Finally after many years of speculation, theories, and just overall want, Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, the remakes of the most beloved generation three games are finally here. And they’re back with a bang. As I played Omega Ruby, memories of playing the originals came rushing back, and I couldn’t help but play with a huge grin on my face. Being able to re-experience this classic role-playing game again in beautiful 3D was a true trip down nostalgic lane.
For those unfamiliar with Ruby and Sapphire, they were the third installments in the Pokemon RPG series as well as the best selling Game Boy Advance games of all time. While still following the tired and true formula of their predecessors, they also managed to introduce a handful of new things to this beloved series. Chief among these changes was the ability to have double battles, weather effects, abilities,(which can add advantages to battles) and natures (which can affect how stats develop) along with two new villainous teams in Team Aqua and Team Magma.
Each team’s goal at first may sound eye-roll worthy as Team Aqua wishes to expand the seas while Team Magma wants to expand the land. However instead of wanting to do it to take over the world like Team Rocket, they actually are wanting to do it for people and Pokemon alike. Other then this, the overall plot is the same as the other Pokemon games, attempt to catch them all, and earn all eight gym badges on your way to become the champion. T
Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are built using the X & Y engine and you can really see that Gamefreak put the effort into bringing these classics back to life along with including some of the best features that was integrated into X and Y. Chief among these are Pokemon Amie, Super Training, and the Player Search System. However there are also some new features that are exclusive for Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire like the Dex Nav, a unique app that comes into play when a wild Pokemon, sticks their tail or ears out of the grass, sand or water, the Dex Nav will alert you to things like what level that Pokemon is, or even what ability and rare move it may know.
Contests have also made their long awaited return in these remakes. Contests are pretty much talent shows that you can do with your Pokemon. While not really crucial to the overall plot, they do provide a nice little side activity in between the actual story of the game, and all the catching and training. Along with contests, these new remakes also see the return of secret bases. Littered around the region of Hoenn are areas which you can access by way of using the TM (Technical Machine) Secret Power. Once accessed, you can decorate your secret base to your hearts delight.
To some, the hoenn region may seem unbalanced, as the region heavily favors water type Pokemon. This is even more noticeable in Alpha Sapphire as Team Aqua use a lot of water Pokemon. However this shouldn’t detract anyone from the overall experience of the game. As the hoenn region itself is based on a series of islands so one should expect the the over abundance of water type Pokemon, along with the need to traverse along large bodies of water. The Hoenn region itself is amazingly beautiful in its rich new 3D details and I enjoyed seeing it all again anew.
As a 3D remake, Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, do an amazing job at reintroducing Hoenn. The littlest details help bring the region to life. Small tweaks and updates also help make the journey a tad smoother and easier. While some may find problems with the excess water type Pokemon, that is barley anything to complain about and there are even a few post-game surprises that will keep you playing well beyond the 25 hour main story. My personal rating is 9/10
By Adam Buskirk