Pokemon Ruby is a great RPG that will either have you smile in excitement or scream in frustration.

User Rating: 7 | Pocket Monsters Ruby Version GBA

The Good: Has the turn based fighting system we all know and love, great cast of Pokémon, huge map with many places to explore, charming graphics, excellent presentation, a few changes in game design are enjoyed.

The Bad: Some random encounter situations get ridiculous, most of the towns aren't very interesting, confusing stage design in later areas, no sense of direction, cheesy story, weak music delivery.

Pokémon is without a doubt one of the most successful RPGs of all time. It's not really hard to see why. The variety of Pokémon to catch, the turned base fighting, the move lists; they all are what makes Pokémon Pokémon (I really hope that made sense). When I was little, I absolutely loved this series! It was so cool. When I turned about twelve, I outgrew it. Three years later, and I try it again, remembering how much fun the games are. The game I play is Pokémon Ruby.

This game has the same turn based random encounter fighting system. And it's still really fun! You never know what is going to pop out of the tall grass and you never know If you're going to beat it, unless there's a huge advantage or disadvantage in levels and/or type. Every battle is different, making each one really enjoyable. The only complaint I have with the battles are certain areas where wild Pokémon appear. In specific areas in the map, the random encounters get ridiculous. There some points where I just beat a Pokémon, take two steps, and then another battle comes! It doesn't happen all the time, but in those places that it does happen, it gets annoying.

This game has a great list of Pokémon. Every single one is unique in their own way, and brings back Pokémon from older games. Almost all of the Pokémon I like. There are a few poorly made ones, but in my opinion, there are only, like, five or six. If only Diamond and Pearl had that many good Pokémon…

The map is huge! There are many routes to take and many cities and towns to go to. Most of them aren't very interesting, but there are some that are. Like Sootopolis! That city is awesome! The only problem with the map is that, later on in the game, going to new areas gets very confusing. Sometimes, you have know idea where to go, especially when you get the HM moves Surf and Dive. It's not the full map, just the last little bit.

Okay, let's talk about one of Ruby's weaker traits, shall we? The sense of direction. There is none. You have to do something and the game tells you little to nothing about it. You basically just have to guess where you're going. And with that adding on to an already confusing map just brings more frustration.

Speaking of frustration, this game also has what every other RPG has- grinding experience. Yay… If you don't know what grinding experience is (I'm talking to all the idiots who have never played an RPG before), it's where you go out and kill as many things as you can just so you can get lots of experience and level up. Is it necessary? Yes (How else are you going to get experience). Is it annoying and repetitive? Oh yeah.

Alright, let's talk about the weakest thing in Pokémon Ruby- the story. I know, the Pokemon games aren't exactly story driven, but this is inexcusable. It's kind of hard to explain how the story goes, but basically a group of bad guys are trying to revive an ancient being to destroy the world, but then stuff happens and blah blah blah. It's cheesy and cliché. Plus, there isn't a driving force to the story. You know that Team Magma is evil and you know they're doing something bad, but you just don't care.

Let's bring some more positivity back in. The graphics are really charming and pleasant. No, they're not exactly great, they just give the game personality. The personality screams, "I am cute, yet I kill creatures with my own creatures." See? PERSONALITY!

You must hate me for this, but I have to say one more negative thing before I finish- the music. It's weak and even annoying at times. When you hear Pokémon music, you hear cheery music that makes you happy, and when you fight, the music intensifies and really sets the mood. The music in this game just feels… dull. That's the best word I can come up for it. Dull.

Overall, this game is fun. It's got the same entertaining battle system, great cast of Pokémon, charming graphics, great presentation, huge expansive map (I hope I used that word right), and some game design changes that are nice touch (like contests, finding secret bases in the walls and trees, etc.). The only things punishing the game are the over-abundance of random encounters, confusing map design near the end of the game, no sense of direction, use of grinding experience, cheesy story, and weak music. It is fun, yes. But is it the best Pokémon game ever? No. The best is Leaf Green, and there's nothing you can do to change my mind. :l