Finally got further into the game, made it to slateport and participated in a contest. Used my Skitty named Mia (after my irl cat). I LOVE the idol character. The contest was fun, but I somehow still feel let down. It honestly doesn't feel that improved aside from the fact that its 3D. Then again I guess thats all it was supposed to be in the first place. Got the cosplay Pikachu, but haven't tried it out yet.
I gotta say after beating the second gym the game definitely picked up for me, felt a lot more fun. My team right now is A Grovyle called Trovato (after my boyfriends online handle), Skitty named Mia which I mentioned already, Zigzagoon named Luna, Dustox named Daphne, and Wingull named Penny.
Never mentioned it before because I didn't see it as important, but since other people are saying their player character's name and gender I'm playing as May and named her Aku.
Anyway, in short, contests kinda disappointed me, but the idol character made up for it a bit and overall I'm enjoying the game more than I was at first.