By Lex "Gaz the Dungeonmaster" Ansems on December 4, 2014

They're small, they're big, they're weird and they are cute but one thing is certain: there are al LOT of them. NIntendo has 3 sure-fire games they can throw on the market. These games have always been and will always be an instant hit: a new Mario game, a new Zelda game or a new Pokémon game. But are the remake versions of Pokémon: Omega Ruby and Pokémon: Alpha Sapphire bound for greatness as well or will they disappear from the stage like a budget one-act production of 'My life as a vacuum-cleaner salesman'? And how do they compare to the original? Well, let's find out!

The battles are turn based and use a kind of rock, paper, scissors style of fighting, in which one type of Pokémon might be stronger than another, while at the same time being weaker than a third type. To put it simple: A Fire Pokémon will be weak against a water Pokémon, but strong against a grass type Pokémon. Water beats fire, but grass beats water...well, you get the point. Again this is true for every other Pokémon game (do you see a pattern emerging here?).

The main difference in the basic story of the newly released games are the bad guys. In Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby the bad guys are team AQUA or MAGMA depending on which version you play (and yes, I know the original names. I've been playing Pokémon for a while now... ) The bad guys' team wants to change the world by awakening the ancient Pokémon of water/earth and you, as a teenager, are forced to compete with them (against your will, I might add) and save the world.

The game supports a whole different level of new game+, featuring a complete side story and more things to explore with the soaring in the sky feature, which is totally badass by the way. You are able to fly around the world on the back of a Pokémon. This is a major improvement from the original game, where new game + consisted mainly of you trying to catch all the Pokémon... and not very much else.

Pokémon: Omega Ruby and Pokémon: Alpha Sapphire both look like new generation Pokémon games; they feature great 3D graphics, smooth animations and a colorful world. These games look way better than the originals ever did. The soundtrack brings back memories and sent me on a nostalgia trip, back to the days when these games had me hammering away on my Gameboy advance right into the small hours of the night to try and catch them all. All this nostalgia and good times aside, there is one thing I slightly dislike, and that's the fact that they still haven't changed in every Pokémon game since the first one. THE POKÉMON SOUNDS! AAAARGH!! I'm sorry for that outburst... I'm all right now! But come on, be honest; The Pokémon sounds are just tones and scratched, and in no way come even close to anything resembling the anime series... and I HATE IT! If I send my badass Onix into a battle, I would very much like to hear a decent roar and not just the scratching sound which can be best described as the sound of a needle scratching the surface of a well-worn record.

These games are made for kids and the difficulty reflects that. The game is easy, I might even say it's too easy. My starter Pokémon who is water/ground and is weak to grass type Pokémons just KO's everything in its way in 1 hit! I might add that I didn't power level or anything. I just went through the normal training. So if you are looking for a decent challenge, this isn't it. While the difficulty level may hint to this being a kids game, the game's theme really doesn't. The in-depth conversations about changing the world by creating more land or sea is a bit overbearing and way above any kid's game I've ever heard of.

FInal Verdict
Alpha Sapphire and Omega ruby are great Pokémon games; I greatly appreciated the trip down nostalgia lane and they've made some improvements in comparison to the original games. However, it is basically still the same game as every Pokémon game I've ever played, which is kind of disappointing. Nintendo has so much opportunities to make decent changes here, but that's just my opinion. Because on the other hand: if it isn't broken, why fix it? Is it worth your time or money? Hell yeah! If you haven't played the original games, these new Alpha en Omega versions are way better! If you did play the original games, then it's always fun to see your old favorite Pokémon in a new and improved style.

available on:

Game Freak (in Japanese) & Nintendo & The Pokémon Company
November 21, 2014 (Japan, America)
November 28, 2014 (Europe)