How The Internet Affected Pokémon X And Pokémon Y’s Design

By Sato . October 14, 2013 . 2:37pm

Pokémon X and Pokémon Y are out now, but there’s still information to be gleaned on the two games—most notably on the brand new Fairy type that has been introduced in X/Y to counter Dragon-type Pokémon. In a recent issue of Famitsu magazine, Game Freak director Junichi Masuda shared some thoughts on the new type as well as elements that will make this generation of Pokémon different than its predecessors.


Since Nintendo had Pokémon X and Y lined up for a simultaneous worldwide launch with a number of new Pokémon, Masuda says that special care was paid to adjusting the balance of the game, as well as the brand new Pokémon Amie feature.


Famitsu asks about some of the parts of the game that were worked on the most, during the development of Pokémon X and Y.


“While we did integrate a lot of detailed adjustments into the game balance, another part would be the ease of raising Pokémon,” answers Masuda. “Nowadays, we have the Internet, smartphones, and more, so I think the time spent playing games has decreased.”


“For those reasons, we made it much easier to raise your Pokémon that will allow you to play smoother and more comfortably than before. For example, simply catching a Pokémon with a Pokéball will net you some experience points.”


With regard to the subject of his thoughts on a simultaneous world release, Masuda explains that in the past, Pokémon games would take a year or two to localize in different countries around the world. While the games did come out earlier in Japan, Masuda feels that many players missed out on features due to the delay it took for the game to come out in other countries, such as the Unity Tower in Pokémon Black and White, which was used to trade with others around the world. This is no longer the case.


Moving on, one of the biggest changes in Pokémon X and Y are the new and improved 3D graphics. For the first time, the games utilize far more dynamic camera angles, which according to Masuda, is partly due to the fans who voiced their opinions on wanting to be able to see their Pokémon from the front, and not only the back, during battles.


Masuda then moves on to discuss Fairy-type Pokémon. With the new Fairy type being introduced, it will be the 18th type in the series, and also the first new addition in 14 years, since Pokémon Gold and Silver. Famitsu asks what made Game Freak decide to introduce a new type to the series after all this time.


“This is something we’ve talked about since we released the very first generation of the games, but Dragon-types are strong, and we saw little deviation in the Pokémon that were used, even at tournaments,” says Masuda. “While we did balance the games for each new title, this time we put more effort into the adjustments, and added a new type that is strong against Dragons.”


Masuda adds, “We had many candidates for the new type, but in the end, you could say it’s due to a fantasy-like connection, that we went with a plan that involved having ‘a fairy that is strong against dragons,’ and settled with the type name as Fairy.”


Pokémon X and Y are available now for Nintendo 3DS.

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  • Shady Shariest

    “Internet…It took our sanity…Smartphones have captured us… In a valiant effort to get away from this reality we created a mini-game where you pet Pokemon” “And it is pure gold”

    • Renaldi Saputra

      sadly we still can’t clean its poop

      • AndyLC

        If you don’t clean their poop, they evolve into bidoof

        • Renaldi Saputra

          or maybe garbrodor

      • Shady Shariest

        Heh, That could be a feature in the next pokiman games :3

      • Yvonne Tsang

        That’s what Trubbish is.

        • Renaldi Saputra

          but Trubbish is a trash, not a poop

          maybe we need to make a Sukamon in pokemon

  • Gekokujou

    Sorry, this is coming from someone who stopped playing since the Gold and Silver version, but are dragons really that strong?

    • Exkaiser

      Dragon type pokemon tend to be higher end in the stats department, and until now have only had two weaknesses: one of which was Dragon itself. Also, only Steel had a resistance to them.

    • Hunts Rattata

      Competitively, yes. The only thing that resisted Dragon attacks was Steel; it’s a basic and reliable strategy to dedicate part of your team to scouting and trapping any Steel-types the opponent has, and then having your Dragon-type steamroll what’s left of their team. Sure, they might have an Ice attack or two that could put a hurt on you, but it won’t do them any good if your Dragon is one-shotting their mons before they can attack.

      Speaking of Steel, I’m surprised how little lip service its nerfs are getting, losing it’s resistances to Dark and Ghost. It was as good defensively as Dragon was offensively, but no one seems to talk about it past the Honedge line’s dream typing of Ghost/Steel not being quite so dreamy anymore.

