Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Review No. 57 Pokémon Emerald - GBA (3+)

Strong Points:
Brilliant Story
Lots to do
Good gyms
Two bikes
Secret hideouts
Good Enemy Teams
Music is amazing
Pokémon sprites are good
Battle Frontier
Contests are good
Pokécentres and Pokémarts 
Cycling Road
Pokénav is awesome

Weak Points:
Can't level up very quickly
Trading is difficult
Wi-Fi events has finished and were quick to do so
Battle Frontier is overpowered compared to the league
Not much of a rival
Controls are slightly unsensitive
Your animation isn't as good as the Pokémon

In-depth Review:

Release Dates:
Japan: September 16, 2004
North America: May 1, 2005
Australia: June 9, 2005 
Europe: October 21, 2005

D- Pad: move
A: select command
B (hold): run/make bike jump and go fast
Start: menu

This game is just amazing. That's all I have to say but if I only said that this wouldn't be much of a review so here is the good and bad. The music, sound effects and Pokémon sprites are just so polished for its time as is the overworld. Places like the Cycling Road and Trick House are fun little minigames on their own although won't keep you entertained for that long although the Battle Frontier and the Contests offer a more permanent solution and are almost little little games of their own.

The storyline isn't as deep and immersive as some of the games we have now but is just as fun to play and doesn't take away the important factors of capturing, trading and battling which makes the main series Pokémon game. You are a kid who has just moved town and are about to start on your Pokémon adventure meeting your rival on the way and battling the evil teams Magma and Aqua The gyms are good as always and while the league isn't as fun as some of the other games, the Battle Frontier more than makes up for it.

The Battle Frontier is a mix of seven 'uber' gyms which all employ a certain technique in there battling. They are: Battle Tower, Battle Palace, Battle Factory, Battle Pyramid, Battle Dome, Battle Arena and Battle Pike.  These can earn you BP (battle points) which can be exchanged for prizes and medals. The Battle Frontier is however overpowered when compared to the league and can only be unlocked post-story.

Contests earn you ribbons which are equipped to the Pokémon you use and are a good accessory for gloating rights. However, they don't do much else besides that although are a fun little past time which doesn't need to much training.

This is good because although the Pokénav gives you a chance to re-battle trainers, they don't advance levels with you, so it is quite difficult to train up e.g. I have spent around the same amount of time (100 hours) on Pokémon Emerald and Pokémon White. In Emerald, my starter is LV60 while in White, my starter is LV100. This is probably also due to the Battle Frontier, which I have spent the most time on, doesn't give you any experience points.

Secret Hideouts are also fun although slightly difficult to do and there aren't enough items. The controls and animations for your character are also not as good as the Pokémon which is a shame. Because this is before the age of wireless and Wi-Fi, you had to hook up a link cable/ wireless adapter to trade and get Wi-Fi events which made it difficult and time consuming.

Finally, two things which I wish had stayed on in later games: two bikes and the Pokécentre and Pokémart. The two bikes (Acro and Mach) both have different abilities (tricks and speed) which can aid you in the game. Personally, I also like the Pokécentre and Pokémart being in separate buildings (unlike Pokémon Black and White's joint buildings) as I think it made the towns more vibrant.

Conclusion: overall, this is just a truly epic game.

Rating: 95%

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

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