I was blown away!
When I got my first GameBoy Advance system, in 2003, I had a pretty good selection of games, that I could get for my birthday. I tried to convince my uncle to buy me the GameBoy Advance SP, but I finally just went with Pokemon Ruby instead. And in the end. I was pretty satisfied. The Pokemon series, was just starting to creep into my life, as I would watch it every morning on the Kids' WB. And finally, I was able to play the game. I came into summer camp the next morning, with my GBA, and PKMN Ruby in hand. And everyone looked at me and said "He finally got it." When I jumped into the game, I was aw struck, at how beautiful it looked, and how much the opening scene blew me away. But that's not what I'm here for is it? To tell a life story? No it's not what I'm here for. I'm here to review Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire for the GameBoy Advance.
I had first gotten Ruby, and later persuade my parents, into getting me Sapphire. And I was pleased with both. Nowadays when I hop into the game, I realize a similarity to the 1st Generation of games. When you first try to go into the forest, your stopped, except this time, by a child, that is somewhat smaller than you. But what your supposed to do this time, is go to your neighbors house, to meet Brennan/May, one of your rivals through the game. When you first go to meet them, they tells you they'll be helping there dad, to gather information on Pokemon, and to meet up with them there. You then leave the house, and go into the forest, in which you hear Professor Birch, your rivals father, screaming for help as he is chased by a Poochyena. Your are told to then, go to the bag, grab a PokeBall, and fight the Poochyena off. When successful, you will be taken to his lab, in which he'll give you the Pokemon you saved him with as a reward, and you'll be off on your journey. But you first have to go up to meet your first, rival before you can do anything else. Kind of like the first time, in which you have to fight Blue in Professor Oak's lab, before you can go get the parcel for him.
The story isn't the exact same as in Red, Blue, and Yellow. It's made a bit different, that way it doesn't feel the exact same as the 1st Gen. ones. In this game, you have to fight two teams, in Ruby - Team Magma, going after Groudon, and in Sapphire - Team Aqua going after Kyogre. Your father, happens to be the leader, of the first gym, you ever see, but it turns out to by the fifth gym (not the eight gym, like in 1st Gen.) You end up meeting your second rival at the third Gym, in the city in which you get your bike, and there are many contests, and casino's you can go to in between. But why they would let a 10 year old child go into a casino, in the first place, is beyond me. Silly Game Freak.
Unlike in the Generation before this though, were you are able to go to the Kanto or Johto regions, your only aloud to stay in the Hoenn region in these games. But what Game Freak and Nintendo did to make up for this, was make the game world, a bit bigger than what you saw in previous games, with a bit more items to find, puzzles to solve, Pokemon to catch, and people to meet. And unlike in the future games like Diamond and Pearl and Black and White, the battle system has stayed the same, as it has been in past games, which is okay in my opinion. I think the new generation of games battle system is just a tad bit better.
When it comes to the designs, this is where the designing started to get a little sloppy. Some of the Pokemon, just weren't that cool looking to me, but some looked like they had great designs, and were pleasant to look at (if you know what I mean XD). I really like how they designed, some of the cities in the game, especially the island city, that's later on in the game, where one of your new friends, Steven, lives. They also implemented somewhat of a weather system, that was different in both version when it gets close to the time to catch the legendaries. When it's time to catch Groudon, it gets very light outside, with a very bright sun, and when it's time to catch Kyogre, it gets very windy, and rain, lighting and thunder are produced. Now the trainers, look like they were designed okay, but the male trainer, that you can choose at the beginning of the game, just had a weird looking design. He looked like a cycler, with a strange hat on. What were you thinking Game Freak? That 10 year old children, walk around looking like this all over the world? I've yet to witness this with my own eyes.
Overall the game was very well designed, and I don't quite understand why people bashed it. It seemed as if it was popular enough with people, to get what the older Generations got, which was an extra game, with a few extra features in it, in this case Pokemon Emerald. And it even got a few GameCube, related releases as well, such as the Ruby and Sapphire box, and was compatible with Colosseum and XD Gale of Darkness. The game was a great game, whether it was compatible with these GameCube releases I mentioned or not, and this game is worth your time, so don't turn it down, or you'll end up regretting it like I almost did.