First Impressions: Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire 3DS Demo

Having played Pokémon Ruby religiously as a kid, I was very excited to see that I had been lucky enough to receive a code for the reboot of the series on the 3DS. I was unaware that there was even a demo being released until I received the code and so I dove into it, channeling excitement from my 8 year old self (Wow I feel so old saying that!)

After the nifty introductory scene with your character flying on Latios with Steven, I was hit with an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia when I heard the town music of Mossdeep City. This is one of the great things I gather from the demo, that there are so many things packed in from the original (things I had even forgotten) that you can be hit with nostalgia unexpectedly. An example of this is later on in the demo, the Lavaridge Gym Leader, Flannery, appears on the beach being interviewed by a TV Anchor and Cameraman, a duo that you would often come across in the original series.

Despite having tried to stay true to the originals, you can see that the Pokémon team have worked hard to make the reboot fresh and modern. There has been an overhaul of the story and dialogue which leads to many different and funny situations. When Steven takes your character to meet with a scientist, you are met by two Team Aqua grunts. Their new dialogue makes them seem more true to their characters, and also more witty, with the female grunts’ comment to Steven “even though you happen to totally be my ideal type of guy!” when she suggests a battle.

Going into battle with the Team Aqua grunt shows the extent to which the Pokémon team have catered to the reboot being on the 3DS to bring out its full potential. Watching the battle intro in 3D was stunning with a plume of bubbles floating through the water, while the grunt’s figure stood out from the background. It is equally stunning with the plume of lava spouting up when battling a Team Magma grunt later on in the demo. Their battle theme has also been remastered impeccably.

One of the new remastered themes that I found most interesting was the wild Pokémon battle theme as you can hear elements of the X/Y battle theme mixed in, blending nostalgic and modernistic elements in a balanced, yet striking way. An important element that was introduced in Pokémon X and Y was mega evolution, and this has been improved with a large new roster of Pokémon, and a revised cinematic of your character activating the mega ring that looks like it is straight out of a Pokémon anime. What has also been improved is the evolution screen which incorporates swirling colours rather than just a plain black or white background.

A new feature that is introduced in the demo which I believe has great potential is the Buzznav which appears on the bottom screen. The ability to have the news rolling at the bottom of the screen while you are going about your way could be largely helpful in terms of useful tips being displayed and possibly the locations of Pokémon that you may have been wishing to catch. Another useful feature is the sneak ability whereby pushing lightly on the toggle will make your character sneak which can be used in the grass to sneak upon a Pokémon which can be identified by its cry and a shadowed body part sticking out of the grass.

Overall, for an unexpected demo, there is plenty of content to keep you occupied for a few hours, with a few bonus items and a Pokémon to transfer to the full game, and get you pumped for the release of the full game which I now know I am!