Four hours ago at time of writing this, a friend tagged me in a Facebook link. “Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire – November 2014” it read. It was a link to a thirty one second video. Just text on a white screen. The first line read “AN EPIC NEW ADVENTURE IS COMING”. A few seconds later…BOX ART. “EXPORE A DRAMATIC NEW WORLD” blazes onto the screen in blue. Then the box art reappears announcing that it was coming, November 2014. My initial reaction was one of intense, unfiltered hype and glee, but it almost instantly subsided. This was, after a link straight to YouTube and it seemed to lack some of the glamour of previous Pokemon trailers. Hitting google, there wasn’t a trace of information, save for links to Omega Ruby ROMs and other fake pokemon emulators (Don’t pirate games, kids). My heart sank. Had we been mislead? Had my personal yearning for a Ruby remake blinded me to common sense?
Fleeing back to my friend, I asked if it was legitimate. Apparently the news had JUST broken and a visit to www.pokemon.com confirmed that it was infact real. We are getting a Ruby and Sapphire remake.
Details at the moment are few, but speculation and expectation are both running rampant online. What features would Nintendo bring from its current generation of X and Y games? What features that’d been lost through time from Ruby and Sapphire would feature? How would Streetpass be integrated into this new pair of games? Would the game be in 3D or would it simply be revamped graphics? Would we see a return to the secret base function, where you build a secret base in a tree or cave and anyone you trade or interact with will get a copy of you, your team and your base in their world that they can freely battle. Will we see the return of the Pokeblocks, at the time a revolutionary new addition to the games?
Ruby and Sapphire introduced a multitude of features to the games, many of which have been carried all the way up to current gen. It was the first game with individual pokemon sprites in the menu, it revamped the box system to make it more user friendly, it gave the game weather conditions which affected fights directly. It introduced the all important Abilities and Natures to the
games, adding huge scope to battles and forcing people to rethink their teams and strategies. It gave us double battles and the much loved EV and IV systems were heavily refined. Pokemon contests were added to give players more things to do with their pokemon and they gave you the chance to win ribbons for your pokemon.
On a personal note, the Ruby and Sapphire generation is my favourite. I feel Red and Blue set the bar, Gold and Silver improved upon that formula and then Ruby and Sapphire, armed with a more powerful console, absolutely blew the pokemon world wide open. Its also added a large number of my favourite pokemon so I’m unashamedly biased toward this remake. My two cents are as follows: it’d be nice if they could somehow implement the ‘pokemon following you’ gimmick from pokemon Heart Gold and Soul Silver, but with the scope of the game not yet announced, this may be difficult if they decide to implement EVERY pokemon. One aspect I feel they NEED to bring back is the secret base feature. A lot of people felt let down by the Streetpass aspects of the 3DS games, offering nothing ground breaking, merely offering “pokemiles” that can be cashed in for items. The secret base function involved finding small indents, with walls being able to be carved out into a cave, tall trees being able to drop down vines, and clumps of grass being able to be moved provided a pokemon the trainer has knows the move Secret Power. I think it’d be a great addition to have players able to make these bases and then have a copy of the bases of players you Streetpass appear and allow you to battle them, giving you exp for beating them would provide a more interesting alternative to farming the elite four for experience.
Nintendo have a chance to really make something special here, they’ve proven that their remakes are more than just money grabs, they’re seriously polished improvements on the originals and if these upcoming games have even some of the quality of HG and SS, we’re in for something excellent this winter.
Photo sourced from www.pokemon.com