The letters X and Y have been used to symbolise a vast array of things during their multi-millennia usage: commonly found as algebraic variables in mathematics, or as denoting sex-determining chromosomes in the human body, or even as theories of human motivation. This week, they were given a whole other meaning: the version titles (although, as pointed out by Joe Merrick of Serebii on Twitter, these are first English Pokemon game titles not to include the word 'version') of the new Pokemon games.
Indeed, enter X and Y into Google and you'll see that Pokemon appears scattered through the first page of results already. Clearly, for gamers, the letters have taken on an entirely new meaning.
Although it's not currently clear if the letters will have any link to one of their many real-world uses, or were chosen just because they make for pretty cool logos, but nonetheless the names of the new Pokemon games have already swept the globe: taking over the aforementioned Google searches, trending on Twitter, and adorning the frontpages of many Nintendo and Pokemon sites. Now we've watched the Pokemon X and Y trailer, learned the names of the new Legendary Pokemon and exhausted every piece of information about the games, it's time to consider what we'd like in the new Pokemon adventures. Here's my wish list.
As the game moves into a 3D overworld (hoorah!), this would be the perfect opportunity to overhaul the world design and layout. Let's face it: cities aren't situated in the middle of nowhere with forests or deserts surrounding them on all sides (Chris has clearly never been to Las Vegas - Ed). Where are the suburbs, the housing estates, the parks, and the sunny beachside resorts? Bring them all to the Pokemon world! An expansion of the Castelia City design would be fantastic, but on a bigger scale: have a city centre area, but then have streets leading away from it with houses or small shops, containing residents to battle with in the park or on the street, and a beach where you can spend your hard-earned Poke-dollars on a seaside cottage for your retirement.
While all this may sound closer to Animal Crossing than Pokemon, it's for good reason - these would add many hours to the gameplay time of a Pokemon game, and could potentially replace the mini-games that have too frequently been shoved into the games, and have offered inconsistent amounts of value and fun to the games.
Pokestudios, contests, and musicals, all seem to be "fads" within the Pokemon universe. It's time to replace these with proper side quests for Non Playable Characters - be it catching a Pokemon for them, fetching an item, and consequently being rewarded with an item or skill that actively helps you or your party. A tangible benefit is far more rewarding than a trophy on a plinth in Pokestudios that you can't even take with you!
The revamped world areas would then assist with that, and provide plenty of opportunities to pick up these odd jobs. As well as that, if the world has been based on Paris (as was hinted in the trailer), it would allow for Game Freak to make full use of the unique architecture within the town areas.