Nintendo

Pokemon Omega Ruby And Alpha Sapphire Review

More than ten years since the original Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire landed on the Game Boy Advance, long-term series’ fans can revisit the Hoenn region infused by nostalgia on the 3DS. But these aren’t just straight-laced remakes, Game Freak has reinvigorated and honed the games, delivering what may be the most interesting features yet.

For fans whom have been there since the glory days of Pokémon Red and Blue to newcomers from the X and Y generation, Game Freak’s audience is certainly far-reaching on a worldwide scale. With its ever-growing fan base, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire bolster a sweet balance of new and familiar features which endeavour to aid in the fluidity of nostalgia for those who played the originals, as well as keep the franchise fresh.

Yet the games are not without fault and are still plagued with the problematic frame rate drops from X and Y when encountering Horde battles and flying Pokémon – albeit, much less noticeable. The Experience Share item is once again given to you almost immediately after starting your adventure and, while this feature can simply be turned off, it presents players with a startlingly easy approach to the games, fizzing out any challenge from gym leaders or the Elite Four. Alternatively, refraining from using the feature will still grant you a team two to three levels higher than your adversaries, so your avatar will never frantically pass out and become a victim of daylight robbery.

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The DexNav gives you the ability to sneak and capture wild and occasionally rare Pokemon.

Building upon the features seen in X and Y, it’s never been easier to train a team of Pokémon in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. Pokémon Amie and Super Training are back to soften the gruelling Effort Value process and friendship building, along with an abundance of mega stones scattered throughout Hoenn to crank up the heat in battles. But it’s the arrival of the superb DexNav feature that elevates ORAS to the next level.

A fantastic companion app for the in-game breeder, the DexNav will alert players to roaming wild Pokémon in the grass, water or caves. You may see an adorable tail pop up from Zigzagoon or Skitty, a silhouette with ears for Plusle, and its individual cry or greeting. Once you’ve located the Pokémon, players can sneak with a slow tap of the circle pad while the DexNav relays its ability, first move and its IV potential – improving the more you encounter each species. Practically eliminating the arduous hunt for a perfect IV Pokémon, it reintroduces fun to otherwise stale, mundane and largely ignored gameplay.

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The Delta episode is endearing, powerful and a superb addition to Pokemon ORAS.

Though it’s substantially overshadowed by the excellent ability to control your flight over Hoenn with the Eon Flute, the fly HM has had a substantial upgrade. Players need only tap the Area Map on the PokéNav Plus to fly to a selected city or route, so whether you fancy picking up some berries for PokéBlocks to aid in contests or to re-battle a couple of trainers, it’s quite literally on your doorstep. But, as was the case in the originals, ORAS pins much need on HM use and you’ll almost certainly need a HM “slave” to carry out the laborious work for you. And while most water routes are optional, players can alleviate the cumbersome journey by picking up a Sharpedo which boosts surf speed, making the dive exploration and intriguing side stories at Sea Mauville – or many of the other islands dotted around Hoenn – much more enjoyable.

Depending on which version players choose, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire’s storyline will pit players against Team Aqua or Magma, with a goal to revive the legendary Kyogre or Groudon. What it lacks in originality is more than made up for with its intensity from the raging weather and the overwhelming pressure to save the world from utter annihilation. Yet it’s not until players defeat the Elite Four and enter post-game territory where the storyline really springs into action. The tightly packed Delta episode – a mission to save humanity from a meteoroid hurtling towards Hoenn – features enchanting music that cuts you to the core and dialogue to make your heart melt. It’s essentially Armageddon, but better.

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It’s show time with Cosplay Pikachu in beauty contests – just mind the thundershock.

With engaging post content, including the Battle Resort, Battle Maison and those fun capture-the-flag secret bases, contests have also had a boost in design. Now players can set their living room as centre stage with the 3DS’s gyro sensor and camera – it’s both delightful for youngsters and an interesting slant. Players will also receive Cosplay Pikachu, so whether you prefer cool or cute, it comes with a switchable fourth move depending on the costume it wears. It’s a neat design that just begs to be utilised more thoroughly throughout the game.

Oozing with an evocative storyline and building upon the features introduced in X and Y, Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are immediately accessible, solid remakes. With just a touch more refinement, both titles could easily charm newcomers into returning and whip up an inferno with long-term fans. Either way, Pokémon is an encore that never truly ends.

8.5/10

*Version played – Alpha Sapphire

40 comments

      1. That was one of the cons ign gave the game. They gave it a 7.1 and people think that was the sole reason for their review. So people just use it everywhere.

