XY Experiences

My initial run through I used entirely new Pokemon, didn't even touch my Kanto starter and it was a blast. Really refreshing. I had to turn off Exp share a few times to prevent over leveling, but it was worth it.
 
Finished the game after 94 hours, was amaizing... and you get a celebration for beating the champion and saving the Kalos region... FINALLY.

Also I got a Shiny Beartic, Pyroar (female) and an Adamant, Shiny Electabuzz with 31 Ivs in Attack... amaizing.
 

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grumpy and stubborn
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So I'm still on my initial run of Y, I've managed to log about ~60 hours between work irl crap, and not even at the last gym yet (thanks Amie/Super training). Anyway, I am having THE worst 6-team-slot syndrome. Now that I just picked up Yveltal I kinda wanna use it (usually always use the legends on initial plays), but dunno what to drop. It'll probably end up being Flygon because she's not a new mon (wanna try the newbies) and Yveltal can fly instead. But I also just found a Noibat... I've found Aurorus to be a little lackluster, but I don't want two flyers... I kinda wanna bring Skiddo back, but can't be bothered catching him up 20 levels... I love the whole starting fresh thing but I'm remembering why I plan out my in-game teams in advance now.

tl;dr TOO MANY CHOICES

urgh, feel like I should be posting in that anxiety thread that's kicking around
 
So I'm still on my initial run of Y, I've managed to log about ~60 hours between work irl crap, and not even at the last gym yet (thanks Amie/Super training). Anyway, I am having THE worst 6-team-slot syndrome. Now that I just picked up Yveltal I kinda wanna use it (usually always use the legends on initial plays), but dunno what to drop. It'll probably end up being Flygon because she's not a new mon (wanna try the newbies) and Yveltal can fly instead. But I also just found a Noibat... I've found Aurorus to be a little lackluster, but I don't want two flyers... I kinda wanna bring Skiddo back, but can't be bothered catching him up 20 levels... I love the whole starting fresh thing but I'm remembering why I plan out my in-game teams in advance now.

tl;dr TOO MANY CHOICES

urgh, feel like I should be posting in that anxiety thread that's kicking around
I had the same problem. So I started a second playthrough to use the stuff I missed and I still had tons of stuff I wanted to use lol. There's so much variety of awesome pokemon in this game
 

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grumpy and stubborn
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I had the same problem. So I started a second playthrough to use the stuff I missed and I still had tons of stuff I wanted to use lol. There's so much variety of awesome pokemon in this game
I definitely didn't mean it in a bad way! The massive dex in this game is one of the best parts, and there aren't a whole lot of filler 'mons either, everything is pretty likable/has its uses. I'll be doing many planned runs before I even start to think of Nuzlocke runs and all that (I really wanna do a Wonderlocke!). Aready planning ahead for my first play of X!
 
I definitely didn't mean it in a bad way! The massive dex in this game is one of the best parts, and there aren't a whole lot of filler 'mons either, everything is pretty likable/has its uses. I'll be doing many planned runs before I even start to think of Nuzlocke runs and all that (I really wanna do a Wonderlocke!). Aready planning ahead for my first play of X!
Yeah I know what you mean its great that we are spoiled for choice. Theres something for everyone. Unlike in Diamond where there were 2 fire types to use lol
 
Currently on my second Exp.Share-less X playthrough and just finished storming Lysandre Labs. I have to say that it's much more satisfying without the Exp.Share.

My current team, which loosely runs off fantasy:
Mélisandre / Delphox (F), Lv.47
Obéron / Gardevoir (M), Lv.46
Fafnir / Charizard (M), Lv.46 @Charizardite-X
Durandal / Aegislash (M), Lv.44
Om Zanka / Heliolisk (F), Lv.44
Artorius / Nidoking (M), Lv.46

There's a ton of variety in the Pokémon you can use, which I really like. In fact, you can even get by using more than 6 Pokémon and switching about your team, which I'm actually doing with the free Lucario. Amie is fantastic, by the way, and the regions and the music is just beautiful.

The story wasn't as great compared to B/W. I really wished more gym leaders were more present than Korrina and Wulfric. Why couldn't Grant have been investigating the menhirs on route 10, or Olympia giving more premonition than the end-of-the-world message you were about to get as soon as you stepped outside? The Team Flare plot felt rather rushed too. (Also, Tierno can go roast in a Volcanion) Still, it's not really as bad as a lot of people are saying (hi /vp/) and what developed characters we got (Sycamore, Lysandre and especially AZ) were quite engaging. Overall, Restaurant Le Yeah/10, would wait until Le Wow comes about.
 
