Pokémon Alpha Sapphire/Omega Ruby Review
Pokémon Alpha Sapphire/Omega Ruby Box Art
System: 3DS
Dev: Game Freak
Pub: Nintendo, The Pokémon Company
Release: November 21, 2014
Players: 1-4
Screen Resolution: N/A Comic Mischief, Mild Cartoon Violence

Combat is everything you've come to either love or loath in a Pokémon game. The turn based system tests your memorization skills of the Pokémon bestiary and the elements and how to capitalize your attacks. Each Pokémon can wield up to four moves, either offensive, defensive, or support, and gain new abilities to replace old ones as they level up. Sometimes they can evolve after leveling up, with significantly increased stats and stronger abilities. A select few have the potential for Mega Evolution, though this requires both a specific rock for the Pokémon to hold and the matching bracelet for you to wear in order to be performed. Just another temptation to search every nook and cranny region.

Pokémon Alpha Sapphire/Omega Ruby Screenshot

You'll never grow tired of the varied environments of Hoenn. The island nation and surrounding archipelago presents a lot of water, though it is gorgeously animated on the 3DS. But there's also lots of greenery, some deserts, a giant volcano, and plenty of other natural landscapes as well as vibrant and colorful towns and cities to explore. Each fragment holds the possibility of finding something interesting, whether it's a new treasure or a rare Pokémon.

The musical score flows nicely with whatever background is being portrayed and ushers in each route, town, or dungeon with the appropriate perkiness and gusto. I am disappointed that the Pokémon cries maintain nostalgic and scratchy sounds, as do many of the combat sound effects, seemingly eons away from where the sound engine of the system can take them.

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Pokémon games have been around for almost two decades now, and whether it's an entirely new set of adventures or updated classics like Pokémon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby, the core gameplay formula remains virtually untouched. More features are added to burst the seams of content, with extra activities from the originals carried over. Some may find much of them completely optional, but every Pokémon fan can find a way to lose dozens to hundreds of hours exploring the Hoenn region once again.

By
Sean Engemann
Contributing Writer
Date: November 24, 2014

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.2
Graphics
Updated 3D visuals and plenty of vibrant locations make the game pop. The battle animations are nice, but still lack a certain flair for the dramatic.
3.8
Control
The touch screen is endlessly useful, and overworld travel is smooth with the Thumb Pad. Yet indoor travel is clunky and archaic.
3.6
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The music score is pleasant and versatile. Most of the sound effects, however, feel a little too old-school for an updated title.
4.5
Play Value
There are plenty of fun things to do here. Some may feel lackluster, but most are optional anyways.
4.1
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Embark on a new adventure through the Hoenn region, an area rich in natural beauty, that contains a cave that shows a scene described in legends.
  • Experience the awe of Primal Reversion, a new, extremely powerful transformation undergone by Legendary Pokémon Groudon and Kyogre.
  • Get even closer to solving the mysteries of Mega Evolution as more Pokémon gain this powerful ability.

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