Pokemon Ruby is a fun experience, even though not at lot different from previous games, still is a game worth your time.

User Rating: 8 | Pocket Monsters Ruby Version GBA
The Pokemon series has been around for a long time now, starting out on the original game boy with Pokemon red, blue and yellow then moving on to the game boy colour with silver, gold and crystal editions now we have the game boy advance versions ruby and sapphire, they continue what was good about the original games and do not stray from what has made the previous games in the series so popular and so enjoyable RPG's.

As you start there is a brief introduction into the world of Pokemon, which is great if you haven’t heard or played the Pokemon games before, you are given the choice of being a girl or boy and then you choose your name, basically the standard RPG introduction.

The story starts of with you moving into your new hometown of Little root, yet again like previous games you explore your hometown and are told to meet up with the professor of the town, this time around it being professor Birch, you find him just outside the town and have to save him from an attacking Pokemon, you choose one of the poke balls out of the three and then have to fight with that Pokemon you choose thru out the rest of the game, they are out of Torchic a fire based Pokemon, Mudkip water based Pokemon and finally Trecko a grass based Pokemon, after you save professor birch you are sent on your way to becoming the greatest Pokemon trainer in your region, yet again there are an equivalent to team rocket, this time team magma, who apart from the name and the way they look aren’t a lot different from team rocket, they still go about causing trouble and stealing Pokemon and such and yet again it is up to you to stop them. Also like the previous Pokemon games there is a rival that follows you around in your conquest and from time to time you will meet up and battle, so as you can see as far as the story is concerned not much has changed basically all it is, is defeat all 8 gym leaders, beat the elite four then finally collect all Pokemon, a very simple storyline yet it works.

As far as the gameplay is concerned not much has changed here as well, battling trainers is the same as previous games you just walk into the trainers line of sight and you will be instantly thrown into a battle with them, the battle sequences yet again are turn based and still though is starting to feel a bit dated works really well. One of the new abilities added to the gameplay is that there are sometimes battles in which you can send out two Pokemon at once and have a dual battle; it works roughly the same as the normal battles only with two Pokemon.

Catching Pokemon is still the same as before, you simply just walk into a patch of grass and wait for an attacking Pokemon to appear, weaken it then select the Poke ball and hope for the best.

As regards stats are concerned this is where the changes have been made to the game, through out the entire game you will find several berry trees in which you can pick the berries and feed them to your Pokemon for things such as burn heal, extra HP or PP up effects, but some can be blended in a new berry blender system that is incorporated into the game and then fed to your Pokemon to enhance there attributes such as coolness, beauty, smartness, toughness etc. This system works incredibly well and is used for the new contests that are held in several regions, the contests are just where you use a variety of moves to impress the crowd and if you win you will get a cool prize and sometimes even a picture of your Pokemon would be sketched and mounted in the contest hall. But I have found this system doesn’t necessarily have to be just for contests, if you was to train two Pokemon of opposite genders to really high levels get there stats high and there attributes really high then bread them, eventually when you train up there spouse it will be much stronger than they were, this takes time but if you have the patience to last it out you could have some really strong Pokemon on your hands.

Levelling your Pokemon up in Ruby is the same as before as well, you simply just battle loads and loads of Pokemon and you gain experience points from the battle to level up. As you level up your Pokemon will eventually evolve if they can, will get higher stats and become stronger than before.

The graphics in this game is where the most amount of improvement has happened, for a game boy advance game they are amazing, the Pokemon themselves look great, the towns even though look similar to each other still are well detailed and overall Pokemon ruby is a great looking game. The Audio in the game is also quite enjoyable and suits the game really well, the soundtrack that plays along side while you are exploring is quite enjoyable and the battle sound effects also fit in really well with the game.

Again there is an increased amount of Pokemon to capture in this game, but to fill out your Pokedex you will need to either know somebody that has Pokemon sapphire, or own it yourself as you can only catch certain Pokemon is the two games, this is just a way of Nintendo making more money as apart from a few name changes, and the different legendary Pokemon there isnt that much difference in between the two versions of the game.

One of the main problems with the game though is the difficulty level, I know that it is targeted to a younger audience but im sure that they didn’t have to make it this easy, it doesn’t really stop it from being a great game but they could at least had a few difficulty levels or something to stop it from being too easy.

The multi player returns and yet again you can trade, battle and now berry blend and trade records with your friends via a link cable, nothing much has changed in the standard battle and trade formats except that you can have dual battles like in the story section, the multiplayer is still incredibly fun and adds even more replay value to the already 20 - 30 hour single player game.

Overall Pokemon ruby is a very fun experience, although it is very easy and still isnt at all that much different from previous games but that doesn’t matter what this game is, is pure fun, it will keep you hooked for hours, and Pokemon fans will love it, it isnt just for fans of the Pokemon franchise this game will appeal for anybody that is remotely interested in RPG's and is an enjoyable experience every time.