FUCK LUMIOSE CITY.
Yep, I finally get to get this out of my system. Lumiose City is terrible. I know, I'm not stupid, I know what Gamefreak was going for. "Ooooooh look at the pretty graphics." Unfortunately, this is one of those cases where gameplay really suffers. The camera angles, or should I say angle, is absolutely horrendous when it comes to figuring out where you are. Every area of the North and South Boulevard looks the same, all the plazas look the same, all the avenues look the same. There's simply no way to easily figure out where you are. Well, to be fair, there is one... there's a mini-map that appears when you change area so you have a little idea of where you are. Still, two major complaints: one, you didn't need to resort to that in Castelia, and two, it's still no guarantee of finding out where you want to go (again, unlike Castelia, mostly due to its size being much more reasonable). There's so much shit going on in this city that you WILL need a detailed map if you want to find anything that's not called the gym. Fortunately, such a thing exists, thanks to someone with far more time to waste than me. Castelia wasn't the best at cutting out the fat, sure, but did we need SIXTEEN FUCKING CAFÉS, few of which actually do anything? What is this, New York with a Starbucks at every street corner?
Then there's the annoying style system, which would be much more occult than it is had it not been for the official strategy guide. Well, that's what I'd like to say, but I'm told this strategy guide goes to extremes Smogon wouldn't even dare reach with Pokémon available early and recommends FARFETCH'D as a potential team member. Seriously, how can you have such in-depth data on this style bullshit, then proceed to sing the praises of one of the all-time worst Pokémon? But I'm rambling on now. You unlock more stuff by wasting your time and money doing asinine stuff, and this culminates in the ability to buy the Kanto starters' Mega Stones for prices ranging from a million to 10000 depending on your style, and to obtain the Hatching Power from Mr. Bonding (who doesn't ever hold out on O-Powers, except for this one specific power with this one specific mechanic). Look, if I want some clothes, a specific haircut or Furfrou trim, I shouldn't have to run all over the place, just give it to me. Did Gamefreak somehow think this was interesting? I LOST MY JOIN AVENUE FOR THIS? (I would also like to point out that talking to Alexa is what gives you the most style. I want to hear the game designers' reasoning for this.)
Most of what this game does is great, but Lumiose City is a resounding miss, and I can now join my voices to the legions of players who don't want to see this in any future generations. At least Gamefreak is clearly listening to us, as I've said before, so my hopes are high that we'll see more Castelia and less Lumiose in the future. Ever wanted to know why video game towns are so much smaller than in real life? There's your answer.
Edit: I totally forgot to mention... Lumiose's layout is practically identical to that of FF8's Deling City, and that too was plagued with horrible angles that left you in the dark as to where you were. It still was kind enough to cut out the fat and have many many MANY less streets, though, and the game designers acknowledged that they screwed up enough to make the buses free. Lumiose? Nope. Gotta pay every single time you want to go somewhere, or go on foot.
Edit 2: I'm told in the comments that buying balls one by one at the specialty Pokéball shop is the best way to max out your style quickly... about 100 should do, apparently. I recommend either Premier Balls because they're the cheapest and most cost-effective, or Dusk Balls because of their overall usefulness.