Pokemon Alpha Sapphire Review

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AS11

Picture back to 2003. A young, shy girl in the awkward social, physical, and emotional transition time between child and adult at age fourteen, hiding her still burning love for Pokémon, the popular trend over two years earlier that the cliques got out of.  Announcement came of a third generation and this timid lass (or aroma lady) was interested, just getting the Gameboy S.P. earlier (one of the best handhelds ever made), but she was still concerned with revealing this secret, this desire to meet her new partners and continue her ultimate quest to truly “catch em’ all.”  That middle school/freshmen in high school was me.

I had some recessions with Hohen after seeing the promo for the anime and how Misty was leaving. Like many loyal Kanto kids, this did not sit well with me and I was getting out of the cards due to money and fear of being judged.  Still, once I started this region, me with Ruby (and my brother with Sapphire and Emerald, but later I beat them for him), my loyal Mudkip at my side, I was swept into a tidal wave of wonder, an earthquake explosion of amazingness, and my love for Pokemon flew higher into the guarding skies.

Ruby is my favorite game of the franchise.  This was the first game I rose Pokemon to level 100, beat the Elite Four more than once, and played on it for over 96 hours, only 30 Pokémon short from catching all the Pokemon from all the three current at the time regions.  I am a person that hardly plays after I finish the story (maybe five to ten hours afterwards depending on how much I love the game), but for at least three years AFTER I beat the story, I would hide my S.P., my pocket companion, and enter a contest, level up my amazing team, decorate my secret base (my favorite part of this series) until I would fall under a hypnosis sleep, comforted by my partners.

AS1I had been praying to the Pokemon gods, begging internally to the Nintendo heroes to make a remake for Ruby and Sapphire when Heart Gold and Soul Silver came out in 2010!  And finally…It happened last May; the announcement, my world spinning on its axis, my excitement no longer ashamed, it wanting to be released to the world in a rage of dueling storms.

I have had such a time picking a version!  Ruby was my best friend, but I did play Sapphire and later Emerald (I just have to take a moment to adore the ending of Emerald. So epic! It is a masterpiece visually!).  Finally, since it came out a month before Christmas, I made a bold decision: I would get both! =) My husband got me Alpha Sapphire and he asked me to get him Omega Ruby, which I gladly did. I did not get my own copy of Omega Ruby due to budget, but one day, I hope to get it.

Now, this is a remake, so some areas of judging will be modified to fit compared to my Pokemon X Review (add URL).  But, with a splash and a growl, let’s get to the review! Remember, these are just my opinions; no need to get offended.  Also, all images you see on here are from a Pinterest search on Pokemon Omega Ruby and I give all credit to their respectable owners.

Story Rating/Primal: 8 out of 10 stars: I think the legendries’ legends in the original versions of these games are intense and you feel like the world is truly ending. Visually, for Alpha Sapphire, when Team Aqua found Kyogre and awoke him, I felt like I was in a hurricane with the 3-D graphics! That was just as great as the original version in my mind. However, I had issues with the Primal evolution. It…was lackluster. This additional lore did not add anything to the story in my mind. In fact, it made it drag more. It was an intriguing idea when first hinted at in promoting and I was curious, but, like Mega Evolutions, it did not deliver, but at least Mega Evolution has cool designs to go with it. Part of this, beyond it messing with the story flow, was that I had Kyogre and, power wise (and I have been told this by others who have played the game and seen other Youtubers agree), is underwhelming; I was more scared of the Noah’s flood he was crafting in the story portion of the story than him and he did not change much in mind. I liked the graphics and design of Primal Groudon in my husband’s game, him even admitting that mine was not too exciting. -_-;; It took him two FULL days to catch Groudon and me over a week for Kyogre, off and on for at least 40 minutes a day. I have NEVER seen a Pokemon wreck Pokeballs like this aqua legend *insert Miley Cyrus singing here* I did not want to use my Master Ball and still have not yet and there were so many times he was poisoned, his red line barely there, and he would break out of Ultra balls (I sadly did not have any timer balls).  It was such a huge relief to catch him just so I could get my game out of a standstill state! I have not used Kyogre yet and maybe I will one day.

