We store cookies, you can get more info from our privacy policy.

Why Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are the Best and Worst Pokemon Games in a Long Time

The Beauty of Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire

by the NWR Staff - December 2, 2014, 5:33 am EST

Hoenn still rules.

For anything negative I can say about the pair of games, I can’t say they aren’t faithful. The bold color palette of the original games is in full force in the remakes, and the original soundtrack has been remade and remixed to great success. Additionally, the story follows all of the right beats, all of the wild Pokémon show up in the right places, and most of the same trainers are in the same places they were a decade ago in true remake fashion.

I love traversing the Hoenn of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. The water travel has been made easier with a lower encounter rate and modified geography. The world, with its interconnected design, feels as cohesive as always. Most importantly, the world is still packed with complicated secrets that require a bit of legwork (in addition to the Regi trio, Regigigas now has his own weird side quest as well!).

52.png

And though some of the new things aren’t great, other additions are wonderful. Sneaking expands upon the rustling grass stuff in Black and White and adds a fun, stealthy style of movement. Soar, meanwhile, is a better and more important gameplay mechanic than Pokémon followers ever were in the Gold and Silver remakes. It’s a key item that makes Fly obsolete, it allows you to go to any route or location on the map without needing to fly to a town and wander to whatever item you’re trying to get to, it makes flying actually feel like flying, and it provides a successful effort at repurposing the under-explored “mirage” concept of the GBA titles. Does it trivialize legendary Pokémon captures by making them extremely easy to hunt and capture? Absolutely. It also adds a series of bite-sized new locations and tasks to go through on a daily basis, which is an idea I can get behind.

What we really need to talk about is Episode Delta, the post-game story that features some extremely interesting ideas. Following the Elite Four and the completion of the original game’s story, Episode Delta is a two-hour tale that reminds me a lot of those anime movies that tell a bulky story in a super-fast-paced, time-restricted manner. Namely, Delta tells the tale of a meteor going towards Earth that involves Rayquaza and many of the Hoenn space fantasies my friends and I had in grade school. It’s a marvelous dessert to the game, and features one of the single weirdest and best moments in the entire Pokémon franchise. I wish every Pokémon post-game had a story like this.

52.png

Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that the game completely fixes the story of the original games. The story in Ruby and Sapphire was minimal at best and clumsy at worst, and this fixes mostly everything. Team Magma and Team Aqua still hit the same story beats, yet Archie and Maxie’s characters have taken great strides towards being interesting and relatable. It also gives the plot’s subject matter (in Omega Ruby, Team Magma is trying to create more land by evaporating the oceans; in Alpha Sapphire, Team Aqua is trying to cover the land in ocean water) a great deal more weight than it ever had in the past. The remake takes one of the weakest stories in the series and turns it into one of the strongest.

Yes, it really needs Battle Frontier. And yes, most of the good new stuff consists of things you won’t see until you’re 10-15 hours deep. But when you get there, and when you see the title at its full potential, Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire turn into a lot more than meets the eye.

Talkback

Evan_BDecember 02, 2014

Glad to know skipping this one was justified. Pretty much all the positives aside from Soar boiled down to "it's like Ruby and Sapphire" which are the worst titles in the series, in my opinion. The negatives are a lot more disappointing, and now I'm firmly convinced that Pokemon has gone from a "must-have" to a "maybe-once-a-new-game-adds-things-that-are-actually-interesting-in-a-generation" purchase for me.

Quote from: Evan_B

Glad to know skipping this one was justified. Pretty much all the positives aside from Soar boiled down to "it's like Ruby and Sapphire" which are the worst titles in the series, in my opinion. The negatives are a lot more disappointing, and now I'm firmly convinced that Pokemon has gone from a "must-have" to a "maybe-once-a-new-game-adds-things-that-are-actually-interesting-in-a-generation" purchase for me.

Just like Call of Duty.

ClexYoshiDecember 03, 2014

Some other negatives to go over...


