Help! I Have Pokerus!

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Kim Czerniewski, Writer

October 12th is a highly anticipated day for many, though not for the same reason. Yes, the homecoming dance is on October 12th. Yes, there is also a National Portfolio Day in Memphis that day. Yes, there will be only twenty more days until Halloween. But more anticipated than any of that is the release of the new Pokémon games, Pokémon X and Y. And, unlike all past games, this game is being released worldwide, not just in Japan.

The new game takes place in a fictitious region based on France named Kalos, the same way Unova in Pokémon Black and White is based on Manhattan Island and many other areas of the earlier games parallel to areas of Japan. This game’s antagonistic group is called Team Flare, whose goal is to make money and create a beautiful world.

The Pokémon fandom has been excited about this game since its announcement in January 2013, and it introduces many never-before-seen game features. New battle formats such as Flying Battles exclusive to Flying type Pokémon and Pokémon with the ability to levitate will create a new form of trainer battle. Wild Pokémon can now show up in masses known as Hoard Encounters, which can throw up to five wild Pokémon into a random encounter. Finally, a new form of evolution, coined as Mega Evolution, will provide an extra power-up that will only last the duration of a single battle.

“I’m very excited about the 3D graphics because it makes them seem more alive,” states Sarah Bignault, a long fan of the Pokémon games.

However, the new development, met with possibly the most intense response from the fanbase in history, is the introduction of a new type of Pokémon. This has not happened since Pokémon Gold and Silver with the introduction of Dark and Steel type Pokémon. This new type is officially known as the Fairy type, which will balance out the Dragon type, which was formerly only weak to Ice types and itself. The Pokémon strategy site, Serebii.net, reveals that Fairy type Pokémon are strong against Dragon, Fighting, and Dark types, resisted by Fire, Poison, and Steel types, weak to Poison and Steel attacks, resistant to Fire, Bug, and Dark type attacks, and immune to Dragon type attacks. Many old Pokémon will be changed to this new Pokémon type, such as Jigglypuff and Marill.

As expected of such a widely anticipated game, many are making a big deal out of the release. Nintendo World in New York City’s Rockefeller Center is holding a release event on October 11th with game demos and a photo booth with a costumed Pikachu. Similarly, though less extravagantly, GameStop is holding a midnight release of the game the moment it comes out, on Friday, October 11th. Anime News Networks reports that 260,000 pre-orders were made during the first two days that pre-sales were open. Many people have pre-ordered the game months ahead of time in pure anticipation of its release. With the clock counting down, excitement is coming to a boiling point. October 12th is sure to be a day that delights all fans of the legendary series.