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

Posted by Joe Merrick

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.


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.

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User Comments (96)



turtlelink said:

I don't really have any expectations other than having move tutors available. As long as they make it fun I'll buy it!



PrincessEevee9 said:

I'm expecting Move Tutors, Contests, and I better see the Battle Frontier return along with the Pokémon World Tournament. Nothing else about the Hoenn Region intrigues me.



Discipledoctor said:

Hopefully they keep the Emerald Battle Frontier in all of its glory. I am so going to go for all of the gold medals if they do that. Furthermore, I hope that we see a couple of new areas with some all-new facilities, such as the Pokeathlon's random addition to HGSS (and if they bring that back, it would be amazing.)



ColdingLight said:

Is anyone concerned that the North American version of the games boxes will have the typical white box whereas other (if not all) regions will have the blue and red box color? I know this is a nitpick but why does North America always get the short end of the stick by Nintendo? Please tell me I'm not the only one concerned...



EverythingAmiibo said:

"This is always the most exciting aspect of a new Pokémon game." ummmm? You mean the most exiting aspect of a new remake? Because there are plenty more things a lot more exciting than 'new forms' in new Pokemon games, e.g. NEW POKEMON! xD



absuplendous said:

I may be reading too much into this, but the names "Alpha Sapphire" and "Omega Ruby" suggest some interesting connotations. Given what Xerneas and Yveltal represent, perhaps they will be integrated into the games/interact with Groudon & Kyogre in some way. (I'd like to believe that Arceus and a new Arceus counterpart might be involved instead, even if Arceus isn't known as "the Alpha Pokémon" everywhere.

@ColdingLight North America might not get everything other regions get, but then, America often gets things other regions never do--including entire games. North America by no means get "the short end of the stick," and it gets quite tiresome to read this every time some region exclusive comes to light--especially when these exclusives are as arbitrary as box colors.



Kaze_Memaryu said:

Unless they whip out a new scenario, new characters, and new locations, this won't work for me at all.
The last thing I wanna see is a remake like FR/LG or HG/SS. So, until I hear anything about GameFreak really designing these as sequels to Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald, I'll bemoan this as a great mistake.



LostHeaven said:

Only now I noticed Joe is a Nintendo Life contributor! Great asset, top guy!

Regarding ORAS expectations: I'm already afraid that they will feature the single thing that truly disappointed in X&Y: the poorest implementation of 3D effects I ever seen in a 3DS game.
I used to think Game Freak ran out of time upon X&Y's development and weren't able to optimize the 3D feature, hence the severe frame-rate drops during battles and why it wasn't available outside of caves or even double battles. However, now that these games have been announced and it seems they won't support it yet again, I just don't know what to think. They should have had time to pick up where they left and optimize everything.

Of course, this didn't stop me from enjoying X, but I couldn't shake the feeeling I was playing something rushed and half-finished, particularly after having played works-of-art like Fire Emblem: Awakening that seemed to use almost every feature of the 3DS to their full potential…

Still looking forward to ORAS, nonetheless



Yorumi said:

I'd actually like to see them take the secret bases and run with it. We say all the fashion items in X/Y I'd like to seem them do something like that with secret base. Let us get a good base that we can decorate like animal crossing. Have furnature shops all over the world and such. Would be really fun.



yokokazuo said:

All I want to see is for the secret bases to return and to be like the Ruby/Saphire/Emerald ones. hint*streetpass*hint



ikki5 said:

I hope that the whole game will be able to be played in 3D, that I have the option to take off the Roller skates (if they have them) and if we can customize our characters clothes, that you can take off your hat and don't have to always be wearing a hat!



darkswabber said:

I really hope for the battle frontier, also 3D contests. Mega swampert, sceptile, gallade, groudon, kyogre and more. I hope for a catchable deoxys, ho-oh, lugia and mew like in emerald, fire red and leaf green. I also hope they will do something with the story to involve mega evolutions and i hope deoxys has something to do with it (he is ofcourse the DNA pokemon). I hope for a post game area that wasn't in ruby, sapphire and emerald, like the islands introduced in FR and LG.

edit: I also hope for secret bases to make their return and I hope they kept X and Y's customization options like changeable clothes and haircuts.



rjejr said:

So judging by all the comments about the remake I'm guessing most everybody here has played these already?

Considering these came out 11 years ago and Pokemon and Nintendo are supposed to be so "kiddy" I'm a bit surprised. I'm not a fan myself but my 2 kids are borderline obsessed, and the oldest was about 6 months old when these came out and the youngest wasn't even born yet. DSi were their first systems and they weren't backwards compatibleso no GB games for them.
They are really looking forward to playing these - not as much as they've been asking for Red-Green though - but I don think they'll be worrying about what's changed and whats the same.



