Friday, April 3, 2015

Pokemon Omega Ruby on Review

Pokemon Ruby was my first Pokemon game, and my first handheld game, so it's understandable for me to be excited when Ruby first came out. I'm sad to say the remake didn't meet all of my expectations, though. All in all, the remake was a bit too much like the original. Don't get me wrong, the original was great, but when the new game adds only few new features I like, and some I don't, it can make the experience of playing it feel unoriginal, rather than new and refreshing.

Playing Omega Ruby felt exactly like I was playing the original game, at first, just with newer graphics. The longer I played, the more the graphics seemed to fade behind the exact same gameplay experience I had gone through three times as a kid. The gym battles are all the same, the trainers are all the same, and, worse of all, this update didn't combine Pokemon Centers and Poke-Marts. As soon as I turned on the game and saw that the overhaul didn't involve replotting towns to combine these two features into one stop, I was already disappointed. Also there are no longer one-player contests, which most people only complain about if they can't find other friends who weren't smart enough not to buy the game, unlike me. The fact that I need multiplayer for one of the best features in Pokemon history outside battling left me wondering if I should continue playing for a while. Luckily, after the Contest Halls all fade away, the game introduces a few new things that make it better.

The way that the wild Pokemon were rearranged this time around makes it easier to get through the game, as you're catching things like Seedot and Wingul right off the bat. The new flying mechanic, which I'm still disappointed to say isn't introduced right when you teach a Pokemon to fly, is something I wish every Pokemon game has. It works less like a fast-travel system, and more like an adventure in a new area, allowing one to fly through the game on the back of a Latios through a 3D environment, catch Pokemon, and obtain hidden items. It's pretty magnificent, and it fixes the Mirage Island concept that broke in the old games when your clock's batteries would run dry. Of course, the DS fixes all of the time concepts originally in the game that were once broken, finally allowing me to get Regice. The game also introduces ways for you to obtain Deoxys, previously unobtainable outside of an event. The fixes made to the Secret Bases were nice, too, as there's nothing like seeing your little fort, and robbing your neighbors, in 3D.

As unsatisfying as the game starts out, I still recommend it to long-time Pokemon fans, especially those who can run through the main plot of the game within a week. The game doesn't provide as many features after playthrough as something like White, though, and because of that I recommend getting X and Y, as opposed to OARS.

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