Tag Archives: Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire

Refresher in the Hoenn Region

Pokemon Omega Ruby was pretty much the only video game I spent any real time playing this past weekend.  I did log into EVE Online to keep my planetary interaction operations going, and I updated and played a match in World of Tanks, but that was about it.

Of course, part of that was because my wife and I have been binge-watching Breaking Bad over the last week or so.  Binge watching TV means sitting on the couch, away from my computer.  But the 3DS handheld and Pokemon can sit with me on the couch.  I listen to the dialog from the TV as I play, putting the game down to watch the show when talking leads to action.

The combined activities meant I was able to get through the first six gyms in Pokemon Omega Ruby as well as resolving the main Team Magma/Team Aqua plot point.

Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire

That is one of the differentiation between the two games.  In Omega Ruby you fight Team Magma and are somewhat assisted by Team Aqua, while in Alpha Sapphire the reverse is true.  Both teams have a Bond villain scale plan for exploiting the powers of a legendary Pokemon in order to change the world and both realize the folly of their ways and come to you, the young hero, to resolve the problems they have wrought, all before you’ve even finished the last two city gyms.

It does feel a bit odd… or maybe anti-climactic, though since you the Hoenn region was facing a cataclysm, that term might be a bit too on the nose… to resolve what is ostensibly the main story line so far ahead of facing the elite four and winning the Hoenn league championship.

Then again, the real story line is, as ever in Pokemon, your own.

The whole thing has been a good refresher for the pair of games.  When they came out back in late 2014 I was coming off of the binge cycle and only played part way through, so when Pokemon Sun & Moon were looming I quickly picked up my copy of Alpha Sapphire and finished off the last essential bits… story line, elite four, and championship… before putting the game down to pick up Pokemon Sun.

Having run through it again I now know where I stand in the context of both games and can probably go chase down the post-championship legendary Pokemon in the pair.

Of course, going back to Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire meant doing without some of the game improvements that came in with Sun & Moon.  I do miss the simplicity of storage box management in the new games and it is a pain to have to return to gimping your team by having to make them learn specific HM moves like Surf and Fly in order to be able to move around the world. (Teaching a Pokemon an HM also used to lock it into that game.)  I also keenly miss the ability to remove status conditions after battle via the refresh option (have to drop a potion instead) and being able to put eggs into the Poke Pelago to hatch them.

On the flip side, Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire have some nice features of their own.  The built in region map is good and the local map that tells you whether or not you have caught all the Pokemon types that spawn in the vicinity is very handy.  The ability to soar over the landscape on Latios/Latias is  pretty spiff, and the Pokemon stats training is nice, though not as convenient as the Poke Pelago.

The one thing Nintendo does do is kill most of the back end support for a Pokemon title once a successor has been shipped.  While download events still happen, all the title specific special items have been turned off as has the social connectivity and the Global Trade Station access.  So if I want to wheel and deal and trade Pokemon I get from the game I need to use Pokemon Bank to get them into Pokemon Sun, at which point I can use the GTS there.

Anyway, I am still plugging away at Pokemon for now.

When You Have Finished Pokemon But Still Want to Play Pokemon

My video game play preferences tend to be subject to a certain amount of… hrmm… variability.

If I am into a game at a given point in time, I play it a lot and don’t want to put it down.  If I am not into a game… well, no amount of telling myself I should play can get me to log in.

No doubt, if you follow the blog closely (I’m sorry), you will have noted my changing whims and passions when it comes to video games.  I think that is pretty normal, when it comes down to it.  I might be a bit more binge-y than some, but things change and interests wane.  Sometimes a game is done and sometimes you are done with a game.

But what do you do when you have finished the game but still want to play?

Such is my issue with Pokemon at the moment.

For me, Pokemon is one of my most binge-y games.  I am either really into it and play every day, or I am not into it and can’t bring myself to take my 3DS off the charger.

Right now I am really into having quite enjoyed Pokemon Sun.  Unfortunately, I have pretty much done everything I wanted to in the game.  I finished the story, defeated the elite four, became champion, captured all of the island Tapu Pokemon, captured the ultra beasts in the end game story, and completed the Alola pokedex.

