Pokémon Y Nuzlocke Challenge: Epilogue
Pokemon Y Image - Key Art

I remember when I first played this game (the conventional way), I bulldozed everything in my path. Heck, I nearly took out the Elite 4 with a Florges alone. Y was undoubtedly the easiest Pokémon game ever, because Exp. Share broke everything and rendered my party overpowered throughout most of my playthrough. And if I am to believe the internet, X and Y are reportedly the easiest to Nuzlocke, due to Exp. Share.

Take Exp. Share out of the equation and this was a rougher go than I expected. It felt more grindy than previous Pokémon games where Exp. Share did not even exist yet. I like the idea of Exp. Share and the games benefit from it, but switching it on and off in Y was like switching between two extremes. One is easy mode, the other is expert mode and there is no hard mode in between. Sun and Moon struck the balance perfectly in that those games were adequately challenging with Exp. Share turned on and I shudder to think how difficult they would be with it turned off.

I must admit, this Y Nuzlocke was not as enjoyable as the Moon one I previously did. Where my Moon Nuzlocke felt like a tense adventure, my Y Nuzlocke felt like a chore. I was actually happy that it ended so early, because I did not want to endure the laboriously agonizing process any more. I was also glad to wipe my hands clean of the turgid companions the game gave me. Tierno, Trevor, Shauna, and Serena/Calem are the dullest, most one-dimensional, paper doll NPCs I've encountered in the series, and they all have less common sense than a bowling ball. And I hate to say it, but I did not feel as viscerally attached to my pokémon here as I did with those in my Moon Nuzlocke. Maybe that's because none of them truly had the time to shine or any opportunities to truly endear themselves to me.

Pokemon Y Image - Key Art

But I'm still glad to have done this, even if it ended in embarrassment. I will say that to anyone who thinks X and Y are easy Nuzlockes: try it without Exp. Share and see if it's not more challenging. Not every Nuzlocke can end in success, and I'm glad I got to experience that difference. Cheers to all the fellow trainers out there, and may all your Nuzlockes be memorable adventures.

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