AS7I did like Steven’s larger involvement (and his 3-D spite is fantastic! He’s so handsome! I would not mind May getting with him…^_-), but the fact I got a Latias for free was a little odd to me. I didn’t MIND, but it felt too easy.  These champions seem to know everything about everything and can save the world as long as you do the dangerous and errand work.  Cynthia was like this too in Generation IV. I better step-up my champion game. 😉 Anyway, Steven seemed real to me, a tangible, growing character although he is so refined, skilled, intelligent, and perfect to need to really. His interactions with his dad were darling; embarrassed much rock boy? I loved the animation and expression he had when he would place his fist under his chin, eyes closed, thinking.  Steven is a sempai I deeply respect as a real person.

I still adore how I have a dad in this and I have to surpass him in skill. A sweet little milestone. I think this is a large reason I love the story so much for generation III.

The Delta Episode: The Sky Pillar ark would have been very confusing to me if I had not watched the Pokemon Universe video from The Game Theorist!  I like how they are trying to connect the old school link cables to something greater, but, and this might be my mind not wired for science fiction (yet I write paranormal books…go figure), but a lot of it went over my head. It was rushed, repetitive, and when I was trying to figure out one task, they give me another piece of information that does not fix into the puzzle until the main “anti-hero” just spills the beans at the end. She seemed like such a villain, except she was like my biggest fan. I won’t spoil the ending, but the story had potential, but like the primal forms, if fell a little flat to me.

Now, Rayquaza in this story…The graphics at the top of sky pillar are gorgeous and I did see a loyalty and kindness from Rayquaza in this game more so than its original. See, and I know I’ll get a lot of hate for this, but I never really liked Rayquaza; he’s scary. The small eyes, opened mouth with the gummy teeth, the little claws…it was too much for me. I like dragons and the Chinese influence of him, but he just looked too terrifying for a girl obsessed with Ponyta! But, seeing him in the starlight in Alpha Sapphire and how much he is worshipped, not feared, made me want to capture him (it took my ONE time, with an ultra-ball! So cool!) and now he is a loyal partner. He’s a beast and his mega?  Not only is it boss, but I like the design of it. I can see why he gets as much love as Mewtwo now in the stats and fandom world. Is he in my top ten now? Most likely not, but he is coiling his way into my good side. So, this story did give me that. Plus, his special attack? Stunning animation!

AS10Graphics and Angles: 10 out of 10: I had no issues here! Like beforehand with “Pokemon X,” the colors, lines, movements, designs…Everything was perfect! Some of the super smiley expressions some of the characters had were a little Animal Crossing to me and made me cackle, but I am okay with a character looking too giddy! Nintendo, your 3-D is stunning! Keep it up! I still love sitting down and bending to talk to little kids and Pokemon! So cute! I’m baffled still I can SIT! It’s legend…wait for it…DARY! But, in Alpha/Omega, you can sit on your legs too for the NPC that are sitting at low, Japanese style tables! I felt so proper, so anime! ^_^ YEAY!

 

Extra Features: 15 out of 20

BIGGEST COMPLAINT! NO DRESSING UP?! 0.o  You got me hooked on it in X and then take it away? You had the room! How monstrous… *GROWLS*

Okay…I will never get over that, but I will move on with the review:

