Preview: Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire

Following on from their success with the Super Smash Bros demo for the 3DS, Nintendo have released another demo preview for some lucky gamers. This time, we’re going back to Hoenn and the world of Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire in the remakes Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire. And thanks to Nintendo Life, I managed to get myself a free copy of this demo. So, is this revamp worth all the interest? Read on to find out…

The demo is a simple introduction as to what to expect in ORAS (as I’ll be calling it) as well as the new features they’re adding to this game. You start off in Mossdeep City, arriving on the back of a Latios with Steven (a high-level trainer who people will know a lot more about if they’ve played Ruby or Sapphire) to discuss with a scientist the mystery of Mega Evolution. And straight away we’re introduced to one of the new changes to the game. Bringing it back from X & Y, Mega Evolution is a way to made fully evolved Pokémon like Charizard become even stronger during a battle (but only if a strong enough bond is held between Pokémon and trainer). This certainly foreshadows that, although ORAS will focus on the core story of Ruby & Sapphire, they’ll be adding new things to make the game interesting for people who have already played the original games.

After some exposition, we are flown (again on a Latios) to a small island infested with members of Team Aqua and Team Magma. Turns out they’re looking for a certain Pokémon in order to try and use it to further their cause and to utilise Mega Evolution for themselves. Of course, being the hero you are, you can’t let these teams take Pokémon for their own evil purposes. All you need to do is to defeat them to clear the demo.

The demo only allows you to play with one of three Pokémon – Grovyle, Combusken or Marshtomp. All are at Level 35 and only a battle or two away from Level 36. This is obvious as if you evolve your Pokémon to their next stage, you can be treated to one of the brand new Mega Evolutions the game offers: Mega Sceptile, Mega Blaziken or Mega Swampert. You can also see for yourself a Shiny Mega Metagross courtesy of Steven during the demo. And in the end, you have a chance to capture a Lv 40 Glalie to round the demo off.

Except…it’s not. Boot up the demo again to find that you not only have Glalie, but the other two Pokémon Steven offered at the start, full evolved and ready for Mega Evolution. And from here, you can go on min-adventures to keep the demo fresh until ORAS is released. This is a fun thing that I wish more demos did in order to help make people stay interested until the game is officially released.

As expected, the graphics is very similar to that of X & Y, with fully animated Pokémon battles and 3D capabilities. The characters are also given a new lick of paint to give them more personality than the simpler GBA sprites. Gameplay wise, it’s Pokémon. If you don’t know what to expect, buy yourself a 3DS and a copy of X or Y. If you do know what to expect, then the game is the same as always. Fight wild Pokémon and not-so-wild Trainers. Rinse. Repeat. There are a few little changes with the menu, but they’re mainly cosmetic. At its core, the game is the same as always, bringing forth the changes in X & Y to this new game.

The demo itself is very short, lasting at most 15 minutes. But in that time, you’re given an intro to Mega Evolution, the two Teams that are your foes in the game and even a not-too-subtle foreshadowing of Primal Reversion; a possible link to Mega Evolution. But by clearing the demo, you can get yourself some extra goodies. Clear it once and you get to keep the Glalie you caught at the end of the demo, along with its Mega Evolution stone. Clear it more times to unlock extra goodies that you can transfer across along with your free Pokémon.

Overall, it’s another good demo to help show off the latest offerings from Nintendo. It brief, but it shows off all what the game offers, as well as hinting for all new things to experience that you might not have expected. I must admit, Ruby & Sapphire was not one of my favourite games in the Pokémon series. But this demo has at least made me at least a bit more interested in the game. And after all, isn’t that what a demo is supposed to do?

If you are interested in getting a free demo, the guys and girls at Nintendo Life still have demos to give away to lucky 3DS owners in the UK. Simply go here and register your email address to be one of 30,000 gamers to get a preview in the latest of the Pokémon series. The lottery ends on the 24th October, so best be quick if you want to try it out before anyone else.

T.A Black

Author: T.A Black

Currently LMC's resident reviewer, I also take a huge interest in anything from Nintendo to Square-Enix, and beyond. My interests are certainly random, as are the games I review and enjoy.

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