Pokemon Omega Ruby

Pokemon Omega Ruby: Too Many Damn Zigzagoons

Fun, but needs more pokemon variety in certain areas and could tone down the HMs

So it’s time for another Pokemon game from our friends at Nintendo. This time it’s a remake of the third generation, Ruby and Sapphire, now released as Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. We went from colors to stones and gems to letters, and now we’re getting Biblical. More and more I wonder what the title is going to be rather than the gameplay changes because it’s clear that most who play Pokemon don’t want drastic changes to the formula as they grasp onto the nostalgia.

What shiny new things do we get in Omega Ruby? Well, we get a bunch more megas, which should please some people. We get some interesting new megas like Mega Altaria, the first fairy/dragon, and we get a few less inspired ones like Mega Gallade (I’m still holding out for Mega Wailord).  I’ll be one of many to say it, though: it is nice to see the graphical upgrade. I never played Ruby or Sapphire, but I played the rest, and it’s nice to see older games get remade despite the fact it feels like a cash grab in the vein of Heart Gold and Soul Silver. 

Treecko and Mudkip fans will be happy to see that they both have gotten Mega Evolutions to accompany their friend Mega Blaziken.

Treecko and Mudkip fans will be happy to see that they both have gotten Mega Evolutions to accompany their friend Mega Blaziken.

What else is there? Secret bases? Everyone can have their own fancy little club that they can stuff with whatever oversized Pokemon merchandise they so choose. We also now have the option to dress our Pikachu up in different ways. While this may not appeal to some, others will be giddy that they can take their Pokemon obsession to the next level. The thing that kind of sets these costumes apart is that each costume lets the Pikachu learn a different special move like Pikchu Libre, who learns Flying Press.

Now you have the option of making you're Pikachu look as pretty as it feels.

Now you have the option of making you’re Pikachu look as pretty as it feels.

My biggest gripe with the game is I feel like HMs are kind of becoming overabundant at this point. I get that they’re a staple of the game, but man is it really getting old that I can’t do a portion of an area because I forgot to include Pokemon on my team that know Strength, Rock Smash, and Surf. At a certain point in the game you need a water Pokemon that can surf to progress, and the only water Pokemon I had encountered at that point had been Magikarp, who most definitely cannot surf. I had to sit there and fish and pray that the stars aligned until the game RNG gods would have a Tentacool bite at that Old Rod’s bait so I could teach it surf immediately and ride it across this 200-foot riverbed. I am just wondering when Nintendo is going to just let Pokemon have the ability to do what HMs do. Heresy, I know.

The next gripe I have is kind of a gripe I have with the Pokemon series as a whole. Once I set out into the 3D Hoenn region I was immediately swarmed by legions of Zigzagoons. For those unaware, Zigzagoons are these ferret Pokemon that dart back and forth being annoying and otherwise not super useful in the scheme of things, the game’s rattata basically. I figured this was fine. I was in the starting area after all, but what surprised me and started to annoy me were that the next couple zones had them too. It was like I was damned to hell and my only means of penance was fighting these ferrets darting about into the line of fire of my Pokeballs in some attempt to win my love. After two or three zones, though, the tide of zigzagoons subsided and I managed to pad my roster with more than just my Treecko and Zigzagoons 1-5.

More variety besides the rampant zigzagoons would be lovely in the starting zones. Or more variety in the zones in general for pokemon you encounter.

More variety besides the rampant zigzagoons would be lovely in the starting zones. More variety in general in some zones would be awesome.

Another gripe with Pokemon: despite the fact that there are 719 released Pokemon currently, why the hell am I only seeing like two to three Pokemon in an area? Why do only the Tentacools and Zigzagoons come out to play? I understand that the game itself is just porting Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire into the new engine, but at least let me see things like Taillow, Pidgey, and Fletchling in the same zone. It’d be nice to see more than Tentacools and Wingulls whenever I surf on a Pokemon. It’d be nice to not just see whatever Weedle the game likes to throw at us in the first forest we trudge into. I’m fine with doing the same rehashed storyline with a different coat of paint. That’s honestly half of what Pokemon is about nowadays: generating some nostalgia as you plow through old zones you saw in 3D. It’s just since everyone wants a Pokemon game that encompasses all the regions, why can’t we meet halfway and at least be able to find all the Pokemon in-game without the aid of things like the Pokebank or using our Legendaries as trade fodder to get some of the few remaining entries in our Pokedexes filled? The game is fun, but it could stand to give us some variety.