We’ll be honest — Pokemon is growing a bit old. But we understand the desires of the children and the yearnings of Pokemon Masters all over the world. And thus we sat down with Pokemon Omega Ruby for some heated Pokemon fighting action — and we have to admit, the sequel hosts a ton more features, but it’s essentially the same experience as Pokemon Ruby of the yesteryear, although with 100 more Pokemon. The game is rife with minigames and the ability to download Pokemon from Pokemon Red, Blue, Yellow, Gold and Silver, and there are all-new animations for attacks and damage taken. It looks pretty, and is an impressive game — but is only for Pokemon fiends.
Which leads to one of the biggest problems with Pokemon Omega Ruby — the best part of the game is the transfer of Pokemon from the Game Boy versions to the 3DS system using the Transfer Pak. If players don’t have any Pokemon to transfer, then they can choose from “rental” Pokemon, which have standardized abilities and stats. The real draw of the game, however, is for those players who know their Pokemon from the 3DS system backward and forward, and want to see them in 3D glory — those that haven’t played the handheld games won’t find much more than, basically, a glorified version of Rock-Paper-Scissors here.
However, that said, true Pokemon freaks will find a lot to love here. The graphics are simply stunning — each Pokemon has a plethora of animations for attacks, and the special effects of the various combat moves are well defined. Commanding the Pokemon is streamlined and simple, and the announcer even does a good job of describing the action.
Luckily, Pokemon Omega Ruby has plenty of things to do other than just battle Pokemon. There’s a whole bunch of minigames that are completely different from those contained in the first game, and most of them are actually pretty fun. The games range from twitch-fests, where the fastest fingers win, to games of skill and thought. Each supports four players, too, so no one needs to be left out.
The integration with the 3DS games also works very well — players can not only transfer Pokemon, but they can also trade them with others and even play the Game Boy games directly through the 3DS (no, this doesn’t work with any games other than Pokemon). There’s a wealth of information about all the various Pokemon for true Pokemon Trainers, and it’s easily accessed. Pokemon Omega Ruby is well-made and fun to play, but still only really appealing to those who are crazy about Pokemon and have plenty to transfer over from the 3DS games.