to save battery and turn off the annoying orange light. Is anyone playing on an XL? I’m considering upgrading and wondering what the benefits are.

  40. I have an XL. Bigger screens, much longer battery life. I play with the internet on and it lasts for many many hours.

  41. My FC: 3952-7612-1296

    I’m ten or so hours in and I only have two badges so far. I’m not rushing through the game, I’ve just taking my time so far.

  42. Don’t forget to add the people at the bottom of the post as your own 3DS friends (and then actually sign on) so that you can see each other in game and share free O-Powers with each other!

  43. @Dice: I also recommend getting a XL. I was not going to switch, but my 3DS was acting weird, so I upgraded. The bigger screens really enhance the experience and better battery life is always a plus. The only drawback would be if you have a lot of digital content because I hear that the transfer process is a pain.

    As for Wonder Trades, it really is a luck of the draw. I got a Solosis after my first badge through the Wonder Trade, but that was only after three trades. If you’re into building your collection, it is great early on, just catch a bunch of Pidgey and trade away.

  44. Having a bunch of friends on your 3DS also increases the selection of Pokemon in the Friend Safari, so add away!

  45. What Gyme just said.

    Everyone should be adding everyone from the list above if only for that reason alone.



  46. Definitely recommend the XL. I wasn’t a fan of the DSi XL, but I understood if people preferred it. However, I would argue that the 3DS XL is objectively the superior model.

    I’ll be adding everybody tomorrow!

  47. @DA: Added and updated! (I will add you to my own 3DS when I am home from work.)

  48. I really like the streamlining of the trading process in this game. I ran into a guy in a house that offered me a Farfetch’d for a crummy Bunnleby and it let me trade straight from my box, which is pretty cool.

  49. Hmm. It SHOULD work. You may to to try registering a account (as that will DEFINITELY pick up your e-mail address linked gravatar).

    If that doesn’t work, I will bang on it this evening.

  50. I posted this before your suggestion in the other thread. I’ll try Gravatar later tonight.

  51. Added all on this list and about to go through the staff list that didn’t post on here. Mine is on my biography, but below as well:


  52. Some impressions of X&Y so far (Just after the 6th Gym):

    The camera is pretty obnoxious in battle. I want to see what Pokémon I am trying to catch, not see the camera panning over the background or my own Pokémon!

    Horde battles are incredibly annoying and sky battles are just stupid.

    The story is not as interesting as it has been in previous games. Of course I am aware that the reason one plays Pokémon is not because of the incredible story, but at least I was somewhat interested in the previous few stories. I am not interested in the “rival”, who seems like he has some kind of social disability, or the rest of the idiots that you’re forced to interact with.

    The region of Kalos is beautiful. It looks fantastic, has great music (except for the battle music, all of which is obnoxious so far), the skates and bicycle are fun to use, and the cities are mostly enjoyable to explore.

    The bag is not as stupid as it was in Black & White.

    A lot of the new Pokémon are interesting. Of course there are still some duds, but then, aren’t there always?

    I also quite like the Wonder Trade system, as well as the PSS. The GTS is the usual stupidity, but simply requesting reasonable things on the PSS got reasonable people to respond to me.

  53. @DA are you Harold on 3DS?

    @MR L I agree that horde battles are incredibly obnoxious. It’s pointless and time consuming.

    So it takes forever to get to gym 2. Unless I somehow missed it? (I am about to get to the glittering cave) This is the first time I’m worried about over leveling. I enjoy how many different Pokemon there are per section. I know almost nobody cares about 3D, however, I am bothering by all these areas that would look nice in 3D but aren’t.

  54. There is a very large gap between badge 1 and 2. And, from what I hear, there’s another significant gap between 8 and the League.

  55. @DA: Neither SN nor Lilith have added anybody.

    So much for their participation!

  56. I wish you could get a notification if someone added you. That would make the whole process much easier. Oh well, at least it’s not DS friend codes all over again.

  57. I was so scared of saving in Lumiose City that I accidentally turned the game off without saving at all last night. I really hope it doesn’t take me back too far when I return.

  58. @DA I’ll double check again tonight. I just added everyone late last night

    Also the friends helping you out feature is pretty cool. Somebody from Nintendojo was on last night and sending me stuff.

  59. I retract my comment about it being nice to see so many wild Pokemon in each area. It’s too damn hard to find the thing I’m looking for. There are supposed to be Abra in route 5 but I haven’t seen them even once. Also I got my butt handed to me by a Scraggy swarm. They spammed sand attack until I couldn’t hit anything then spammed leer until they could do a lot of damage. ugh. At least I got a neat Pokemon when I tossed that little jerk into the wonder trade.

  60. So I got a couple of adds from here, but some aren’t showing up on PSS in-game despite being in my friend list. Do we both need to be online at the same time for that to work?

