Aspects of Play: Pokémon X & Y

As part of the module, the task for the duration of 3 weeks, was to look into various types of games within 3 specific bands of play to fully comprehend the scope and ideology behind the notion of play. The band this game ‘Pokémon X’ belongs to is the Console. Side note: I have played Pokémon Y additionally as noted by the title, but seeing as they are the exact same game with a few version tweaks, for the purpose of this post, i’ll refer only to Pokémon X.

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In terms of Roger Caillois’ theory of play, it would be safe to say that this game falls under the categories of; Agon, Mimicry & Alea.

When it comes to the game, it has an aura of competitiveness, you as a player want to beat within the context of the game, the opponent. The challenge is the crossroads between your Pokémon’s type and level, against your opponents Pokémon, the competitive element thus comes from being able to adapt to the specific situations to combat against weakness, in order not to lose. Mimicry comes from controlling the protagonist navigationally throughout the map. Alea comes from the types of moves Pokémon can use, you see within the game moves have varying power levels that generally get stronger the higher leveled the Pokémon is, they also come with an accuracy rating to determine the chance that the move will actually hit, Alea thus plays its part here by being a factor of randomness that could easily sway a battle. I don’t however believe that Illinx is present within the game, there isn’t any moment of which the player is exposed to disorientating properties.

The appealing elements of the game to me, were; The battle animations are for the most part fairly fluid, the art style has always been a favourite of mine, the 3D environments are much improved over previous games.

State of Flow, was it achieved?

Yes, although in various stages. This game is a turn based game, so there’s a lot of time playing it that allows for the player to become unimmersed from the game world, which I did on occasion outside of the battles.

If I were designing a game similar to this, I’d implement a seamless transition between the navigational world, and the battles that take place within the game. Simply because this game has too many moments where the player can be unimmersed simply by the game showing a cutscene that acts as a transition between the scenes.

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