Learning Curve: Now this is a question, if you have previous experience with Pokemon it'll take an hour or so to become reacquainted with the newer battling systems, absolute newcomers will spend days learning the in's and out's.
- The franchise has been polished with a multitude of different features that compliment the somewhat linear storyline, small things like the battle music becoming more intense on low health, Pokemon's abilities displayed on their sprites when activated, full body battle scene, a camera to follow the attacks... the list goes on
- Scenery has become an integral part, with the introduction of the seasons system allowing you to access different places at different times of the year and the sheer brilliance of the level designs, such as the bridges and cities in their panning 3D views
- TMs have become unlimited in their capacities, when you get it you've got it forever, a very welcome change
- There are little mini games to change the pace of the game throughout
- Intricate changes for the better, such as noticeable twitches in the terrain meaning a seldom-seen pokemon is in that spot, pokemon that were once up a time ridiculously hard to track down from the previous games (such as Metang, Pupitar, Mamoswine etc) are catchable in the wild, and to my knowledge this is the first pokemon game to have pokemon as good as Metang, Shuckle and Mamoswine kicking around in the same patch of grass; and finally Marts have been scrapped, it's now all in the massive new pokemon centres, which have a sales counter near the entrance
- Early on in the game, Professor Juniper gives you a lucky egg, making raising a team of formidable pokemon a cakewalk when you gain a ridiculous amount of experience just fighting pokemon in the wild, nevermind trainers
- The ease of trading/battle/connecting with other people surrounding you has been stepped up, now you don't have to go to a pokemon center because you can start a trade/battle using the touch screen whenever you aren't locked in battle
- Many of the new pokemon are just fantastic, they seem awful on paper but in game they splice into the formula we know and love perfectly
- This appears to be the first pokemon game with a storyline that flows consistently, with cut scenes and the works, and your rivals fight you at the end of each new city (most of them anyway), instead of just popping up once or twice like in previous installments
- Pokemon are slightly pixelated up-close in the battle camera, but that's really not a big deal
- The battle music for the legendaries is too casual, it doesn't have the eerie aura you got from the Kyogre or Dialga fights
- The encounter rate seems to be almost intolerable at points, so be sure to pack many max repels
So yeah, maybe my last few points in the cons section were a bit pointless and make me sound like a tool - I can deal with that. The truth of the matter is that I could only pick up small things like that because there are no big flaws in this game. Of course it's a matter of personal preference but if you, like I, have played pretty much every other iteration of pokemon under the sun then this is the game for you, I have had it three days and have racked up 40 hours playtime - my girlfriend curses the developers for this. Bottom line is this game is, in my opinion, the best RPG money could get you, and you are guaranteed a good time, provided you know what you are doing.