-Move Tutors are in in spite of the lack of a battle frontier, but there is exactly one move it offers over move tutors in previous generations, particularly Black 2/White 2. While the proliferation of Electroweb as a new entry hazard is quite awesome (Because we needed another reason to run Rotom-W), this has been the least enticing set of Move Tutor Moves since their inception in Generation 3, which is a real shame. Really wish we would have gotten something crazy like Boomburst or Play Rough tutor.

-Cosplay Pikachu absolutely breaks the Pokemon Contest system in the exact same way that early game Latios/Latias and the EXP share breaks the single player experience. Cosplay Pikachu on the whole is disappointing, just as Surfing Pikachu's lack of transfer-ability. the improvements to lightningrod  and the Light ball that came in 5th gen would be GREAT with some of these moves if they were permanent editions to Pikachu's movepool, but they aren't.

- The crippling lack of updates to the engine. This game still chugs terribly if 3D is engaged, and 3D is limited, just as in X and Y. The fact that this Engine is pretty much the same thing makes it especially appaling that they couldn't be bothered to take that extra step and give Pokemon X and Y one more patch to bring last year's releases some peerity with these releases. There's a number of Mega Stones that must be sent from X and Y to Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire for those old Mega pokemon to be available in the new versions. Why then, can we not send those new stones, have access to Kyogre, Groudon, or Rayquaza's new moves, or put Cosplay Pikachu's models back into X and Y? what if I like having a customized trainer? what if I like level grinding in Battle Resturants? This absolutley baffles me, especially considering Mega Latios and Mega Latias' models are buried inside X and Y's code! isn't it absurd that you can't have Mega Diancie in X and Y? This bullet point alone is the reason I chose to watch LPs and read Serebii instead of shelling out for the Pokemon Tax.

-I personally feel the soundtrack is lazy after giving it a listen. Heart Gold/Soul Silver took a really bombastic and manic approach to it's music, going so completely all out to make all the tunes epic and awesome. I was expecting much the same for OR/AS, but ... I dunno. the trumpets feel more muted and reserved. Yeah, it's a better soundtrack than X and Y, but I feel X and Y probably have the weakest soundtrack of any Pokemon game. Particular disappointments include Route 113, the Aqua/Magma leader fight theme, and the lack of arrangements for the various legendary pokemon shoehorned in. Don't tell me that asking for such arrangements is unreasonable, because one need only look at the World Tournament from Black 2/White 2 to see that they will re-arrange music from every generation without hesitation. I will say that the Battle theme for Zinnia is REALLY good, though. Like, I feel that they could have SERIOUSLY used a theme like that for X and Y's gym leader battle instead of having reject F-Zero GX/Wipeout music.

- All the new Megas being revealed in pre-release material is quite disappointing. Mega balance feels quite a bit shakier here than it did in X and Y, where the Megas either offered pokemon very alternate builds or a reason to shine in the limelight with few exceptions. Stuff like Mega Audino, Mega Pidgeot, and Mega Steelix just seem VERY ill-concieved. (Not saying these are bad, but conceptually weak; Mega Pidgeot literally picks up no-guard for 100% accurate STAB hurricanes, which is nice, but they didn't really expand it's movepool in a way to make it a real contender. It's like if they would have done Mega Heracross but only given him acess to Rock Blast and not any of the other skill link related goodies he gets) The fact that Mega Rayquaza essentially breaks the Mega Evolution system is really stupid and I don't wanna play in Ubers where you can eat a base 120 STAB Life Orb boosted flying move from a pokemon with 180 base attack. or Draco Meteor, for that matter. Shout-outs to Mega Bedrill and Mega Sharpedo for being really GOOD examples of what I like out of a Mega Evolution. Kinda sad there's no Mega Exploud or Mega Torkoal.


And a couple of positives.


- Props to Gamefreak giving us a Deoxys that doesn't come from an event, even if it's raw statitude gets shat upon by Mega Evolutions. and a Cresselia you don't have to catch roaming, because it kinda made me sad when I caught myself a calm Cresselia back in the day and found out it's IVs were awful.