Alola Pokedex at 100%

But I still want to play, so I have pottered around a bit, upgraded Poke Pelago all the way, gotten the Festival Plaza up to level 76, and considered filling out the National Pokedex again.

However, the National Pokedex situation is… sub-optimal.  In a way, I like that it is in Pokemon Bank, so it can take data from any of the 3DS Pokemon games.  But in order to check where you stand, you have to log out of Pokemon Sun… and that takes a bit as the game taxes the old 3DS some… then open up Pokemon Bank, updated the Pokemon stats, and get the listing of what you have seen/captured so far, then save and close that out and launch Pokemon Sun again, at which point if I haven’t written down my next few goal Pokemon they will have fallen out of my short term memory already.  The joys of being old.

So the only key thing left to do is build up a team to battle other players… some might say that is the whole point of the game… but that is one aspect of Pokemon I am not really into.  When I get to that I lose interest and never get anywhere.

But I still want to play Pokemon.

No problem, I have a lot of older Pokemon games.  In fact I think, between my daughter and I, we own all but one of the DS/3DS series of Pokemon games.  Neither of us has Pokemon Yellow, but other than that we are covered.

If I wanted to use this play time to work on the National Pokedex I would have to limit myself to the 3DS titles or Pokemon Black & White / Black & White Version 2, since those are the only ones that can place Pokemon direction into Pokemon Bank.  Still, we have all of those titles.

Then there was the other issue, in that almost all of those games are “done,” at least for specific definitions of the word.  I am bad at going back to old games that are in progress and picking them back up again.  And, while you can erase and restart Pokemon games, I am also loathe to wipe out past efforts.

So I decided I would pick up a new copy of a title I had not played myself from the Nintendo eShop.  That left me with four choices, Pokemon Moon, Pokemon Yellow, Pokemon Omega Ruby, and Pokemon X.  I have played through companion titles for all of those games, which were Pokemon Sun, Pokemon Blue, Pokemon Alpha Sapphire, and Pokemon Y.  The variations of Black & White were out because you they are only available at retail at this point used or at inflated prices.

As much as I enjoyed Pokemon Sun, Pokemon Moon was too similar and I had just wrung about all the content I wanted out of the pair, having played my daughter’s copy for a bit to finish up the Alola Pokedex.

Playing Pokemon Blue was an interesting archeological exercise, a delve into the history of the series, but not something I was keep to repeat, even if Pokemon Yellow has color.

Pokemon Y was enjoyable enough, but the Kalos region didn’t thrill me and this first attempt at 3D in Pokemon was awkward at times as the camera seemed determined to keep you from looking in the direction you needed at times.

All of which left me looking at Pokemon Omega Ruby.  Not a bad choice.  The game has been out for a while and is available at the Nintendo eShop.

It also has a extensive end-game involving the capture of legendary Pokemon to keep me going.

Finally, while I finished up Alpha Sapphire, I only just got there.  It was the at the end of my binge cycle, so picking it up again… and I tried for a bit… has left me stumbling around.  Better to start fresh again.  Also, there is a bit of the Civilization aspect to this, where starting off is often one of the most enjoyable aspects of the game… once you get past the tutorial telling you things you know already.

So I downloaded it and started off.  Since I had already fulfilled the house rules obligation to not start with the same Pokemon as my daughter, I felt free to pick the fire type starter Pokemon, Torchic.

He is adorable

How he is described:

As cute as Torchic looks, this Pokémon can shoot fireballs of more than 1,800 degrees F out of its mouth and scorch its foes as black as cinders.

It is a pity that he evolves into rather less attractive forms. (See the starter Pokemon for the game here.)  But such is the way with Pokemon, the starters are always cute but lose that aspect as they evolve.

I kicked off the new game last night and, being in binge mode, am already two gyms in.  I did consider running the game as a Nuzlocke challenge, but decided against it.  I just wanted to dive in and collect them all, as the motto goes.  I might try Nuzlocke another time.

