The original Pokemon Ruby & Sapphire were never my favorite pair of games in the series, to say the least. I had fewer fond nostalgic memories of the Game Boy Advance duo than any of the other “generations” of the franchise. I never felt very attached to the new Pokemon or the Hoenn region.
Truthfully, I think a lot of it had to do with the limitations of the GBA. The graphics were a huge upgrade from the previous games, but I was already looking forward to the day that the franchise would make the jump to 3D graphics. Looking back, I never gave the third-gen series much credit: Ruby & Sapphire were the first to introduce many of the deepest mechanics in the battle system.
With Pokemon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire – the Nintendo 3DS re-makes – the graphics have been fully remastered, using the very same engine from 2013’s Pokemon X & Y. Many of the unique aspects of the original games return – PokeBlocks, Contests, the Poke Nav, and more. There are also a lot of newer features, such as the Super Training, Pokemon Amie, and Player Search System apps from X & Y. These features round out the re-makes in a very satisfying way.
Mega Evolutions also return, which improves quite a few of the Hoenn region’s somewhat vanilla offerings. These modern additions to the franchise have been ported very smoothly into Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire. The new and enhanced version of the Poke Nav goes a long way, not to mention the Poke Radar, which allows you to search for unique versions of the species in any given area.
I haven’t put enough time into the full adventure to provide my final critique, but from what I have seen, I am absolutely loving Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire. Hoenn was never very appealing before, but I find myself enjoying so many areas of the region now – this includes many of the third-gen species, many of which I am excited to use in my party for the first time ever. I still can’t wait to see the new “Soar” ability that lets you fly around Hoenn.
Check back soon for an updated review of Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire. If you were wondering if you should buy a copy, know this – Pokemon fans will really enjoy the games, and anyone that missed out on the third generation or never cared for Ruby & Sapphire will find that Hoenn is more impressive than ever before.