Pokémon X And Pokémon Y: It’s The Little Changes That Add Up

By Laura . October 6, 2013 . 5:00pm

When Pokémon shifted locales from Unova to Kalos, geography wasn’t the only aspect of the game that underwent a change. In fact, while many of the changes in Pokémon X and Pokémon Y appear minor, they all add something, from atmosphere to customization to convenience and improved flow of the game.


One of the handiest changes is the Pokémon organization system. While the upcoming Pokémon Bank cloud service certainly sounds useful for players returning to the series, the Pokémon Box system in the game itself has had a few of its kinks ironed out. While the baffling choice of Pokémon Deposit/Withdraw is still present (as always choosing Organize Box allows you to do both at will, so having a choice that only lets you do one or the other has always been redundant), you can now drag Pokémon directly into your party from the box. While this choice was present in Pokémon Black/White, it required a roundabout movement because your party wasn’t always visible on the screen. This time around, things are far smoother.


In addition, you can now transfer multiple Pokémon at once through the Tray option. When you activate it, all you have to do is drag an opaque box over the group of Pokémon you wish to transfer and then drag them as one over into another Pokémon Box. The only drawback of this is that the Pokémon have to be pre-organized in the order that you would like them to display in in their new location, but aside from that, the Tray options saves a lot of time and effort—especially if you’re moving multiple Pokémon between three or so boxes.


Finally, the drag/drop function in the boxes, by which you can hold your stylus over a Pokémon to pick it up and then drop it over another Pokémon, resulting in the two swapping places, is also now present in the Pokémon menu from your main menu as well. You can use this to switch Pokémon or to switch held items. I find the latter extremely handy since you normally have to go through a series of menus to accomplish this relatively simple task.


You can also access shortcuts to heal your Pokémon in and out of battle (instead of going through the Item menu). This is done using Y + D-pad to select your shortcut item. Additionally, you can hold down the L button to see the effects of Pokémon attacks during battle (instead of going through the Pokémon menu and selecting Check Moves). All of these shortcuts minimize the need to scroll through menu after menu to accomplish these common actions.


Other added options are completely new to the Kalos region itself. Since Kalos is all about “beauty,” it only stands to logic that you also “beautify” yourself. In most locations, you’ll find boutiques that sell clothing—shirts, pants, socks, shoes, hats, bags, and accessories (and dresses, if you’re a girl). Every town has different stock that changes over time, though you can be sure they’ll cost a pretty penny wherever you go. In addition, you’re given a Lens Case that you can use to change your eye color, and Lumiose City has a Salon where you (not your Furfrou) can get a haircut and change your hair color. Additionally, in every Pokémon Center, there’s a changing room, where you can change your appearance, which will affect your trainer’s appearance in the overworld, on your Trainer Card, in your save profile picture, and the opening sequence to every battle where you throw the Pokéball. (And in ending animations, too, for special battles such as fighting against your rival or Team Flare.)


Finally, there are the new methods of transportation. We’ve all heard about the Pokémon riding, but that is actually a very small feature since it’s limited to very small areas and it’s not with Pokémon in your party. For example, you can ride Gogoats through Lumiose City, but they function as a sort of public transportation so you don’t have to navigate the massive, and admittedly confusing, city yourself.  Outside of Lumiose, you can ride Skiddo in a closed pen (and although you can jump the fence the same way you can in Zelda: Ocarina of Time with Epona, even then Skiddo can’t seem to figure out how to climb stairs). Finally, at one point, you’re required to ride a Rhyhorn through a treacherous trail of craggy rocks that prevent your trainer from making it through himself.


The Rhyhorn in particular is hard to control because of the way its controls are mapped and the speed at which it moves. It can break boulders with its horn and open the way to various small side paths where you can find items. However, like the Skiddo, the Rhyhorn is confined to its trail and that’s it.


That’s riding in a nutshell. The actual new mode of transporation is the roller skates. The skates are are used by employing the 3DS Circle Pad for movement, instead of the D-Pad. They’re a fairly fast way to travel around in style, and if you are so inclined, you can even dash or perform tricks like a back flip or a 360 upon landing after a ledge. Some places have rails where you can approach and skid down to reach different areas. The skates are incredibly smooth and fun to use—with the only problem being that sometimes they’re a bit too fast and smooth, so much so that turning in a specific direction to talk to NPCs or trying to head into a door can be difficult.