I have gotten used to some of the great features that Game Freak put into Pokemon Sun & Moon… I do miss just being able to drag and drop in the storage box for example, and having to burden Pokemon with HMs for travel and such will be annoying… but Pokemon Omega Ruby has some good aspects of its own, like letting you know when you’ve caught all the Pokemon in a given area.  We shall see how long my current passion/binge can sustain me.

From Alola Pokedex to National Pokedex in Pokemon Sun

I did it.  I finished the Alola Pokedex in Pokemon Sun.

Alola Pokedex at 100%

It took a bit of work.   I ran the final series of missions that send the player off to catch the ultra beast Pokemon.   The missions send you out to catch five different ultra beasts, along with having to engage in three trainer battles to prove you are up to the task, before you are done and rewarded with 1,000,000 in the local currency for the effort.

I did the missions and caught the five ultra beasts.  The catch is that there are seven ultra beasts, two of which only appear in Pokemon Sun and two which only appear in Pokemon Moon.  So, in order to get all seven, which is required to complete the Pokedex, you have to trade… trade or own two copies of the game or, in my case, use your daughter’s copy of the game.

So I grabbed my daughter’s 3DS and looked into doing the missions on her copy of Pokemon Moon, since she had no interest in doing so herself.  She finished up the main story back in December, long enough ago that she couldn’t remember if she had defeated the Elite Four.  It turned out she had, though with a really odd team… odd to me anyway… so I ended up trading my team over to her game to run through the missions.

Once I completed them I traded my team back to my copy of Pokemon Sun, then swapped two of the Sun-only ultra beasts for two of the Moon-only ultra beasts (you end up catching multiple of both) and the Alola Pokedex was finally complete.  You only need 300 for that, but I hit 301 because of the Magearna download, which you get by using the QR scanner.

I then went to the GameFreak office in the game and got my trainer book stamped to mark the achievement.

Achievement notarized

After that I figured it was time to unlock the National Pokedex.  The ritual for that in past Pokemon titles generally involved going to speak to the local tree-named Pokemon Professor to get them to unlock the National setting on your Pokedex.  But when I spoke to the shirtless Professor Kukui, he was still giving me the same line he had last time I spoke to him.  There was no mention of a Pokedex upgrade.

After poking about a bit more, I headed to Google to search up the answer.

As it turns out, there is no National Pokedex within Pokemon Sun & Moon.  This was a bit of a let down.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to attempt it, but being denied the opportunity stung a bit.

I was instead directed to Pokemon Bank, Nintendo’s Pokemon cloud storage application.  It had been upgraded back in January to integrate with Pokemon Sun & Moon, something I mentioned in a Friday bullet point post.  The app has its own rather sparse site here.

How things line up now

One of the features I did not notice… and which really wasn’t called out all that well… was the integration of the National Pokedex option into Pokemon Bank.  That is all you get with Sun & Moon.

I have Pokemon Bank, because of course I do, so I went in to check it out.  If you launch it, choose Pokemon Sun or Moon, and go to the menu, there is now a Pokedex option.

Accessing the Pokedex

This went off and catalogued what I had collected in Pokemon Sun and gave me a total.

My total for Pokemon Sun

That gave me a total of 330 Pokemon, both caught and seen.  I had moved some of the legendary Pokemon from last year’s distributions last year over to the game along with a few of the starter Pokemon from past titles in anticipation of a National Pokedex hunt.  330 isn’t bad, but the total is over 800, so I was far from there.

Pokemon Bank also lets you view the Pokemon in a table view by generations if a simple number isn’t enough for you… it certainly isn’t enough for me.

First gen Pokemon, Bulbasaur through Mew

As you can see, I moved some over, but Pokemon Sun & Moon also included a lot of Pokemon from past generations as well, which was a good thing I think.

In all it was kind of neat… though after using the new box interface in Pokemon Sun & Moon, navigating felt very awkward… but was I really going to have to move everything to Sun & Moon to finish the National Pokedex?

But then I wondered… since it didn’t actually say this anywhere… if this was actually a cross-title National Pokedex.  If I had it scan other Pokemon Bank compatible titles, would those sum up into a single National Pokedex?  So I had it scan Pokemon Y and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire, and the answer is yes, it is a single cross-title National Pokedex.

