Review by KeyBlade999

Reviewed: 04/05/10

A nice gem for your collection

Pokemon Ruby is one of the games that led the jump into Pokemon's third generation. Pokemon Ruby, as well as Sapphire and Emerald, were the first three games that led Nintendo and Game Freak into Hoenn. Before these games, Pokemon Red, Blue, and Yellow (with Green in Japan) were released on the original Game Boy. Later, Pokemon Gold, Silver, and Crystal led us into Johto on the Game Boy Color. Then, on the Game Boy Advance, we got Pokemon Sapphire, Ruby, and Emerald to explore Hoenn. Later, Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen showed us Kanto once more. Four years later, Nintendo released Pokemon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum for the Nintendo DS. Then, just some weeks ago, Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver showed us Kanto and Johto again! More than ten years later, Pokemon is still finding its way into many handhelds.

Nintendo and Game Freak also made some shorter series. Pokemon Stadium and Pokemon Stadium 2 were released for the Game Boy and Game Boy Color. Pokemon Colosseum and Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness showed us Orre on the GameCube. Also on the GameCube was Pokemon Box: Ruby and Sapphire, which could hold an amazing amount of Pokemon - 1,500! It also had a story mode, but I don't know about it (never played it). Pokemon Pinball: Ruby and Sapphire was released for the Game Boy Advance. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team (Game Boy Advance) and Blue Rescue Team (Nintendo DS) showed us a different view of Pokemon. Its sequels, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness, Time, and Sky, did the same, but the new Sinnoh Pokemon. Pokemon Battle Revolution and My Pokemon Ranch were released for the Nintendo Wii some years back. That makes, what, twenty to thirty games that Nintendo has released for Pokemon? Seriously, how many have to be released? You would think they would stop, but no chance of that.

Anyways, let's get this over with, what do you say? Really, we're here for Pokemon Ruby, not those other 20 or so games.

Pokemon Ruby has the typical gameplay that they all have. It is a RPG, which means that it has two major characteristics: a level up system and a story in which you accomplish an extremely difficult task or save something. It is also strictly turn-based. During a Pokemon battle, you send out Pokemon, as does your opponent. Then the one with the highest speed does the first move, except in special cases. Then your opponent moves. This process continues on until one of the players has no more Pokemon to battle with. It is simple to get the hang of, right?

This game also has a level up system. By beating Pokemon in-battle, you gain experience points, or EXP. This EXP. helps a Pokemon level up and gain strength. However, as it levels up, it requires more EXP. for the next level. Therefore, as the game progresses, the enemy Pokemon gets stronger. This creates a common saying known as "no pain, no gain." The stronger the enemy that you defeat is, the more EXP. you can get from it. Therefore, you can level up faster, which helps out later with tough bosses to fight.

This game also has a multiplayer function in it. Using a link cable, you can trade with any other GBA Pokemon game, almost. You can only trade with Pokemon Sapphire, Ruby, Emerald, FireRed, and LeafGreen. You will also need a link cable and enough Game Boy Advances. This is very helpful in completing the Pokedex, as some Pokemon are only on one version, and some that are Hoenn cannot be gotten in Kanto, and vice versa. You can also battle with up to three other people, as long as they have the proper game. You can do a one-on-one with two people, a two-on-two with two people, or a two-on-two with four people. You can also do Contests together, make Pokeblocks, and do the Battle Tower together. Seriously, it seems like half (or more) of the major things in this game can be done with friends, doesn't it?

In addition, I would just like to mention that, with a Nintendo DS or Nintendo DS Lite, you can import Pokemon to Pokemon Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, HeartGold, or SoulSilver versions. This is pretty much required to complete the fourth generation Pokedex.

The story is rather simple, as are all stories in Pokemon. You have moved to Littleroot Town in the Hoenn region. You meet Professor Birch. For saving him, he gives you a Pokemon. You then embark on a journey to collect all eight Gym badges and become Pokemon Champion of Hoenn. Along the way, you'll see over 100 Pokemon. You'll attempt to stop Team Aqua's and Team Magma's hopes for ruling the world. You will also, maybe, participate in Pokemon Contests. Basically, you will attempt to become Hoenn's Pokemon Champion. Simple. It is the same in almost every other game.

The graphics are decent. Unfortunately, almost everything is two-dimensional. You look at the field from almost a bird's eye view, unlike the fourth generation, where the view has slanted down a bit. Even battle is two-dimensional. Nevertheless, these graphics are decent. Why? The colors are vibrant and colorful. Not everything looks the same and boring. There are several different types of Trainers, over a hundred Pokemon, several types of weather, VERY many moves, and many environments to look at. It is amazing.

The sounds are also great. You can learn to know which Pokemon is making a certain sound. Every move has a distinct noise that it makes, most environments and situations have their own music. These themes also fit. A town like Littleroot has a calm tone, while fighting the version's legendary has a very ominous tone to it. Even in the field, Pokemon can be heard. But, other than that, it can get fairly boring at times. Oh well... still okay.

It can take a while to finish, depending on your meaning of "finish." It takes about 15 ~ 40 hours to become Champion. To complete all things EXCEPT Pokedex: it will take at least 100 hours. The Pokedex will take VERY long, maybe around 200+ hours. Replaying is your decision. If you got this for purely the story, go ahead, replay. If you got this to glorify yourself by becoming the strongest ever, NEVER. To do that will take too long. Anyways, that is purely based on why you bought it.

Yep, Pokemon Ruby is a great game, wouldn't you say? Well, yeah, all Pokemon games are. Heck, Pokemon is the number two best selling series, just behind Mario. Pokemon has so many different aspects that at least one game has to appeal to every person. Pokemon Ruby is the entrance to Hoenn, as well as the third generation. Even with its glitches, it is still a great game for all. The fact that it is on two systems, the Game Boy Advance and is playable on the Nintendo DS, makes it much better. This is because almost everyone has one of those two systems. You can tell it is popular, too. It is, even after seven years, still going for around $30 at Wal-Mart. Who wouldn't want this game? Seriously, buy it!

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Product Release: Pokemon Ruby Version (US, 03/19/03)

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