I finished my first run of X after getting done with EV and IV training and stuff on my Y. I ended up picking Charmander and Fennekin on X even though I freaking hated Charmander back in Generation I (and pretty much every Generation prior to V). What surprised me is that I actually got two Shinies on my X and I got none on my Y: shiny Plusle and Foonguss. Yay!

Anyway, I took more time to train and catch a greater number of wild Pokemon than I did on Y. On Y, I really only got Pokemon that I might have needed post-game or for the in-game team.
 

Codraroll

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After really taking my time, and avoiding the Exp. Share and Mega Evolution like the plague, I beat the Elite Four Y yesterday - to the day three weeks after I bought it. Man, what a game. The amount of available Pokémon, the leap in graphics, and the size of the Kalos region are all fantastic aspects of the game(s), but a really under-appreciated feature that we kinda forgot after launch, was the worldwide simultaneous release. Until I entered the Elite Four castle, I managed to stay unspoiled on their names and the types they use. Though, I knew the champion's identity from early on. For once, we didn't get to know the Pokémon and the story months before acquiring the games, rather, it happened hours before instead.
I think I'll post more later. At the moment, I realize I don't have time to take on the questions in the OP yet. Better wait for tomorrow.
 
My bro caught me a Timid Poliwhirl a week or two ago on my Y. Only problem with it? It has Damp. :I I have to check its' IVs just out of interest. And the team-wide Exp Share was interesting, but I thought it made it just a tiny bit too easy. This was still an amazing game, of course. ^_^
 
Been doing a Wonder Trade Gen 1 Only playthrough where I wonder trade until I get something from Gen 1 I like and then going from there. It's certainly been interesting with everything getting boosted experience and once I got Bulbasaur @ Petal Dance before the first gym things became a lot easier. Grass type shouldn't be able to solo the entire gym.
 
Guys, did this happen to you? I just surfed through a Graveler in the Victory Road, and the stone behind it crumbled, and after the battle I got a Damp Rock.
Am I the first to get it?
 

Codraroll

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On to the questions of the OP, then:

What surprised you as you played through the game?
Oh, a lot of stuff. The first time I got an alternate camera angle when healing in the Poké Center. The sheer amount of available Pokémon. How nice my house looked. Interactability with the Rhyhorn in the garden. All the numerous little details, the objects, textures, many of them used just in one or two places to create atmosphere specifically for that place. For instance, the aquariums and statues in Ambrette Town Aquarium.
Not to mention, the enormous size of the Kalos region. Specifically, how big Lumiose City is. Heck, I bet it has more content than most cities put together in any other game in the series. It took me hours to explore it. The Art museum was also a nice touch, I was surprised to see some of the pictures in there were taken from the TCG.
This game was literally full of surprises, and surprisingly many mysteries too. The ghost girl in Lumiose stood out as the most intense one. But I also had a laugh at times, such as when the fairy type was introduced, with the reaction of the other NPC interrupting the introduction with "It totally changes everything!", possibly a nod to the reaction of fans of the series. Another fun moment was the story of the castle in Camphrier town. It was built up to be a long, epic tale with a mystery or something thrown in, but it turned out to be as eventless as a castle's history can conceivably be. Hilarious. I was also honestly surprised to finally see a toilet in the Pokémon world (located in Laverre Gym).


What disappointed you as you played through the game?
Not a lot, but I'm afraid a few things stood out. First and foremost, the rivers. The Kalos region is crisscrossed with rivers, but none of them are traverseable. One of the rivers goes straight through Lumiose City, continuing past the power plants in the desert before ending in Azure Bay. Following it upstream from Lumiose would take you through Victory Road before the river froze over close to Snowbelle City. Another river goes from Vaniville Town, through Aquacorde Town, passing Camphrier Town and Route 7, and ending in Cyllage City. These rivers would have made perfect late-game shortcuts and/or sightseeing routes, but were totally ignored.
Coumarine City was also bit of a disappointment. Great idea with the monorail splitting the city, but I was disappointed that they didn't show anything of the view from the monoral as you took it up/down the mountain.

