The year is 2014. Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire arrived as the definitive remakes of the 2002 Pokemon games, Ruby and Sapphire. Developed by Game Freak and Nintendo for the Nintendo 3DS, these two games received generally favorable reception. That being said these two games definitely have their problems and now that we’re almost a decade later maybe there are some reasons to avoid these games at all costs.
The Original Games’ Graphics Are Better
This is probably the weakest argument as to why the Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire games are bad. This completely comes down to your personal preference but Pokemon as a whole has some of the best pixel art of all time. The only other game I would say comes close is Street Fighter 3rd Strike. Pixel art has the extra advantage of never looking outdated. Good Pixelart from the ’90s and early 2000s still looks just as good today however 3D models are constantly evolving and changing. So in 10 or even 5 years, these games could absolutely look obsolete, and depending on who you ask, it’s already showing its age.
No Battle Frontier
The Battle Frontier is a mechanic that Pokemon fans have loved since its debut in Pokemon Emerald. If you were going to spend the time and resources to remake the 3rd generation of Pokemon games why wouldn’t you include one of the most popular mechanics? The Battle Frontier is STILL being asked for 20 years later and the Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire games are direct remaked. These remakes even brought over mechanics from Pokemon Emerald which is the original game the Battle Frontier was in. It just seems like a missed opportunity and this content is definitely worth experiencing. We recommend you just play Emerald.
Lack of Soul
The original Ruby and Sapphire games are criticized for being weird relative to previous Pokemon games on release. That inherent weirdness is what makes these games stand out from other Pokemon titles. They didn’t look like any other Pokemon games at the time. They didn’t sound like any of the other Pokemon games at the time. The remakes completely sanded off the edges of the original and now fans have nothing to really grip onto. A great game is defined by its strengths and its flaws. Too much polish can be a bad thing and it’s a really bad thing in these remakes.
These Games Are Too Easy
Gamespot said in their original review, “Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire may be too easy, but they’re still great games that can last you a good long time.” The original games were already easy when compared to the previous two generations of Pokemon. The remakes completely removed all aspects of difficulty and that is the prime reason why I don’t personally like these games. These games just give you legendary Pokemon, most of the trainers have less than three Pokemon on their team, and puzzles were removed. This weird change ties back into the previous section where some of the game’s original soul was lost with the polish and “optimization” of the remakes.
Poor Competitive Options
This reason is pretty niche as the average fan of Pokemon probably isn’t dabbling in the competitive side of the franchise but these games have a lot of issues unique to the competition.
- Matchups – At the highest levels of play, team compositions are usually designed around countering other high-level players forcing a specific meta-game that every player has to use in order to be competitive.
- Critical Hits – Criticals add an extra level of randomness that can completely swing a match in your opponent’s favor. This lack of control over critical hits makes the game feel too random and like your team doesn’t matter.
- Rule Confusion – When this game was released, half of the competitive playerbase used one set of rules and the other half used a completely different set of rules. Both of these rules had problems but no one could agree on which was better, practically cutting the already small competitive scene in half.
Other Games To Consider
Luckily the Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire games are one of the few Pokemon games you can find physically and not spend a fortune. However, with 2023 being one of the best years of gaming of all time there are plenty of other, arguably better, games worth your time and support.
Other Pokemon Games
- Pokemon Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! – This is the best way to experience the Kanto region. The Let’s Go games are a remake of Pokemon Yellow and incorporate elements from the popular mobile game Pokemon Go.
- Pokemon Emerald – The best way to experience Hoenn hands down. This beautiful nostalgic game is a fun entry point for those who are interested in classic Pokemon.
- Pokemon Heart Gold and Soul Silver – Probably the best Pokemon remakes available, and another option for those who want to experience Kanto. You also get to experience the Johto region as well.
Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire aren’t bad games. There are just better options for those who are interested in experiencing the third generation of Pokemon. Remember the reviews and player’s opinions were generally favorable so if you’re really interested, they are worth a shot. There are plenty of options to play these games since they are reasonably priced when you purchase secondhand and emulation is very accessible nowadays.