Obviously, time will tell whether this class ends up matching up with the rest. As with later games in the series, I expect the the new generation to shine once the competitive battling community gets hold of them and starts integrating them into their teams, thus unlocking their true potential.
In the meantime, the new generation does bring a whole new type to the table, which hasn't happened since Pokemon Gold and Silver. That would be the Fairy-type, which is intended as a hard counter to the Dragon-type that has come to dominate competitive play.
Fairy-types drastically change game balance
The art ends up impacting X and Y in other ways as well. It's now finally possible to fully customize your avatar's hairstyle and clothes, which is an option that excites me to no end. It's also possible to actually interact with fully-animated 3D Pokemon models, using the stylus to rub their bellies or scratch them behind their ears to make them happy. They even appear to recognize expressions via the 3DS camera, which is... a little disturbing. I'm not sure how I feel about my Pokemon finally recognizing their cruel master.
In any case, I'm really not exaggerating when I say that Pokemon X and Y represents the fulfillment of many of the wishes I've had for the series for ages. The customizable avatars and the interactive Pokemon have both been at the top of the list for a very long time now, along with visible Effort Value stats (the hidden numbers the drive a Pokemon's relative strengths), which also appear in Pokemon X and Y. If Game Freak were to actually bring back contests, and maybe toss in a customizable ranch where I could hang out with my Pokemon all day long, I could almost die happy.
But of course, excited as I am to see all these new features, there are sacrifices as well. The Join Avenue is probably the most notable casualty for serious Pokemon fans, as it was a pretty amazing way to breed and train monsters for those with cash on hand. Losing medals also hurts, since being an obsessive achievement-hunting completionist fits in rather nicely with Pokemon. Being a new generation and all, I'm sure Game Freak had bigger fish to fry. But for returning veterans, be aware that the post-game content feels a little sparse in comparison to more recent games, short of the usual battling, trading, and legendary Pokemon hunting.
The new 3D visuals are amazing