  61. @DA: Yes. Unless both you and your friend are online in Pokemon X/Y, they won’t be added to your in-game friends list.

    I generally leave myself online at all times when playing. When someone signs on, they are permanently added to my in-game friend list from that point.

  62. I have added everyone in the above list, if you haven’t added me back, JULIAN! , please do that asap!

  63. There’s no way that constantly pestering Julian is going to make him less likely to add everybody. He certainly hasn’t shown behavior that would suggest that.

  64. I’ve been having issues connecting my 3DS to my router, so if people have noticed I’m not around or haven’t added them it’s because I didn’t fix this problem yet. Also, I need to remember to keep playing this game! Agh!

  65. Pokémon X & Y Update Version 1.1 Available in eShop Now

    Those of you afraid of hitting that Lumiose City glitch will be pleased to know that a patch for Pokémon X and Y has gone live on the eShop now. This is for both retail and eShop versions of the game. The patch notes are as follows:

    This update fixes a bug related to resuming your game after saving game data in Lumiose City.
    It also improves the filtering feature within the Global Trade Station (GTS)

    To update your game:

    Go to the home screen of your 3DS and select the eShop option (the shopping bag).
    You’ll be told you have updates for your game. On this screen, click “View List”
    Select “Download” and finish the download process.

    This patch will require 220 blocks on your SD card. There is a separate patch for Pokémon X and Pokémon Y.

  66. here’s my friend code. note, my system is used so the system uses another name I cannot rid of. listed as mason 2879-0494-7128

  67. Er, you can change your name. Mel changed his a week ago.

    Buying a used system doesn’t prevent you changing your username.

  68. So I’ve been having a lot of connectivity issues when playing online. But I’ve just gotten the 5th badge. The battle presentations have really grown on me. I’m having a blast. I wish it was more story driven like Black/White, though.

    Anyone know where I can find a dusk stone?

  69. Oh woah, there’s a Pokemon playthrough going on? HEY YOU GUYS!!!

    4227-1496-1764 is El Che’s friend code.

  70. I also need a Dusk Stone, by the bye.

    With regard to connectivity issues, I’ve had none–however, when I go to save the game, it will often tell me that the Pokemon Global Link is busy, so it skips that step.

    Who has finished the main story already?

  71. @Caspius – I should be able to get you one next time I play. I found a quick method via super training.

  72. I’ve still not connected with Mel or Blitzmage. I doubled checked and have both of your friend codes correct. I dunno what’s up.

  73. I’ve probably forgotten to add you. I think I only added staff. But I also haven’t corrected my 3DS’s connection issue with pokemon, so adding you wouldn’t do much. I’ll do it anyway!

  74. Hellloooooooooo Lusi-goblins. Here is my progress.

    Seventh gym badge, got Xerneas, defeated Team Flare. OMW to eighth gym.

    My party:
    Aegislash lvl 56, male
    Venusaur lvl 58, male
    Azumarill lvl 59, female
    SHINY Nidoking lvl 60, male
    Delphox lvl 57, male
    Lucario lvl 57, male

    A real ‘sausagefest’ of a party, but it works well.

    Shiny Nidoking was encountered in a horde of Nidoran-M. Supposedly there is a higher chance of getting shinies in Hordes and if you tip waiters/waitresses.

  75. @Dice I will add you, some how I missed your code when I added everyone

  76. my guess is mine will be avoided by all of you for trades? i’m mainly looking for the starters minus charmander, feroakie, fennekin, and torchic

  77. 100 Comments! FINAL WEEK!

    Let us know what your final party for the Elite Four and the Pokemon Champion are!

  78. I’ve just been busy with life mostly, but you can bet that if I had a ditto I’d be spending hours on my bike driving back and forth on that route waiting for eggs. Where can you catch a ditto these days?

  79. @DiceAdmiral: Ditto is found in the Friend Safari and in Pokemon Village.

  80. I’m a little behind. I’m on my way to the 8th gym. Found the whole team flare plot disappointing. Xerneas was fairly under-leved compared to my party too. I kept it in because of the fairy type. I guess it proves Dragon really was always over power. Hopefully I’ll get to the elite four soon.

  81. someone said they wanted a ditto? I have one from wondertrade lvl 25. who needed it?

  82. add me and give me a timme EST for trade. II have a lvl 62 ditto from a wondertrade too. who else needs one?

  83. @DiceAdmiral you have until monday@10am est to tweet me @Neigin for this lvl 25 ditto or it goes to the wondertrade.

  84. I totally forgot about this. Pokemon has been on back burner for a while and this comment thread dropped off the front page. oops. Oh well, I’m pretty sure I can find a Ditto somewhere. Thanks anyways!

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