What is Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire?
Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are role playing games which see you battling, capturing and training small creatures known as Pokémon. The main goal in Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire is to defeat the eight Pokémon Gyms (kind of mini-bosses) around the Hoenn region to earn badges. When you have the eight badges, you earn the right to challenge the toughest trainers in the land - the Elite Four, and the Pokémon Champion. As is always the way, there's also an evil organisation (either Team Magma or Team Aqua depending on which version you're playing) who plan to use the power of a legendary Pokémon for their own destructive plans - and it's your responsibility to stop it happening.
How do you play Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire?
Essentially a role playing game, with a huge emphasis on catching and training Pokemon, over the course of the game you'll be spending a heck of a long time wandering the long grass, either looking for new Pokémon to catch, or battling with wild Pokémon and other (computer controlled) trainers to train your Pokémon up. The battles themselves are turn based, as you and your opponent each choose which of your Pokémon's four moves you want to perform. With type advantages, critical hits, and all sorts of other stats at work under the surface, there's a huge amount of depth if you want to get really involved with Pokémon (and many do), but the barrier to entry is low.
As is always the way with Pokémon, the game comes in two versions - Omega Ruby, and Alpha Sapphire. The main difference between the two games is the rival team you'll encounter in the story, and the selection of Pokémon available in game. Along with a handful of exclusive wild Pokémon for each, the legendary Pokémon that's featured on the front of the box is also exclusive to that game - angry dragon-thing Groudon in Omega Ruby, and giant whale Kyogre in Alpha Sapphire. However, if you want to go out and catch 'em all, you don't need to own both games - you can complete your collection by trading with someone else with the opposite game, transferring from older games, or trading over the internet.
How easy is Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire to pick up and play?
Loved by players young and old around the globe, the Pokemon games have always been easy to pick up and play. There's no pressure involved at all here, and you're free to play the game as you want - either playing your way through the story and raising your Pokemon like a pro; wandering the long grass trying to catch 'em all; or simply passing time in the mini-games feeding treats to your Magikarp.
While the battles do get harder, it's entirely possible to beat the game through perseverance alone - simply training your Pokémon by taking on the weaker wild Pokémon you find in the long grass, until it's a higher level - and therefore stronger - than those you're facing, is a perfectly acceptable strategy.
For the youngest of players, there is a fair bit of text involved here, and with nothing in the way of voice acting, a reading ability is a must. That said, the text is very easy to read and understand, with plain, simple language being used for any important bits - and Pokemon games are a great way to encourage someone who's just starting to read to put in a bit of practice.
- "Halloo! You over there! Please help me out!"
- "A huge asteroid, more than six miles in diameter, is currently on track to collide with our planet"
- "From what I can see, you're a novice trainer. Am I right? OK."
Totally free of any bad language, sex, or real violence, there's nothing for parents to be concerned about with Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. As the game's aimed at children, there's no blood or upsetting scenes here. When Pokémon lose in battle they 'faint', leaving them unable to battle, but they can be revived at a Pokémon Centre, and never die. As close as the game comes to violence is in the game's battles, but the Pokémon never actually make physical contact with each other, with the camera instead cutting away just as one Pokémon performs a move, to show how the other reacts. It's even less violent than the TV show.
Format Reviewed: Nintendo 3DS