Growing up, I have always been a fan of the Pokémon series as a whole, but I truly have only loved 2 games from the series, Pokémon Crystal and Pokémon Sapphire/Emerald. I have always enjoyed these games, even when I became an older human. So let us dive in and see what is so good about the remake of the Hoenn Region!

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So What is the Story Exactly?

The setting and story of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are largely the same as the original Ruby and Sapphire games. It begins with the player is seen riding in the back of a moving truck. The player character starts by moving to the Hoenn region from the Johto region with their mother, as their father Norman has been hired as the leader of the Petalburg City Gym.

The player arrives with their parents at the family’s new home in the village of Littleroot Town, on the southern edge of the main island. The player character begins their Pokémon Trainer journey by saving Professor Birch, the leading scientist in the Hoenn region, from a wild Pokémon, choosing either Treecko, Torchic or Mudkip to defend him. Following the defeat of the wild Pokémon, the player receives the chosen Pokémon as their starter.

They then travel around Hoenn to complete their Pokédex and battle the eight Gym Leaders of the Hoenn Pokémon League.

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Along the way, the player character encounters the antagonist group, Team Magma in Omega Ruby, or Team Aqua in Alpha Sapphire, who wish to use the power of the legendary Pokémon, Primal Groudon in Omega Ruby, and Primal Kyogre in Alpha Sapphire, to change the world to suit their desires. Team Magma wants to use Groudon to dry up the oceans and expand the landmass, thereby allowing humanity to progress further, while Team Aqua wishes to summon Kyogre to flood the lands and revert the world to a prehistoric state, which will allow Pokémon to live more freely.

With the help of Hoenn League Champion Steven Stone and the Gym Leader Wallace, the player defeats their respective team and then either captures or defeats the legendary Pokémon to prevent a global drought / heavy rainfall and thus ensuring the teams’ mutual reformation.

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The player then advances on to the Pokémon League, challenging the Elite Four and then the Champion, Steven, to become the new Hoenn Pokémon League Champion. The player also has the option of participating in the various Pokémon Contests throughout Hoenn, using their Pokémon to put on a performance for an audience and judges.

Aside from the gameplay, 20 new Mega Evolutions were added since Pokémon X and Y.


How about them Mega Evolutions?

Mega Evolution is a temporary transformation affecting Pokémon that was introduced in Generation VI. Mega-Evolved Pokémon are identified by having “Mega” in front of their name. There are 46 species of Pokémon that are capable of Mega Evolution, and there are 48 different Mega Evolutions. This definitely added a new and cool element to the game as well as the competitive scene. Do not worry, the starting Pokémon were given these power ups and were very powerful!

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In any battle, each Trainer may Mega Evolve a single Pokémon once. Mega Evolution is essentially a free action a Pokémon may make in addition to its normal move, but if a Pokémon will not use a move, it cannot Mega Evolve. Mega Evolution occurs before most actions except switching. A Mega-Evolved Pokémon will only revert to its original state if it faints or the battle ends; if it is switched out, it will remain Mega Evolved.

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What are some other changes from the Original Games?

The physical Hoenn Pokédex has been redesigned, now appearing similar to the original Game Boy Advance system. Brendan and May have completely different attires, with Brendan’s brown hair and white hat being more obvious, while May has a bow instead of the bandana she originally wore, which honestly makes her a bit cuter.

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Team Magma and Team Aqua have been given new designs; Team Magma Admin Tabitha appears to be huskier and Courtney has purple hair instead of brown. The Team Aqua

Admins have dark skin tones. Team Aqua Admin Shelly has black hair with accents of blue instead of red hair and Matt is more muscular. The Hoenn Gym Leaders, Elite Four, and other Trainers were redesigned with updated appearances. There is so much more I cannot really begin to cover it!


Some small downsides…

So with the new EXP system, it makes it super easy to raise the levels of your Pokémon, which takes away the hours of fun you can have with grinding and such; it also feels way easier to catch Pokémon compared to the older games. The same can go for the legendary Pokémon; they all come back in this game, but they are really easy to catch sadly. I miss the panic of trying to get it just right or having to restart all over again.



Final Thoughts

Overall, it was an amazing game on launch and still is a pretty good game for the series! It helps bring life to some of the older classics in the series while working on some new features. The graphics are actually really good and I really enjoy the Pokémon animation updates as well. They added a decent amount to the story and have updated the locations and such. Overall, I think it was a great game!

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Overall Score 8.6/10