Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire review round-up

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While you can be sure to give our own lengthy verdict a thorough read, today has seen reviews for Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire go live around the world.

We’re searching far and wide to collate the scores as they arrive, but they’re resoundingly positive for Game Freak’s Nintendo 3DS exclusive remake.

* CVG – 8
It may not be the greatest Pokemon game, but it’s still a strong one: as far as remakes go, this is more Clooney and Pitt in Ocean’s Eleven than Nicolas Cage in The Wicker Man.

* Destructoid – 9
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!

* EGM Now – 8.5
Pokémon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire surprised me with how much it was able to add from Pokémon X/Y—yet manage to stay true to the original adventure from more than a decade ago. Not all the new features were as impressive as they were hyped to be, and not everything that should’ve come over from X/Y did in the end, but despite this, Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire are more than worthy of the Pokémon name, and they work as either new adventures for newcomers to the series or fun strolls down memory lane for lifelong trainers.

* GamesTM – 9
Pokémon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire is an almost perfect game, held back only by the selection of creatures available during the 20-hour long main quest and some post-game elements that didn’t make it through since X/Y. Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire were the highest selling games on GameBoy Advance, and we totally expect that to be replicated by Alpha/Omega on the 3DS. As a Pokémon experience, it’s that good.

* GameSpot – 8
Becoming a Pokemon master is a long journey that is at times exciting, and unexpected discoveries and the potential for hard-fought battles with friends compels you to charge forward. Yes, its the same game we’ve seen before, but that’s not a bad thing when the core concept is so engaging and rewarding. Your dedication to the cause makes the difference between becoming a good trainer or the best trainer, and while some people may end their journey once the story concludes, there’s a wide variety of Pokemon to capture and raise, and potentially thousands of opponents waiting to put your Pokemon skills to the test. Give these remakes enough time, and you begin to understand why Pokemon’s formula hasn’t changed much over the years. It’s a seemingly simple and cute journey, but with the underlying potential for strategy in combat, and a massive number of adorable Pokemon to catch, you can’t help getting hooked by Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.

* GamesRadar – 4/5
Adding extra features and gleeful retro throwbacks to Ruby and Sapphire’s solid foundation has only heightened the classic experience, further enhancing their potential to devour hours upon hours of your time. While a few minor annoyances and superficial cracks appear from time to time, either remake is well worth investing in.

* GoNintendo – No Score
Overall, Pokémon Alpha Sapphire is a good improvement over the original Sapphire as well as last year’s X/Y releases. While it may not be the right game for players to jump back into the series or into it for the first time, it’s more enjoyable with a lot of streamlined features while adding new design elements that attempt to engage players in more aspects of the game. The Pokémon Company’s efforts are definitely appreciated, though some things feel like they could’ve been ironed out more than they were.

* IGN – 7.8
As a 3D remake, Pokémon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby do a fantastic job of reintroducing Hoenn. Little details, like characters turning their heads to look as you pass or flocks of Wingulls flying overhead, make the region really come to life, and small updates and tweaks help make the journey smoother. Still, a few of its flaws are even more glaring in 3D, especially the excess water Pokémon and often dull navigation of their habitats. The added online features could help mitigate some of the type imbalances – I’m a huge fan of Wonder Trade – and there are even a few post-game surprises to encourage you to keep training well beyond the 25-hour main story.

* The Independent – No Score
Game Freak have also done something quietly amazing in this rejuvenation of the third generation – they’ve stepped back into their own game and tweaked it into, arguably, what it should have always been. There’s plenty here to love – two thirds or so through the game players unlock the ability to call down a legendary Pokemon from the sky, to soar across the overworld. From there you can see the whole breadth of the region – from the tiny islands dotted in the surf to the central volcano – Mt Chimney – and beyond. From up there you can enter secret areas to fight powerful Pokemon; you can land, with a skid, anywhere you’ve visited. I can’t wait to investigate every nook and cranny over the next few months to come – and have a sneaking suspicion there are far more secrets yet to uncover.

* Joystiq – 4.5/5
If you can’t stand the cutesy vibe or slow, turn-based gameplay of Pokemon, Pokemon ORAS are not the games that will convert you. They’re not a revolution for the series, but are instead an evolution and refinement of concepts that have been fan-favorites since the 1990s. This is a larger, more detailed world than the series has ever seen, and thanks to a swath of subtle improvements, exploring the Hoenn Region is more satisfying and rewarding than it’s ever been. Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire do little to overhaul the major pillars of a series that’s long relied on the same set of classic ideas, but they don’t have to. The core mechanics of Pokemon remain immensely addictive, and Game Freak’s latest coat of polish only enhances an already captivating adventure.

* Kotaku – Yes
When Pokémon fans talk about the Ruby and Sapphire, they like to reference trumpets, a strong, memorable instrument featured heavily in the soundtrack of the original games. They make some appearances in the updated soundtrack, too. I didn’t really “get” the meme the first time around, thought it was just a weird joke that players latched on to. But now, after re-experiencing the sense of wonder fostered by Ruby and Sapphire, and after having the opportunity to soar through the skies on the back of a legendary Pokémon, I get it. The spirit of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire can be heard in the trumpets, the trumpets sound a hell of a lot like triumph.

* Nintendo Feed – 9
In conclusion, Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are excellent games. They’re not without their flaws, just like the original Ruby and Sapphire, but overall they are fantastic games. Hoenn has made its 3DS début not a moment too soon and it looks, sounds and plays great. Whether you’ve never played Pokémon Ruby or Sapphire, or if indeed you’ve never touched a Pokémon game before, you’ll enjoy Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. The same also applies, of course, even if you’ve played every single Pokémon game before Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire; these are different enough to any Pokémon game before to easily recommend. So, get out there and save Hoenn from the evil clutches of Team Magma or Team Aqua once again!

* Nintendo Life – 9
Overall, Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire seem very similar to Pokémon X & Y, as you might expect, but the story and the environments you encounter feel – despite the fact that they are remakes – very fresh and unique. They’re not an extensive upgrade from their other 3DS counterparts, but any Poké-fan who’s played one of the series remakes in the past knows that expecting an enormous upgrade is a fool’s errand. These titles should be considered as games that belong alongside X & Y, rather than successors. — they’ve successfully surpassed X & Y, however, by building on the tremendous features available on the 3DS and pushing new ideas such as the Soar ability. Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are a must-buy for any Poké-fan, even if you already own X or Y.

* Nintendo World Report – 9
Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are way better games than last year’s X/Y while also improving on the Game Boy Advance originals. Many of the features, like Pokémon-Amie, return to the game, but they managed to make extra subtle tweaks in this remake. Locations and situations have been changed up, capturing monsters is delightfully tweaked with the sneak mechanic, and the pace of the adventure is nice and brisk. While getting Mega Stones is a chore and presentation is still somewhat inconsistent, Game Freak knows once again how to pull off a remake in style.

* PocketGamer – 9
If Pokémon is your cup of tea, Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire is a must whether you’ve played the originals or not. It’s not quite as great a place to start for newcomers as Pokémon as X and Y were though.

* VideoGamer – 8
For the Murtaugh-esque Pokémon fans, the question of whether or not Omega Ruby or Alpha Sapphire are worth picking up boils down to when you last played Pokémon, and how enthusiastic you remain for the series. If you have a hankering for catching ‘em all, then you only have to answer the same question you did in 1996: red or blue?

Written by
After starting out with a Yellow Game Boy and a copy of Donkey Kong Land, Alex once hid in his room to play The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time one Christmas. Now he shares his thoughts on Nintendo Insider, keeping track of everything to do with Nintendo.

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