I had also looked forward to see where the railroad tracks went from Couriway town, as they had stood out as truly mysterious on the Kalos map artwork released in May. "Nowhere" turned out to be the answer, at least for now. Another teasing terrain feature, the race track in Cyllage City, which I had anticipated to host a bike race at some point, also remained unaddressed.
Also, there are too many settlements in Kalos starting with the letter C. I have a hard time telling Coumarine and Couriway apart, and Cyllage and Camphrier are not making it easier to remember the names of the various cities.
Last, overworld weather is nice, but... why do we still not have any routes with sunshine? I mean, that one, non-repeatable time in Ruby and Emerald didn't fully satisfy my want for sunshine (hey, I'm a Norwegian, OK), and strong sunlight is at least as common as rain, on a global scale. I don't see why the deserts always have to be sandstormy, wouldn't intense sunlight also be just as fitting? With fog, hail and sandstorm being so common, one would think GameFreak would have made another sunny place by now.


How could they have improved the game to remove this disappointment?

Simply put, they could address them in the future. G/S/C was also full of places that kept teasing you with more than they ever delivered (stupid Underground Path and the hint at trainers battling there). I hope X/Y won't go down the same route. I hope the rivers will become traverseable in the inevitable third installment, looking at the Kalos map art they seem too promising not to (not to mention that many of them converge towards a cloud-shrouded area in the very south). I have high hopes for the future of Generation Six.


What parts of the game do you enjoy?
All of them, pretty much. Battle Chateau is really nice. Just swishing around Lumiose City, trying to learn its layout and the locations of its various features. Shopping, and seeing that large sums of money is addressed properly in this game. Finally, there are game elements requiring you to shell out a bit, digging into your wallet instead of you having virtually endless money about halfway through the game. Having hundreds of thousands of Poké Dollars isn't mundane wealth anymore, it simply enables you to pay for the most expensive wares and services. A restaurant meal costing several tens of thousands simply seems natural.
I also enjoy the good ol'-fashioned Pokémon training. Acquire 'mon, train 'mon, kick ass with 'mon. As fun as it has always been, perhaps even more so since continuously expanding movepools allow for a lot more diversity in strategies when using the same Pokémon as you have before. Beedrill is a prime example of this.


Which Pokémon did you really enjoy using?
Beedrill, as per above. Having endured its hilariously shallow movepools in the first three generations, it was nice to finally see it learn decent attacks after six generations of existence. I also acquired a Rotom-W, which performed surprisingly well, and never let me down (apart from when Hydro Pump missed twice in a row against the Champion's Gardevoir). Honedge/Doublade is also a brilliant 'mon to use, always having the moves for any situation, it feels like. Aerial Ace, Shadow Sneak, Iron Head, Sacred Sword... whenever I needed something to take a hit and strike hard in return, Doublade never let me down. A shame it plays a lot differently as Aegislash, getting somewat of a 3MSS, since it's almost "forced" to run King's Shield.


Which Pokémon ended up being a lot worse than you thought they would be?
Venusaur. I guess I didn't use him right; with a movepool consisting of Strength and tons of Grass moves, his use was only situational. Okay, Razor Leaf (and later Petal Blizzard) hit opposing Hordes, and Sleep Powder put things to sleep, but I felt he only shined against foes weak to Grass. I guess I should have invested more TMs on him, and settled for one stat to play on. Petal Dance is Special, Petal Blizzard is physical, giving both of them pretty big downsides when his best offensive stat is Sp.Atk. He got a little better once Sludge Bomb was available, so I guess Venoshock would have helped too, if I had thought of using it. Oh well, there are always reruns.


Which gyms did you find the most challenging?
Honestly, none of them. Even being only slightly overlevelled (often only by a level or two), none of the gyms felt any threatening ever. I attribute this mostly to my experience, though. Knowing what type of Pokémon a gym leader uses, I open the fight with the Pokémon and the moves best suited to take them on. A Fire type against the Bug gym, Ghost types against Fight, Water against Rock and so on. The Pokémon games become a lot easier when you know what you're doing. Not to sound arrogant or anything, it's just that I feel that I know too much about the games and strenghts and weaknesses of its Pokémon for it to be difficult. I guess first-time Pokémon players will find the gyms, and later the Elite Four, a lot more challenging than I would, knowing what I've learned over the years. The level of challenge I find the most fun (I played a hack game once where I really had to fight hard for every badge, often taking many tries before I won) would just be frustratingly hard for less experienced players. GameFreak have to design the game so anybody can enjoy it, which means setting the difficulty at a reasonable level. If the "hardcore crowd" want challenges, they can always fight each other.


P.S.: What the heck does tipping do? This has troubled me ever since launch. I love a good mystery, but one would think the extremely resourceful Pokémon community would have landed on a definite conclusion by now. It's been four weeks.
 

