Out of Retirement and Reviewing Pokemon Alpha Sapphire
The day has finally come fellow trainers where I, Kuma have come out of retirement to once again pick a starter and set out on an endless journey to try and catch them all. It is a deep responsibility that I dust off my old badges and pack all my gear in hopes to find a new meaning in Alpha Sapphire. What danger awaits me? Will there be enough Sunkist on my journey to quench my thirst? What is this new enemy Team Aqua have planned for the fate of the world? I can get an Omega bracelet now? It has been so long since my last conquest in Diamond and Pearl, but this new remake of an old classic should be the awakening I am looking for. The rise of both Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby is here, but this is the review for Alpha Sapphire.
In any Pokemon game you start off as the “would be” hero seeking out for that good adventure battling, capturing, and training Pokemon in your region of Hoenn. This time around you do not have a rival, more like friendly competition who helps you on your journey to get to know your Pokemon well. Depending on your gender that you choose will determine your best battle buddy and as in any classic Pokemon title; whatever starter you pick they will pick the opposite. It is the world that we live in to make you a better trainer, but there is a lot more involved with both Alpha and Omega games that even I was a bit intimidated with. So, most of you have played the original and already know about either Team Aqua or Magma who have their own agenda for finding the legendary Pokemon to reshape the world that they know. As any game that means you have three goals to defeat all gym leaders to make it to victory road, stop the evil forces and have the most powerful Pokemon ever. Sounds simple enough right?
Getting to know your Pocket Monsters
I figured I go right into the importance of playing, feeding and training your Pokemon in a whole dedicated way. The more you interact with your Pokemon, the better they will be during your journey and I just don’t mean obeying. It is crucial to take time to go into the mini games area to feed, pet, play and use the balloon train simulators to help boost your stats of your Monster friends beyond just gaining experience through battles. There are certain boxing bags you acquire as you train through the simulators to either boost Attack, Defense, HP and love towards you. There is even a reset bag so you can start over, but I was not going to bother with that. The mini games in the play area are really fun and can be difficult if you lose your rhythm. There is berry picking, yarn bouncing and a puzzle game. The better you do the more poke puffs you will obtain to feed your Pokemon and I noticed that certain puffs get a better reaction from your battle buddy as well.
This feature comes in handy as I just recently obtain a Munchlax from a trade and to evolve into a Snorlax I will need to make him happy. This started in Pokemon X and Y which is pretty sweet.
Them Graphics though
The last thing you think about when you play a Pokemon title is how great the graphics look on it, but that was because Pokemon was fun all around without the hype of how good it looked. This all changed now that we have better tech and I am very impressed from running around Hoenn and checking out the amazing sights throughout my journey. There is even an area where you can sit by the sea and just admire the scenery. When I finally unlocked the “Dive” ability, even going underwater had me at awe. Pokemon has come a long way from a small green tint with black lines to this colorful action packed game. The battles are fully animated now and not just little shakes or squishes. Oh no my friends we get full battle animations of Pokemon digging, flying around, or making it rain like a boss! My inner Pokemon master has his jaw dropped in this awesome Poke spectacular of vibrant colors and stunning visuals. In this your art is appreciated and I tip my hat to you Nintendo.
It’s a Whole New World
Online is where it is at and Pokemon has had it since Diamond and Pearl. Pokemon is a game that utilizes the Wi-Fi connection as it is intended since from the start the Pokemon premise is about traveling the world and meeting other trainers. The system is pretty solid as long as you have an internet connection, but what really makes things interesting is the new V.Recorder that you obtain in the game. This device will give you the option to record your online battles and share them with other players via a code just like your friend code. The videos will be saved on your SD card, but what I was hoping is that you can actually view them outside of the system, but nothing seems to grant you that outside of modding your system. Hopefully that will be an option in the future since the videos are on your card already, but for now you can see one of my battles below.
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In that you can also trade and other fun things, but local interaction is where it is at because you can do a two vs. two and even have up to three or more pokemon battle at once. The only downside to that is an ability effect where I learned the hard way when I killed my own teammate using the move Surf. It was super effective more than I expected you can say.
The replay value
Way too much, but I should not have to state that fact. My playtime clocks at 30:51 and I started on November 31st on black Friday and have not put it down since. I even beat the story mode, captured my legendary at four Ultra Ball throws and now just doing the side missions to max out my Pokemon before I hit the League. It is a tactical strategy that I have utilized for years and besides why rush a good thing?
I believe I came back to Pokemon at the right time, especially seeing as many friends playing either Omega Ruby or Alpha to keep things interesting. The community is as friendly as ever and the trading between people all over the world is still enjoying. The battles are as fun as I remember even with a few salty competitors, but that is to be expected. In the end Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby get a 4.5 out of 5, because as a remake it is very enjoyable. It makes up for X and Y in my opinion which felt too easy and not as enjoyable. As a wish I would like to see a full open-world Massive multi-player for the Nintendo Wii U of Pokemon World, but that is my hopes.
I hope you enjoyed this review which was a delight on my end, but as of right now I still have more training to accomplish before I head to the Pokemon League. If you want to get a few battles going, please hit me up on FB.com/kumakreationsentertainment to set up some friendly matches. Also, please subscribe by entering your e-mail address in the area to the left to keep you updated. Stay frosty trainers!