My totals across the three titles

So there it is.  Across the three titles I have caught 512 types of Pokemon and have seen 650.  That gets me a little closer to the past 800 number of the total National Pokedex.

Pokemon Bank also gives you some stats as well under Adventure Records.

Wild Pokemon Encounters

You can tell the game I worked on the Pokedex hardest.

This also means that if I want to work on the National Pokedex, my best option is probably to go back to Pokemon Y and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire and finish up the regional Pokdexes in those games.

My Pokemon Y stats… and see, National Pokedex built-in

The problem there is that going back to earlier games means giving up whatever UI and control improvements the current generation has introduced, and Pokemon Sun & Moon really went far in improving controls, especially for simple things like handling Pokemon in your storage.

Still, that might be a thing to pursue.  I am pretty much done with Pokemon Sun since I don’t do battles and such.  Catching them all is generally the end of a title for me, and I haven’t caught them all yet in the past versions.  So it is play older titles or wait for the next new title to be announced.  The thing is, I think I already know what the next title will be.  But that is a topic for another post.

Victory in the Hoenn Region

As I noted in my Friday post, my plans for the weekend’s gaming revolved around Pokemon Alpha Sapphire.  With Pokemon Sun & Moon just a week away I wanted to at least get a bit of closure and finish off the main story line of the game.  To cut to the chase, I made it.

Champion of the Hoenn League

Champion of the Hoenn League

I ran down the Team Aqua story line, got the last two gym badges, made my way up Victory Road, and defeated the elite four and the previous Pokemon League Champion, Steven.

He was happy enough to see me

He was happy enough to see me

I didn’t even cheese through with high levels… much.  I did go grab a couple of level 50s I had from past download events.  There was a Typhlosion (to give me some fire power) from the Pokemon Bank incentive way back and a Serperior (rounding the started types with a plant Pokemon) from another special code event that joined my party.  But otherwise it was mostly the same crew I started off with.  I had my starter Pokemon, once a Mudkip and now a Swampert, and the shiny Bedlum from the launch event which evolved into a Metagross.  The Latias you pick up along the way, and a Ninjask I was mostly using to hold HMs, rounded out my party.  They were all in the high 50s/low 60s for the final challenge and had just enough of a skill spread that I decided to give them a run before I loaded up a team with level 100s to just roll over the end.

And I made it.  I used a lot of potions between battles, and the final match against Steven was an awkward Metagross vs. Metagross standoff for a bit while I revived Kipper the Swampert where he finished things off with the move earthquake.

This could have gone on for a long time...

This could have gone on for a long time… they had both just healed up again

And then it was time to roll the credits.  I actually sat and watched them all the way through, which was good because they actually inject scenes of you and your Pokemon along the way.  Then, at the end of the credits you get to fight one more battle.

May just won't take "No" for an answer

May just won’t take “No” for an answer

After that there is a teaser for some of the additional content and a closing graphic.

Pokemon life

Pokemon life

Of course, while I became champion, I am nowhere near actually finishing the game.  I bypassed a lot of optional content in my final sprint, I accidentally defeated Kygore before catching him, there are other legendary Pokemon to catch, the usual Pokedex to finish, and a whole series of post-victory items, including the Delta Episode story line.

I may get back to that at some point.  But playing over the weekend set me up with a taste for more, so when Pokemon Sun & Moon arrives on Friday I will be ready to go.

Weekend Plans in the Hoenn Region

Despite the main thread of any given Pokemon game being a solitary endeavor, part of the fun of playing Pokemon for me has been playing with my daughter.  As with much of gaming, having somebody to talk with and share the experience with enhances the whole experience.

Which explains why Pokemon has tapered off for me.  Aside from a burst of time earlier this year playing Pokemon Blue, I haven’t really got out the 3DS for anything aside from the monthly distribution events.

My daughter also finds having people around her who play Pokemon stimulates her interest in the game, though for her that comes mostly from her peers at school.  In middle school her circle of friends had little or no interest in Pokemon, so she stopped playing and thus so did I.

