Pokemon Ruby - GBA

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Viewed: 2D Top-down, Multi-way scrolling Genre:
Simulation: Virtual Pet
Adventure: Role Playing
Arcade origin:No
Developer: Nintendo Soft. Co.: Nintendo
Publishers: Nintendo (JP/GB)
Released: 21 Nov 2002 (JP)
25 Jul 2003 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 3+
Connectivity: Link Cable


For the benefit of anyone waking from a four-year coma, we feel it important to warn you that Pokemon is not like anything you’ve ever experienced before. For a time at the turn of the millennium, the entire planet was overrun with bizarrely-shaped and oddly-named creatures, whose only reason to existence was to fight.

This made Nintendo more money than it could shake a Jigglypuff at, so much so in fact that Pokemon Ruby, twinned with Pokemon Sapphire for Game Boy Advance is without question one of the most anticipated games the system has ever hosted.

We know a young boy of five who received a pre-release version of Pokemon Ruby through the post. When he unwrapped it, he peed himself with joy. True story. Kids love Pokemon.

There is absolutely no question that Pokemon Ruby, or for that matter, any Pokemon outing, represents perhaps the best value return for gaming ankle-biters. Combining colossal RPG gaming with detailed collection sees children of all ages thoroughly enthralled for weeks on end.

The GBA versions bring an essentially unchanged version of Pokemon to an enhanced platform. Starting in your home village, your pleasant mother sends you off to visit a professor. He then introduces you to the delights of studying Pokemon. You think this is a great idea and set off on a colossal quest to become a master trainer of Pokemon. Sound familiar?

If it isn’t broken, it doesn’t need to be fixed. Just made prettier and bigger.

There are new systems in the game which have been met with mixed reaction. There is an emphasis on using the natural world as you progress, with berries and seeds picked and planted along the way. It also has a real-time clock seeing a constant environmental change, depending on what time you choose to play.

Johto has been replaced by the game’s new setting, Hoenn. Hoenn is not overrun by Team Rocket, with two new sects, Team Aqua and Team Magma. Team Aqua is at large in the Sapphire version, and is hellbent on raising the seas in order to have richer breeding grounds for its water Pokemon. Pokemon Ruby has Team Magma whose bizarre mission is to see volcanoes take over the land for their fire Pokemon to inhabit.

Pokemon Ruby really is a massive game and stands as the best example of its genre. The fun can also be shared via the GBA’s link feature, with trading, battling and so on still the mainstay of what is without question a gaming classic.