Why We Don't Need Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire Remakes
Ever since Pokemon X and Y have been released, people have been clamouring for all the secrets they can find. This has lead to people trying to link as many things as possible to possible remakes of the 3rd Gen Pokemon games, Ruby and Sapphire. Some of these clues seem rather plausible, such as some explicit mentions of rubies, sapphires, and Hoenn. Then there were others that seemed a bit of a stretch like “Hey, Viola says something that kind of resembles something that a random NPC from the Hoenn games said, GEN 3 REMAKES CONFIRMED!” But I feel like a Gen 3 remake feels unnecessary at this point. Here are some reasons that I believe that Ruby and Sapphire might as well stay back in 2002.
Redundant Pokemon are Redundant
One thing I noticed was that a lot of Hoenn Pokemon showed up in X and Y. I saw someone suggest that this large amount of Hoenn Pokemon was probably a hint at Ruby and Sapphire remakes, but to me it honestly made me question all the other hints. Here’s my issue: if you can catch so many Hoenn Pokemon in this game, why would you want another game where you catch all the same Pokemon? The best part of the Gen 1 remakes, Fire Red and Leaf Green, was that you could catch a lot of Pokemon that you couldn’t in Ruby and Sapphire. When I first heard of Fire Red and Leaf Green, I didn’t think “Wow, I can’t wait to use Geodude even though it has been in every single Pokemon game before!” I was more excited at being able to use a Blastoise again after Ruby and Sapphire cut off access to my old one. It just seems backwards to let the player catch a majority of the Hoenn Pokemon in X and Y and then expect them to get excited to play a game that offers nothing new. Plus, one of the few Hoenn Pokemon you couldn’t get in X and Y is being offered as a special gift Pokemon. Right now you can download a Torchic, which is one of the starters from the Gen 3 games. Why let them play with a starter and then sell a game with the same starter? It just doesn’t sound right. It seems more likely that either they’re going to give away gift versions of the other two starters or that they really aren’t planning anything Hoenn related and just wanted to give people a Torchic because it’s final form, Blaziken, is really popular.
And you could argue that there are a lot of old Pokemon, so that there isn’t quite that many Hoenn Pokemon compared to other regions, but that negates the whole “Oh, they’re using a bunch of Hoenn Pokemon so GEN 3 REMAKES CONFIRMED!” argument. Furthermore, putting that maybe old Pokemon in just in general makes me feel like we’re not getting remakes or anything like that this Gen.
New Games and New Experiences over Nostalgia
It was odd to me that people were getting so excited for potential Ruby and Sapphire remakes when it was days before an ACTUAL NEW POKEMON GAME was going to come out. When I was waiting for X and Y to come out, I wasn’t thinking “Hm… I wonder if there will be remakes this Gen” or “man, I really miss all the Hoenn trumpets.” I was thinking “OMG X AND Y IN _ DAYS MY BODY IS READY!” As I played X and Y, I found myself enjoying the series in a way I haven’t since the original releases of Gold and Silver. And even though my favorite Pokemon game to date was Soul Silver, a remake, it was the enjoyment of all the new stuff they added and retooled that made me enjoy it more so that going back and playing Johto. In fact, I daresay I liked it the most in spite of being a remake and not because of it. I really enjoyed the variety in the Safari Zone, the new and improved Team Rocket, and the new legendaries that you could get. Basically, I feel like reliving the same experiences isn’t all that fun. Leaf Green didn’t add much to the first gen games and I never particularly enjoyed it because of that despite the fact that I do like a majority of the Gen 1 Pokemon. Essentially, I find that you get more out of new content than prettying up an old game.
If You Really Need Another Ruby and Sapphire aka The Part Where Jason Argues With Himself
So let’s say that Nintendo is dead set on a Ruby and Sapphire remake despite what I’ve said. If they really would want me to give Ruby and Sapphire another try then they would need to do more than put it in pretty 3D and remake the soundtrack. Since X and Y proved that it’s fun playing with a mixture of different regions Pokemon, I’d say that Ravishing Ruby and Sensational Sapphire (also please Nintendo don’t call them that… or do… I really don’t care at this point) should include not just Hoenn Pokemon but other Pokemon that didn’t make it to X and Y. After all, the Misdreavus and Porygon lines probably have some fans that are disappointed they have to wait for the transfer app. I’m personally not liking the distinct lack of Cofagrigus in my game. So maybe put some variety in. Also if Ruby and Sapphire could take a cue from X and Y and not have EIGHT HM MOVES THAT YOU NEED TO USE TO GET THROUGH THE GAME that would be fine, since most HM moves aren’t very useful so the less you have to use them the better. And since the Pokemon World Tournament side quest, where you could rematch Gym Leaders and fight characters from old games, wasn’t in X and Y I would definitely like it to return in potential Ruby and Sapphire remakes.
One thing that Ruby and Sapphire doesn’t need to take from X and Y is the difficulty… or lack there of. It’s mind boggling to think that Giovanni used more Pokemon on his team than the Kalos Elite Four members. They could even take a page out of Black 2 and White 2’s books and introduce Challenge Mode… except actually give you the option at the beginning of the game. Or maybe they could take a more simply approach and just do the standard “Easy/Normal/Hard” difficulty option. I wouldn't mind not one-shotting all of the Champion’s Pokemon on my first try (except Goodra, he actually took two hits.)
I don’t know for sure whether Gamefreak will do Ruby and Sapphire remakes or not. I don’t think they are necessary and I won’t lose any sleep if they don’t happen. If they do happen, I think it will be a hard sale (at least for me personally) and they will have to do more than make them look prettier.