Review Review - Pokemon Emerald (GBA)

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Well-Known Member
Feb 24, 2008
United States
Pokemon: Emerald

Published by: Nintendo
Developed by: Game Freak
Genre: Turn-Based RPG
Number of Players: 1-5
Release Date:
US: April 30, 2005
Japan: September 16, 2004

The last Pokemon installment for the Gameboy Advance. It's an upgrade from Ruby/Sapphire. Same thing with Gold/Silver, where Cyrstal was just a small upgrade. You start off with either a girl or a boy, just like any Pokemon game. In this game the guy has white hair, and girl looks like the girl from the anime. The game begins with your character riding in the back of a moving truck, which doesn't make much since because there's a passenger seat he could ride in. Anyways your obviously moving from the last town to a new house in LittleRoot Town. Just like the last 10 games, your set off on a journey collect and battle with different types of Pokemon. Fighting against up-coming trainers and gym leaders. Your goal is to collect as many Pokemon as you can and make it to the Pokemon League. Which contain the strongest trainers in that specific league, if you defeat them all in one go-round without a rest in between fights, you prove yourself worthy of being a Pokemon master.

In this game your father is head of a Pokemon Gym himself, your journey is partially based on being inspired by your father to become a gym leader. Your first battle comes when an unknown Pokemon Professor has trouble with a Pokemon. He asks you to open his briefcase to use a Pokemon of your choosing. Later on you figure out that his name is Prof. Birch and he's there to help. There's Treeko, a grass Pokemon. Torchic, I fire bird pokemon that can learn fighting moves later on in the game. Then there's Mudkip, a water/ground Pokemon.

It really doesn't matter who you pick, because either way they all have weaknesses. It's entirely your choice from here. Once you defeat the Pokemon the Prof. lends you the Pokemon as his token of appreciation. He also gives you and his daughter Pokedexes. His daughter is your rival, her name is May. You get to give your Pokemon it's own Nickname too. After all of that, your free to go venture the Pokemon World and explore, battle, and catch new Pokemon. Eventually you will run into conflict with Team Magma and Aqua. Aqua is supposedly on your side, Magma is against Aqua. These are two groups of Pokemon trainers, you will keep having to fight these Magma guys over and over through the game. Pokemon are little creatures that wander around the wild, they are basically animals with special powers. That depends on the fighting type.

All of these types have their weaknesses that's why having one Pokemon for each major fighting type is extremely helpful in the long run. Each gym has an overall fighting type, so you should be prepared for those gyms, have one Pokemon on your team that is the weakness to each gyms' fighting type. That makes claiming badges as your own a lot easier. Certain Pokemon evolve when they get to a certain level. When Pokemon evolve, it's like how animals grow, but much faster. When they evolve their attributes raise dramatically, they grow more mature, and they gain more and better moves. Each Pokemon can only learn a maximum of four moves. I really don't like that feature. In the anime Ash has Pokemon that do 6 or 7 moves, unlike in the video game.

The thing that really gets your Pokemon stronger are Trainers. Each time you defeat a Gym Leader, there's always a route that you'll have to follow to go to the next town. In the routes contain blood thirsty Trainers, that are hungry to kill your Pokemon. In your case, these trainers are just easy ways to level. And also, in each routes there are more and more Pokemon to catch, even some you've never seen before. Trainers and Gym leaders aren't the only Pokemon you'll be battling with. Their's wild Pokemon to battle/catch, and you'll have to fight your rival May, 4 or 5 times throughout the game. Each time her Pokemon get stronger, but no matter, your Pokemon should be stronger too aswell, which makes the battles enjoying.

Your Pokemon's moves are defensive/offensive, you should have both if you want you Pocket Monster to be balanced. They added Tag team battle to spicen up the gameplay a bit. If all your Pokemon has are offensive moves, then it would be pretty low on the defensive side. This game is far too easy from what I can tell. The higher level your Pokemon is, the easier the game will be. For the Pokemon League, all you have to do is just fight the same trainers over and over, each time your Pokemon fights it levels up. You get a lot of experience from trainers that have high-level Pokemon.

The most popular feature of this game and any Pokemon game would be playing against your friends or trading Pokemon with them. This is only useful if you have Pokemon that needs to evolve. Or if you have a rare Pokemon in need, you can trade between Leaf Green and Fire Red between Emerald. Which gives you lee-way on the variety of Pokemon available. There are many side-quests in this game, you don't have to go to the Pokemon League so soon. You can go to catch Legendary Pokemon, and other Sidequests that have nothing to do with the storyline.

The graphics for this game are pretty decent, the towns are nice looking, the Pokemon have nice details, there are nice effects in all. The only thing that bothers me is how short everyone is. Some of the effects I like are when your riding your bike you can see trails in the water puddles, also the rain looks pretty well too. The sounds are okay. The music suits each town, the Pokemon sound fine, in their calls and attacks. It's apparent that this version is similar to that of Ruby/Sapphire. If you enjoyed those two, then I recommend you download this game. I wouldn't purchase it, not if I already had Ruby or Sapphire. The game isn't that much of an upgrade to consider buying it if you own the previous games. If you've never played this game before, and you enjoy good RPG games, then you should get this game quick.


Grade = B

Gameplay: 7.5
Graphics: 8
Sound: 7
Value: 9
Tilt: 8
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