      • Just pair Honedge/Doublade/Aegislash with Flabebe/Floette/Florges. They look like they’re going to be the hip new defensive core of the latest generation.

        But yeah, though I don’t really mind Steel losing those resistances, it does shake things up. Bronzong’s gimmick used to be that it had two possible weaknesses and was immune to one of them. Now it’s going to have four weaknesses and be immune to one of the two that matter the least.

  • I… kinda doubt that enough time was spent on game balance, actually. There’s a lot of concern that Fairy types are going to make Ice types obsolete. They’re still terrible defensively and now this smug new type is encroaching on their dragon killing turf, while Water being rather OP continues to be overlooked. And what’s with Fairies being resistant to Bug? That means that Bug attacks are now good against 3 types and bad against 7. How fair is that?

    I would have done something like this:

    Fairy is weak to Bug
    Ice resists Fairy
    Ice also resists Water and/or Dragon
    Poison is neutral to Fairy (possibly; a little undecided there)
    Fire is neutral to Fairy
    Grass resists Fairy
    Water is weak to Poison
    Fairy maybe resists another type or two that is unbalanced (like Water)

    • Bunzi

      They considered that, actually, which is why the new move Freeze Dry exists. I guess their reasoning was that, if Ice was going to be awful defensively, it would have be so good offensively that it made up for it. With that new move, they can hit Water types super effectively, effectively making Ice resisted only by Steel and itself, putting it in a very similar boat as the dragons of Pre Gen VI, but with the handful of useful resistances Dragons possessed. It’s not perfect, but they’re steps in the right direction.

      • That’s a nice gesture on paper, but in practice I’m not sure it’ll make any difference. I like how Freeze Dry mixes up the type balances that everyone’s been living by, but its effect on the metagame will be limited by the move’s distribution. Furthermore, since it’s a special attack, physical Ice types like Mamoswine can’t make good use of it, and Mamoswine in particular could use a move like that since it’s weak to Water. Its 70 base power is somewhat low too, and with only 4 move slots to work with, it’s likely that most people will forego Freeze Dry entirely and use Ice Beam or the newly strengthened Frost Breath instead.

        Freeze Dry is a great idea, but its gimmick is too niche. The game’s team building mechanics are so restrictive that I doubt anyone will seriously consider using it.

    • DeadLineDance

      I’ve been lurking on Smogon’s forums, and they’re saying that while the Fairy Type could be strong, the actual Pokemon that are Fairy-types are… not all that strong, and that many of the top-tier Dragons (lolGarchomp, for example) can still steamroll them with only minor modifications to strategy. So I wouldn’t worry about Ice being obsolete… there’s a new Ice-type with 100 HP and 180 DEF; I’m interested to know how he does.
      I agree though, Bug and Dark have been SCREWED this gen. Makes me upset, as I love both types.

      • VenerableSage

        Smogon’s got the right thoughts, then. Making a type immune to one type of attacks doesn’t negate the fact that the heavy hitter dragons still have sky-high stats* or wide enough movepools to just not care.

        *Of all of the Dragons on Smogon’s tiers, the only OU Dragon to not have at LEAST 600 BST is Haxorus.

        I’ve repeatedly stated that Fairy is going to be nothing more than a “bandaid” fix for the game’s “balance”. If Game Freak actually wants balance, then they need to actually BALANCE it, because it’s never been balanced. And with how long it takes them to enact changes (and how often they get it wrong), it may be another 10 years before they even start coming close.

        • Part of me wonders: is the Fairy type even needed? It seems to unnecessarily bloat out the mechanics, which are already teetering on a very narrow and restrictive system of 6 pokemon with 4 moves each in turn-based combat. Couldn’t they just have rebalanced what they already had, like by making Ice types resistant to Dragon attacks? They’ve already proven they’re willing to do that with how they took away two of Steel’s resistances.

          • VenerableSage

            Personally, I would say that it isn’t needed. If I were the one in charge, there would have been no new type additions and significantly more changes to the type chart. Granted, my thoughts would only be theory – you’d obviously have to test to see whether the changes would be effective or not, and perhaps that’s why they chose this route. Make a small, handful of changes and see how it plays out.