That said, the ease with which you can switch between skates and regular running is easy. Want to skate? Use the Circle Pad. Want to run? Use the D-Pad + B. Some areas won’t allow skating, though, such as houses or nature preserves, so in those areas you can use the Circle simply Pad to run.


Finally, if you prefer to travel even faster, you can use the bicycle, which is back again. This is much more familiar to Pokémon veterans, so there isn’t much to say about it, except that it’s faster than skating. It’s also the only mode of transportation that allows you to move quickly through grass, since the skates get tangled and you end up walking when you hit tall grass anyway.


In addition to these features, there are plenty of smaller presentation changes like real-time reflections in mirrors as you pass by them. Then there’s the ability to sit down on nearby benches and chairs, which will sometimes shift the camera to allow you to see the scenery better. There are idle animations for when you leave your character alone for some time. Meanwhile, during exploration, Strength rocks don’t simply move back in the way if you leave the screen (no such luck with Cut trees, though). Finally, this is a tiny but nice change—your character kneels when talking to children or Pokémon.


While many of these changes are superficial and serve no purpose, they do give a sense that Kalos is a place and not just a location in a new game.

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  • Godman

    So awesome that we get colored contacts! I’ll be going grey in this one.
    Now I need two answers is there dark blue colored hair AND is hat removal confirmed?

    • GH56734

      Hat removal and facial hair is.
      As for hair dye I don’t know (but it’s very likely)

  • konsama

    This sounds so awesome. And i totally dig the character customization.

    Just 6 more days. >_< Tho i wish nintendo finally added the price in the mexican eshop to get ready.

  • FirstaLasto

    “(and dresses, if you’re a girl)”
    BOO! BOO I SAY! *angrytransgenderman.jpg*

    • Rytan

      ;_; If animal crossing will let me crossdress why won’t pokemon

      • FirstaLasto

        and have you seen those pink frilly dresses the female character can wear? I WANT TO BE PRETTY IN PINK, TOO.

        also funfact, the japanese versions of the fifth gen games have a crossdressing kindergarten teacher. he was changed to a really sweaty female kindergarten teacher in the english translation. BOO.

      • Suicunesol

        It’d probably be too much work to create alternate male and females clothing models for all of the clothing. You know, different build and all.

        Animal Crossing models are really simple, so they’re easily interchangeable.

        • FirstaLasto

          are the male and female models different enough above the hips that the dresses wont fit on the male model? the least they could do is give us the same hairstyles. im pretty sure the head models are nearly identical.

          edit: my bad, the female character is older than i thought. guess those breasts might make interchanging clothing models difficult. still, hair, hats they could at least give us those!

          • Suicunesol

            “Different enough above the hips”? Well, the dress would probably have a little bump ’round the chest area. It’s not really a common feature of the male body, but there are exceptions. :P (I’m talking about the full-body models rather than the overworld models.)

            Yeah, they could have allowed the same hairstyles for both genders. I think it would be a good idea to, at the very least, have several styles that are gender-neutral like long hair or rocker hair for males.

          • GH56734

            They’ll have to create new models, so no.

      • neocatzon

        *Kinda happy with crossdressing thanks to uncustomizable pants*

      • Funny thing is Pokémon is the only Nintendo brand that will ALWAYS be made for little kids. I don’t know why, but it might have something to do with the fact Pokémon has it’s own separate team within Nintendo.

        • Rytan

          I don’t know about that, man. They let you get beards, and the most recent commercial featured teenagers/uoung adults so… Not to mention including starters from Gen 1. Pretty sure they know the biggest part of their audience.

          • So? I have a beard and my nephew loves me. He also has a cross dressing “auntie” and sometimes gets scared. He may only be 3 years old, but it doesn’t change the fact that beards and cross dressing are 2 completely different things. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against cross dressing. I do it in some of my other games for laughs (try having a big breasted, blonde cheerleader that sounds like Nolan North in Saints Row IV, hilarious!), but cross dressing is not a normal thing for some people.

