I’m going to be the first person to admit that I never liked Hoenn in the old games, it was my least favorite region for a multitude of reasons. [Least fav starters, bad evil teams, too much water, ect.] So when the remakes were announced I was like, “Oh great, that thing I never wanted” but being a fan of the Pokemon series I owed it to Nintendo to go back and give Hoenn a fighting chance, maybe the remakes would make me not hate it, maybe I could come out saying “Hey, that wasn’t so bad.” So i sucked up my pride and pre-ordered myself a copy of Alpha Sapphire. Upon booting up the game I realized, MY MEMORY OF THIS GAME IS HORRID!
I can’t even name half the gym leaders, much less any of the elite four. I remember the Team leaders names but that’s from years of sheer unadulterated loathing! How did the plot go again?
I DON’T REMEMBER! I remember showing up in a moving truck and Norman being your Dad, that’s like…it. So basically I noticed I would be playing this game all over for the first time for the most part.
Now, what did I think of it? Honestly? I loved it. There were a lot of small details to this game that made me really happy. First off, the graphics are amazing, half the time I can hardly convince myself I’m playing a Pokemon game with how lovely everything looks. Second, cut scenes, yes you heard me right. Pokemon, with cut scenes.
One that really stands out in my mind is when you reach the end of Petalburg Woods and it cuts to the Aqua Grunt you just beat calling their superior, I nearly burst out into tears. One of my favorite things about Pokemon is their evil organizations and getting just to see something as small as that, giving us insight into how they work was a huge treat.
The plot was a lot more polished and finished then I remember it being before as well, everything fell into place and for the first time ever I found myself not hating Team Aqua or screaming about how stupid their plan was. Why? What changed? Was it the way they put more depth to Archies character? How everyone responded when Kyogre did start the huge downpour? I can’t say for sure but as completely jaded as I was against these teams I expected to hate them a whole hell of a lot more then I did.
The after game also had a really interesting and engaging plot going on to get you to Rayquaza and Deoxys.
ORAS of course plays pretty much like your typical Pokemon game, integrating things from the new game into the old. New things that were kept include Super Training and Pokemon-Amie, though we lose the roller skates and the ability to customize our characters. [-sobs softly-] We gain Pokemon contests and Secret bases which were some of the staples of the original Sapphire and Ruby games. I haven’t done much with my secret base yet so I don’t have much room to comment on how that works I have run a few Pokemon through the contests. Somehow, they seem easier then I recall perhaps that’s just my bad memory of the game though.
One thing does bug me about the contest though, THESE THINGS, these ugly ass outfits! I mean, the contests are fun, the cosplay pikachu you get is adorable but what are these?! An absolute fashion disaster that’s what! If we couldn’t have customization anywhere else in the game we could of at least had it during the contests so we wouldn’t have to look like freaks! I’m not sure which outfit is worse, the ugly tutu that the girl is wearing or the….1970’s vomit that the guy is stuck with.
Something I know is easier is making Poke’blocks, there used to be a mini game to create your poke’blocks but now it’s as easy as popping four berries into the blender and hoping it will spit out the poke’block you want, I saw some kind of guide on how to make them so I guess there is some kind of skill to it but honestly it was never a function I was a huge fan of, call me when we’re mixing up poffins in Sinnoh.
Another new thing that transferred over from the new games was the new experience share. I know this bothered a lot of people since they claim it makes the game too easy, but as a person who plays Pokemon casually I think it’s the greatest invention since the Pokemon Storage system. That being said however, I feel like the challenge level of this game was relatively low, I can’t recall being overly threatened by any of the gym leaders and I laughed at every Team Aqua battle and took out their pokemon with one magical leaf or psychic attack. The only battles that I struggled with at all at first were the elite four and the champion.
[Mega Metagross is evil and needs to be burned.]
Another new feature that you get near the end of the game is the Eon Flute, which allows you to summon the Latios/Latias you were given earlier in the game from anywhere and fly around the skies of Hoenn might be the most wonderful thing ever. It totally eliminates the need for the HM for fly. which is a good thing because that brings me to my biggest complaint of this game.
