Monday, 11 May 2015

Pokemon Alpha Sapphire

Gamespot Score: 8.0

My Score: 7.5

(+) Pros: - Same great Gen 3 that has been updated with the same visuals of Gen 6, - Reasonable amount of new post game content, - Brings over most of the new features from Gen 6, while adding some new features of its own for a smoother experience overall, - Episode Delta is one of the best things that has happened to ANY Pokemon game.

(-) Cons: - While it has new content, its not really enough to captivate old players who have played Gen 3 games, - Some Gen 6 implementations not in the game (no character customization), - Very hard to get access to Pokemon outside of Gen 3, even in post game.

Gameplay time: 25 hours-ish for the main story, 40 hours + for post game and beyond

"Pokemon"...once again we find ourselves in the game where we catch mystical creatures of different variations to do battle for us! "Pokemon" is a gaming fad that will NEVER die, and while part of me wishes for it to change itself up for us newer players, another part of me wants it to stay the same for nostalgia's sake. Hey, hopefully people will get to the point where we'll be able to take change, and "Pokemon" might become an insanely badass game in the future. Until then, we get remakes galore, this time its a gen 3 remake. I got myself "Alpha Sapphire" (obviously, see the title), because I played the original "Ruby" in the past, and I loved it. I had high hopes for the remake, seeing as how gen 6 made "Pokemon" so much more accessible and adventurous for us players, I wanted to see gen 6 IN gen 3. Of course, that would be asking for too much. "Alpha Sapphire/Omega Ruby" is a remake, that much I'll give it, but that's what it is. A REMAKE. Not much new is brought to the table besides what we love and know about gen 3, if you expected something different entirely, then you'll be sad. Through and through, this is just a gen 3 game with gen 6 visuals and online options...not much else.

The story is as you'd remember in the old gen 3 games. You play as a regular kid who moves to the hoenn region because of family matters. Your dad is a gym leader, and mom watches the house. Always aspiring to be a Pokemon trainer, you roam around looking at your new hometown, only to watch a random old man get attacked by wild Pokemon in the route outside of town. You go to help him, and he gets you to pick up one of 3 Pokemon balls he has in his bag. After you help him fend off the wild Pokemon, he randomly decides that you'd be the perfect owner of that Pokemon you picked up, and nonchalantly gives it to you. From there, your mom decides that you're fit to go start your own Pokemon journey, one to defeat all 8 gyms, the elite four, and eventually become the champion. You'll get there, you always do.

Brendan and May stepping into action!

If you haven't played Pokemon games before you clearly haven't been getting ANY sort of childhood whatsoever. "Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire" stays close to the Pokemon formula as always, going even further back than "X/Y" did. It is a complete remake of gen 3 in and out, with almost everything staying the same, save for the improved visuals. Your role in the game as the ultimate Pokemon champion to be is to roam the continent, beat gyms and eventually the elite four. Of course, this isn't lined up for you from the start, you'll need to explore, meet friends and rivals along the way.

Like with all Pokemon games prior, the main joy and selling point of the game is to explore the continent, moving from place to place, and to see everything with your own eyes. Meet characters, see Pokemon, do battle, etc etc, that's what makes Pokemon an enjoyable experience, even after all these years. Hoenn is a very ocean populated continent (which IGN criticizes for whatever reason), and it can be seen by most of the NPC's tropical wear. You get to see and capture all gen 3 Pokemon, if you haven't played gen 3 before, this should be a new, refreshing experience that exposes you to all the wonders that gen 3 provides, because Pokemon wise, gen 3 has some of my absolute favorites, and is possibly the best out of all the generations in terms of Pokemon design.

Well, it completely destroys the competitive scene, that much I know.

