Sunday, November 2, 2014

Getting a sneak peak at Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire through the special demo version

Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are nearly upon us, and Game Freak has been kind enough to release a demo version!

When I got the email that I was chosen to receive the special demo version of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, I waited until my roommate was out of the room, and then began squealing and jumping up and down from excitement. The Gen 3 games are very near and dear to my heart, having been the first Pokemon games I ever played and completed on my own. Not to mention that I rarely ever win or receive anything special, so having the chance to play this demo was a welcome change. So, how does the game live up to expectations so far in terms of what has been presented in the demo?

When I started up the demo for the first time I was greeted with the familiar, yet distinctively different title theme from Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald. It's been polished up and remastered for the new games and it sounds great. Honestly, one of the main things I was looking forward to was listening to all the music from the Gen 3 games be beautifully re-orchestrated. I'm happy to report that the music I've heard so far (including the wild Pokemon battle theme, Team Aqua and Magma Admin Theme, and just the normal Team Aqua and Magma Theme) does indeed have all the trumpets that Hoenn is so famous for—and they sound even better than ever.

Doot doot. Hoenn still has all the trumpets

In the demo, you play as Orlando, a budding Pokemon trainer that gets to pal around with Steven Stone, an avid stone collector (go figure) by flying on the back of either Latios or Latias all across Hoenn.  You go an various adventures with him and complete different quests. The first quest the player is tasked with is to go catch a Pokemon that is capable of mega evolving. But alas, both Team Magma and Aqua are after this Pokemon as well, and it's your job to catch it before they do. You battle Team Aqua Admin Matt and Team Magma Admin Tabitha alongside Steven. He gives you a Mega Bracelet and Mega Stone before the battle that will allow you to mega evolve whichever starter Pokemon you chose at the beginning of the demo. I chose Grovyle because he's my dude, meaning that I got to experience the power of Mega Sceptile firsthand!

Help me, Orlando! You're my only hope!

What kind of a guy is named Tabitha?!

During the battle, Steven uses a shiny Metagross which he then mega evolves. He says after the battle that he someday may give the Pokemon to you, referencing the shiny Beldum distribution that will be going on when Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are released on the 21st of November.

You sure you want to give it up, Steven? Not sure I want it after you're done with it...O.o

After defeating the Admins, you then are able to go catch the Pokemon capable of mega evolving. As far as I know, for everyone besides Japan, that Pokemon will be Glalie. Japan gets to catch Steelix. I wasn't too keen on Glalie at first (I prefer its other evolution, Froslass) but after battling with it and mega evolving it, Glalie has grown on me. Its mega looks pretty terrifying to say the least, and it packs a decent punch. You can transfer the Glalie you caught to the full game once it releases as well.

Mega Glalie = nightmare fuel. It gains the ability Refrigerate when it mega evolves. I regret not naming the one I caught Snowball :(

After catching Glalie, the first quest of the demo is over, and the player is gifted with a short cutscene that shows off more artwork, features, and a glimpse of Rayquaza. However, your adventures in the special demo version don't stop there. There are other quests that the player can participate in. After your first quest is completed you return to Mossdeep City, and Steven gives you the other fully evolved starters with their respective mega stones, and you have the Glalie you caught to use in battle as well. The other quests involve fighting trainers, finding lost kids, and locating Shroomish on various islands. The more you play through these quests, the more characters you can meet and you'll receive more items from Steven that you can then transfer into the full game. For instance I received both heal and regular Pokeballs from him. Apparently, there's a hidden quest within the demo where Orlando and May go to an island to fight off either Team Magma or Aqua. You gain access to this quest after you complete the demo a few times, although your chances of encountering it are random.

I've had it up to here with you, Tabitha.

Overall,  I was pretty happy with what the demo offered. I was really impressed with how smooth the character moves (it's seriously grid-less now; get hyped!), the ability to sneak through tall grass, and how awesome it was to fly through the skies of Hoenn on Latios and Latias. I also like how they kept true to the original style of the games by keeping some of the same color schemes and just overall updating the style of the game by modernizing it. Everything overall just looks gorgeous. The user interfaces also have a Hoenn-y style to them, and it's a nice nod to the original games. During the demo, the "BuzzNav" occupies the lower screen and gives tips and hints to the player. I'm guessing that during the full game, there will be other  features of the PokeNav to use on the bottom screen.

I know some people have griped about how repetitive and boring the demo is, but the fact remains that it is indeed a demo and not the full game. I went into it with that in mind, and I think that it's pretty decent as far as demos go.  I would've liked to play as May, have a look at the contests, and maybe surf around a bit, but that's what the full game is for. That being said, I am so excited to play the full game when it is released and share my thoughts on it with you all! 

Hoenn's coming, get hyped

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