The Pokemon series has always held a great significance for me, both the Anime, and the games. Why? because i grew up with it and whenever I watch the show or play the older games I always have the greatest of memory's and I cherish them. So I always love going back to the series. Pokemon Blue, Red and Yellow, are some of the greatest games of all time and back when I was a kid literally every single kid I knew had them and loved them, after playing those games to death I would end up getting Gold and Silver. They are technically supposed to be superior to the older versions because the stats in the first generation combined Special Attack and Special Defense into one stat called Special, and this made some pokemon in the game nearly impossible to beat because of this and also many of the psychic pokemon in this game are overpowered due to the fact that they are only weak too ghost pokemon. For some reason while these are pretty big flaws to the game I still love the first generation over any other generation though, it's probably just nostalgia, but theirs something that I just love about the first generation that no generation can recreate. Pokemon Gold, and Silver are great games, but as a kid I honestly didn't care for them that much maybe cause I played the crap out of the first generation and was tired of the game, or maybe I just didn't care for the pokemon I don't know but It's not that I didn't like it, It just wasn't as close to as good as generation one in my opinion, and still today I think it's a lot better then I did as a kid but again not as good as the first generation. The anime thru these generations were outstanding some of the best anime ever, and some of the best television ever in my opinion. Then came Generation 3 this is when I was in middle school and everybody started to grow out of Pokemon. I stopped watching the Anime,(which is probably a good thing because I feel this is when the Anime started going down hill, with crappy characters and as it goes further on ash turns into a girl, but I'm rambling, this is for another review)Pokemon Ruby, and Sapphire would come out and I would end up buying it, with a hope that it would still impress me and boy did it! In fact it impressed me so much that Ive probably played this game more than i have played any game before, I played three playthroughs of it(four counting this one), every single time leveling my pokemon up to 100 each time, no glitches just going through the elite four over and over and over again, yeah so you could imagine how many hours I have put into this game, and every hour was worth it, cause it was a joy to play.
Story: So basically it's the usual Pokemon plot your the new kid in town, you choose from one of three pokemon to start your adventure to become the very best. Their is also a surprise to the story this time, your dad is actually in the picture of this game, thank God I don't have to feel so alone lol. He is also the gym leader of the Petalburg gym, it's not a huge part of the plot but it's nice to have parents instead of just one parent. Most of the plot will go around either Team Aqua or Team Magma, for Ruby it's Team Magma trying to control Groudon, while Team Aqua tries to stop them, or in Sapphire where the roles are reversed and Team Aqua is trying to control Kyogre. Which brings me to my next point in the plot, their will be a point in the game where you will commence battle with Kyogre for Sapphire and Groudon for Ruby. Since this is a Sapphire review I obviously caught Kyogre which in my opinion is one of my favorite pokemon ever and while I think Groudon is a great pokemon, I just preferred Kyogre, and is one reason I prefer Sapphire over Ruby. Wow I got off topic with the story but I'll I can say about it is, that it's Pokemon don't expect some great plot. For what the story is, it's great in my opinion.
Presentation:This is where Pokemon Sapphire shines quite a bit more then it's predecessors even though they all on their own merits have great presentations. The music in this game is something i can't describe in words it's God like that's all that needs to be said, one of my favorite soundtracks in gaming. The graphics have been updated tremendously compared to the last two generations and it looks oh... soo good. Battle animations look better but nothing too amazing, but for the time they looked way better then the first two generations. The presentation in this game could not have been done better, the music is extraordinary, the graphics look awesome and the animations in battle are amazing.
Gameplay: The gameplay is another strength of Pokemon Sapphire it's the usual way you would play pokemon, catching the strongest pokemon and beat the strongest trainers to get badges and be the very best of them all, but their are a lot of changes when it comes to Sapphire and Ruby, first off obviously their are completely new pokemon, and their are a lot of memorable pokemon in this generation of gaming. There are now 2 on 2 battling you can now use two pokemon against another pair of pokemon, it's nothing too special but it's a nice change of pace for the most part. Their are now also pokemon contests like in the anime. They are optional to beat the game, but if this is your thing you will definitely like it, in fact I actually enjoyed the contests, even though they seem to be more towards the girl audience(at least in the anime). Also something new in the game is new types of berry's which can be put in a blender to make pokeblocks to help with contests. These are basically the major changes along with Team Aqua and Team Magma. When it comes to gameplay their isn't a whole lot to say but if you compare it to the past two generations the stats are a big improvement a lot of the pokemon have their own special abilities where certain pokemon can do something special like for instance a certain pokemon may have the speed boost ability where it raises it's speed every turn. Their are many pokemon who have these different abilities that add a whole ton of depth to the the gameplay. All i can say is when it comes to the gameplay I think that their is no question that generation 3 is the best of it's predecessors.
(Spoilter Alert) After getting all eight badges you must beat the elite four like you would usually do, and you better have the right pokemon and they better be leveled up because if they are not you will get your a$$ kicked, after beating the regular four, The champion is Steven someone that you will meet many times throughout the game. He is really really hard so you better be prepared, and once you beat him your the champion and that's pretty much it, sure it seems kind of disappointing not to have any special ending but it's pokemon you shouldn't really expect it.
Overall Pokemon Sapphire is a fantastic Pokemon game still my second favorite generation in the series after the first generation. Everything was a huge change for the better from the last two generations and this is a must own game if you are a pokemon fan.