I expected to make lots of posts, but with the lack of customization, I ended up not taking many screenshots and most things I really liked are better showcased in videos. Regardless, I’m going to talk about the stuff I enjoyed in the game along with some stuff I didn’t or things that caused me to be more disappointed in other things. This won’t be a proper review (I’m not even sure I’ll be making a review to be honest just yet), but just a log mixed in with some feelings.
The game has a lot of great stuff in it, but I feel most of it comes from the completely new stuff (new story elements, more character development, new areas) versus the stuff that was actually remade.
While maybe I can give character development towards the remade stuff, I found most remade things to be kind of disappointing.
Before I get to disappointing–I will start with one thing I am pretty happy about: Contests are much easier. You do not need to have a completely different move set to stand a chance in contests–getting your Pokemon’s “appearance stat” maxed out is enough. And that is also much easier with the new way Pokeblocks work. I do not know if there is still a limit on how many Pokeblocks you can feed a Pokemon, but if there is I never hit it. And I’m honestly just happy that Contests feel a bit more flexible.
I also really enjoyed the Contest side story. While I had mixed feelings about Lisia at first, I ended up really liking her character as it went on. I would say the biggest issue with contests is the removal of many of the ribbons–now the only ribbons you get are for beating the Master contest which brings 20 ribbons down to 6 (You receive a bonus ribbon for getting the ribbon in each of the others). Since you can skip right to Master once unlocking it, there’s no real reason to do any of the lower difficulties again. I do enjoy this as it really does get quite repetitive after a while, but I would’ve liked to see the ribbons stick around.
Secret Bases were probably the biggest thing I found myself somewhat disappointed with. Despite having bigger bases and many great new designs, the bases felt smaller overall due to the tiny item limit–especially if you wanted to make full use of the Secret Base Pals which each take up a slot. I had gotten incredibly excited with my multi-level secret base, but the place looks nearly empty because I have so much space that I just do not have the ability to actually use due to such a small limit:
I don’t know how long I’ll be keeping the pals along, but it probably won’t be for much longer, sadly.
Similarly, the flags from Gen 4’s Underground were brought back and it’s just…not fun. It wasn’t a fun system in Gen 4 (and I did get the highest rank in Pearl) and I didn’t see much fun for it in ORAS. Especially as hunting down Secret Bases is a lot more tedious than I ever had to deal with in the Underground–the biggest reason for this is because many Secret Bases require certain HMs and/or bike (thankfully, I have both bikes now) to get to. The ridiculous amount of HMs in Gen 3 are one of the worst problems with the remakes in my opinion as they had a great opportunity to actually do something about it and didn’t.
The Eon Flute is a great example of how a key item can remove the need HMs tend to be forced to do–letting the moves just become TMs for those who want them. Despite this, I do not use the Eon Flute that much due to my terrible sense of direction in video games and the fact that it takes longer. Regardless, if HMs were gone in favor of this, I’d take it wholeheartedly.
I’m still pretty down about the lack of customization–seeing all the cut scenes and special events in the story just makes me sadder it’s not in the game. And it’s not even just the Trainer customization, but changing the Battle BG is gone as is changing the border style. It feels any customization beyond Secret Bases were removed and it is really disappointing.
Going back to new features, DexNav is amazing. As someone who really enjoys catching them all, it’s a lot of fun. I do find some of the DexNav exclusives kind of frustrating (let’s not talk about how long it took me to finally get a Growlithe to pop up), but it’s a feature that I feel has been needed for a long time. And thus, it’ll probably be gone next game because that’s usually how it goes.
BuzzNav is kind of cute, but I find I rarely use it. I’m usually busy doing other things and so I rarely end up reading along to it… and it’s really not something you can skim,.
And while the PSS is back, I find myself using it the least out of everything. I never cared much for Super Training and while I enjoyed having Pokemon Amie up more often than not in X/Y, with DexNav being a thing and the fact that I have to start over getting random decorations, I find myself rarely looking at it. PSS is in a similar boat–especially as everytime I see a Passerby of someone with X/Y and their customized trainer, it just makes me more upset.
Mega Audino is easily one of my favorite things about the game. Even though I still have many issues with the entire concept of Megas, I really love her design a lot. Thanks to a friend, I was able to use her a lot sooner too so yay.
Also, the fact that this certificate is a thing is really awesome:
The Secret Base item isn’t nearly as neat though
But yes, in short: I think ORAS did a great job on new features and a lot of the small/special details. I think it did a poor job on “upgrading” some of the stuff they were trying to remake.
For now, I’m just trying to finish my Pokedex and also finish earning contest ribbons on everyone (halfway there). I decided to also finally transfer my Pokemon away from My Pokemon Ranch on the Wii (which Pokemon Bank could’ve been ;~; ) and just… I forgot how terrible the transfer processes are in the Pokemon series. I’m currently working on Gen 5 to Bank and just… ugh, I could cry X___x