          • Suicunesol

            “some people”

            Cross dressing is not a normal thing for most people. Some people do it for kicks, laughs, or as a hobby. But few people seriously cross dress as part of their daily routine. I think this only applies to men, though, since male clothing fits both genders pretty well and girls in jeans/t-shirt are common, while female clothing is a bit iffy because most of it tailored to fit the female form.

          • FirstaLasto

            I dont think you understand what transgender means.

    • SlickRoach

      Can’t please everyone. As a JRPG fan if I complained every time they didn’t have a black protagonist to represent me it’d be every time :-/

      • FirstaLasto

        well you can play a dark skinned character in pkmxy, although im not sure about black :c. thing is, crossdressing is much more socially acceptable in japan than north america, and its seen a lot in their shows and games (even the mario series has them, such as birdo and vivian), but japan has a rather tiny black population, so you dont see black characters in their shows and games as often. theyre just a result of their culture and population. thats why i feel sad when i dont see something that happens a lot.
        but i feel your pain when i play american games. you pretty much never get to play as a gay or transgendered character (the former i see a rare bit of, but the latter basically zilch).

  • Arcana Wiz

    This game is lokking better and better with the latest informations, but what sold it to me was the first gen pokemons….cant wait to play as bulbassaur again(even though his mega evolution is kinda meh)

    • Pdugna

      chibi bulbasaur is to much

    • Anesia Hunter

      these bulbasaurs are just too adorable. i mean i gotta restrain myself from saying “awww” each time i scroll through.

  • Herok♞

    So pokemon, does anyone else have plans to let it take over their lives next weekend?

    • Lynx

      I still wanna see if people are interested in a tournament at the end of the mouth. A whatever-you’ve-got-at-the-time kind of tournament.

      But yeah, I will have no life.

      • PreyMantis

        End of the mouth? I don’t know what kind of tournament you do, but I don’t wanna be part of it :P

        • Lynx


          We did on the forums I go onto every time there was a new release. Sadly, those forums kinda..went kaput.

          • PreyMantis

            I’m guessing you didn’t get the joke lol
            But, yeah, there are forums for tournaments. I suggest going to smogon. Their forum is mostly dedicated for Pokemon tournaments.

    • SDDMN

      Me, and the card will stay in my 3DS until I get A Link between Worlds.

    • konsama

      I don’t see it taking over my life any less than till march.

    • glenngunnerzero

      Using up my last vacation and personal holidays from Thursday 10th to Tuesday 22nd.

      • Herok♞

        You are a real trooper I salute you!

    • Anesia Hunter

      It’ll be taking over mine until Senran Kagura Burst comes out.

      • Kamakuma

        Please tell me we have a date already? XD

        • Anesia Hunter

          Sadly, no. But I’m watching and waiting for it.

      • Herok♞

        That sounds like a good plan, the 2 greatest things known to man with be on your 3DS boobs and pokemon

        • Anesia Hunter

          well, i need something to distract me from waiting on SKB, since i’m getting really impatient and we’re still near the start of fall. ~_~

          • Herok♞

            Well pokemon is going to be amazing so you made the right decision.

      • Leon_Tekashi

        Yeah, same here. Support for Senran Kagura! But first, Pokemon!

    • Just the weekend, then it’s back to work. -_-

    • Suicunesol

      Will have midterm on the following Monday. Wish I could let it take over my life.

      I guess I just have to study much earlier on so I can give myself time.

      • Herok♞

        Thats what I am doing I am doing all my homework during the week so the weekend is pokemon time

    • Raoni Marques

      I’ll be grabbing mine on a midnight release!

      • Herok♞

        Lucky you, the store I have to use doesn’t have a midnight launch and the closest one that does is 10+ miles away.

        • Raoni Marques

          Dammit, that sucks dude. Actually, no stores near me will have a midnight release either. I’m getting into my car with a few friends and i’m gonna drive 40 miles to a place that will have it! lol

          That’s how much I’m hyped for the game.

          • Herok♞

            Well I am that hyped as well, I just don’t have the luxury of doing that since family is taking me to pick my game up and I can’t ask them to go to parts unknown as much as I would love to.

          • Raoni Marques

            I know the feeling, bro, and that sucks. Well, hope you can grab it early saturday and have lots of fun with it!

