Pokémon Gen III Remakes: Why They’re Closer Than Ever

When Nintendo announced its intention to reveal something huge in a Nintendo Direct worldwide announcement back in January, many Pokémon pundits around the world both wanted and expected it to be word of the long awaited remakes of Ruby and Sapphire, the third generation Pokémon games. As it turns out, the announcement was instead that of Gen VI, Pokémon X and Y. This led to an uproar in some areas of the fandom, with many a fan bitterly disappointed that they would not be able to play an updated version of the Hoenn saga. At least, not yet.

First, a little history. Ruby and Sapphire were released back in 2003 on the Gameboy Advance, marking the beginning of the 3rd generation of games. They were followed by the first game remakes, Fire Red and Leaf Green, which updated and expanded the gameplay and storyline of the original Red, Green and Blue. When the fourth generation included updated versions of Gen 2, Gold and Silver, many fans expected the trend to continue into Gen 5 with the remakes of Gen 3. Instead, we were landed simply with a new set of games set in the same region as their predecessors, which became the first direct sequels to a Pokémon game. At this point, hope was still not lost for those craving a return to the Hoenn region, but with the announcement of X and Y, the reality of a Gen 3 remake anytime soon went up in smoke.


Some fans didn’t take kindly to the news at all…

This may sound like a baffling move on the part of Nintendo, but the reality is the market was not ready for a Gen 3 remake during the Gen 5 run. Had an upgrade occurred, it most likely would have utlised similar graphics and battle effects as the main titles from the gen, ie: Black and White. When one considers the actual scope of the strides forward that the series had made between these two generations, it becomes clear that the marginally improved graphics and slightly updated mechanics in truth were simply not large enough to warrant a gen 3 overhaul, as it would have ended up being quite similar in appearance to its ancestors. Pokémon Diamond, Pearl and Platinum were just barely graphically superior to their Gen 3 predecessors, and while Black and White were better updates in this respect, they still largely retained the same feel that had been present since Gen 3.

When Red and Blue were remade, there was compelling reason to do so. Not only had colour been implemented; it was rich, realistic colour, unlike that which graced gen 2. Character design had not just been tweaked, as in subsequent generations, but completely redesigned and expanded, and in every aspect of the game visuals had been improved radically. Playing either Blue or Red back to back with their remakes is eye-opening, as it shows just how far the technology had come in that period. While there were only 8 years between the release of Red and Green and their remakes, and a decade has now elapsed since the arrival or Ruby and Sapphire, the advancements made between Gen 1 and Gen 3 were arguably far greater than those made between Gen 3 and Gen 5. Releasing a remake of Gen 3 based on the graphics found in Black and White would have provided little real improvement in gameplay terms, and in my opinion the titles would have suffered greatly without a significant draw card to pull consumers in.

Rest assured, any remake will contain plenty to liek…

With the announcement of Gen 6 however, things have definitely taken a turn for the better. Since it heralds a host of changes to the format, the time is now ripe for a Gen 3 remake. Fully 3D environments, updated battles and ubiquitous graphical improvements provide the sort of upgrade to really make any remakes of older titles stand out from their originals in a way a Gen 5 remake simply wouldn’t have.

Fans of Ruby and Sapphire, desperate to experience their beloved games in a more modern format, can now seriously look forward to a remake during the lifetime of this next, 6th, generation. With Pokémon finally taking the long awaited stride into the realm of three dimensions, any new games in the franchise are guaranteed to stand out starkly from earlier titles. Ruby and Sapphire will no doubt receive the makeovers they are so clearly due for in good time, but who’s to say we need stop there? Perhaps the time may be almost upon us to revisit the original games in three dimensions as well…

Only time will tell.

Also be sure to check out the some info about the struggles the PS Vita is facing, or this handy guide for those struggling with buying an E-reader.

