Pokemon X and Pokemon Y is not only a new iteration on the 3DS, it is the first Pokemon game my family has really played in depth.
Pokemon is one of the big game series that for one reason or another my family has been late to play. Happily then, the latest iteration, Pokemon X/Y on the 3DS, has offered us a great opportunity to get involved and catch up with the fun.
It has some improvements in graphics and sound as well as Pokemon training (the mega evolved and the fairy Pokemon for instance), but best feature for us is the multi-player.
If you've not played Pokemon previously they are essentially Role Playing Games where you build up a small army of characters (the Pokemon) and go on adventures. Along the way you make friends, find new Pokemon and battle other Pokemon trainers. The big draw here is that there are so many Pokemon to collect and train. In our family everyone played it slightly differently, but we all had fun.
By having two copies of the game we could trade and battle our Pokemon with each other. This has given us a slightly easier way to get our heads round how this all works -- and without getting to stuck on the main story. Now we have the basics down we are working through the campaign quite happily and helping each other if we get stuck.
My son really enjoyed the different modes of transport. Here there is a clever use of the 3DS Circle and D pad. You can control walking with the Circle pad and Roller Skating with the D Pad without any other buttons. It is a clever touch and one that makes a big different to younger players.
That multi-player mode offer best value. While previously it was a little involved to play against other players on the 3DS you can simply link up locally, or if you aren't not in the same place you can trade and battle over the Internet.
There is a good attention to detail here as well. Pokemon X/Y ensures that these battles are pretty fair, even when playing against someone who is more experienced. The Pokemon you pick to battle are automatically set to the same level to keep things more even. Again a small change but one that made a significant difference in our house.
It's interesting that while we are still working through this latest Pokemon X and Y game, there has been a resurgence in interest in the older games in our house too. The children have been looking into the differences between each version and in particular the Pokemon Black/White 2 on the DS. I think they may be after that for Christmas -- I just need to check that they really need it and have exhausted the current one.
In the meantime they've also discovered the Pokemon cartoons and merchandise. They have even been distracted away from Skylanders Swap Force and Disney Infinity. Looks like I'm all set for Christmas present ideas.