  • Secret Bases: This was my favorite part of Ruby as a teen. I spent so much time buying items, decorating my base, adding friend codes in my Gameboy Advance and/or SP with the link cable so I could get the secret base locations of my friends (we’re talking olden days, kids!). The Secret Bases for generation IV were confusing and I hated it (this is also my least favorite generation for many reasons though) and I longed for the original format of secret bases in the other generations. I am so thrilled them implemented the secret bases again, this time none as Super Secret Bases. There were more items, more places to get them (although I wish they were not so spread out), and of course, the on-line mechanics. Your friends can go to your secret base if you add them. You can battle them and they have abilities depending on what class you sign up for on your trainer card (EX- I’m an aroma lady because she had my hair color and smile. Just wish the hair was longer), so my class could help a friend increase certain stats for Pokemon, such as EV, friendship, and so forth. You also can get flags and the more you do, the more reward there is. I learned all of this on The Jwittz video about it.  I just figured out how to find my friend’s secret bases and I think it’s cool how you can make team names (mine is Team Hoshi Doki Doki- Star Heartbeat), adding friends, and how you can battle them to train and they have items and skills to give you daily. Will I have the time to do all the 100+ flags or golden flags events?  Most likely not, but I like the excitement of seeing friends in my base and the community helping each other and sharing their secret base designs. However, overall, the concept and process for the secret bases are identical to its first form over a decade ago and I love it for that. I don’t like having the limit on how many items I can put in my base, but I do have a slide and a list of gym rules, so…I can’t complain too much! It’s nice to have my own little corner in the Pokemon world!

AS4

 

  • Pokemon Contests/Cosplay Pikachu: I also enjoyed Pokemon Contests as a youth and did them often, although I wasn’t overly grand at them beyond the normal rankings. I have only, thus far, done two contests (I want to level up and capture all the Pokemon I want first and then go back and do contests for the heck of it), but, it was a lot of fun! Again, like the secret bases, it followed the layout of the original well with some much needed tweaks and better graphics. I also adored how they made outfits for Brandon and May (admittedly, mine is cute, but Brandon’s is B.A. 0.o He looked so nice in it that I had to push myself back and recall he’s TEN! -_-;;) My Skitty and I won our first cute contest! WOOT! I also very much admire the “cosplayer” of contest, Lisia, who gives you the outfit and has the awesome Altaria. I have to admit; she’s darling! ^_^ I love her style and Altaria is one of my favorite Pokemon. I haven’t used the Cosplay Pikachu yet admittedly, but I like the outfits and their advancements from all I have heard about it. Once I think my Pokedex is good in my eyes, I will pull him out for contests! 🙂
  • Pokeblock Maker: Okay! I’m as steamed as a Slugma on a hot day in July about this one! I know it was silly and could be complex, but I LOVED making Pokeblocks in the maker inside contest halls in Ruby! You had to have at least one other person (friend or NPC) to mix berries with often and, following the rhythm, clicking on the line with it hit your needle at the right time until the cycle was done would give you a better Pokeblock! Maybe it’s because I adore music, but I would spend so much time doing this. Now, you have a Pokeball dispenser that looks like a thermometer that many people forget is given to you, combine your berries, and poof! You have your Pokeblock *waves finger in the air* It’s much easier, but the fun is totally sucked out of it.

 

 

  • Eon Flute/Flying/Mirage Spots: I like the flute and how my Latias does not have to be in my party (although I like him, but he was hard to level up) and the animation for when we mega evolve mid-air to fly is breathtaking. I still am adjusting to the controls to use the Eon flying mode because if you’re not paying attention or know the places around your destination, you can pass it up. I do like how I can be on routes now, which is helpful. Sometimes, it takes me too far away though in the route from where I wanted, so a town would have been closer, but at this rate with advances, I think they can add this in the future installments! Woot! =) The Mirage spots are interesting too.  I just recently found out about this feature.  I got lost (again) flying and saw the red starlight. I freaked out and asked my husband what it was (since he has Omega Ruby) and he told me that I could find unique to those spots Pokémon and legendries. I like this feature, but the names are confusing, most with “Mirage” in the title and, maybe because of my age or clumsiness, I get confused on where I have been and have not. The legendaries, also like my Kyogre battle, are Pokeball wrecking balls! I have a few hours, lost vocal cords, and $10,000’s of Poke dollars lost to Pokeball throwing! All because I want to complete as much of the Pokedex (although it is not critical to me, but I like to get as close as I can and then have more to trade in Wonder Trade). Again, with some improvements, I think this features can be even better and it’s a unique concept.

