Nintendo is going all-out to make Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire as faithful to the original games as possible, as in conjunction with the return of secret bases fans will also be treated to the addition of the love-it-or-hate-it Pokémon Contest – rebranded as the Pokémon Contest Spectacular for modern times; it’s orchestrated by a new character – Lisia
The feature appears to function in a similar manner to the original, with the focus being on garnering the highest possible 'appeal' in order to make your monster the most popular and subsequently win the contest.
As in the original there are five different stats to consider; Coolness, Beauty, Cuteness, Cleverness, and Toughness, and each of these has their own category of contests. Every move in the game is assigned one of these five types in addition to the typical battle types, so using a Cuteness move in a Cleverness competition may not get you far. Each species of Pokémon has its own strengths and weaknesses within these stats and as such certain members of your party may be better suited to wowing the crowd than others in a particular kind of contest. Pokéblocks are back as well, so if your Piplup just isn’t cool enough to compete with the hardcore crowd get it to pop a couple of these and it’ll be sunglasses and leather jackets before you know it.
The system for participation has had a few tweaks here and there, such as the applause meter being replaced by the excitement meter. This functions in the same way as the applause meter in every way except name, and if you manage to fill it completely your Pokémon will Mega Evolve if it can, marking the first instance of these turbo-charged terrors appearing outside of battle.
As you progress through the early contests you’ll unlock higher difficulties in the same way as you could before. You’ll start off at Normal Rank and finish off with Master Rank. As you hone your skills and become better and better word will spread and fans of your antics will start to pop up throughout the land of Hoenn; these like-minded individuals will lavish you with Berries and cheer you on when you’re competing. There’s no word as to whether the latter will actually affect gameplay, but it’s nice to be noticed all the same.
When you enter a contest, you’ll be informed by the appropriate authorities to ditch your dirty dungarees and slap on a snazzy set of stitches. These outfits are very similar to two of the getups worn by Cosplay Pikachu and the defining factor is gender. There may yet be more outfits to choose from in a similar style to the character customisation from Pokémon X & Y, but that’s nothing more than speculation.
Were you enamoured with this feature on your GBA? Has your excitement been driven to five stars or are you as gripped by the news as a greasy Grimer’s grabber? Let us know, and the trailer along with a host of screens is below.