        • JohnNiles

          Agreed. 10+ miles and unfamiliar locations for me, so I’d rather sleep and pick it up in the morning. Starting a pokemon game in the middle of the night feels weird!

          • Anesia Hunter

            it all depends on your sleep patterns and for insomniacs it’s no biggy.

        • JuhRo

          Midnight release right next to where my lady lives. Really convenient.

    • William Beck

      I say yes!!

    • J_Joestar

      more like make plans to ensure that it doesn’t so i still have some semblance of a normal life.

  • rurin

    Looks like I’ll finally spend all my Pokemon money
    On collecting clothes….

  • Raoni Marques

    One word: Greninja. Sold.

    • Steven Higgins

      That’s not confirmed yet. Speculated. leaked. possibly true. But not confirmed.

      • Detrimont

        with how many screenshots there are of greninja, with completely different angles, and the Amie pic of it, it’s 99.9% confirmed

        • Steven Higgins

          I haven’t seen it on any reputable sight. I’m just saying, don’t believe anything until confirmation. Anyone with a decent amount of skill and access to Photoshop could make a very convincing fake.

          • Detrimont

            if you’re meaning serebii, of course they wont post leaks, seeing as the site was almost shut down after the B/W leaks(it currently says something about it at the top of the main page on serebii)

          • Steven Higgins

            Not just seribiii. Pokemon wiki and here too. I dpn’t use IGN or Bulbapedia so i can’t speak for those. I’m not saying it isn’t real, I think it is. Just that it’s not confirmed, and until it it we can’t really be sure of anything.

          • Anesia Hunter

            nintendo has been more aggressive about leaks of x and y. so a number of people who were leaking have already been forced to stop. as for sites like the ones you listed, they’re not going to do any leaks to avoid nintendo’s wrath.

      • Raoni Marques

        It’s been confirmed ages ago. No denying it’s true anymore. There’s more than just screenshots too. There’s also videos. You can look it up.

        • Steven Higgins

          If gamefreak hasn’t said anything, it’s not confirmed. I’m not denying, just saying we’ve been lead astray by leaks before. and I have, the vids I’ve seen presented two separate sets of starter evos. you can see why I’m being cautious.

          • Raoni Marques

            Me, I believe in what my eyes can see, and what I saw seems like proof enough. Guess we’ll all be sure when we finally get it.

          • Steven Higgins

            I tend not to believe anything on the internet until it’s confirmed. There is a difference between something being leaked and being confirmed. people can fake a leak and even when a leak is real it’s not always in the way we think. Lucario and Marill are proof of that. everybody thought they were Mewthree an Pikablue.

          • Raoni Marques

            Good enough for you now?


          • Steven Higgins

            This I can accept. Seribii is usually reliable

  • Time Sage

    Most of those box features were avalbie in BWB2W2, you just had to be in the right mode.

    • You’re right. I never noticed it until now o_O If only I had known sooner…

      The buttons are more prominent now, though! And they tell you straight out that it exists XD

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    This time around people is going to be busy clothes em all!!

    • FirstaLasto

      gotta buy em all?

    • Suicunesol

      Gotta fill up the clothing dex and show it to the professor~

      • ShawnOtakuSomething

        MMMM indeed! *reload for pic*

        • Zenthos

          Lmao, it’s the pervy professor.

        • Steven Higgins

          God. it looks like he’s thinking about giving her a Diglett as her first Pokemon.
          Oh that’s right. I went there

      • I’m having a lot of fun collecting clothes, but it’s really costing an arm and a leg. Thank goodness I have an Amulet Coin <3

    • JohnNiles

      “Hmm, wasn’t there something I was supposed to be doing?”

  • Steven Higgins

    I’m guessing the ride function is just a test in this. I fully expect there to be a Ride TM/HM in Z (or XX/XY whatever they decide to go with), or at the very latest Gen VII

    • Personally, I’m hoping HMs don’t exist anymore in future generations, but since Pokemon LOVES them … it may take a while for them to get there, so…

      • J_Joestar

        it would be nice if they simply tied HM abilities to pokemon so that once you got a certain badge (or whatever unlocking mechanic the come up with) a Pokemon that could learn cut could use it in the overworld without knowing the move.

        either that or make them all as combat viable as Surf…

        • Then it’d be too easy ;P

      • Lynx

        The only ones I kinda want is Surf. Maybe Waterfall too.

