So yeah. I bought Pokemon Y after careful deliberation with my lady friend over who gets what version. We actually decided on our usual manner: what legendary do we prefer. Funny how we didn’t take the chromosome thing into account and I picked Y anyway.
More importantly, this is a bold step forward for Pokemon. There has always been Gym Leaders that looked suspiciously ethnic, but as a whole the entire world has been white bread static. Playing through Y I realize that has changed. Much like the game itself, flavor has been poured into it giving the familiar formula a surprisingly crisp bite.
You start up the game and the Professor of the generation is a snazzy French fellow, Professor Sycamore. He has some real je ne sais quoi compare to the former Pokemon Professors. He has a great deal of character to him, ethnic character beyond marring his dialogue to having a French accent.
He promptly smashes this by asking (in character) are you a boy or a girl. I laugh every time.
But then a miracle happens. You get to choose to have your main character have some pigment. I rejoiced at this, being a young black male that loves Pokémon, I hated that my avatar was a dopey white-kid in a hat. The hat stays (please patch this Nintendo), and as insult when you get a haircut you get a brief look at how cool your kid would be if not for the damned thing.
So there’s no face customization and only three haircuts, but it is a start. The real amazing thing is the diversity of the NPCs. The art has evolved to show a European atmosphere as it exists today. This is the true gem of the game beyond the divine blessing of rollerblades and the quick keys.
I highly recommend anyone getting this for your little ones for this reason alone. Forward thinking from a traditional company like Nintendo makes me a happy panda.