  1. Sickr, you should’ve ended the review with “Too much water” just to see the rage. I’m giggling just thinking about it.

        1. I didn’t know what H20 was until I first played Zelda: Majora’s Mask. And you have to give that one re-dead some H20. And I was like 22 then. Oh, the shame.

    1. Depends if you love the nostalgia that comes with it. But put it this way, I’d likely pick this game up again and play it for the post story content. I haven’t touched X and Y since I completed it last Christmas. :)

    2. That’s my reason for not picking it up. It’s just X,Y with a storyline of ruby and sapphire and it’s pokemon.

        1. That’s what i said. It’s just x,y but with the pokemon of ruby/sapphire and it’s storyline. Which will have the story, map, and what not.
          Or can just say ruby and sapphire coded with XY elements into it.

          1. That’s the problem I have with Pokemon. The games just look too similar for my tastes. I have never cared much about Pokemon until X and Y because those looked different and felt like they actually had improvements. I mean, especially with it just now getting into full 3D battles and adding Mega Evolutions. But this just looks more or less like the same thing. It’s almost like Omega Ruby/ Alpha Sapphire is just DLC. I’ve never played the original games so I might still give this a chance, but still. It might feel like I’m just paying to play the same game again.

              1. I’m considering it. But I’m not a big Pokemon fan. I enjoyed Pokemon X, but the only reason I got to play it was because it was a free game deal when I purchased my 3DS. Not because I really wanted it. I just don’t like how the games are so similar to each other. And there’s a lot of 3DS games I want and I’m not really sure about Pokemon. If I hadn’t have played X and Y, I would have definitely bought it by now. But It’s going to take a lot to convince me. I put a lot of hours into X and I don’t think I want to do it all over again with a similar looking game. If you can tell me some things that are on this game that make it different enough from X and Y, perhaps I might consider it.

                1. I used to play every iteration of Pokemon up till HeartGold, then I got sick of it and waited till X released. Better to just skip a couple of years before getting another Pokemon game, imo they’re too similar when playing them every year but all the additions from the years before make enough change to warrant a purchase

                2. Well if you haven’t played the orginal R/S/E then you should definitely pick this up! The game is nothing like X and Y except for all the obvious things like the graphics, gameplay, etc. Also there’s the Delta Episode that’s post game! Also the ability to soar across the entire Hoenn region and being able to catch every single non event legendary Pokemon in the series looks like a blast to do! Also this game has a lot more post game content than X and Y like the Battle Resort and Secret Bases!(if you’re into that stuff) (I don’t even have the game since I have no 3DS :( ) I know Pokemon games seems similar but with every game I played I never felt like I was playing the same as the one before! You also really need to try Platinum and Black and White/B2 & W2 as well! Those are great too! There’s probably more I don’t even know about! Just play it! The story also connects with X and Y in the Delta Episode so it might be perfect for you! This is seriously probably the best remake ever!

                  1. Oh and to clear things up. Catching all the legendaries, the Delta Episode, and the Battle Resort are all post game. Soaring the Hoenn region is in game but around last gym.

                  2. I played a bit of Sapphire a long time ago and there are some things I can recall in the game. I remember frequently running into Oddish and Tentacool. And I remember secret bases and those were quite fun. I also think that there were hot springs at one of the Pokemon Centers? Not sure if that was this game, but I actually really liked those. XD I think I will go buy it simply because I enjoyed that time I had with the original game long ago. Glad they remade it! :D And as for Black and White, I’m not really sure… But it would certainly be helpful for collecting Pokemon to transfer to X. There are some Pokemon in BW that I wish were in X. :/

      1. Much like COD is like the last several to dozen games but yet people still think oh “new timelines, one man army perk and fucking Exo suits” suddenly makes the game different right?…RIGHT? lol

        This is a remake. WTF do you suppose the game will look like on the 3DS much like 1st gen on GBA and 2nd gen on DS and another example to add: Kingdom Heart remakes on PS ain’t any different from the original ON THE SAME CONSOLE?

        Keep in mind that if game remakes happen, don’t expect to be totally different from the same new game that just released on the same platform because the hardware capability can’t do much else.

  2. I would hate to be one of the people responsible for having to review Pokemon games (especially this one). Because my review would be SO negative. And people would hate me as much as Pachter. I’d be like, it’s the same ol’ same ol’. A touch of paint here and there. And a few new Pokemon and features. And that’s about it.

  3. That’s fine by me really, I happen to love the water pocket monsters! Noffin beats a sicked out Warturtle!!!

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