Review by THAguyINgta3

Reviewed: 04/09/03 | Updated: 04/09/03

Second Best Pokemon Game Yet

Pokémon is a brand that spawned a many of products, which included lunch boxes, shampoo bottles, food products, toys, movies, TV shows, comics, clothing, trading cards, and a lot more. It was only a matter of time before it spawned a video game. Now, in 2003, the cards have died out but the games are still going strong. One of the things that I really like about the game is that you don't even have to know how to play the card game to play this. Anyone can just pick it up, play it, and feel comfortable with it. It is one of Nintendo's best on-going series as of now in my opinion.

The controls are good. They are very responsive and set up well. Overall, great controls. The gameplay is fairly simple really. You just go across the huge world, catch Pokémon, trade Pokémon, train Pokémon, level up Pokémon, battle Pokémon, and anything else that you need to do to gain the rank of Pokémon Master, which will take a long time really.

Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire is actually two games that are basically the same except for minor differences. The two games are Pokémon Ruby and Pokémon Sapphire. When you start out, you have a choice of three different Pokémon to start with on this long journey that you will happily endure (after you do a few tasks). You have a choice of Torchic, Mudkip, and Treecko. After you pick one, the game begins.

At first, you have no Poke Balls so all you can do is go around and battle people and talk to people. When you start out, your Pokémon will only have a couple of attacks and they are really weak. To build up your Pokémon's attack strength, you need to battle more and more or you could use a Rare Candy on it, which is an item that automatically makes a Pokémon level up one point. As you level up a certain Pokémon, that Pokémon can learn new attacks, which can be used for battles. You can only have 4 attacks at a time so you just have to figure out which one you like best. There are a few different attacks for each Pokémon that can be learned.

After a while of talking to people, battling, and other things, you will finally get a poke ball. The fun now begins. This is where you have to start catching Pokémon, training them, and getting ready to battle some of the bigger bad ass trainers in the game (a trainer is someone who, well, trains Pokémon).

When you battle, a screen comes up that shows the two Pokémon that are battling. You can withdraw a Pokémon or run away at any time during a battle. When you withdraw a Pokémon, you can enter another Pokémon in a match against the one that you were just fighting. A Pokémon's life is based on a hit points system. Each has hit points and loses life according to how skilled the Pokémon is and how skilled the Pokémon that attacked it is. To recover Pokémon, you just bring them into their poke ball and bring them to a Pokémon Center or use a potion on them.

Anyway, back to the battling. Each player takes a turn to select an attack. Sometimes, Pokémon can block attacks that are done by a Pokémon that are lower in level than them. The way they do this is one Pokémon attacks and then the other does. You just take turns back and forth until one dies or one trainer loses all of their Pokémon. To attack, you just highlight the attack you want to do and do it. That's about it. In addition to the previous game's battle systems, there is one big addition; the abilitity to battle more than one Pokémon at the same time. You can have 2 on 2 Pokémon battles, which is extremely fun. The battling system is very good in my opinion.

When navigating the world, you can go inside some houses, caves, and other things. You can really interact with people too and can talk to them or battle them if they want to. Each town has their own training gym. In a training gym, you will have to face Pokémon trainers of great skill. If you beat them, you will get rewards like items or new abilities. These abilities are used to reach more towns. Abilities are like the ability to have more strength, surf, and a lot more. I think there are six altogether, but I am not positive. The environment looks really good. Everything looks detailed for a GameBoy Advance game. The town you start off in is Littleroot City by the way. Overall, the level designs are really good and detailed. The Pokémon and character models look good also.

Even though it probably doesn't sound like it, there really is a lot of depth to the game and a lot of things to do. If you wanted, you could just go around and catch Pokémon, explore the world, talk to people, battle, and so much more. Once you beat the game, you still have to beat the game with 2 other Pokémon from the beginning. This adds to the replayability. Now, just start over and train some more. You can have multiple saves so don't worry about losing your game data. The replayability is really good. The game is easily a fifty plus hour game on your first time through. It takes a long time to complete and master and stuff. It will take you even longer to catch all 151 Pokémon too. To add even more replayability, you can i-Link two GameBoys together and battle friends or trade Pokémon with friends. This is really fun when both are kind of evenly matched trainers and good at the game. Overall, the replayability and the gameplay are both fantastic.

There really is no story. At the beginning of the game, you first type the name that you want to call the trainer that you play as. Throughout the game, you are just on a quest to be a Pokémon Master and the best Pokémon trainer in the world. There is a little side-story though. Dr. Birch, the main Pokémon guy in Littleroot, has a neice whom will be like your best friend throughout the game. You will battle him a lot and stuff like that. Your ultimate goal is to beat everyone at the Pokémon League.

The graphics are very good. Everything looks detailed greatly for a GameBoy Advance game, and on the GameBoy Advance SP, it looks even better. The sound is good. Everything sounds good. The music will probably get on your nerves after a while though, but it isn't that bad. Overall, good graphics and sound.

Overall, this is probably one of the best games ever made to tell you the truth. It is really fun for the first hour and really fun for the hundredth hour. I would say that you should buy this game. You will enjoy it immensely. The only Pokémon game that is better than this is Pokémon Red in my opinion. Even though, this is probably my favorite game on the GameBoy Advance.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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