Pokémon Bank, the online store app just recently released in Europe to accompany Pokémon X & Y, is a simple utility; at first glance you essentially take in its entirety. It's a storage box for all of your Pokémon. As such, you know what you're going to get; in Pokémon Bank, you will find 100 boxes on the server for you to store a total of up to 3,000 Pokémon. While many would say they'd never fill it up, this application is truly for the hardcore trainer.
On the surface, that's all that it seems Pokémon Bank is, a storage system for you to use across all your Generation VI games, but there is definitely a lot more to it. Bank not only stores your Pokémon, but it gives you an amazing search filter. This allows for you to check all the Pokémon in the boxes in Pokémon Bank as well as the boxes in the currently loaded Generation VI game.
This search is very intuitive, allowing for you to search by any aspect of the Pokémon you can imagine. You can sort by stat & level and filter by ability, moves, whether or not they're shiny, nature, Kalos native and even by regional Pokédexes for every region. From here, you can go to the box the Pokémon is in to allow for easy transfer from Bank to game, or vice-versa.
To move Pokémon is relatively simple, you just pick up the 'mon and drag it between the Bank and game boxes, with the Bank boxes being on the top screen and the game boxes being on the bottom. If you press the Start button you also have the ability to pick up groups of Pokémon to allow you to move entire boxes, if necessary; this makes the process very quick. Do note, if you move any Pokémon with items into Pokémon Bank, the item will be moved to your bag.
Once you have done all the changes you wish, all you have to do is press Save and both your Pokémon Bank and Pokémon X/Y saves are updated with all the changes.
However, the important thing for many players is technically part of a different application. Inside Pokémon Bank, there's the option to download Poké Transporter. This application will allow for you to transfer Pokémon from Black, White, Black 2 or White 2 into Pokémon Bank. Simply put, when you load up Poké Transporter with a Generation V game in your 3DS, it will load up all the Pokémon within Box 1 of that game, and transfer them to a special Transport Box in Pokémon Bank. There are a few restrictions with this:
- No Eggs
- No Items
- Black Kyurem & White Kyurem can't be transferred
Unlike past transfer methods, you can transfer Hidden Moves, however. Once you've done this, you can't do it again until you have moved the Pokémon out of the Transport Box in Pokémon Bank, which does elongate the process a little. You also have to move Pokémon into Box 1 in the Generation V game too, which can be a pain in Black & White due to how it deals with multiple Pokémon.
Poké Transporter is very useful if you wish to continue using the Pokémon that you have used in the past, with Pokémon from Ruby & Sapphire being able to be transferred all the way up to X & Y using all the — current and previous — transfer methods. In addition to that, many Pokémon have got Egg Moves that can only be obtained if the parent got it from a previous generation, such as Extremespeed Dragonite. However, there is a bit of an iffy situation with this. For some reason, possibly due to the multitude of hacks that existed in previous generations which may get through the hack check, you will not be able to use your transferred Pokémon in the Video Game Championships or in online competitions.
Another cool thing about Pokémon Bank as a whole is that it gives you some free stuff. When you first boot up Pokémon Bank, you will be given a choice between 100 PokéMiles and 10 Battle Points. Once you have selected this, it will be sent to the game you have selected to use. Next, until 30th September, when you go into Bank for a second time — after using it to move some Pokémon between it and X & Y — you will be given a special Celebi. This is also sent to the game. To retrieve them, you have to select the Pokémon Link option in the X & Y game and they’ll be automatically added; Celebi will be placed directly in the box. However, you can only get one Pokémon Link gift at a time, so before you get the Celebi, be sure to collect the PokéMiles/BP.
Pokémon Bank was introduced to us with a promise, that we will be using it for generations, to the point that we can pass our Bank onto our grandchildren to allow them to play with our Pokémon. If this promise holds, then Pokémon Bank is going to be the transfer method of the future, and a good way to keep all of your Pokémon. If you have multiple games, then it’s also very handy so you know where all your Pokémon are. I for one am using it for that reason, since just this past August I was battling in the Adventure Tour, wanted to change team, but they were in the wrong game. Now, I can just tether my 3DS to my phone for some Wi-Fi and get them that way. So, if you’re like me and play Pokémon a lot, and have many games, Bank is fantastic. If you’re more casual and have never had any issues with space, then it’s probably not going to have much appeal.