Feature: What Can We Expect From Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire?

November can't come soon enough

Within the last week, it was announced that remakes of Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire are coming this year. Since then, we've been blessed with a (very) small teaser but ultimately know absolutely nothing about the remakes or what they will bring.

So, the question is, what should we expect? That's a tricky one to answer. Remakes have always stayed true to the formula so we know the basic story and characters, but they also added new elements — so here are a few things we can reasonably expect to see.

Improved 3D Graphics

Now, this is something that we do know is coming. From the short teaser shown over the weekend, we know that the graphics are to be based on the Pokémon X & Y engine, meaning that they will be 3D again. This is certainly an exciting prospect as we haven't seen Hoenn in 9 years, since the release of Pokémon Emerald.

Hoenn is a rather unique region. Due to the strength of the Game Boy and Game Boy Color, the Kanto and Johto regions had very little visual variety. They were all grassy routes and roads, with some small islands. With the power of the Game Boy Advance, they were able to change this. Hoenn has so many unique areas; from the fiery majesty of Mt. Chimney, to the desert in Route 111, to the spookiness of Mt. Pyre, to the ash covered Route 113 and the murky underwater areas, there was certainly variety in the region.

With the 3D graphics, these variations are likely to be even more pronounced, as they were in Kalos in X & Y, Unova in Black & White and Sinnoh in Diamond & Pearl. Though, we just have to hope that they liven up the water routes that take up the eastern half of the region.

Of course, the battles will look largely the same to X & Y, with different backgrounds to match this tropical region.

Contests

In the original Ruby & Sapphire, Pokémon Contests were introduced and provided an alternative to battling for players. Using the Pokémon and their movesets, players could compete in one of five different categories: Beauty, Cool, Cute, Smart & Tough. There were stats on the Pokémon for this, and they could be improved by feeding the Pokémon PokéBlocks.

This concept continued into Pokémon Diamond & Pearl, but was soon lost. While Black & White had Pokémon Musicals, they were largely automatic giving very little strategy to it. As such, a return to Hoenn could easily include a return of Pokémon Contests.

I find this idea very exciting as, using the new engine, some amazing alterations could come with Pokémon Contests. They could make the contests feel fresh and be even better.

Forms & Mega Evolutions

Many people noticed that the Groudon & Kyogre on the box-arts are different to the normal Groudon & Kyogre — they have more markings and have a very slightly altered shape. Many initially dismissed this as just being an artistic choice, but since then the Pokémon Daisuki Club in Japan, Pokémon Get TV's host Shoko-tan and the Japanese magazine CoroCoro have all pointed out the differences.

Since Ruby & Sapphire, each new version of a game within a generation has added new forms to various Pokémon . This is always an exciting prospect as you never know what Pokémon will get it, and these games seem to follow this pattern.

The question is, are they alternate forms like Black Kyurem and Therian Landorus, or are they part of the new concept that was introduced in Pokémon X & Y, Mega Evolutions? Also, will they be the only ones? This is always the most exciting aspect of a new Pokémon game.

But what would we personally like to see? A bigger post-game would be nice. Ruby & Sapphire’s post-game was shockingly empty, but this improved with Pokémon Emerald. If the Battle Frontier of Pokémon Emerald was to be put in the remakes, it would be absolutely awesome and help build on the foundations. They could add new areas to explore, too, as most Pokémon games now have a few places to go after beating the Elite Four.

What are your hopes and expectations for Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire? Let us know by posting a comment below.