Porky said:




Portal_King said:

Secret Bases with more furniture and possibly upgradable bases (make them bigger, second floor etc.). Also I'm not sure if any of you guys remember a house near the bike road where some dude would play tricks on you and you could find cool stuff.



WaveBoy said:

It's dejavu all over again, plus large amounts of koopa coins to fill Nintendo's little silly pockets. tee hee. PokeZoids unite!



yokokazuo said:

@Portal_King didn't it say "you are being watched" or something like that when you went in? Thinking back, it seems like that guy was really creepy...



Edgarska said:

I just want a Mega Tropius (or a regular evolution, but that seems impossible now) and Mega Flygon. Most of my gen 3 favorites got megas (Mega Crawdaunt when?)



PrincessEevee9 said:

@rjejr I remember because my parents kept us up to date on Pokémon games whether they liked their children playing games or not. And my cousins played it along with us.



Shadowkiller97 said:

So I never played FR/LG or HG/SS and I wonder, are pokedexes in these remakes limited to their original generations or the generation the game is in? For example, will I be able to transfer my X/Y pokemon even though those did not exist in the original Ruby/Sapphire versions?



MysticX said:

What i'd like...
Secret bases using Streetpass or the X/Y style online-system
More mega-evolutions
Keep Pokémon-amie and super training for EVs
Trainer customization with hat-less option and maybe clothes that refer to pokémon-types (Spooky dress, martial arts clothes, stuff like that)
More postgame content, if possible also something for slobs like me who play with pokémon they like best and don't breed three dozen of the same pokémon just to get the perfect IVs and nature (Got my butt kicked into high orbit in the X/Y battle places (Maison? Institute? I suck too much for either, love the restaurants, chateau and caves though)



flummerfelt said:

I am pretty happy about these games coming out. Been playing pokemon since '99 (Yellow was my first game ever).

I'm curious to see how the transition to 3d goes, should be interesting. And those secret bases, so many possibilities...



biglittlejake said:

I wasn't impressed with X or Y. I have played and beat them all. X and Y was just so easy. I beat the E4 then it doesn't get any tougher which hasn't been the case since Pearl. The new EXP share thing makes training so much easier. I don't IV train or train like crazy but I was all if not 70 then close. It was to easy. They need to get rid of the new EXP share and bring it back to like it used to. They should also get rid of catching Pokemon gains EXP. I had somewhere between 2 or 3 full boxes before E4. I wanted to see the new Pokemon. I didn't use a guide and beat it somewhere between 30-40 hours. It seems X and Y were made for 6 year old children. I will probably still get Sapphire. It could be my last NEW Pokemon game. I might go out and get Heart gold now that was a challenge. You beat the E4 and the highest level was I think 48. Then you go beat Kanto then the E4 goes up to 70's. You also had Ash to go and beat. You actually have to train for that one.



Porky said:

If they add more Mega Evolutions then they should patch the X&Y games to include them too.



AlexSora89 said:

Hoenn's lack of retrocompatibility back then is still an open wound for me, as my older critters were left to die in their GBC cartridges. Now I've rebuilt a pretty big empire throughout generations IV and V thanks to the GTS, and with the Pokémon Bank, my only temptation when I think about these remakes is thrashing my way into the Hoenn region with Pokémon from the first two generations, and with a Feraligatr in my party. We'll see. Of course, in the nigh-impossible scenario of an actually good post-League campaign including Johto and Kanto, the remakes would quickly become an insta-buy for me. At the moment, though, my only wish is to get the next Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS as soon as possible.



HADAA said:

@biglittlejake Your complaint can be easily fixed. Restart a new game and turn the EXP share OFF (yes you can do that in your bag). And try the Nuzlocke Challenge on X/Y.



EpicMegaman64 said:

I hope there isn't much water taken out of the game. They just need to add more islands or noticeable landmarks. Hoenn was partially defined by its tropical theme, so cutting much of the water would seem counteractive. I also hope the visuals can adapt to the artistic style of Gen 3, because X and Y most closely resembled Diamond and Pearl, a drastically different looking Generation.



antipop621 said:

How about a way to catch Genesect, Deoxys and Keldeo etc. without some stupid timed event attached.



Ttimer said:

I hope that you are able to dress like past pokemon trainers, and be able to have more customization options. I like Pokemon X & Y and the amount of clothing was good for starters, but I hope they add more since this is the 2nd 3D game they will be making.
and more places to play in 3D, because when the over-world was in 3D (like caves and such) it looked awesome.



Expa0 said:

Massive amounts of Surfing!

No thanks, I've had my fill of R/S/E for life.



fishman100 said:

I'd love to have a massive post-game (similar to D/P/Pt), and if they could combine elements of the Pokemon World Tournament from B/W that would be the selling point for me.



