‘Pokémon Alpha Sapphire’ and ‘Pokémon Omega Ruby’ review
By Mercedes Deutscher, Staff Writer
The latest instalment of the Pokémon game saga was released on the Nintendo 3DS this November. Pokémon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby stand out from the previous games as the series’ first remakes. The new games are a re-imagining of the 2003 Pokémon games, Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire.
While not having finished Omega Ruby yet, I already have a sense of where this game is going. Staying true to the formula that has worked for them for years, Pokémon developers haven’t changed the game much from the original, or any of the Pokémon games for that matter.
Unlike the originals, this time the player has the ability to choose the gender of their character. It is apparent that the setting within the game has changed with the times as well, trading a book PokéDex for an electronic one. The villains have also diverged from the original Ruby and Sapphire games, identifying not as Team Rocket but as Team Aqua (Alpha) or Team Magma (Omega).
I am fairly disappointed with how easy the Gyms are in this game thus far. In previous games, the Gyms had more competition to face, all ending with a challenging Gym Leader. The new games have simplified Gyms with as few as three opponents and an easily defeated Gym Leader, resulting in them being less challenging and rather unexciting.
A rather entertaining aspect of the new games is the ability to sneak up on Pokémon between cities. By moving your 3DS D-Pad gently, your character can tiptoe up to Pokémon in tall grass. This is useful, since in this new game you can sometimes see the tail or head of a Pokémon peeking from the grass. These Pokémon are difficult to catch unless you sneak up on them.
I was delighted to see the PokéNav in this remake. While some may argue that having a PokéNav takes away some of the challenge of finding specific Pokémon, I found it to be convenient. I came across a Gym where I had no Pokémon of the opposing type to easily challenge. The PokéNav helped me find the type of Pokémon that I needed to advance.
Some other parts of the game have been taken from previous Pokémon games that were released since Ruby and Sapphire. For example, the improved EXP share, which allows you to share your battle EXP with other Pokémon on your team.
Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby also further expand upon Mega Evolution while introducing the new concept of Primal Reversion.
The new games have excellent graphics, combining the fantastic 3-D designs introduced in Pokémon X and Y while keeping the vibrant colours of Ruby and Sapphire.
Despite how unchallenging the game can be at times, Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby have brought together the best of the Pokémon universe and appear to be promising games that avid Pokémon fans will enjoy.