So while we bought copies of the last major Pokemon release two years back, neither of us finished the game.

PokemonAlphaOmega_450

My daughter started the game, but then stopped just two gym badges in.  I kept going for a while, hoping to lure her back.  But she wasn’t interested, something that killed my interest, and so I left off after six gym badges.

Lately though my daughter, now in high school, has started hanging out with a happy group of friends who are into video games.  And while that has gotten her to play League of Legends (Lord help me) another game on the list is Pokemon.  One of her friends has been bugging her to finish up Pokemon Omega Ruby, to the point that she actually picked it up this week and has quickly caught up to me, with six gym badges and now just arriving in Lilycove City.

So, of course, I had to take up the 3DS as well to see if I could figure out where I left off.  The path though the Hoenn Region is a complicated.

Hoenn region revamped

Hoenn region

Fortunately, I bought the accompanying strategy guide available for the game, so I can follow that through and hopefully figure out where I should be headed after a long stay in Lilycove City.

And the goal for the weekend is to get through to the Elite Four and finish up the game.  The real question is how much do I want to cheese through the end?  Having downloaded all those legendary and mythical Pokemon this year, I have a small army of level 100 Pokemon that I can control once I get that 8th gym badge.  We shall see how I feel when I get there, but I would like to wrap the game up before next Friday when Pokemon Sun & Moon should arrive.

Pokemon 20th Anniversary Download Events Kick Off with Mew

Later this month Pokemon will celebrate its 20th anniversary.

There will be all sorts of things going on to mark the occasion, but for the serious Pokemon player, the download events will be a key element of the whole show.  There will be 11 special mythical Pokemon to download this year, starting this month with Mew.

The Mew you can have...

The Mew you can have…

To get Mew you have to run out to a participating GameStop to get a code that will enable the download.  My daughter and I have already been to our local GameStop.  This is what the card looks like, front and back.

Mew GameStop Card

Mew GameStop Card

This download event is limited to the 3DS versions of the classic Pokemon RPG series, Pokemon X & Y and Pokemon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire.

For more about what they are doing to celebrate 20 years of Pokemon visit the Pokemon 20 site.

  • March – Celebi
  • April – Jirachi
  • May – Darkrai
  • June – Manaphy
  • July – Shaymin
  • August – Arceus
  • September – Victini
  • October – Keldeo
  • November – Genesect
  • December – Meloetta

Pokemon Download Event – Get Serperior, Emboar, and Samurott

I haven’t written about Pokemon in a while, mostly because I have been a slacker on the Nintendo front recently, largely thanks to garrisons in World of Warcraft.  I only have five gym badges in Alpha Sapphire.  But I still pay attention to the franchise and Nintendo sends me updates, like this one!

Between now and November 15, 2015, players of Pokemon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire can download level 50, fully evolved versions of the starter Pokemon from Pokemon Black & White.

PokemonORASDownloadsUnlike most past download events, where you could just get the Pokemon over the internet, this one requires you to use the get with code option.  Fortunately, the codes are not too difficult, as they each correspond to their National Pokedex identity.  They are:

  • for Serperior enter POKEMON497
  • for Emboar enter POKEMON500
  • for Samurott enter POKEMON503

Otherwise the download follows the usual rules and requires you to stop by a Pokecenter in game in order to pick up the downloaded Pokemon.  They each have a special ability that will make them powerful/annoying in competitive play.  My downloaded Samurott, as an example, is immune to crits.  Fun.

And while I am always keen to download any Pokemon that Nintendo cares to throw my way, this event does illustrate one of my problems with the franchise.  I am often quite enamored with the initial versions of Pokemon, but the evolutions don’t really do much for me.  So while those three Pokemon are undeniably powerful, part of me wishes they stayed looking like these guys:

Snivy, Tepig, and Oshawott

They started as Snivy, Tepig, and Oshawott

Finally, you cannot just enter other National Pokedex numbers to download other Pokemon.  I tried on the off-chance that it would work.  It doesn’t… at least for none of the combinations I tried.  I didn’t think it would work, but I felt I had to give it a shot.