Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Pokémon: Omega Ruby journal - entry one

My playthrough of Pokémon: Omega Ruby has been off to a slow start for a number of reasons, none of which really stem from the actual game itself. Part of my not jumping on this game immediately after I bought it was the result of my giving priority to the Wii U iteration of the new Super Smash Bros., part of it was due to my being rather busy with real-world going-ons last weekend, and part of it stemmed from the simple fact that the original GBA versions of Ruby and Sapphire were actually my personal least favorite entries in Game Freak’s long-running golden goose for Nintendo’s handhelds.

Before anyone starts berating me for the above statement, let me be clear that the fact that I am not so keen on the GBA Pokémon titles does not stem from their storylines, rather it's from the physical layout of the Hoenn region and associated technological restrictions of the era of their original release. I was a huge fan of the fact that Ruby and Sapphire offered up a nice variety of Pokémon players would actually want to use in early wild encounters, and there were some interesting dual-type combinations and naturally-learned movesets among them. Despite all this, my favorites in the series still prove the generation V entries Black and White, as well as the DS remakes Heart Gold and Soul Silver. I even found myself more fond of Platinum, restrictive hiccups, less interesting new Pokémon, and all that, than I did of Ruby and Sapphire.

With these reimaginings running on the same engine as X and Y, I have a great degree of faith that I will enjoy these 3DS counterparts significantly more, as last year’s introduction to the sixth generation of Pokémon came with an abundance of features that made the entire experience not only more accessible, but more enjoyable on the whole. As with my playthrough of Platinum, I’ve ported over a number of low-level Pokémon (courtesy of the Pokémon Bank) to help shape my party. The six Pokémon currently in my possession are by no means the core six I will ultimately use for my Elite Four encounter, though I’d like to think that at least half of them will stay by my side from start to finish.

As I’ve used each of the Hoenn starters in previous Pokémon playthroughs, I will not be utilizing any of them, despite how great each one is. I do, however, currently have two starters in my party that I have never actually used in a proper playthrough of a Pokémon game. Yes, believe it or not, I’ve actually never used Squirtle in a core Pokémon game, save for grinding in post-game content to raise one to a level fifty Blastoise as part of my desire to fill up the National Pokédex. My experience with Chimchar is similar, though at the moment, the fire monkey stands a better chance of remaining in my company longer, as it seems redundant to have two water types in the form of Squirtle and Corpish. Considering I like Corpish’s moveset at present and the typing of his evolved form more than the generation I water starter, that role may have already filled itself, though I won’t write Squirtle out just yet, as I’d like to see how Corpish fairs in the upcoming gyms and routes.

I’ve mentioned in the past how I am a huge fan of both ghost and steel type Pokémon, and while I’ve used nearly every ghost Pokémon in some capacity, Phantump and its evolved form Trevenant have done little more than sit in my PC Box since I first caught them last Fall. I’m rather curious to see how the grass/ghost combination works in the Hoenn region, though, as Pumpkaboo and Gourgeist proved a force to be reckoned with late in my Kalos region adventures. Beldum was one Pokémon I knew I wanted to use from the moment they announced Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire’s existence, and the fact that a shiny Beldum was made available for download from the moment the game hit store shelves was simply a bonus for me. Croagunk was an odball pick, as I'm not usually too hot on poison type Pokémon, but considering its usefulness against grass and fairy types as well as its secondary fighting type being useful against normal, dark, and steel, it offers up quite a lot of potential.

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