It’s time for part three of our ‘Pokemon over the Years‘ article.
Every week we take a look back through the years of Pokemon in the build up for the release of Black 2 and White 2.
Hey, Mysti here again, this week I’m reviewing Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald!~
Ruby and Sapphire were released in July 2003, with Emerald following in October 2005 [after the release of Fire Red and Leaf Green]. This series took place in the Hoenn region, with yet another new generation of Pokémon, but also some notable additional features.
The graphics look much nicer, everything is more colourful and detailed, the sprites have better shading, and the battle background is more interesting and changes to match the kind of environment you’re battling in, mostly. The only thing I would say is that the text, for the most part, doesn’t look right. If you go on the menu, or when you look at the text in battles, it just looks off, though I’m not sure how. It’s almost as if the writing is too big or too tall.
The sound is a lot more developed in these games, it doesn’t sound bleepy at all, and the Pokémon cries sound more like creatures as well. But yes, the sound is almost cute in these games, I really like wandering around with it in the background. Also, I think these may have been the first games to include Pokémon cries in the background music, depending on what ones were found in each area?
This time, instead of fighting Team Rocket, in Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald there are two teams – Team Aqua and Team Magma. Depending on which game you play, one will be the ‘evil’ team and one the ‘good’ team. For example, in Ruby, Team Magma are the bad guys, while Team Aqua is trying to help you.
My favourite thing about Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald was the contests – a new feature that allowed you to compete against NPCs, or your friends, for ribbons for your Pokémon. This involved choosing attacks not based on power, but on what category was best for the type of contest you were entering, to get the most ‘appeal’. There was even a Pokémon which evolved based on a particular contest category [Beauty]’s level, rather than the actual Pokémon’s level.
Other cool things were the new Dive TM, allowing you to explore the depths of the ocean for various treasures and even explore a sunken ship, though I though they could’ve done more with that. There were also lots of different types of Berries, which each had their own positive aspects, that you could plant and find around the region. But I think the most awesome thing apart from the contests was being able to make a Secret Base. It was the treehouse or secret hideaway you never had, you could buy and make decorations, and after completing the game there were sales in the department store, where you could buy things like slides! A fairly simple thing, but really quirky.
Downsides were that you didn’t get a PokéGear in these games, so there was no clock, apart from the one in your room when you start, and it was more difficult to know when people wanted to battle you again with the new PokéNav, as I found that sometimes when it indicated that someone wanted to battle, I’d Fly over there only to find that they didn’t. Also, Kecleon! I don’t know about anyone else, but once I got to the area where they were I found them a little annoying, haha.
I didn’t like the Ruby and Sapphire Pokémon as much as the previous generations, but they still weren’t too bad. The starters were a little weird, Torchic was fine, but Mudkip, for all its awesomeness, was a strange looking little thing, and Treecko was peculiar. Their final evolutions were still pretty good, but I preferred the middle ones apart from Torchic’s. The other Pokémon were quite cool, Absol and Delcatty being some of my favourites, design-wise. I wasn’t a fan of the legendaries, Groudon and Kyogre, but Rayquaza was epic, and Jirachi remains one of my favourite legendaries.
All in all, good games, but I’m still hoping they remake them someday~
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