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Mega Evolution- An Evolution Too Far?

At this point, with less than two months to go until the release of Pokemon X and Y worldwide, excitement is beginning to build for the release of Pokemon in glorious 3D. Of course, with this being the release of one of Nintendo’s biggest franchises, there has also been a certain amount of controversy and criticism created alongside the excitement. This time around the controversy seems to be surrounding the inclusion of a new fairy type and the introduction of the mega evolution mechanic. Gamers across the internet are accusing Nintendo of adding a new type on a whim and that the mega evolution mechanic seems to be nothing more than a cheap gimmick. I have to admit that I was initially skepticalImage when I heard the concept. I was worried that straying from the perfected formula of Pokemon games may lead X and Y to disaster. After some contemplation however, I realised that this was an entirely incorrect way of thinking about it. I applaud Nintendo for trying to add a new dimension to a game which is now nearly approaching the end of its second decade of existence. Making sequels to games which are highly regarded is a tricky business; developers need to walk the fine line between retaining enough familiarity from the original which was loved so much and including enough new material to make the game seem fresh. People commenting negatively on fairy type and mega evolution are probably saying the exact same thing as people who reacted negatively when Dark and Steel was added to the mix of types. It is the same as the negative comments on the ‘new’ Pokemon. Admittedly, some of the character design is not great, (Pidove springs to mind here; sorry but that’s just a pigeon) but a lot of them are simply outstanding. We really want to play a new Pokemon game which only contained the original 151 Pokemon? The point is that we cannot shy away from changes to the Pokemon formula for fear of losing what made the game so great in the first place. If we stick to this mind-set then we will really just end up playing Red and Blue for the rest of our lives. Almost every up-date and new addition to the Pokemon games so far has improved the games a lot (the updates to the way that special attacks and normal attacks correspond to the stats improved so many Pokemon) and brought something new to the table, making the game ever more tactically complex. The Pokemon games, unlike many Pokemon themselves, actually evolve rather slowly. The addition of fairy type and mega evolution is not a massive leap away from previous incarnation of the game but rather is trying to add a bit of freshness into a very familiar formula. Hopefully, this will serve to add a new layer of depth into the combat mechanics of the game, and will make often neglected Pokemon a more viable choice for your team of six. I personally hope that the inclusion of fairy type and the slight re-shuffling of type alignment that this implies will make Poison type more useful. I am very much looking forward to seeing how these changes effect the gameplay of X and Y. For those who aren’t, fear not. I am sure that they will not change the game beyond all recognition. Keep in mind however, that the games need to evolve or they will eventually die out.

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