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Pokemon Omega Ruby Review

See PixlBit's Review Policies

On 03/09/2015 at 12:00 PM by Casey Curran

Advancing the Advanced Generation

For Pokemon fans who still have not got enough or people looking for some GBA nostalgia

Seeing these games announced was one of the most surreal moments in gaming news. Not because there was a new Pokémon game- (those will never end), but because the series is so strong that even the black sheep of the franchise received a remake. Remaking the original games made sense, as did remaking fan favorites Gold and Silver, especially since the first two generations had vastly inferior mechanics to the then current games.

At the time of Ruby and Sapphire’s original release, the game’s strong points were the new mechanical changes, as the new region left a lot to be desired and the new batch of Pokémon were seen as a step down, with many being just lame clones of past creatures. So now that the mechanics have been refined to perfection on the DS, these games’ strong points are now obsolete, while the weakest aspects are left intact. Fortunately, the region and Pokémon are still adequate and there are enough changes to vastly improve these installments from their original form.

The games employ the same structure as every other Pokémon game: You choose your first Pokémon between a Grass, Fire, or Water type, and then go on a journey to build your own team of up to six Pokémon and challenge eight Gym Leaders. Along the way, you will run into either Team Magma or Team Aqua (depending on your version), whom want to awaken an ancient Pokémon to achieve their nefarious plan.

What always worked for Pokémon works here as well: Building your team requires a great amount of customization, leveling up your Pokémon and advancing through the region are all very addicting. There is always something to look forward to, whether a new move or a new evolution of your Pokémon. You can also play through the game many times with a different strategy from a different team of Pokémon each one.

While not the best selection of Pokémon available (X and Y hold that crown), I can say that the new mechanics vastly improve the selection you have. Originally, whether a move was used by a Pokémon’s special or physical attack was dictated by the move’s type. Every Water move would be a Special attack, while every Normal move would be a Physical attack. In addition, using a move of the same type as the user would grant a power boost.

This would be an issue for Pokémon whose stats did not line up with their available moves. Many great physical attackers would have mostly special type moves and a typing that supports Special moves and vice/versa. There was also the issue of how many Pokémon had plain poor move pools that were a pain to use.

Now, however, every Pokémon has at least one great move of its type for its better attacking stat. This is important because moves of the same type as the Pokémon get a power boost and can use them with their better stat. This creates enough options with each Pokémon so that nearly everything you can catch will, at the bare minimum have a niche role that they can perform for your team. Team building still needs plenty of thought and planning, but the greater versatility to every Pokémon gives plenty more customization options.

Unfortunately, the weakest part of the Hoenn region could not receive the same change. Many areas received their own nice changes (the remade Mauville is especially great), but once you get your seventh badge the game’s weakest aspect will become very apparent: There are too many water areas. These areas offer no break from random battles and no variety between locations.

Considering the first half of the game took me through caves, deserts, volcanoes, and all kinds of different towns, this change really hurts the pace of the game. Thankfully, another new change that lets you fly around on a Pokémon to travel somewhat mitigates this. Flying has always been a part of the series, but would only teleport you from town to town. Now you can choose to ride on the Pokémon Latias/Latios’ (depending on the version) back and travel through the air, which has its own secrets and lets you land at any spot, not just towns. It initially seems just like something neat to do, but ends up making travelling much easier.

Secret bases make a return, with the added online capability to let your base appear in your friends’ games and their bases in yours. This lets you battle an AI-controlled version of your friends’ teams at any time, which is a nice diversion. Contests also return, which have you dress Pokémon and use their moves to dazzle the audience. These contests are not as much fun as battling, but are enjoyable enough to give a few tries.

The post-game content also receives a significant boost, with an entire three hour quest once you beat the game. There is also a battle tower for those who want to test their battling skills with more challenge than the core game provides. There are also over twenty optional legendary Pokémon to catch, many of which are discovered with interesting methods. And yes, I do see the absurdity that over twenty legendary Pokémon exist.

The multiplayer is most of changed through the new Mega Evolutions introduced. These evolutions are triggered mid-battle, for only one Pokémon per battle, which can change stats, abilities, and even typing. The new Mega Evolutions are not quite as powerful as the ones introduced in X and Y-with a couple of exceptions-but each should be able to carve its own niche and shake up the multiplayer just enough to keep it interesting.

This is by no means the definitive Pokémon, as Heartgold/Soulsilver, Black 2/White 2, and X/Y are all superior experiences. If, however, you played all three of those games and still want more or have a particular fondness for the Hoenn region, then what the game offers will not disappoint.

Review Policy

In our reviews, we'll try not to bore you with minutiae of a game. Instead, we'll outline what makes the game good or bad, and focus on telling you whether or not it is worth your time as opposed to what button makes you jump.

We use a five-star rating system with intervals of .5. Below is an outline of what each score generally means:

All games that receive this score are standout games in their genre. All players should seek a way to play this game. While the score doesn't equate to perfection, it's the best any game could conceivably do.

These are above-average games that most players should consider purchasing. Nearly everyone will enjoy the game and given the proper audience, some may even love these games.

This is our middle-of-the-road ranking. Titles that receive three stars may not make a strong impression on the reviewer in either direction. These games may have some faults and some strong points but they average out to be a modest title that is at least worthy of rental for most.

Games that are awarded two stars are below average titles. Good ideas may be present, but execution is poor and many issues hinder the experience.

Though functional, a game that receives this score has major issues. There are little to no redeeming qualities and should be avoided by nearly all players.

A game that gets this score is fundamentally broken and should be avoided by everyone.



Captain N

03/18/2015 at 12:59 AM

I haven't played alot of this, only 20 minutes because of my 3DS. I will give it a proper play when I upgrade at some point.

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