Review by Team Rocket Elite

Reviewed: 11/21/02 | Updated: 11/21/02

Pokémon Alive and well! And this game really shows it.

Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire Version is a worthy third installment of the wonderful series of Pokémon games. With multiple strides in all areas, it will be another game to remember for a long time.

Gameplay- Like how the Gold/Silver/Crystal Versions were astounding improvements over the Red/Blue/Yellow Versions, the Ruby/Sapphire versions improve greatly over the Gold/Silver/Crystal versions. Keeping with tradition, the gameplay is still quite similar to the Gold/Silver/Crystals Version. It's still turn based, and each Pokémon still only have 4 moves at a time. But there have also been great changes. Two of the major changes would be the introduction of 2 on 2 battling and characteristics. Two on two battling has been a fantasy for most Pokémon players most likely originating from the Animé. Although it is still turn base, it puts a whole new spin on the strategy for battling. You now have to account for the two opponents ganging up on one of yours. Also for the sight differences two on two battling has on some attacks. Characteristics are custom abilities each Pokémon has, much like the Pokémon Powers in the TCG game. Now you have to account for each Pokémon's Hidden Ability rather then just type and stats. It is a fresh new experience that even veteran players of the Pokémon series will enjoy. 10/10

Story- A Pokémon game with a decent story? Yep. There is a lot more to this game then the previous Pokémon games. Although the main goal of your character is still to become the greatest Pokémon Master in the World and to complete the Pokédex, it gets a lot more complex then ever before. As you would expect a great improvement over the story of the Gold/Silver/Crystal Version. 8/10

Graphics- Pokémon has never really been about great graphics, but if you haven't seen the previous two installments of the Pokémon games you would have never known! The graphics in this game are a huge step up from the 2-3 colour Pokémon graphics in the Gold/Silver/Crystal Versions and certainly a step up from the Black, White and Gray graphics of the Red/Blue/Yellow Version. The Pokémon look wonderful in their bright new colours and the gorgeous landscape is a treat to see. It may not be the same as Golden Sun, but as I said Pokémon has never been about great graphics, these graphics are more then perfect for a Pokémon game. 9/10

Sound- Once again, sound has never really been an important part of Pokémon. But once again, these games show that a Pokémon game can have great sound like any other game. You will certainly want to turn the volume right up to max for this game. The music on this game is also just as impressive. Certainly far more then you would expect from a Pokémon game. Nintendo/Game Freak/Creatures really outdid themselves this time. 10/10

Challenge- This game ranges from easy to impossible depending on your goal. It's as easy or hard as you want to make it. If you just want to beat the game once and not mess around with filling your Pokédex, you won't have much trouble. But if your goal is to create the perfect team and to become the best in the world, needless to say its not going to be easy. Veteran players will have enough challenge for it to be fun and beginning players won't have to struggle too hard to get to the end. A good balance with a nice learning curve. 2-10/10 depends on your goal.

Replay Value- Like the previous two installments of the Pokémon series, there are literally thousands of hours of replay value in this game. Even after you have completed your quest, you must still spend time catching and training your Pokémon. You can spend time trading with your friends to fill up your Pokédex to the brim. Even after all that has been said and done, you still have to train your Pokémon to create and perfect the ultimate team and strategy to defeat all your friends with. 10/10

Overall- Another awesome game in the Pokémon series. Easily the best Handheld RPG ever and definitely a game to buy. In fact, I suggest buying a copy for all your friends too. Truly a game everybody will enjoy. 10/10

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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