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Pokemon ORAS Review: This is How You Do a Remake

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Pokemon has been around for an incredibly long time. There have been six core “sets” of Pokemon games. This is a game that has evolved through the years with the inclusion of new technology. As such, remakes have happened with almost every generation. Generation 1 has FireRed/LeafGreen, Generation 2 has HeartGold/SoulSilver, and now Generation 3 has Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire. Fans have been up in arms for the last two years about a Hoenn region remake for the 3DS and they finally got it. It came out at the perfect time too.

Depending on the version you get, Omega Ruby’s villain is Team Magma, and Alpha Sapphire’s is Team Aqua. Both games have their own poster legendary. OR is Groudon and AS is Kyogre. Both teams want to ruin the world with the idea of “saving” life on earth by using the Primal forms of Groudon/Kyogre. Obviously their powers are not meant to be controlled and it is up to the main character to stop the Primal legendaries before they destroy all life on the planet. Seems easy enough for a 10 year old.

Pokemon-ORAS-June-12-screenshot-2Along the way you will battle the eight gym leaders of the Hoenn region to gain access to Victory Road and combat the Elite Four and eventually the Pokemon League Champion to become a Pokemon Master. Personally, I think catching a prehistoric legendary Pokemon is testament enough to your skill, but hey, that’s Pokemon for you.

In addition to the main story, after you beat the Elite Four you will be able to partake in a story that will allow you to catch the legendary dragon, Rayquaza. In this “Delta” story you will learn just where ORAS stands in the Pokemon story timeline. For the sake of spoilers, that’s all I am going to give you. The story is pretty standard for Pokemon, but the inclusion of a brand new original story at the end of the game is welcomed and it gives you something extra to do after you complete the main quest.

Gameplay wise everything has been kept the same from Pokemon X/Y. You have full 3D turn-based battles and Mega Evolutions, easy EV training and so on. Some new gameplay features are Soaring, Diving (returning from RSE), and the DexNav. Soaring can be used when you obtain Latios/Latias and the Eon Flute. It functions like the HM Fly, but you are able to use the Eon Flute anywhere outside without having one of the Sibling Legendaries in your party. Basically you can use Fly without a flying type in your party. In addition you can fly over Hoenn into black clouds to fight and capture legendary Pokemon from previous games.

Diving is a feature that was only featured in the original Generation 3 games. Personally, it is why I disliked those games. It was slow and tedious, so much that it dragged the game on too long and I would lose interest. However, there have been some changes to the surfing mechanics. Depending on what Pokemon you surf with, your speed will increase. Using Sharpedo to surf/dive doubles your normal movement speed. This functionality makes all of the surfing and diving in the Hoenn region a breeze as opposed to the original when it felt like a chore.

The DexNav helps you catch unique Pokemon with Egg Moves in the wild. It will also help determine how many Pokemon you have left to catch in the area so you can easily complete the National Pokedex. I used it quite a bit and found that the DexNav’s inclusion was seamless and fluid.

Pokemon-ORAS-June-12-screenshot-21The Hoenn games were always the brightest and the most unqiue in terms of visuals, and the remake is no exception. While it uses the same 3D engine as Pokemon X/Y, it just simply looks fantastic when compared to the original. The new Mega Evolutions are a fantastic addition too. Some of them are questionable (looking at you Mega Slowbro). But the ability to catch all of the legendary Pokemon from previous games is awesome, they even respawn too, so if you accidentally KO one, you can come back and try again.

Pokemon ORAS goes above and beyond when it comes to a remake. The gameplay features that made the original difficult to play have been smoothly fixed and all of the new features feel natural. This is a remake that has been executed perfectly from the time of release down to the gameplay. It has just the right amount of freedom and structure that keeps you playing. Despite being a remake, this is a game that feels brand new and fresh. Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire is going to be a tough act to follow.

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About Zach Martinez

Freelancer here at Armed Gamer, North American Video Game Correspondent for Following the Nerd, and a regular on Examiner.com, Zach has made somewhat of a name for himself at the age of 23. He has been writing professionally for just over 5 years now. He doesn’t care about resolution or frames per second, he cares about what matters most, the games. You can reach reach him directly at zach.martinez09395@yahoo.com.

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