AS9

 

  • Sneaking- Up on Pokemon: I was not aware this was a concept, so when I heard the cry and saw the black blob at first, I thought I was imagining things! It took me awhile to not make Pokemon run off and once I got my Item Finder (which I LOVE how it is on my head now like LED antennas and so much easier to use), you can’t sneak up on them and I wore that thing all the time! Sometimes, I’d be walking by and one would pop up and I had no idea. I understand that if wild animals were in these situations, then they would be skittish too, but it was too sensitive for me and didn’t really become usual to me too much after I became the champion. It is neat if you want to find ones with higher stats, items held, unique attacks, or rare to the areas though. I have been using it to help with my Pokedex filling. I am fine if they keep this, but it needs a little tuning.

 

  • Poke Nav: I do like having easy access to the map; that was handy and the hidden Pokemon searchers was nifty, but every time the magnifying glass showed up, it was distracting. I also do not like the animation at ALL on the Buzz Feed news room. It is too clunky for the graphics they have and I didn’t like reading the text at the bottom to get reports. I’d rather find a TV flashing like in the old one there.

 

  • Wonder Trade: Like I stated in my Pokemon X review, wonder trade is fun and it is still as addicting as ever! The mystery, the thrill of what you could get, and with the numbers help you with the lottery in Lilycove. I won a lot of Moo-milks because of these wonder trade beauties I got. 10 out of 10 here!

 

  • Super Training: The balloons are still so/so to me in appeal, but my Pokemon happened to LOVE hitting the punching bags and earning the unique ones in this game, so this helped me appreciate it more for their exercise and benefit. =)

 

  • Mini Games: It is still a blast to pet my darling partners, feed them Poke puffs, and play games. The colors are a rainbow! I wish they had a few different choices for games to freshen it up. I didn’t get to use this as much as in X, but it is still cool.

 

  • Safari Zone: I <3 the fact that we can BATTLE them! Woot! But, unless you have the right bike, it’s hard to get far in it. It’s more just like another route and if you like that sort of thing, awesome, but there’s not really a challenge in it. No time limit. No safari balls. Part of me is liking some of the annoyance gone, but another part of me thinks it’s too easy now…I’m torn on this one.

AS5

 

  • New Mega Evolutions: Again, like X, still not sold on the Mega Evolution idea. Here, I had four Pokemon with it in my party (and the one I wanted it for, Gardvior, I can’t find the stone for) and I have A TON more of the stones than I do in X (easier to find maybe). I still do not use it often for I feel like I don’t need to or I’m scared of making the wrong choice. Here is who I have used or had experience with in Alpha:
  • Swampart= My main man!
  • Laitas= This one is okay stats way, but design wise…sort of boring.
  • Altaria= It’s so goofy, but it fits its Pokedex entries and I liked using it. To quote Angus: “It’s so fluffy!”
  • Metagross= Steven almost DESTROYED me with his last Pokemon! One hit K-O ing all over the place. I had one Pokemon left and thanks the whole struggle, Metagross had like 3% of his health! It was so insane!
  • Rayquaza= Really liked using this guy! His power showed and the design is B.A.
  • Gallade= This guy has a clean, crisp, but stunning design and I can’t help but love the duel disk he has! 😉 Wally and him make a good team.
  • Salamance- The design is okay, but I did have a strong fairy type that took him out fast.
  • Glalie– That mouth! Creepy!
  • Sharpedo– I got one after I defeated the Delta Episode and I like the gold work they added to him, but the snout spikes are too much to look at. Using him, he was okay.
  • Camerupt- Got him after the Delta Episode too and not a fan of the new design at all. Same as Sharpedo, he was so/so to use in battle for me personally.
  • Sceptile- I was shocked how fast he was for his typing! I am not a fan of his design really and going against him, he was decent, but not wow worthy.