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grumpy and stubborn
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Wow so after 50+ hours I finally got around to becoming the champion. I somehow managed to avoid any story or major battle spoilers the whole way which just made the game so much better! I heard the exp share was OP before I got it so turned it off straight away. I found myself under-levelled in every battle so I actually had a few difficult ones when I didn't have a straight up type advantage to begin with. Since I've been planning out in-game teams for the last couple of generations (on account of being spoiled by Japan) it was fun, albeit kind of stressful, encountering all the new Kalos Pokemon, as well as the old ones, and swapping them in and out of my team. I tried to keep it balanced but also use things that I thought I would have liked, and I did like all of them! Here's what I finished with...


Mozilla lv. 66
Flamethrower
Psychic
Grass Knot / Hidden Power (Rock)
Calm Mind​

My starter of choice since January 8. Even though it had Ember until it got to being a Delphox, it was still pretty strong! Psyshock was strong enough most of the time. I kept Flame Charge for most of the game purely because it looked awesome to use. This thing was useful all game, I had to stop myself from using it in every battle so I could train other things, it was just that good


Leonardo lv. 67
Surf
Flash Cannon
Ice Beam
Dark Pulse

I've never really liked the Squirtle line that much, in all honesty I was always a Charizard fanboy... But I didn't want to double up on fire types, and the 'Saur line wasn't any more appealing. He didn't seem to pull his weight for most of the game either, and he was boring to use in battle (mostly my fault for dumping HMs on him). There were no gyms to use him in either. It wasn't until I made it to the E4, took a trip to the move deleter / relearner so he could get the moveset he always wanted. He pretty much solo'd the E4, and did a number on Diantha. I decided I was wasting him all game :')


Scarlet lv. 65
Autotomize
Iron Head
Shadow Claw
Sacred Sword

Finn the Human's golden sword of battle saw much combat during my adventure. After the Fairy gym she was pretty overlevelled so I tried to rest her so the rest of the team would catch up, but the NPCs in the area kept giving me trouble so she kept having to save me, so she stayed overlevelled most of the story. I opted for Autotomize over King's Shield / Swords Dance because it just seemed easier to patch her speed in bulky shield forme then sweep, and it worked all the time. The Honedge line has got to be one of the best in this game


Diplo lv 65
Ice Beam
Thunderbolt
Earthquake / Nature Power
Rock Polish / Thunder Wave / Calm Mind

I did get spoiled on the fossil Pokemon before the games released, but it helped me decide which one I wanted before I got to Glittering Cave at least. I like Ice types so I opted for the Sail Fossil. This thing sucked most of the game, it's attacks were weak, it was too slow, everything hit it super effectively, you couldn't pat it in Amie without freezing your hand, it's cry was too long and unpleasant, it couldn't be used in any gym... I don't know what kept me using it. I liked it but didn't like using it. It cleaned out Team Flare which was nice. It helped me catch Yveltal in 3 turns. Actually after I gave it Rock Polish it was pretty good I guess.


Reuben lv 63
Moonblast
Shadow Ball
Draining Kiss
Calm Mind

I wasn't gonna use a Sylveon at first, then I was running through some grass on route 10 and BAM! First encounter is an Eevee, may as well catch it right? BOOM! Modest nature. Maybe I should raise that new eeveelution? Man am I glad I did. Fairy type is awesome. Sylveon is awesome. It's hella bulky and can dish out pain with it's (draining) kiss of death, which heals it back up as well! Not much more to say except I love Sylveon!


Yveltal lv 57
Dark Pulse
Oblivion Wing
Hidden Power (Grass)
Fly
Up until the Team Flare bit, I had a Flygon that I was very happy with, but I wanted to use gen 6 'mons, and usually bring the cover legendary along for the ride on my maiden voyage through *insert region* so it seemed appropriate. I decided I'd only use him in major battles (what kind of trainer unleashes the bringer of destruction upon a mere Fairy Tale Girl? (not me, dark is weak to fairy. But still...) So apart from the token appearance against the Champ, he just sat there at the back of the party getting fed Pokepuffs and playing with wool (Amie is fun)


Anyway thought I'd dabble in some of the questions laid out in the OP...