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  1. Burritoburger

    Actually, the remakes don’t go in order with generation. It goes in order with the consoles produced. Like so:
    Red, Blue, and Yellow were released on the Gameboy Color. As were Gold, Silver, and Crystal. Keep this in mind. Now, Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald came out for the Gameboy Advance, the next console that bared Pokemon. Because of this leap in technology, Red and Green were remade into FireRed and LeafGreen. I don’t know why Blue wasn’t remade, but okay. However, they didn’t remake Gold and Silver at the time because it would seem exactly the same as FireRed and LeafGreen. So they waited. Next, the DS came out with Diamond and Pearl. They then came out with HeartGold and SoulSilver, taking advantage of the new graphics. Later, they came out with Black and White, 1 and 2. After that, the 3DS came out, and Nintendo announced the new generation, X and Y. Starting to see a pattern? In order, a new handheld is released, along with a new generation. Quickly following that new generation release, they remake the next game to be remade on that console. Chances are that X and Y will be made, Ruby and Sapphire will be remade, and then either a) They will create a new console or b) They will release another generation and THEN release a new console. If that happens, the new console will bear a new game, new remake, new console, new game, new remake, new console, and so on and so forth.
    TL;DR: When a new console is released, a new gen and then a remake will follow that. It isn’t the generation, it’s the console.

    • oddlyoko2k

      Burritoburger Actually, nobody knew what it would happen when they released the 5th generation so I guess your pattern could only be discovered when the 6th generation was announced

    • PTCypher

      Actually, the only reason Red and Green were remade was because you could not trade Pokémon from gen I or II to Ruby, Sapphire or Emerald, and therefore couldn’t complete the Pokédex.
      You can now transfer Pokémon all the way from RSE to Pokémon X and Y, so there is absolutely no need for Ruby and Sapphire remakes, just like there was no need for Heart Gold or Soul Silver.
      So, if they do make them, fair enough. If they don’t, it should be expected by everyone.

      • Kelsey

        But lets be completely honest. LeafGreen&FireRed as well as Sapphire&Ruby&Emerald are all going to be outdated within the next couple years. 3DS systems are not compatible with GBA games. It’s pretty much essential that they remake Hoenn AND Kanto in the next decade because those games will become part of antique stores. If a person were to have a DSlite or DS its not a problem (though it is a hassle to do all the transferring). But what about those who have only a 3DS? They maybe had to pawn off their old DS or it stopped working. What do they do then? One option is to make the old games available on the online store where you can find old Kerby, Zelda, and Mario games, but you’d have to have some other special ‘app’ or whatever to get them onto the DS cartridge. Kanto and Hoenn can’t be denied forever and Pokemon isn’t reserved just for those who have played since the 90’s who kept all the old systems in hopes that somehow they can still trade everything back and forth.

  2. IgnoreThis

    Obvious coincidence is obvious. It’s not like Game Freak really made it that way. I suggest people not to get their hopes up too much as nobody could really tell if they’d remake it or not.

  3. Cronical 246

    Well it’s been around 10 years since gen 3 came out and most of the kids getting into pokemon will never really be able to play Hoenn considering the loss of copies from Gamestop and lack of GBAs, most batteries have run dry at this point and really it would be nice for evryone to get a nice gen 3 remake. Since I was introduced in Gen 3 I have a high tolerance for surfin ye landlubbers

  4. Ruari

    2013- Pokemon X & Y.
    2014- RagingRuby & StormySapphire.
    2015- Pokemon Z.
    2016- Pokemon Diamond & Pearl remakes.
    If they were all in gen 6, I could honestly call it the best gen ever.

  5. Driger

    The young ones these days have never played hoenn region, due to no one had sold a single gba cartridge since 2010, unless if you get really lucky by finding them in a yard sale that is not really a business
    And to trade from emerald to x and y = gba ==> diamond and pearl ==> heart gold/soul silver ==> black/white/blk2/white 2 ==> x and y (quite a huge gap)
    The graphics engine is also majorly outdated/old school
    So, since Pokemon is a cash cow, it would be silly for Gamefreak to not remake hoenn, so that the old gba cartridges could be given to those who has nothing to play with….
    I gave my gba sp + emerald to my brother in 2012, because I know gamefreak will one day remake hoenn region with a newer console/handheld!!!
    I’m really hoping gamefreak remakes ruby and sapphire, so I can spend my $ 40 + tax on a fun game 🙂

  6. Anonymous

    Mmmh Ruari I don’t think so because Pokémon Ruby and Saphire is not in the same period as Diamond and Pearl (Hoenn events happen before Sinnoh envents). If they make a remake for the 6th gen, it’ll probably be a third gen remake (R/S and probably another Fr/Lg)

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