        Mainly because those are useful outside of map. Fly is good but it’s really situational.

        • Suicunesol

          Huh? Fly is the HM move we all use the most…

          Waterfall is the one that’s situational. o_0

          • Anesia Hunter

            same for strength, cut, dive and sometimes rock smash and flash.

          • J_Joestar

            at least it is a decent physical water attack

        • HM-wise, I actually use Surf, Waterfall, Strength, and Fly in battle. I have more of an issue with the fact that it’s permanent (bar that one old man who can miraculously grant your Pokemon amnesia) than its usefulness in battle.

          Cut is really annoying, though.

      • Suicunesol

        Aw, I would be very sad if that happened. HMs serve the purpose of allowing interaction with your surroundings. Plus they give Pokemon a purpose in life other than fighting other Pokemon.

        If it were me, I’d have the HM moves separate from normal attacks and give the HM moves more utility. For instance, you could use cut on trees to cut branches down and get more berries, or use cut on tall grass to find rare Pokemon hiding within. Dive and Surf and Waterfall would be melded into one HM. And Strength would be used to pick up random rocks and find hidden passages with fossils…

        • Ah, you’re right. What bothers me isn’t really the presence of moves you can use that influence your surroundings, but the fact that they take up a move space when you only have 4 total. This forces you to come up with HM slaves that you end up not really caring about anyways (unless you’re like me and train them up to E4 status XD).

  • Mnstrzero00

    Anybody else annoyed by the fact that it comes out on Saturday? I don’t even know if I can preorder it at GameStop because I won’t be able to get it until Monday and I doubt they’ll hold it. And amazon is ridiculous to me.

    • Suicunesol

      Maybe Gamestop will have a midnight release on Friday? (yeah right >_>)

    • Anesia Hunter

      you could call your local gamestop and ask them how long they’ll hold the game for you. around where i live, they hold games for up to 48 hours after their release. (no, i don’t know if that’s business hours only.)

  • Göran Isacson

    So… riding is more like an on-rails shooter instead of a breaking of boundaries and the tyranny of fences?

    Well aren’t I all kinds of dissapoint now.

    • Hm? No, riding is full-on controls. It’s just that sometimes there are boulders sitting in your way and you can press A to blast them apart. But you can make your way around freely.

      The only exception is the Gogoat in Lumiose City.

      • Göran Isacson

        Buuuut from the way the article is written it sounds like this is something you only do at set places and is limited to those places alone. I suppose that I could have used a better way to word it, like perhaps “minigame”, rather than “on-rails shooter”, but the thing I had in mind was that we could ride Pokemon like bicycles. That is what made me dissapoint, that I was mistaken about that.

        • Ah. Yes, it’s more like a minigame than an ingame means of transportation. When you said on-rails shooter I thought you’d meant the Pokemon moved on its own and you just controlled when it attacked or something (which isn’t the case).

  • $61526767

    Being how this will be my very first Pokemon game. I really can’t wait to experience everything! Still, it would have been cool if you can meet other players characters online. I would have liked that very much.. but oh well, still going to enjoy the game otherwise.

  • celery

    The L button allowing the user to see the effects of moves was started in B2W2. It is SO helpful beyond belief.

    • …Again, they actually point this out on a sign somewhere. Where did you even learn to do this in BW2? O_o I don’t recall anyone telling you the shortcut…

      • Anesia Hunter

        It’s on a sign in the game.

  • wahyudil

    will I run out of stock next month? there are still 3 games that I need to buy this month …

    • J_Joestar

      it’s Pokemon, so Nintendo will probably keep it reasonably well stocked in most major retailers.

  • J_Joestar

    Any word on post-game named trainers showing up yet?

    you know, like…


  • r4ind4nce

    This article was more informative than any of the reviews I’ve read so far^^ It listed exactly what I was curious about. Thanks, Laura! :D Saturday still seems so far away…

  • Vash bane

    I… am… so jelly of 3ds owners T.T those new changes sound awesome :)

    • Anesia Hunter

      if you can’t afford the 3ds you can always buy the 2ds which comes out the same day and buy yourself a copy of the games.

  • DuskSharkEX

    Where did you get the Lens Case?

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