Pokemon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire
Top Critic Average
As tired as the series can often seem, these games still shine.
Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire remain faithful to what made the GBA originals great. The new features are strong, but some of the progress made by Pokemon X&Y has also been undone.
A perfectly good 3D remake of Ruby and Sapphire, the only problem being that Ruby and Sapphire were never that great – and this is still not as good as the recent X and Y.
In ORAS, your motivation for progress is the same as it ever was
Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire resurrect two beloved games in style, and for better or worse, not much has changed.
One of the best Pokemon games in the franchise, with everything that makes the modern games good.
Pokémon remains as unique as they come among RPGs—a monster collection game that effortlessly blends social gaming with deep battle mechanics. In returning to the series' third generation, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire bring back many of the elements that defined the originals while also being some of the most accessible entries to date. That said, they can be a little too easy at times, and the postgame content feels a bit lacking in light of what's come before. Regardless, they are enjoyable remakes that appropriately capture one of the more peculiar periods in the series' history.
Oddly enough, a game that made its debut almost 12 years ago is what it took to lure me back into Pokémania. Although X & Y did an admirable job when it came to transitioning the Pokémon series onto the 3DS, to me (other than the graphics) it seemed like the same formula from 1998 with a new coat of paint. However, this entry feels like a true next-gen title, with all the charm of the Pokémon franchise and just the right amount of features and complexities to have players journeying through Hoenn for years to come. Grab a Poké Ball and jump right in!
Once I made my way to Slateport City and entered myself and Barkley, my Grovyle, in the Contest Spectacular, it wasn't hard to recall exactly what has endeared me to Pokémon over the years. I eventually walked away with third place, though satisfying gameplay loops often wind up leaving even aspiring Pokémon masters like myself with room to grow. Hopefully, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire will give fans that opportunity, either in retreading steps worn throughout Hoenn or acting as if it were a brand new universe on 3DS.
The opportunity to re-explore Hoenn is a thrilling one, and there's more than enough new content and tweaks to the old to justify the return trip. Although there are some mechanical issues, Alpha Sapphire remains a smooth journey that doesn't just feel like retracing your steps in the sand.