            Also, you have to consider that prior to X/Y, Game Freak never really seemed like they wanted to push the envelope when it came to altering things that already existed. When Dark and Steel were added, the type chart changed quite a bit, though I would argue that the changes and additions were definitely needed, given that they were only coming around to the second set of games.

            However, those changes were very minor when it came to Pokemon and moves. The Magnemite family gained an extra type, no existing Pokemon had Dark added, and the new species with those types were relatively limited in number. With Fairy retypings, it seems like they’re more content to change the “status quo” if the information I’ve heard is true (haven’t gotten my copy of X yet to play and discover).

            It’s just a shame that it took something like this for them to START to make tweaks like this. In my opinion, people are going to need to learn new stuff regardless, so you might as well take what opportunities you do have and make meaningful changes.

            (As in, who cares if the community is annoyed that certain Pokemon A changed from Normal/Flying to Fighting/Flying. If it makes things better or more interesting, why not go for it? Same applies to the type chart. If they’re okay with Dark and Ghost no longer doing 1/2 to Steel, then why couldn’t a change like this have been made in Gen IV? Why isn’t Electric effective against Steel, for that matter? That seems like something that should have existed since Gen II, if you ask me!)

      • J_Joestar

        At least dark got a minor buff it it’s ability to hit Steel Neutrally, it is a notable blow against Metagross, Jirachi, Bronzong and Aegislash

  • AkiraScare

    So many new pokemon…. Yet everyone seems to use the same ones….

    • Syn

      Old people…what can you do..*waves walking crane at a youngin*

  • VenerableSage

    “While we did integrate a lot of detailed adjustments into the game balance,
    another part would be the ease of raising Pokémon,” answers Masuda.

    Ease of raising is great… but I think a ton of people would have also appreciated ease of breeding. I don’t want to spend an hour here and there repeatedly over the period of two weeks just to get an egg with the nature that I want, only then to have to breed more eggs to get Egg Moves, the correct ability, and/or better IVs. Especially not when people just use apps and tools to craft teams of perfect Pokemon in a short period of time and make my legitimate time spent a waste.

    “This is something we’ve talked about since we released the very first
    generation of the games, but Dragon-types are strong, and we saw little
    deviation in the Pokémon that were used, even at tournaments,” says
    Masuda. “While we did balance the games for each new title, this time we
    put more effort into the adjustments, and added a new type that is
    strong against Dragons.”

    Gee, I WONDER WHY. Maybe, you know, you shouldn’t have made a large number of the “pseudo-legendaries” Dragon-type and given them 600 points in Base Stats. Or, maybe you should have actually taken an effort to balance them out years ago (like retroactively lowering their stats!) if you intended to keep doing it anyway.

    If they’re calling the adjustments (i.e. a bandaid, given that Dragons don’t exclusively run off of same-type attacks (meaning that Fairy’s immunity isn’t a be-all and end-all solution) and, in fact, often have a very wide movepool!) made for X/Y “more effort”, then their previous “effort” must be the absolute minimal definition of the word. I mean, if you see that weather, Dragons, and entry hazards are dominating play and it takes you a whole generation of games to do something about it, that’s not effort.

    • Those are some potently worded points, which I sadly relate to. Stealth Rock kinda ruined the game for me. Everyone came to use it, which put harsh restrictions on what teams would and wouldn’t work. You could still use a flying bug if you wanted, but you’d have to use a few of your team’s precious 24 move slots to prepare for eliminating entry hazards, and it didn’t always seem worth the investment.

      The grind of the games have always, well, ground on me too, to the point where I’ve had more fun playing with PokeGen and other third-party utilities than I’ve had playing the game properly. The popularity of online battle simulators says I’m not alone either. Nintendo might want to consider how many people want something like Minecraft’s creative mode in Pokemon and work harder to accommodate those players.

  • Dexward

    Leveling up was so easy I was ten levels higher by the time I reached the second gym.

  • Kai2591

    Thank you for the 3D graphics & dynamic camera angles.
    Thank you for making experience gain much more easier.
    Thank you for the simultaneous worldwide release.

    But most of all, thank you for Pokémon Amie! :)

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