Same old but good old.
The graphic have been upgraded from the previous version but still looks kinda outdated. The buildings and oceans are well-done but are not very detailed when you try to look at it closely. The graphic used in battles look very solid and so are the attacks. The weather in the game looks just as they should. If it is rainy, you'll be able to see your footprints follow you for a while until it is all dried up. Everything in this department from the last game have been updated but it is not up to the game boy advance highest quality.
Most of the music in this game are very catchy especially the battle musics. The pokemon cry is also clear it most are reused from previous games.. This game have no voice over but that's because of space problem and that is not something the GBA get often anyway. Some music returns from the previous games but in a new version like the pokemon center and gym music. The music also changes in the mood of the game. As you are in a hunted mansion, creepy music will play which is a great to make the player feel the atmosphere of the game.This department is well done and is one of the strong points of the game.
The story is basically recycled from the other pokemon games. You start out as a new trainer who finally get a chance to go out and be a pokemon master. On your way, an evil team named team aqua and team magma have an evil plan to take over the world. In emerald, both team are enemies rather than ruby and sapphire where you only try to stop one depanding on what game you have. The evil teams are planning to control a legendary ancient pokemon which you need to prevent from happening. Like the past game, eight badges are required to finish the game. Once you collect all eight, the elite four awaits you which are the strongest required opponent in the game.
The strongest point in the game to say the least is the gameplay. The gamplay doesn't require much skills or reflex at all but rely a lot on thinking, much like a game of chess.Once you go in to battle, four option will be given. Item, attack, switch and run are the four options. If you played the previous game then this will not be anything new to you. Attacks gives you four moves to use and is customizable as you can choose the move you want depending on the pokemon. Items let's you use item like healing items and power up items.However,item can't be used on mutiplayer linked. Switch let's you choose to switch pokemon while in battle and run let you run away from a while battle or a linked battle. This department is gold.
The main game itself is pretty long and will probably take you 20 hours to complete which is longer than an average GBA game. Collecting all of the pokemon will take you a while and once you complete the game, new pokemon will appear. Some of which is legendary and are only one in the game. All of this could easily at the least take you more than 100 hours.