SO MANY HM’S! You need surf, you need Dive, you need Waterfall, you need Cut, you need Rock Smash, you need Strength…. I can’t even with this. I know this is the way it used to be but gonna be rather honest with you, didn’t miss it. I ended up with two HM slaves on my team just to accommodate all of the HM’s I needed just to get through the main story line. I should not need two HM slaves just to finish the main story.
TOO MANY, DON’T LIKE!
That aside, everything in this game was really spot on. I have a whole new view of Hoenn, I like it a lot better then I did before and i’m hoping for more remakes like this is the future.
Can you imagine Team Galactic blowing up a lake in these high res graphics? That’s the things my nightmares are made of and of course, my largest dream would be to see the Kanto region done like this. Can you imagine having cut scenes with Team Rocket and interacting more with Giovanni? I would sob my eyes out in happiness.
Overall, this was a great experience that gave me a whole new view of a game I previously hated. Oh and IGN can suck it, there wasn’t too much water! There was actually LESS water then i remember there being…at least I think there was…maybe the same amount.
So, I come from a rather different perspective from my pal Midnight. For one, Gen 3 is one of my favorite if not my favorite generation of pokemon. It was the last gen I played with my dad (who was pretty much the only other person who played pokemon with me at the time), and it was the time for me when a brand new pokemon game was still fresh and new. Its also one I played with the most often, since I lacked pretty much anything else to do at that point in my life. So, overall, I came in to ORAS with very high expectations. And?
I will say this-it definitely feels like Hoenn. It captures the feel of the old games, and the new things seem to fit in perfectly. The entire game feels very familiar and fills me with all kinds of nostalgia. In addition, the new designs, graphics, and other gameplay elements really worked great for the game. Things like Flannery being so adorkable and Wally being so frail, the new designs and the ways the characters are animated just do so much better to give the characters and places personality. As for the new elements to the story, I really like them too. The new motivations for Magma and Aqua, the new stuff with Steven, the entire Delta episode all were great and added so much more to the game’s story, which was pretty ambitious to begin with. However, I will say I don’t really like Zinnia…she just really annoys me with how high and mighty she is about everything. But hey, that’s one part.
In terms of gameplay stuff, there was a lot to like. I really like the tip-toe and pokenav feature, so you can find pokemon with egg moves with just a little bit of patience rather than chain breeding things. The Eon Flute was also just a brilliant new addition, as it makes flying around so much easier…pretty much making the HM Fly utterly obsolete. Supertraining and pokemon amie are still here, and they remain great. However, there are some issues I found with the game, part of them dealing with some things that are a little too old fashioned. Having separate poke centers and poke marts is a small thing, but it does get a bit on the annoying side at times. Also, one thing that did change I’m not happy about is that the Safari zone…isn’t even the safari zone anymore. Its nice to catch pokemon by battling and your own poke balls, but there isn’t that sense of variety. Though now I remember, the old Safari Zone in Gen 3 wasn’t that amazing either. I do like the Mirage Islands and the new way to catch legendaries. With nearly every legendary absent from X and Y, you can catch so many. Though I find it funny some legendaries are so easy to capture, but the Golems remain just as they were, incredibly complex riddles to get to them all.
I will say, my first play through was a Nuzlocke, and it was very rewarding in terms of difficulty. The game without exp all remains tough, and while I had a good mid-point, I was nearly destroyed the 8th badge and onward. Seriously, Wallace’s Milotic is a freaking nightmare. But with alot of determination…and using two pokemon pretty much to take on the Elite Four, I succeeded. It reminded me of the challenge there was in the original Ruby and Sapphire, and I’m quite happy after you beat the Elite Four, they get bumped up to be even more powerful.
Overall, these games are fun, nice, and most significantly, beautiful. Gamefreak really put their all to make everything look amazing and it does. The scenery, the birds, the water, the character designs, it all works awesomely. Its been fun seeing the remakes of the games, and while they didn’t add an insane bunch of new features, or even some features people loved in X and Y, they made sure this was an incredibly well done remake. If you’re a pokemon fan..you probably have it already, but really if you don’t you should get it. Its just a lot of fun and I can’t wait to see what other surprises the game may show next.