- Delta Episode is indeed an AWESOME idea for how post-game should be handled.

- mad shout-outs to my boy Sharpedo, who not only got a -GREAT- Mega Evolution, but also gets the distinct advantage of being a surf pokemon that moves at double speed on water, which coupled with lower water encounter rate makes Hoenn a slightly less painful region to explore.

- I do love that Gamefreak went out their way to try and make sure all pokemon are available between X, Y, OR, and AS. at the same time, I also like that if you have a pokemon that's got an OT from a Ruby/Sapphire game that you get a commemorative plaque from the developer room. Again, Shout-outs to my Sharpedo, who has been with me for a very, VERY long time.

- 'dat Zinnia battle theme.

ClexYoshiDecember 03, 2014

*as an aside, I forgot it's Sticky web that's the new entry hazard, not Electroweb. my bad. :I

pokepal148Spencer Johnson, Contributing WriterDecember 26, 2014

You know what, I'm saying it now: god fucking bless the exp share.

I'm playing through White 2 at the moment and god damn, that game constantly feels like it it punishes you for trying to run a full team of 6 Pokemon.

Every time I get to a gym I have to grind a few levels for everyone because trying to keep everything at around the same level results in me getting to the next gym only to learn that everyone is at least 5 levels below where they are supposed to be. It's fucking awful.

Quote from: pokepal148

You know what, I'm saying it now: god fucking bless the exp share.

I'm playing through White 2 at the moment and god damn, that game constantly feels like it it punishes you for trying to run a full team of 6 Pokemon.

Every time I get to a gym I have to grind a few levels for everyone because trying to keep everything at around the same level results in me getting to the next gym only to learn that everyone is at least 5 levels below where they are supposed to be. It's fucking awful.

I don't know man. Even if that challenge involves grinding, at least there's something to it. The difficulty in ORAS is so incredibly low that it's hard for me to justify putting it too high on my personal GOTY list.

pokepal148Spencer Johnson, Contributing WriterDecember 31, 2014

Just to get this out of the way, grinding does not create difficulty, it creates tedium.

The issue Pokemon has in my opinion is that everyone in the game assumes that you'll be at a certain level when you reach a certain point.

One result of this is in my Black and White 2 playthrough I had a full team of 6 Pokemon before I even reached the 4th gym. However because I was trying to juggle a full team my Pokemon were mostly in the level 20-23 range when third Gym Leader had 3 Pokemon in the 28-30 range.

The EXP share attempted to solve this issue by making it easier to train multiple Pokemon but the Exp Share's effects are so darastic that it would be difficult to balance the game in a way that would accomodate both, those who did use it, and those who did not.

The easiest way to solve this issue is to make the EXP share mandatory and balance the game solely based on the idea that everyone is using it but that would likely end up pissing of the hardcore crowd.

The whole Lati@s thing would annoy me alot more if it weren't for soaring.

StratosDecember 31, 2014

Exp Share is what got me really into Pokemon again with X/Y. It is so convenient to not have to worry about the levels. I can focus on enjoying the parts of the game I like: catching Pokemon and building a cool team.


They could easily implement variable difficulty levels. Just increase the number of Pokemon that trainers carry and boost the levels of those Pokemon by 5-10.


I would like to see every trainer by the second or third gym carry a full set of monsters.

Mop it upJanuary 02, 2015

The new version of experience share is a good idea, but isn't implemented as well as it could be. The opponents are just too easy to compensate for having a beefier team on hand. A difficulty selection is probably the best way to handle that, though even with exp. share off I feel like the opponents in X/Y didn't have as many or as strong of teams as most previous games.

I'd still rather have it than not have it though, because I like to switch up Monz a lot and it makes for a lot less grinding.

Syed RedwanDecember 19, 2017

Around my place there is nobody to streetpass me the Eon Ticket or no event for getting Eon Ticket is available. Then why don't Nintendo set a forever code to get Eon Ticket in Pokemon Omega Ruby as there won't be any possibility of any other event happening?

Got a news tip? Send it in!
Advertisement
Advertisement