Escapist EditorialsPokemon X and Y Guide for Beginners - Tips and CheatsEscapist Editorials - RSS 2.0
Your first few hours
Through the first "dangerous" area - Santalune Forest - you'll be accompanied by one of your friends, who will conveniently act as a mobile Pokémon center and let you heal up after each fight. Take advantage of this and capture as much as you can, all the while rotating every Pokémon in for each fight so they all get XP. It's not something you'll ever do again in the game, but will get you an early start and a strong stable of monsters to take on the first gym. You can catch a decent variety of critters here, along with a few rarer monsters. Be sure to wander around enough to capture one of the elemental monkeys - Panpour, Pansear, or Pansage - that isn't of the same type as your starting choice. Doing so will help you to round out your list of available types and allow you to tackle the first gym a little easier. I won't spoil the first gym here, you can take it on your own, but know that having a couple level 6-10 Pokémon will carry you through it. Pack some extra potions just in case.
Getting a little more complicated
A quick primer on three new features of X and Y: Super training, Pokémon Amie, and Berry Farming. Pokémon Amie is a fun little game where you get to pet, play with, and feed your 'mons. Its true effects on gameplay aren't known this close to the game's release, but there's a definite experience benefit to playing with your monsters. If you want someone to level fast and fight effectively, spend five or so minutes playing games and feeding before your level session out in the wilds.
Super Training gives players access to a previously hidden side of the game called the Effort Value or Base Stats system - the underlying numbers that determine what Statistics your Pokémon gets and how fast it gets them. It's fairly straightforward, but you should try to increase your EVs in stats that your Pokémon uses the most. Most players find it useful to increase their Pokémon's attack stat and speed, in order to get high damage spikes that others can't stop you from pulling off, then dump the remaining training into HP. If you're not trying to get into the higher, more complicated metagame, then that's a good plan for the average player. Further, your Pokémon can only be trained so many times, so don't train your favorites until you've unlocked the best trainings - Level 3. Likewise, save your Large Punching Bags for your favorite monsters.
The Berry Farm is incredibly useful, and lets you really churn out berries for your Pokémon to heal themselves with mid-fight. You'll get access to it shortly after Camphrier Town, and you can use it, with a little dedication, to quite literally farm out a huge supply of the useful fruits. Plant as many different kinds as soon as you get them - it will pay off huge in later areas. If you're having trouble somewhere in the game, a supply of berries to pick up and equip your Pokémon with will be invaluable.
So there you have it. Pokémon is fundamentally meant as a very easy, straightforward RPG that kids can make their way through while adults master it. If you've played any RPG before, mastering this is easy. There are more in-depth features to get into, like Breeding and really maximizing your Pokémon's stats through training, but for casual to medium enjoyment of the game, you don't truly need to worry about that level of dedication. Now get out there and catch some monsters!