Bolt_Strike said:

I'd like to see them improve the Hoenn Dex. There was a distinct lack of variety in some of the types (Ghost, Dragon, and Ice primarily) that needs fixing. This is especially important for the Elite 4 battles, because those exact three types were chosen as Elite 4 types, and those battles clearly suffer from it as many of the Elite 4 are forced to use duplicates. I think increasing the Dex to about 250 and adding in those new types, new evolutions introduced in 4th gen (Probopass, Roserade, Magnezone, etc.) and other Pokemon that could help the variety (such as more Water types for the eastern sea routes) would go a long way to improving upon the originals.

Aside from that, I do think post game areas should happen (the islands near the Battle Frontier could be included to expand it into a new post game section that is somewhat of a combination of the Sevii Islands and Sinnoh's Battle Zone), and they're probably going to flesh out the storyline a bit (I would say include Emerald elements, but I think the trailer revealed the other day might throw that idea out the window).

I think what's most important is something Serebii didn't mention, which was the lack of side features to take advantage of the 3DS communication features (Streetpass, Spotpass, maybe even Play Coins), something that was very much lacking in XY. Fortunately, some of the side features of the original RSE could work well with the 3DS' features. Secret Bases would be good for Streetpass, where Streetpassing with another person will register their Secret Base in your game. And then there's the Trick House, which could change so that additional puzzles could be downloaded via Spotpass.

And speaking of communication features, I think a lot of what was introduced in XY is staying for this game because many of those changes are too significant to the gameplay to be removed. Obviously, we're going to see battle mechanics like Fairy type and Mega Evolutions stay (although the latter could possibly be restricted to post game). The PSS greatly enhances the online component for this game, and is overall just too convenient for the purpose of connecting with other players to the point that removing that functionality from the games will feel like a major step backwards. Character customization goes hand in hand with the PSS to allow those massive list of players to be distinguishable, so as long as the PSS stays, that will stay too. Roller skates were designed to take advantage of the 3DS Circle Pad and allow for grid-free movement, so that will most likely stay as well (it'd be interesting to see what they do with the Acro Bike as a result, since it has somewhat similar functionality to the roller skates). And then Super Training and Pokemon Amie enhance the battling, so I doubt they'll be cut as well.



WindWakerLink said:

I look forward to hearing the diving theme again. I want the Frontier to come back. This may seem like too much to ask but I hope we can somehow get to explore another region after being the game.



Iggly said:

I'd love to see the Battle Frontier to come back as it was probably the most unique version of the Battle [Insert name here] we got so far. The only problem was that EV training and trading was way difficult comparing to now so I didn't get to enjoy the Frontier much. Although I didn't like it back then, it would be more enjoyable now as I got plenty of competitive teams ready.




I personally hope they will incorporate Deoxys and Rayquaza better into the storyline of the story instead of side quests, unless they plan for a new emerald, would be nice to see Jirachi make a comeback. I hope they redo the landscape and change the plot, and maybe introduce a few new Mon as well, just to make it worth while. Maybe this game will incorporate a link with that rumored forthcoming Wii U pokemon game, just like it did with Coleseum back in the day.



MegaBeedrill said:

All I want is move tutors..

maybe having the pokemon following you like in HG and SS would be a nice touch as well. I always loved having arceus following me and nobody seemed to notice or care.



TingLz said:

Historically remakes have always had a lot of content. I should expect no less from these



Okumei said:

I really hope they bring back Contests, Secret Bases, and the Battle Frontier.



AyeHaley said:

I want more post-elite four content. Everything else is a nice bonus.

Oh and be able to have a 'mon of your choice follow you around like in yellow/HG/SS. Wondertrade with multiple 'mon would be nice. And more/easier ways to find/add new friends.

OH! I want a weather system back. Or seasons.



Darkness3131 said:

I hopelessly wish that the sprite view would be back so that I could have nostalgic memories. But I know that would never happen. I hope they bring back hideouts and add in the following system for HG/SS... all things others have mentioned already.



NintendoMaster said:

I'm surprised no one has pointed out the alpha symbol on Kyogre's fins and the omega symbol on Groudon's shoulder.



GoombaJMR said:

Just give me a good 30+ hours of postgame play

Black 2 accomplished this :3, but Y failed to do so



IceClimbers said:

I'm hoping that GameFreak programs the fight with Groudon/Kyogre to make Drought and Drizzle last the whole battle, and remain nerfed for all other battles.



Gridatttack said:

What can I expect? Legendary pkmn being shiny locked

Other than that, im really curios to see how the whole scret base thing will work out now.



Shire said:

Eurgh, the roller skates need to die.

Or at least, there needs to be an option to unequip them without having to use the awkwardly-placed control pad.



