Nintendo

Pokemon Omega Ruby And Alpha Sapphire Review

It’s no wonder Pokemon is one of the most successful video game franchises in history. With an established formula that provides countless hours of addictive gameplay, the series has always been adored by players of all ages. And that love continues with the already multi-million selling remakes Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.

Starting with Pokemon X and Y, the series’ visuals have undergone a massive overhaul. Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire share the same art style as the 2013 releases and were built using the same technology, which is suitable for Nintendo 3DS but admittedly doesn’t look as sharp on the Nintendo 3DS XL’s larger screens. Animations are particularly great during battles and Mega Evolution sequences, providing a more dynamic experience and helping make Pokemon more believable and exciting.

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You’re lookin’ mighty Shiny and Mega, Metagross!

Despite being straightforward, the games include an entertaining story backed by two villainous entities – Team Magma and Team Aqua. Both teams are rivals and have similar albeit contrasting goals. Team Magma will do everything within its power to expand landmass by awakening Groudon. On the other hand, Team Aqua wants to expand the amount of water by awakening Kyogre – as if Hoenn doesn’t have enough water already.

The region is actually abundant in water. And that’s not necessarily a good thing in games. Surfing isn’t the most exciting way to get around and battles quickly become dull when you have to keep facing Water-type Pokemon, especially the same ones like the pathetic and extremely-common Pelipper. Unless they have gills or something, members of Team Aqua should be the happiest people alive.

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Team Aqua: “MOAR water!”

Like most main entries in the Pokemon series, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire offer an extensive amount of content. Other than the main quest, there are numerous side quests to undertake and bonus activities to try out, such as engaging in Pokemon Contests or soaring across Hoenn to discover new islands and hidden rare Pokemon. You’re going to be playing for a very, very long time if your aim is to catch all 720 known Pokemon, which is possible in the latest games via capturing in the wild and trading with other players.

While random encounters are still pretty frequent, Pokemon sometimes pop out of the grass and allow you to walk slowly toward them by pushing the Circle Pad slightly. This element of stealth changes up the gameplay for the better as random encounters happen less frequently when you’re approaching a visible Pokemon. You’re encouraged to use the same technique from the beginning of your adventure as it usually results in encountering a Pokemon with a rare move, which makes catching low-level Pokemon more appealing.

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Who’s that Pokemon?!

The games don’t provide much of a challenge to players, especially to longtime fans of the series. Gym Leaders are a cinch to beat. The first Gym Leader, Roxanne, and her subordinates can be trumped with a mere Lotad and one of the weakest Water-type moves, Bubble. Similarly, the second gym leader, Brawly, and his underlings can easily be defeated with a meager bug like Beautifly and the not-so-strong Flying attack Gust. Later Gyms do feature clever puzzles, which are sometimes more challenging to solve than winning battles.

Furthermore, if you select a diverse set of Pokemon for your party from the get-go, completing the entire game can be a cakewalk. Beginner, standard and expert difficulty levels would’ve been a welcome inclusion. On top of all that, training Pokemon is almost effortless throughout the majority of the game with the improved Exp. Share, which distributes experience points to not just one other of your equipped Pokemon but to everyone in your party. This means that five out of six Pokemon in your party can get stronger by essentially doing nothing.

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If there’s one word to describe Mega Altaria, it’s fluffy.

Another frustration of mine are Hidden Machines, or HMs, which could have been less of a hassle if they were actual items for the Trainer to use or for the Pokemon to hold. Keeping an “HM slave” or two in your party with ineffective moves like Cut, Rock Smash and Waterfall feels like such a waste of space.

Although they introduce several new features and improvements over their original counterparts, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire feel way too familiar. Don’t get me wrong – they can still provide tons of hours of fun, but I’m looking forward to when the series evolves to another level.

63 comments

      1. I’m definitely going to get flack for this, but I wasn’t really that into Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire. I found it disappointing how even the smallest things in Emerald were completely ignored when Heart Gold & Soul Silver retained and even built upon the few things introduced in Crystal. It’s not just Battle Frontier, but even things like having more options for your team early game were left out. Beyond just missing features from Emerald, even features from Ruby & Sapphire like the Game Corner and the Trendy Saying in Dewford Town were removed, which at the very least, the latter was super charming. I know I wasn’t the only one who looked forward to it with every new play through. While the Dex Nav was a cool addition, I feel like the number of removed features and altered charming lines of text greatly outweighed the welcome additions. If you never experienced Ruby & Sapphire, I think it’s still a good way to experience it since it can be difficult to get the original versions now. But personally, I don’t think it succeeds as a remake as much as Emerald did.

        1. Like a broken record -_- two fucking wrongs don’t make a right stranga, if 3rd parties rehash games then let them be, let’s focus on Nintendo’s property not becoming like them instead.

  1. Easily my favorite game right now. I play it every day even as I’m typing this. I love Mega Altaria! :D

    1. Maybe it is because of the fact we got new pokemon games before these games, but I couldn’t stand using a regular team in this game. (Gen III has my least/ 2nd least favorite pokemon in it). Not to mention everything felt backtracky to me. I haven’t tried out the new megas, due to other games I’d want to play, but I stopped playing AC when XY came out. I am glad you can play it everyday, but I just seem to want to play other games. (Despite it being the game in my cartridge slot all the time.)

  2. Alba, I’m curious as to how you felt about the absence of the Battle Frontier, if you even cared for it. It was a complete let down for me and is why I haven’t touched the game in 2 months.

    1. I wish the Frontier was included! It could’ve been a major incentive to continue playing once the main game was complete. Maybe it’s being held back for a remake of Emerald? :P

  3. I don’t know about you, buyt this is the GREATEST Pokémon game and one of the best RPG games (2nd best, first is Xenoblade). I never though something as good as Gen 4 would be beaten.

      1. Diamond and Pearl may have been crap, but Platinum fixed everything wrong with it and HG//SS were the best Pokemon games in the franchise so far.

  4. i’m 35 and i’ve never played a pokemon game. i tried the demo and the battles seem a little tedious and repetitive. does it speed up at all? should i get into it?

    1. Not really. The only times the battles speed up are when you’re OP. Which only happen if you over grind or towards the end of the game when you have to over grind.

      These games are supposed to be like this, slower paced and strategic.

  5. I’m 36 now, played my first Pokemon game last year when I was 35 (Pokemone Y). I picked it up on a whim because my 18 year old niece is a die hard Pokemon fan and always tells me how incredible the games are. I absolutely loved Pokemon Y. I completely intend to go back to it and catch Pokemon I missed my first go through. I picked up Omega Ruby (actually, my wife got it for me for Xmas) and again, I love it. It’s just as fun as Y in my opinion. My wife just got me Heartgold so once in finished with Ruby I guess I’ll start on it. I’m 36 and a new, diehard Pokemon fan.

        1. Meh, I grew up with the GB playing Pokemon blue, I can honestly say that those 8bit graphics look like shit. I love the game, but the sprites look bat shit horrible. I prefer the nicer, colorful, sharper, sprites on the GBA Pokemon games.

  6. You should play and review persons q it’s great and took my attention away from Pokemon oras completely

  7. i have heard that there was not going to be a remake of Pokemon Emerald because i think it just up to Nintendo and Pokemon CO.

  8. This whole, “There’s too much water!” is annoying me. First of all, the game is a remake, so it’s not like Gamefreak is going to change the region. Surfing to get around may not be the most convenient at times, but it’s no different than walking through long stretches of grass to get to the next city. Just use a repel and teach one of your Pokemon the move fly.
    If you’re looking for something that “evolves the series” on a remake, then I’m not surprised you were disappointed.

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