What surprised you as you played through the game?
How fast saving the game is!! Seriously, I had trouble remembering if I had saved in the previous gens, which resulted in me saving it about 5 times in a row to make sure. This time it was even worse! Blink and you'll miss it. But apart from that, like I said earlier I tried to stay away form spoilers and leaks so I was pretty much perpetually surprised as the game went on. Using Fly for the first time was cool with the whole cutscene. Glittering Cave surprised me a bit, I bumped the 3D slider (I always play with it off) and all of a sudden all these pretty colours are coming at me! What's this shadow over here? Oh crap an Onix!! The rivals had a way of sneaking up on me too. Victory Road opening up was crazy cool, as well as the parade/celebration you get (finally!!) for saving everyone / becoming the champ. As I was cuaght up in that, AZ sorta came out of no where.
What disappointed you as you played through the game?

Not a whole lot! Some of the routes were a bit short so it felt like I was battling gym leaders more often than regular trainers. The E4 was also a bit underlevelled. There were wild Pokemon in Victory Road around level 58 iirc, and trainers of a similar level, so I assumed the E4 would be pushing the 70's. So I did a little grinding in Victory Road, and found myself on par with these so-called ultimate trainers. Also the lack of Mega Stones during the story was probably my biggest disappointment. You get to learn all about it at this big fancy tower, get told how sought-after this power is, then there's no options! You get given Lucario, and your Kanto starter, then there's that Abomasnow, and that's it!! You have millions of options for team mates in this game with the massive 'dex, but no mega-mons... I also didn't really like how we got the Psychic/Dark/Fighting starters, but they didn't reverse the triangle!! Just made the regular triangle stronger. Cheers trollfreak...

How could they have improved the game to remove this disappointment?

Add more mega stones to the story, rather than post-game. Have some activities or something to do in these routes. Don't make the E4 so low-levelled that a Haunter from the Victory Road could rally up 5 of his friends and enter the Hall of Fame

What parts of the game do you enjoy?

Amie, Super Training, Wonder Trading, customisation, roller skates, how the bike's light lights up when moving and does a little wheely when you stop, sitting on benches, the dynamic camera angles in battle / area specific backgrounds (Flygon used dig on a bridge!), Battle Maison, huge Pokedex, non Fire/Fighting starter.
tl;dr: all of it

Which Pokémon did you really enjoy using?

Delphox was a great starter. Aegislash nearly broke the game. Sylveon killed with cuteness

Which Pokémon ended up being a lot worse than you thought they would be?

Aurorus. Poor typing, too slow. I don't know what I expected from it. I think the rest of my team was just better than it so it had a hard time keeping up

Which gyms did you find the most challenging?


Grant's Tyrunt nearly swept my team, that was scary! Not Viola, but the first trainer there has a Ledyba with supersonic. That shit is OP. Ramos actually put up a worthy fight, his 'mons were all faste than mine and had some good coverage moves. I mostly just wanted to solo with Braixen so I could evolve it but Ember was baaaaddd.

I wanna go straight out and buy X, but it's sold out EVERYWHERE! I would really prefer a physical copy but I might get desperate and just download it. I wanna have a few playthroughs so I can get involved with the in-game tier list discussion (one of my favourite projects). Anyway, A+ game
 
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I started the game on release and finished the next day :D

I have found 5 shinies so far, one of which was a Skitty I found within 10 minutes of starting up the game, so it became a member of my in game team (I have this kind of rule, heh). The others were Staryu, Clauncher, Poliwag, and Teddiursa.

Also, managed to get my
First perfect IV team post game.

EDIT:Make that six shinies. I'm trying to get more leftovers from pickup (I have three 81+ users in party), and was using sweet scent to trigger battles to try and get lefties, and found a Shiny Hoppip in a horde. I get so paranoid in hordes where there's something I want to catch that I'll kill the wrong one, but I caught it :) Jumpluff's one of my favourite Pokemon too, which makes it just that much more awesome.
 
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As it stands right now, if game of the year awards were the Olympics, Pokemon XY has clinched a medal with only two real contenders left this year (Mario 3D World and Link Between Worlds).

There may not have been many new Pokemon, but the low quantity is buoyed by the sheer quality of new Pokemon to play with. I've put 200 hours combined into both games, and finished the Pokedex except for Articuno and the Bankmons, and I want to start again to resolve the first part and do some things like play as a guy.
 
Christ on a bike, just ran into my Seventh shiny in this game.

I'm attempting to breed a Penta-Perfect Gale Wings Talonflame, and I accidentally slipped from my bike path into the grass and was greeted with a shiny Ducklett.

EDIT:Okay, Is my game wacked or something? Found a Shiny Audino, bringing my total to 8 so far.
 
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