AS2

 

  • Battle Resort /Battle Mansion: I like the island a lot, but I have never liked the mechanics for the Battle or Battle Mansion and I feel like there is no reward in it for me if I do not get any EXP points. I understand they are being fair, but they are NPCs! I wish there was a system where they could read my overall levels for my Pokemon, average them, and then we can battle normally, mine getting EXP, but still earning points like it is worth it. They never save your progress right either.
  • End Credits: I thought this was AMAZING! You get to see your adventure on the map again with all the people you encountered, in full sprites, and the stills are so personal, like a scrapbook of your game memories and it’s accurate! Like, my Marshtop defeated Flannery mostly during our gym match, so it has me battling her with Marshtop by my side and us standing on where her town is on the map. Depending on the clip, it knows either the most used Pokemon or last one used in that chapter of the quest. It was incredible and felt like a personal thanks from Ninetdo. Perfect!

Also, the ending where Brandon and I are going back to our hometown with the starry sky is lovely and the little speech/confession he gives May here is sweet.  They are an endearing idea, them ending up together, but they seem almost too cutsie even for me! Weird, I know. ^_-

Gym Leaders and Gyms: 9 out of 10- I like the redesign of Mauville City, it being like a large shopping mall, but at least it is basically a LARGE rectangle, so when I did get lost, it was not the end of the world like in “Pokémon X…” Dear Gosh…loathe Lumiose City! >.<

I love the sprites for this installment, still keeping the personalities and basic color and design for these rockin’ gym leaders, but they were new, fresh. I felt like I didn’t get to know them as well as other generations, but I had this same feeling for the gym leaders in “X and Y,” who were cool, but not as wacky as this set. The level of battle was normal, the only one I really struggled with was Norman and his Slothking. My dad about owned me! Xo I was down to my last Pokemon. What an epic battle it was, as dazzling as a gleam!

The gyms were just as fun as the first time I did them and I am glad Wallace’s was easier. Holy mac and cheese and meatballs; in the original, it was so rage mode worthy! Derrick, Miles, and I remember the Sootopolis gym well. Good Gravy Peter Pan! -_-;; Anyone else?

AS6Towns and Cities: 9 out of 10: Again, for the most part, the graphics just turned this stunning game into a rainbow of 3-D loveliness in my palm and I adored it nearly as much as in my teenage years. A few of the towns though did not have the same amazement appeal though as in the original due to the 3D. They didn’t look bad, just less awe-filled.  (EX- Town in the trees).

I do like the little Abandoned Ship change and storyline. Very neat and rewarding.

Sky pillar is stunning, like stated in the story section.  I also liked how I did not HAVE to dive as much as in the first one. I don’t mind diving, but it’s harder for to keep tracker of where I have been underwater. You tell I am the next Grizzly Adams! 😉

Region Layout: 10 out of 10 I love the layout of the region.  It has a little bit of everything and there are challenges or hidden things, yes, but nothing really that made me want to go into Gyrados rage mode; just things that made me bite my lip for a moment or two.  There is a lot of water, but it feels spaced out to me and is a fun way to travel and the distances and paces were good. The only thing I can say negative just with Alpha and it’s not Hoehn’s fault in the least is the Flash mode. What do I mean?  There are at least two or three points in the storyline where I have to rush off from my spot to stop Team Aqua from doing something evil or stupid…or both. Brandon or Steven ask me to come with them. You agree and you zoom to this new place you need to be. Well, I liked this until I saw I had dark spots on my map, meaning unvisited to places I knew I saw names of these places on routes and this was after I beat Stephen. Then it hit me; when the NPC “flashed” me to the location, I didn’t walk on the route or see things I needed to. So, going back and finding all these places at times was annoying.  It’s more of a judgment call if you want to use this feature.

