Game Review: Pokemon – Alpha Sapphire (3DS)

PokemonAlphaSapphire3DS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I remember playing Pokemon: Red and Blue when I was younger and fell in love with the games. I played them endlessly and it’s funny because I’m not really one to play RPG-like games but it was the concept of capturing, battling and evolving Pokemon that had me completely enamored with the world of the pocket monsters. From there I admit I started to drop off the series of games after a while and hadn’t picked one up since then came the announcement of these new set of Pokemon games and something clicked inside of me and I suddenly had this urge to play them again. You can imagine my excitement when I finally got my hands on Alpha Sapphire.

When I started it up there were so many similarities to the Pokemon games that I knew and loved and that set my mind a bit at ease seeing as it has been a really long time since I’ve played a game from this franchise. From there any hesitation that I may have had went out the window and I found myself jumping right into the game with ease. It honestly felt like I never stopped playing them. I picked Torchic to start my journey and I was off to the races. Like I stated previously, it’s very much like the other games in the sense that you are running around searching for/catching Pokemon as well as battling Gym Leaders for badges all while leveling up your team and making them stronger. It kind of is a basic premise if you think about it but then your brain starts going into this “plan of attack” mode every time you battle. What I mean by that is let’s just say you have a water based Pokemon and you battle a fire based one. Common sense will tell you that if you are at the fire based one is susceptible to water attacks. That’s just the beginning though because you also have rock, electric, grass, bug, flying, etc based Pokemon that you have to figure what their weak spots are and that’s where the addiction comes in. When you have a total of  719 Pokemon to catch (it started at 150) you find yourself getting excited when you run into one that you don’t have or haven’t seen before and that makes this game so enjoyable. My 4 year old son has been peeking over my shoulder as I play and he got what the game was almost immediately. He gets just as excited about it as I do and I not saying it’s Nintendo’s fault or anything but he has now been introduced to the world of these pocket monsters and now I think a they may have a brand new fan on their hands.

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The controls are very simple and easy to grasp which is comforting and when battling it becomes more of a pick and choose situation like an RPG and you’re just picking attacks from a menu so it really isn’t complicated at all. I do like the way the Pokedex is setup. It really makes it easier to navigate through and with the dual screens of the 3DS it was really simple to pick and choose items while still having the top screen available for additional details.

Visuals of the game look great and are a fantastic step up from the sprites that we all remember. What we get is a nice 3D model with seamless movements and even though the 3D effect that we get is only during battle it still is pretty nice to see your Pokemon fights look almost like a cartoon. Now the only thing that we are missing is some voice acting instead of all of the text but the text still gives it that feel of the Pokemon you all know and love.

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If you are a newcomer to the Pokemon world then you won’t be disappointed one bit and you’ll find yourself buying into everything about the game and if you’re a returning fan then it’s everything you can expect from a Pokemon game and then some. Yes they are basically remakes of Ruby and Sapphire from Gameboy Advance but you get gameplay updates that include Mega Evolution and Primal Reversion (only select Pokemon can do this) which expands the Poke-verse but also others that are a bit closer in tone to the newer Pokemon X & Y from what I can tell. If you’re on the fence because you think that it’s a straight remake then let me just say that what you’ll experience is something new and fresh. So what I’m really trying to say is……get it!

Pokemon: Alpha Sapphire is available NOW from Nintendo Of America

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