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Since the release of Pokémon X/Y on October 12th last year from GameFreak (and published by Nintendo) fans and lovers of the franchise flocked to grab this amazing new version of the game that the company had created. With advanced 3D, stunning visuals and ‘Mega’ evolution, it brought the game to a whole new level, and now, with the release of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, it allows long-term players to experience the nostalgia of the Hoenn region once again and this time enjoy an even more detailed storyline filled with mega evolution, primal legendaries, flying Latios/Latias AND experiencing tons of post-game-play, including the ‘Delta Episode’.

choosing pokemon

( I won’t be showing too many pictures of game-play, just to hide spoilers)
If you wanted next-generation pokémon then this is the game that you’ve been waiting for. In minutes you’re reminded of the same fantastic games released 12 years ago, with the arrival in Littleroot town. The first thing you’ll notice (apart from the obviously stunning visuals) are the fantastic cut scenes. Game Freak have greatly improved the detail within the story scenes, in X/Y you’ll remember watching the fireworks with your rival, and this time they happen much more frequently and focus a lot more on the 3D camera aspect, taking in a variety of different angles, you can’t help but marvel at the effort that’s been put into the game, there are also additional scenes added to the game which weren’t within the first (I won’t give these away) but they add both an emotional and informative factor to the game, however sometimes when the camera is zoomed up to a characters face, it points out the jagged edges of arms, faces and general body distortion, I wouldn’t say this is an overwhelming issue as it didn’t ruin the fun I was having at the time.

Untitled

Even outside of movie scenes you notice the camera changes, I’ve been into the pokémon centre and seen my pokémon healed from a 1st /3rd person PoV, and also from corner angles of the centre. I also fell in love with the little details of the game; such as the players reflection in the water, seeing the stars in the sky and the faces that you, your rival (Brendan / May, depending on choices) and even Wally (who looks adorable and you feel very guilty when you beat him in battle). I personally feel its touches like those which make the game memorable.

Wally

Naturally we can’t forget the addition of contests! This was one of the most memorable traits in the originals which made the game so much fun, trying you outplay other contestants and be the best, while having the most amazing pokémon with the best moves. Now in ORAS you can do this and it looks visually fantastic! But in this game YOU GET A CONTEST PIKACHU, I have never seen anything so awesome. Dressing up Pikachu to fit your own personal style of contest and have them look adorable while you’re at it. You may not have character customisation but you get your own contest suit/dress to look suave as you battle to win all the contests and be the master. Don’t forget to feed your pokémon those pokéblocks and raise their stats!

Coolness

In addition, there have been many mega evolution additions including; Gallade, Lopunny, Sharpedo, Camerupt, Pidgeot and even Beedrill. I’m very happy that they keep adding these evolutions to the game, and absolutely believe that it’s given the franchise a fresh new feeling and greatly changes the impact of battle game-play, especially after putting hundreds of hours into X/Y, but with some pokémon such as Lopunny, I don’t believe that they were really entitled to a mega instead of Mightyena who has a huge impact in this remake as it seems to be used by almost every Aqua/Magma member. While the ‘Primal’ versions of Groudon and Kyogre and the Mega Rayquaza are all incredible, with some amazing abilities that can absolutely ruin a fight or turn it into someone’s favour!

Groudon

Its great that GameFreak have taken aspects from X and Y and added them to ORAS, such as the features; Pokémon Amie, Super Training, the Player Search System. These felt like such a vital part of the game and it felt great to have them back. You can never get bored of Wonder Trading to a random person and receiving something unknown in return, except in my experience it usually ends up being a Taillow.. The downside to this is that the bottom screen now feels incredibly overwhelmed and crowded, especially with the addition of the PokéNav Plus, the World Map, and the News of players around you. After playing the game for long enough you will soon become accustomed to it and eventually ignore it, but it does become cumbersome when you have to look for the right ‘application’.
Regarding the PokéNav Plus I think it’s quite possibly the best addition to the game, sneaking around and actually seeing a pokémon stick its head or tail out of tall grass, then getting the jump on it. This helps as sometimes the pokémon will have certain bonuses such as; egg-moves, perfect IV potential, hidden abilities, and even a huge level advantage. At the beginning of the game when you’re level 5-8 and stumbling across a level 14 Poochyena with the move ‘FireFang’ you can’t help but giggle at its power and proceed to destroy every trainer in your path. This also makes it much easier to ‘chain’ pokémon, greatly increasing the chance of finding that shiny you’ve always wanted.

sneaking

Having your own base has never felt cooler, of course travelling around the game world, you’ve always felt like the most free kid on the planet following no rules and your mother just lets you travel and battle, in the hopes of being just like your father. So having your own personal cave/treehouse and then making it fit your own taste and styles is amazing. You can be the person who fits millions of plushies in the house, or has the pinkest house, or even make it look like a personalised gym. Once you’ve done this you can even share your base amongst your friends, or look at additional bases made by developers with special QR picture which you can scan with your camera. This is both a fantastic recollection to past with some wonderful little additions.

Overall

This game was loved by many during their childhood and even today it still provides the same phenomenal feeling. The game-play is smooth, all the additions (no matter how minor) are useful and positive. The cut scenes are flawlessly done with some great camerawork which really makes the most out of the 3D if you turn it on. Some minor issues with the menu screen and a bit of crowding due to a lot of minor applications within the game, you’re still provided with some fantastic combat and a very well detailed story. Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire have really brought out the best Pokémon has to offer!

9/10

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