Being a Pokémon fan, I was certainly excited to hear that demo versions of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire would be released. Moreover, I was eager to get a chance to play it myself. Today, the Pokémon Company released demo codes to members of the Pokémon newsletter listserv and boy was I giddy to get that email…
The demo begins with you and Steven (a major character in Pokémon Ruby and Pokémon Sapphire, and logically in Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire) on top of Latios (or Latias) soaring above the region of Hoenn. You arrive in Mossdeep City and quickly encounter some Team Magma members. After some dialogue, Steven offers you a choice between three Pokémon (Grovyle, Combusken, or Marshtomp) to use against them. You then roam Mossdeep City and a nearby island to see what both Teams are planning – shockingly, it’s your job to stop them! The end result of the demo is that you encounter a Pokémon with a new mega evolution – I won’t spoil the surprise for you.
What’s great about this demo is that you can play it more than once. Similar to post-story gameplay within the Pokémon series, you can travel to new locations, see some familiar faces, complete new challenges, and utilize new mega forms. Each time you complete an adventure, you receive a bonus in some form. Whether it’s an item, a new Pokémon, or more characters, something is bound to slightly change on your next go-around in the demo. My one gripe about this is that after you complete the first go-around, the next adventures are incredibly short (less than five minutes). I mean, it is a demo, so I shouldn’t expect hours of storylines, but still, it’s incredibly curt.
What’s even better is that you can transfer these items and Pokémon to your own copy of Pokémon Omega Ruby or Pokémon Alpha Sapphire. This really is a wonderful feature, especially since so many demos (I’m looking at you Destiny) make you start from scratch and essentially makes you forget that you even played the demo.
The graphics and gameplay are essentially Pokémon X and Pokémon Y, but in the Hoenn region. I’m not complaining since those two games translated well onto the Nintendo 3DS and were generally received well.
Overall, I’m pretty satisfied with the demo. The completely original side-storyline, combined with the transferability of items and Pokémon collected, as well as the teases to the games can make any Poké-fan excited for Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire. With just one month left until the North American release, the wait is officially on.
Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire will be available on November 21st in Japan, North America and Australia and November 28th in Europe.