Team Aqua: 7 out of 10- Team Aqua is hard to classify in my mind. They are no thieves like Team Rocket nor are they self-righteous like N in Black and White.  I do like the new design and outfits for the team (although I wish Matt would wear a shirt; too many massive muscles on my 3DS screen), but their team was underwhelming (and no, I did not have an electric type) and although they tried to stop me, they always blamed me for messing with their perfect new world! What did they expect when they revived Kyogre? Beach volleyball and rainbows?! Attacking a kid who was in the wrong place at the wrong time is not cool Team Aqua! They preach saving the world and yet they attack me or are willing to destroy it, rebirth it, either thinking they’re immune or don’t care if they die. Not sure if that is not good planning or extreme dedication to a cause. I like the ending and acceptance of Team Magma, but, in the long wrong, Team Aqua is iconic, stylish, and at times make me crack a smile (their base is fairly rad too and has just enough of a challenge to make it appealing), but their teams are underwhelming and their philology and methods confusing.

AS8Generation 3 Pokemon: 9 out of 10 I have always liked the Pokemon in the first three generations. They are well-balanced in types and designs and two of my all-time favorite Pokemon came from this generation: Gardevoir and Altaria.  There is a few I am not found of, but there is something for everyone.  From the typing, colors, designs, and shapes, this a great generation, up there with its older siblings Johto and Kanto! =D On a note, I caught a Wurmple, wanting a Beautifly. Eventually, I got one, but my first Wurmple, who became a Dutox, would NOT back down.  He was a little trooper, an unstoppable force, and as it evolved, this spirit continued. Because Beautifly is pretty, I usually try to get that one, but I bonded to closely in battle with Dutox, and it stayed with me in my party and helped me become champion. It was such a grand experience! ^.^

Battles: 9 out of 10: Just like in Pokemon X, the battles are stunning in 3D and the attacks unique and appealing. However, of course, some of the close-ups or angles are random, fuzzy, or distracting and a few of the attack sequences just look strange, but overall, the battles are fantastic. The rules for battling are classic, so no confusion there and, once again, THANK YOU Game Freak for not making rotation and triple battles a requirement again!

*Fun note: I LOVE battling the Interviewer and Cameraman in double battles. I spent hours in my original Ruby finding them and making up random answers! I liked being on T.V. MUCH better than on the PokeBuzz. Not the same, but the battles were still fun.

 

Other things I like/didn’t like:

  • The time for saving as fast as an Electrode exploding is still as refreshing as a $350 lemonade!
  • The EX share seems to be more balanced in this one, or maybe it’s because I had more Pokemon I wanted to raise and the time save was nice. It is neat to share it with all your Pokemon, making my veteran Pokemon like older siblings to help train my newer or lower level Pokemon. It’s a nice little family dynamic I had in my head experiencing this. ^_^
  • I did like how I could use TMs again and how my backpack was organized, my Pokemon on the side. Such a time saver!
  • I still would like to have my Pokémon follow behind me like in Heart Gold and Soul Silver! I LOVED THAT!!!
  • Being able to add four items to my register with the Y was so useful after I finished the main stories! Still not a fan of having two separate bikes.  I get it makes you revisit old places and I have gotten some rare Pokémon this way, but still, my husband and I think one bike like the other games would suffice just fine.

Overall/More Comments:

86%- B

I know I was pretty harsh sounding, but since this was my favorite main game in the franchise (granted, many others are SUPER close), I was very nick-picky and since it is a remake with some new elements and updated graphics, my heart and mind will always compare it to my best friend, the Ruby under my pillow in my royal blue SP. Honestly, this was a fantastic game and I look forward to more Pokemon in the future. I will become a master!

Thanks for reading! Comment if you agree, what you liked or didn’t like about the game, or add my friend code: 3411-1610-1899 Maybe we can Wonder Trade!

AS12

My Champion Team and hours:

  • Mudkip to Marshtomp to Swarpert (“Buddy”)- Level 67 (mega)
  • Zigzagoon to Linoone (“Zazzle”)- Level 64
  • Wurmple to Cascoon to Dutox- Level 62
  • Ralts to Kirlia to Gardevoir- Level 63
  • Swablu to Altaria- Level 68 (mega)
  • Laitas- Level 59 (mega)

As of March 23rd, 2015 (first played it on December 25th, 2014)- 47  hours- Pokedex- 267

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