Phle said:

Secret bases and contests. I never had a GBA, and Pokémon Diamond was my first try at the games, but I've always watched the anime. Hoenn was the time the anime was at it's best. I love the episode Jessie catches seviper. And when her wonderful "silcoon" evolves. If only the anime could be that awesome again. Can't wait for this game.



FilmerNgameR said:

Make the gameplay in full 3D please like in Lumiose CIty not in top person view again it was really annoying especially in surfing. T_T



Bolt_Strike said:

@FilmerNgameR Oh god, if the water routes are anything like Azure Bay, they're going to be even worse than they used to be. I hope they use a better camera angle for the water routes.



MegaBeedrill said:

OH AND PLEASE... NO SHEDINJA GYMS OR E4...even tho I think that'd be awesome..

The return of 3rd gen... a.k.a. the wonder troll generation is among us!



Melkac said:

Hoenn was a really boring region. Tons of interesting ideas...which were all badly executed.
The uninteresting NPCs didn't really help.

Hopefully these remakes improve those two aspects. And HOPEFULLY they're sequels instead of lame remakes...



luckybreak said:


(I always loved putting my secret base at the 7th gym area, with all the rain and tall grass, always sparked my imagination!)



Luke74 said:

I can't wait to see what Hoenn looks like in 3D and I hope they make Mega Evolutions for Sceptile and Swampert too(if they do I wouldn't be surprised if Nintendo made a second one for Blaziken like they did Charizard). I also really really hope they keep the pokemon amie feature, it adds an entire new feeling to the game and really makes it feel like you're actually raising the pokemon rather than just making them battle. I'm almost certain they'll either make new forms or mega evolutions for Groudon and Kyogre(and probably Rayquaza too), I'd say judging from the box design it looks more likely to be a new form. It'd be cool if they made some new mega evolutions besides the ones for the starters and legendaries too(not necessarily just for Hoenn pokemon but that'd make more sense I guess) and I always thought contest would've been really cool if they involved pokemon battling just like in the tv show instead of just showing off moves to judges. I'd be pretty surprised if they didn't involve the battle frontier considering they most likely won't make an Emerald remake and I hope they create a new story instead of recycling the same old scenario and characters like FR/LF and HG/SS did(although HG/SS admittedly did enhance its storyline a bit and added a few characters). Finally I definitelly hope(and assume) they'll keep the appearance customization option.



Luke74 said:

Also I guess it'd be cool if they brought back the pokemon walking but as an option rather than a requirement.



DualWielding said:

I don't know, I've never been a Ruby and Saphire fan, after the awesomeness of Gold/Silver/Crystal with 2 regions and 16 gyms, Ruby and Saphire seemed like a step down to me so I never got into them, I played and enjoyed them like all pokemon games, but they are definitely my least favorites of the series and could have done without a remake



Excep7ional said:

If I had known about this when I was younger, I would have been jumping up and down while screaming; filled with excitement. But unfortunately, I no longer care for Pokemon, not even in the slightest. I'm not implying that I'm too old for it, just not interested anymore. With that being said, those of you who like Pokemon, or haven't played but want to get into it, pick this up. Hoenn was by far my favorite region, not only when it came to the games, but with the anime as well.

Beautiful region with a lot to do, and great Pokemon. The adventure was awesome overall, especially with the introduction to the Battle Frontier.



IceClimbers said:

Battle Frontier. Bring on the ruthless perfect IV Pokemon who are programmed to "kill everything on sight" like in Emerald. 3 men, 3 women, and Tucker.



Fandabidozi said:

I'm still discovering cool things in Soul Silver and that came out years ago. If Gamefreak can pack even half as much content into Alpha and Omega I'll be a happy camper.
Also, Joe Merrick is my hero!



3dcaleb said:

yea thats what im wondering too. will we be able to just transfer certain ones cause its a remake, or with pokemon bank it seems like we should be able to transfer any? if theres new pokemon and theyre not keeping with the old storyline but making a new one?



ThistleAndWeeds said:

@absuplendous I would like to add to this point.. For the nintendo DS titles all our UK box was white with just the name of the game on the spine where as North America had black boxes more interesting box art and more detail on the spine.. So if you want to be like that then you could say the UK lost out on every game in the DS series.... Tired of Americans whining about missing out when here in the UK we rarely get anything special such as limited edition consoles etc you ask any collector and they'll point out Japan gets the most with NA coming in soon after.



BulbasaurusRex said:

Don't forget about all the game mechanics updates we've had since the third generation, such as the attack-specific physical/special split, reusable TMs, hidden abilities, various ability and attack modifications, and of course the Fairy type.



Greninjas-Shadow said:

Personally i expect secret bases and contests to come back but with online capabilities as well as more post game such as the battle frontier and it would also be awesome to have events like the mirage island event..

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