Game Freak, you are kinda bad at interfaces. Don’t get me wrong; Pokémon X and Y are absolutely the best in the series and even just showing the party Pokémon from within the bag is nothing short of genius.
But goddamn how does nobody working there notice these other things, some of which have been around since Red and Blue.
(Pretty light spoilers since this is just standard Pokémon gameplay stuff.)
When learning a new move and choosing which one to delete (in battle, anyway), there is no way to see the Pokémon’s stats. So if I’m choosing between a 60 power physical move and a 70 power special move, which is not uncommon… I can’t see if the Pokémon has better Attack or Special Attack. I often end up having to consult veekun to guess at the stats of the Pokémon that’s already out!
Getting from a move to its description (and damage class, ahem) in battle is ridiculously tedious. You can, of course, hold L and choose a move to see its properties. But this is never mentioned anywhere in the game, I’ve had this actually use the move once or twice, and anyway it doesn’t work if you have L=A turned on (and why wouldn’t you? one-handed mode wooo). Meanwhile, the X and Y buttons do absolutely nothing.
The bag has five pockets. Four of them are nicely organized.
- Key items, of which there are probably a few dozen at most.
- Berries, which can’t hold more than… 65, I think?
- TMs, of which there are 108.
- Medicine, which probably doesn’t exceed 50.
That leaves the “other crap” pocket, which gets filled with the following:
- 20 types of Pokéball
- 18 Arceus plates
- 18 type-boosting held items (Charcoal and the like)
- 18 type-boosting gems
- A dozen evolution items
- At least 17 species-specific held items (Stick, etc.)
- At least two dozen general-purpose held items
- Some untold number of (ahem) the new item type introduced in XY
- Fossils, shards, loot, Heart Scales, Honey, mail, and god knows what else.
That’s over 200 items in one pocket, twice the size of the next-biggest.
The miscellaneous pocket of the bag no longer shows item grouping icons (like a Pokéball), which at least helped separate sections in BW.
Neither the bag nor the in-battle item menu show item icons any more. The held item on a party or boxed Pokémon doesn’t, either.
The “item” submenu on a party Pokémon offers to let me take or swap an item even from a Pokémon that doesn’t have one. It also doesn’t tell me what the item is before I take it, which is annoying when I’m trying to find where I left something like Amulet Coin or Lucky Egg.
“Deposit” and “withdraw” on the Pokémon box system are useless. Using one or the other is slightly faster than going through “organize”, I guess, but anyone who runs with a full party of 6 (i.e. almost everyone) is going to want to do both together. It wouldn’t matter except that this is the one thing stopping me from merely mashing A to get to my boxes.
For some reason trading has two ways to show a Pokémon: press A, or tap a weird icon or something at the bottom I forget. The next step from either of these to actually offering a trade is a little different, and I can’t figure out why.
When viewing a party Pokémon, I can’t switch directly to my Pokédex and read a description of it. I have to remember its dex number and look it up manually.
There is no list of all moves or abilities I’ve seen. :( Shouldn’t the Pokédex track what abilities Pokémon can have?
The zoomed-out box grid view on the PC should really color each box icon according to its wallpaper. With 24 boxes this view is not very useful.
There are two (and a half…?) completely separate and distinct interfaces for deleting a move. There are at least two completely separate and distinct interfaces for seeing a Pokémon’s summary. This is a little silly, but it’s been the case for a while.
The summary view when perusing boxed Pokémon neither mentions its nature nor indicates which stats are raised/lowered.
Learning a new move and forgetting an old one involves some three separate prompts. If you change your mind about learning the new move, the button to abort is helpfully labeled “QUIT” and just restarts the sequence of prompts over—more than once have I just mashed A and accidentally agreed to learn it again. Why not just say “here’s a fifth move, pick which one to lose”?
(That’s an annoyance in a lot of games, particularly RPGs: the button I mash to advance through dialogue is the same button I use to agree to choices offered in dialog. My 3DS has like a thousand buttons I’m pretty sure you can spare a second one.)
There are several places in the game where a list of items is intended to be scrolled by sliding on the touch screen, a la most phone interfaces (e.g. the bag, puffs in Amie), but either I’m a clumsy buffoon or something is not calibrated well because I very frequently end up tapping an item instead.
I miss the Habitat List. Please stop adding neat UI features in doomed branch games and not bothering to port them to trunk of the next generation. :(
So hey all those people with uncles and cousins that work at Game Freak who’ve come out of the woodwork since XY was announced: if you could pass this along that would be fantastic.