Oh Pokemon, how you have been a huge part of my life. My companion on those many hour road trips, which led to trading with my cousin. Oh how far you have come to the present day, and in the form of the Generation III remake – Pokemon Alpha Sapphire!
It’s true – Pokemon has been a huge part of my life. Even if I did mostly miss Generation 4, I played a lot of all the other generations. Generation 6 has been no exception – I sank a lot of time into Pokemon X and now again with Alpha Sapphire. Wait, we aren’t here to reminisce on Pokemon? We’re here for a review? Oh alright, if you insist.
Short version: Pokemon Alpha Sapphire is absolutely fantastic. It manages to stay true to the original while bringing it up to speed with Generation 6 additions and features.
Long version: Pokemon Alpha Sapphire is STILL absolutely fantastic. The remake into 3D has done the game wonders, there are Mega Stones to be had everywhere, and Wonder Trade still exists! They’ve managed to successfully implement Mega Stones into the story without too much alteration which is absolutely fantastic I feel.
With all that said though, they did bring some of the less welcome “additions” into the remake. Starting in Generation 5, they added in free heals everywhere… and I really do mean everywhere. While these weren’t AS present in X/Y, at least as far as I can remember, they do make a return in Alpha Sapphire (and Omega Ruby). While definitely not as frequent they are still there. And well… it definitely makes the games a lot easier. Sure, maybe some of the ease comes from the fact I’m older now but not all of it does. Did it need to be made easier? Not really.
Alpha Sapphire also brings in new features that even X and Y didn’t have. The first one did actually exist in the past several releases of games, starting with Black and White, but has seen some upgrades here in Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby – the shaking grass mechanic. Originally introduced as a way to find certain Pokemon (such as Audinos), you can now find a massive list of things in these spots. Not only that but you can find Pokemon with special moves and abilities, or even with better potential (IVs)! Though, to find out all of this information you need to encounter them multiple times. It’s also not explained very clearly and took me quite a long time to actually figure things out. Heck, I still haven’t even fully figured out the shaking grass spots!
The other new feature is Soaring. Oh is Soaring ever amazing and needs to now exist in every Pokemon game ever. Once you gain access to it, you no longer even need someone with Fly (though having Fly is still handy)! Soaring also gains you access to a large amount of Legendaries, many of which I’m STILL trying to find due to the requirements on them! Of course there are still version exclusive Legendaries in these games, but you can find a large amount of them from the previous Generations (excluding 1 and 6, since those were in X/Y). Not only that, but you can find special “Mirage” spots that can have Pokemon from all of the previous generations on them. These are randomly generated each day and you can gain access to more through Street Pass or passing by people with the online features in the game.
One of my biggest annoyances while I was working through the main plot is something that probably shouldn’t have even annoyed me but it did – the free teleports to your next location in a few spots. The implemented these in a few locations, two are optional and one are forced, but many places where you’d think they would have (given they’d done it in several already) they just didn’t. It was very hit or miss, but of course I feel it shouldn’t have even been there in the first place. Let me walk, surf, fly, or soar to my next location!
Thinking back to getting Legendaries, there is one in particular that you are literally just handed. While it makes sense for the Soaring mechanic, I still remember the days of actually have to earn your Legendaries… Granted, they sort of make up for this in the Delta Episode.
Speaking of the Delta Episode, I feel it was quite well done. It was a great way of bringing in the story from Emerald and giving you the ability to get a couple more Legendaries. It also seems if you return home, you can get more starters from other generations! That Snivy and Piplup will be mine…
Pokemon Alpha Sapphire is an absolutely fantastic addition to the series and probably one of the best remakes they have done. I keep finding myself picking it back up to try and hunt more Legendaries, and eventually I will indeed go back in to get more starter Pokemon. While the game isn’t perfect and suffers some of the in-battle lag issues that were present in X and Y, it is still absolutely fantastic and worth picking up for any fan of Pokemon.
Pokemon Alpha Sapphire Review Score
Pokemon Alpha Sapphire is available for purchase now at Amazon and Gamestop.