Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire 3DS remakes incoming

Nintendo and The Pokemon Company have confirmed that Pokemon Ruby and Pokemon Sapphire will be coming to the 3DS in all-new remakes, due this November

Release Date: 08/05/2014

2002 seems like it happened yesterday, right? It wasn’t long ago that we purchased copies of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire for the Game Boy Advance and explored the Hoenn region to catch them all.

Of course, it dawned on us that the Game Boy Advance released in 2001, and was laid to rest in favour of Nintendo’s DS. This means that a.) we’re old, and b.) there’s a good chance a generation of players never experienced Ruby and/or Sapphire. This will change 28 November when Nintendo unleashes Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire for its 3DS and 2DS, but if you’re a long-time fan, the publisher has several reasons to re-experience these classic role-playing games.

It’s easy to look at Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire as ports with superb visual upgrades, which look spectacular, by the way. Instead of enhancing the original 2D sprites from Ruby and Sapphire, The Pokémon Company and the developers at Game Freak gave these titles a necessary 3D upgrade. With that in mind, you can expect Hoenn to feel somewhat familiar while looking much different, complete with significantly improved special affects and details noticeably absent from their counterparts.

Uncover the mystery behind Primal Reversion

There’s so much more to these games than graphics, though. For starters, players will take advantage of Primal Reversion. It’s sort of a mystery at this point, but cover stars Groudon and Kyogre will utilize this to wreck havoc upon the world. With Groudon, the Pokémon spews magma from its body while adding Fire and Ground attacks to its arsenal, while Kyogre harnesses seawater in some way. Vague, but exciting to see.

Beyond that, gamers can expect additional Mega Evolutions, which similar to Primal Reversions, do not exist in Ruby or Sapphire. Mega Metagross benefits from a speed increase, while Mega Diancie uses a Magic Bounce Ability to send stat-lowering effects back towards rival Pokémon. Finally, Mega Sableye uses a powerful crystal to deflect attacks. We expect even more Mega Evolutions announced in the months ahead; you’ll need to find stones within the Hoenn region to achieve these transformations.

Pikachu plays dress-up

It’s no surprise that Pikachu stars in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, but Nintendo shocked us with Cosplay Pikachu. You’re probably aware that thousands of fans dress up like their favourite Pokémon, and now it’s Pikachu’s turn to dress up like people. With this in mind, you’ll cross paths with Rock Star Pikachu, Pop Star Pikachu, Pikachu Belle, Pikachu Libre (think Mexican wrestler) and even the accomplished Pikachu Ph.D. As strange as it is to see Pikachu wearing a flowing ball gown, we look forward to discovering how these variations factor into the games. For now, you’re able to improve relationships with these Cosplay Pikachu through the Pokémon-Amie feature introduced in Pokémon X and Y, and there’s a connection with a place known as the Contest Hall, but we’ll have to wait until August to learn more.

Animal Crossing comes to Pokémon, sort of

Perhaps the most intriguing feature in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire is the option to create a Secret Base with an Animal Crossing level of customization; without owing Tom Nook thousands of bells. Players will customize their Secret Bases with decorations, and set battle rules for friends and other gamers, essentially transforming their hideouts into gyms. They’ll invite others via StreetPass or QR Codes, then help boost their Secret Pals’ stats. There’s still a wealth of info to discover, but for now, it’s safe to say Secret Bases will consume hours of time.

Despite all of these cool features, the foundation of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire will seem instantly familiar to Pokémon fans. They’ll begin as upstart trainers and meet a professor (in this case, Professor Birch in Littleroot Town) to choose one starter Pokémon. From there, they’ll set off on a lengthy adventure capturing wild monsters, upgrading their stats and squaring off against rivals, especially Gym Trainers, with a list that includes Rustboro City Gym Leader Roxanne, Dewford Town Gym Leader Brawly, Mauville City Gym Leader Wattson and Lavaridge Town Gym Leader Flannery. Whether or not Game Freak plans to tweak the plot from Ruby and Sapphire (if at all), remains to be seen.

Two more games for your holiday wish list

Thankfully, The Pokémon Company has done an excellent job releasing new bits of info and trailers, and there’s even more details coming next month. For now, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire pack a wealth of new content that separates them from the original games we remember. Throw the new Super Smash Bros. onto the growing list of must have 3DS games, and we have a feeling you’ll have plenty of titles to choose from this holiday season.

Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire

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