A great Pokemon game which improves on it's predessors
The story begins with a young boy or girl moving to the Hoenn region. The Pokemon prefessor is under attack by wild Pokemon and you then have to save him by engaging in your first Pokemon battle. You get to pick either the Grass type Gecko Treeko, the fire type chick Torchic, or the water type mudskipper Mudkip. You are then entrusted with your Pokemon and then set off on an adventure to catch 'em all and defeat the gym leaders and become the Pokemon League Champion. Also Team Magma aspire to create more land, reducing the world's water and you have to stop them causing a disaster.
And so you travel from town to town catching wild Pokemon and battling other trainers along the way exploiting the many different Pokemon types. This game is less linear than the other Pokemon games as you have a lot of going back and forth between towns and having to make complete loops in order to progress.
Each of the 8 gym leaders in the game focusses on one type of Pokemon. There's an electric type gym, a fighting gym etc. The game can be very cheap, gym leaders Pokemon will often eat berries when they are in a pinch or the leader will use a potion. You can mimic this, but it can be very annoying.
Pokemon will learn new moves as they battle and gain experience or if you use TMs or HMs. Pokemon can only have 4 moves at any one time, so it's not a bad idea to research on Bulbapedia which moves a Pokemon can learn in order to avoid messing up your attack combinations. As you travel, sometimes HM moves are nesesary. These can only be used after defeating a certain gym leader, but they will enable you to cut down trees, smash rocks, surf over the ocean etc. There is a lot of HM moves in this game needed for travel. The Move Deleter will come in handy for deleting HM moves you don't really need to use after a certain point.
This was the first game to introduce Pokemon abilties and double battles. Abilities can come into play in battle to give an advantage. Some abilities inflict status conditions upon contact, others may prevent a stat being lowered, the ability Pick Up will enable a Pokemon to find items such as Full Restores and Rare Candys. Also Pokemon natures were introduced which has an influence on stat growth - but unless you're into online competetive battling, you probably won't care about that as it's never been a hindrence in any Pokemon game I've ever played.
This game also introduced Double Battles where it's a 2 on 2 battle. It's a pretty cool idea, but somewhat underused. A fun addition non the less. The game also introduced Pokemon contests where you have to use your moves to appeal to the audience while competing againts other Pokemon.
One good thing about this game is that there isn't too much level grinding involved. Apart from the first 2 gyms and the Pokemon League, you shouldn't have to worry about being underleveled as there is sufficiant trainers and travelling involved to keep your levels at an appropriate level.
So what's the difference between Ruby and Sapphire. Not alot. The legendary mascot and villainous team is different. The abundance of certain Pokemon differs between the two versions and some pokemon are absent from one version all together. Check sites like Bulbapedia for a list of version exclusives. The game does have a special edition remake - Pokemon Emerald, but I can't tell you what the difference is because I've never played it.
The graphics of the game are nice for the time. There are some pretty cool effects to watch. The music is nice and some of the best tracks in the series can be found here.
Onto the technicals. The game has an internal battery to keep track of time. When the battery dies, the ability to keep time stops, but unlike Gold and Silver and Crystal, the save data will be unaffected. It just means you won't be able to grow berries or anything else clock based.
If you are going to buy this game (or any other GBA game for that matter) Be very careful when shopping on line. Fake GBA carts exist and they are very easy to obtain. Especially Pokemon games! These games will appear like regular games at first glance, but use cheap save systems causing the save to be unreliable. The game may delete data randomly, not save at all or be unable to overwrite data. Tell tale signs of a fake game include poorly printed or absent logos on the sticker. A sticker not stuck on straight. Lack of depression in the center of the cart (front and back) no numerical imprint on the right side of the sticker, A generic code of agb-e01-41 printed on the circuit board (or no code at all), a disordered arrangement of pin holes on silver pins on a square edged circuit board (Real carts will have a neat line of pin holes just above golden pins on a slightly round edged circuit board) There are other ways of telling. Sometimes you can identify a fake straight away from the ebay picture. Be extremely careful and only obtain on line if the seller states it's genuine - unfortunatley legit sellers take advantage and charge higher prices...
The third installment of Pokemon adds some new features. The game is a fun and addictive adventure game which compels you to catch em all. Upon completion it's lots of fun to go back and catch and raise any pokemon you missed. Definitley a little Ruby to add to your game collection!
milesprower2k9 Origianl Reviews