By Laura . October 12, 2013 . 5:00pm
In addition to Pokémon Amie (above), Super Training is another new feature you’ll find on the bottom screen of the 3DS in Pokémon X and Pokémon Y. Usually, the screen shows one Pokémon and a punching bag, and as you play the game the Pokémon will idly punch the bag about once a minute. Each punch is one EV, if I recall correctly. On the other hand, you can tap the bag and prompt the Pokémon to beat the bag up furiously, which will hasten the stat boost.
You have different options of bags you use for different stats and EV growth, or you can take part in the shooting game. Goals appear on different parts of a moving Pokémon balloon and you touch the bottom screen to shoot the goal. This could have been easy, but Pokémon X and Y change the usual formula up a bit. The bottom screen is always blank, so you have to keep your eyes trained on the top. You can use the Circle Pad in all directions to move your Pokémon around to avoid balls the balloon shoots at you. Sometimes the balloon will put up barriers or call up mini-balloons to block your blows. These can be destroyed with shots as well.
Your goal is to score a number of points until you reach a certain score. This number increases as you choose higher level stages. In addition, it seems like your Pokémon’s current EV level affects how many points you gain per ball, so it’s best to work up slowly. They also gain different abilities such as rapid-fire.
There is one course for each stat—HP, Attack, Defense, Sp. Attack, Sp. Defense, and Speed, and each seems to focus on different styles of play. Defense training will have the balloon occasionally put up a barrier, which you have to destroy, while Speed focuses on using multiple quick shots through several goals to earn points. This little touch was nice, both to change up the formula and to make it feel more like actual training for your Pokémon.
To the left of the Pokémon is a green vertical bar, which will show just how “fully trained” your Pokémon is. If you play the game with a fully trained Pokémon, not only will you breeze through the course, you unlock Secret Super Training courses, which are more difficult and allow you to earn prize items such as Leaf or Fire Stones.
While Super Training, like Amie, is completely optional, it may greatly help later in the game where you may want to take a more hands-on approach to EV training your Pokémon for competition purposes. The only obstacle may be that Pokémon can’t train too much or else they’ll become exhausted and have to rest for a while, but overall, I like the option of using it instead of grinding with wild Pokémon (which isn’t efficient in XY simply due to the sheer number of Pokémon that can appear in each patch of grass).