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Pokemon ORAS Demo is Underwhelming

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When I first heard that Nintendo was releasing a “special demo” for Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpa Sapphire, I couldn’t help but scratch my head. Even a as a major Pokemon fan, it just didn’t make sense to me. Pokemon has a very set formula that has hardly changed. Aside from contests, some customization, etc, the Pokemon games have been pretty solid throughout the years. Gameplay wise, you capture Pokemon, train them in battles, and collect badges to ultimately battle the Elite Four and become a Pokemon Master. The end. So why the sudden need for an actual demo when fans pretty much know what they are about to get come the release date? Hell, even the graphics aren’t new because we’ve already seen them in Pokemon X and Y.

But yesterday I got an e-mail from Nintendo with a free code for the demo so I figured I might as well check it out since I wasn’t up for studying anyway. You start in Mossdeep City, however, you are unable to enter any of the buildings including the Pokemon Center and Pokemart. As Orlando, you are accompanied by Steven, the Pokemon League Champion, to check out a cave where Teams Magma and Aqua are seeking a Pokemon that can Mega Evolve. Steven allows you to choose between the second evolved forms of the three starters, all at level 35. I decided to go with Groyvle, because I actually have never used that starter before. Whichever one you choose, it only takes a few battles in the wild grass or against Team Magma/Aqua to gain enough experience for your Pokemon to evolve into its third and final form.

You get to go through four actual battles before you are thrown into a boss battle with the leaders of both Team Magma and Team Aqua. Since it’s a double battle Steven joins you and teaches you all about Mega Stones. You can immediately Mega Evolve your starter and Steven will Mega Evolve his Metagross. The battle won’t take long. Afterwards you’re thrown into a battle with the Pokemon that Teams Magm and Aqua were searching for, a Glalie. Steven hands you a pokeball and tells you to catch it. I hardly did any damage to it but still was able to catch it immediately.  Afterwards you are taken back to Mossdeep City and a video runs showing some gameplay of the actual upcoming Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. You are then told that your Glalie armed with its Glalitite can be transferred into an actual copy of your game once it comes out.

With that behind you, you are urged to continue through the demo over and over again, going on several random adventures with Steven. You’ll also get all three final forms of the starters, Sceptile, Blaziken, and Swampert. They will all be at level 36 and all have their Mega Stones. Your caught Glalie is also usable for these adventures, such as finding a lost person or training several trainers. Each “adventure” is quite quick and somewhat disappointing as you start to realize that with every new adventure, your Pokemons’ experience reverts back to zero. So no, you cannot even level up your Glalie in the demo. After each simple adventure with Steven will either add a new person to chat with in MossDeep city, or sometimes you’ll acquire little goodies. After my tenth time playing the game through I managed to get some Pokeballs, Heal Balls, and Heart Scales that can also be transferred into the game. To be honest, I find those prizes to be pretty damn underwhelming, not to mention I will probably never use the Glalie whatsoever. Hell, I might just trade him to some lucky person that didn’t happen to play the demo.

Personally, I wish I had at least been able to fight a fake Gym Leader or something of the sort. The demo merely felt like it wanted to show off its Mega Evolutions. But despite these being new Mega Evolutions, the concept isn’t new thanks to Pokemon X and Y. The demo seemed rather pointless in retrospect, especially since most people know what to expect in a Pokemon game, even if they’ve never played one before. The most I got out of the game was that the Hoenn region looks damn good with its updated graphics.

Just wait for Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire to release on November 21st. The game itself is going to be amazingly fun, just like its original game. You aren’t missing out on anything necessary via the demo.

About Emily Horton

Emily is just your average twenty something girl who discovered her love for gaming at the age of three or four, all thanks to her older brothers. Mario, The Lion King, Aladdin, Zelda were her first loves, but Pokemon, Final Fantasy, Tales, and pretty much all Japanese games eventually fell into that category. She has an unhealthy obsession with Pikachu, hoodies, her 3DS, t-shirts, plushies, and purses. She may also fancy herself as an excellent lawyer due to number of times she has played through the Ace Attorney series. Outside of videogames, she is a Disney, Harry Potter, and Tolkien fanatic, while also recently discovering that she is now a hardcore fan of Supernatural thanks to Netflix allowing her to watch eight seasons rapid fire. She has elvish writing, the Deathly Hallows, a rather large Tinkerbelle and a large Yuna from Final Fantasy X all tattooed on her body, with only more geeky stuff to be added. Currently working on her own fantasy novel, she hopes to publish it eventually once all the kinks are worked out.

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