With that in mind, if this is your first time experiencing gen 3, you are in for a ride. With the updated visuals, Hoenn looks pretty damn good, and some of the areas look really fleshed out. Even if you've explored Hoenn before, Game Freak did well in revamping most of the environments, making them a pleasure to walk through once again. Everything else is a complete rip from "X/Y". Character models and Pokemon models still look great, even though they've been reused from "X/Y", not that we can complain, because technically, this IS still generation 6. As with the original "Ruby/Sapphire" games, the story line and entirety of the "main game" is about 20 hours long, which is about average for a Pokemon game, nothing to write home about.

Of course, since this is a gen 6 game, Game Freak had the common knowledge to add some post game content to our adventure. There are A TON of legendary Pokemon you can catch in this one, and the newly added Episode Delta was a welcome addition to the game (more about that later). You'd have A LOT to do after finishing the main game other can catching legendary Pokemon (even in that regard, you have the Regi bros, the pixie trio, the swords of justice, Palkia/Dialga, Zekrom/Reishiram and more...that's going to take you awhile), be it testing the fabulousness of your cosplay Pikachu in beauty contests, or duking it out with the infamous 4 sisters in the  Battle Maison, which serves as a replacement to the Battle Frontier. There's also the competitive Pokemon scene which you can lose yourselves in, but that's for the hardcore, and if you decide to delve into that, the features and ease of super training still exist like they do in "X/Y".

Blaziken: still OP as f**k.
Speaking of Gen 6 features, most of them are still present here. The PSS system brings players together and lets you find friends quickly. Poke-Amie lets you pet your Pokemon (I still think this is the most retarded feature, seeing as you need to WIN some items from the mini games here, but I can see how it appeals to kids or girls) and gain their favor, super training lets you EV train Pokemon easily. There are also new features in "OR/AS" as well, such as secret bases, which gives players a new way to interact with one another, or the news feed, which showcases your accomplishes on your bottom touch screen just to make you feel good. A personal favorite of mine that they added, is the Pokemon tracker, which lets you see what Pokemon you have/have not caught in a certain area. This is great for completionists like myself, who want to catch EVERY Pokemon in a certain area before I move on. Plus, you can fly around on a Latio/Latias, depending on the version you're playing, which can be quite an impressive experience, at least for the first few times.

Let's be honest here for a minute though, the best thing about "OR/AS", is episode Delta. Its a brand new episode of story content that has been added to this remake, and my word is it one of the best things I've seen in a Pokemon game (unfortunately it'll take you less than a couple of hours to finish Episode Delta). It introduces a brand new, interesting character, and a series of honestly well told events. It also sets up intense battles against some really, high tier opponents. I won't want to spoil too much about it, but its just the best post game story you can get out of a Pokemon game.

Oh..god no...

"OR/AS" has its fair share of flaws. While its a brand new game overall, I feel like it lacks a lot to be called a "new game". Sure its a REMAKE, while it visually looks like one, it doesn't feel like it. I felt like there was supposed to be more to it to make me feel overwhelmed...a lot more than just Episode Delta. Also, while they implemented a whole lot of Gen 6 into "OR/AS", there;s just a lot that's just straight out not in the game. Fashion? ...Character customization..? I want to look like a badass dammit (buying clothes for your avatar better not be a Kalos exclusive thing) ! Also, its WAY too hard to get Pokemon outside of Gen 3 in the game EVEN during post game. You have 5 WHOLE generations of Pokemon in the bank, you'd think Game Freak could be a little bit more generous in letting us catch what we want in the game?

"OR/AS" is just what it is. Its a remake of an old old picture that's been painted over with a fresh coat of paint. I can't really write home about this one, especially after Gen 5 and Kalos (Kalos wasn't that amazing in the first place). Its still a fun game, because running around different areas, exploring and discovering Pokemon is always a pleasure, even if you've seen/know most of them. Gen 3 was one of my favorite generations, its unfortunate that "OR/AS" didn't make me relive the awesomeness of that era. All it did was remind me how much fun it was back then was Hoenn was a foreign land to me.

Happy Gaming!