Pokemon: Sapphire Version

a game by Nintendo
Platform: GBA
Rating: 8/10
See also: Pokemon Games

Welcome to the beautiful region of Hoenn, home of all sorts of interesting people, places, and Pokemon: Sapphire Version. It's up to you to explore the region and see if you can find, capture, and train over 200 different types of Pokemon. Of course to do it, you'll also need Pokemon: Ruby Version.

Pokemon: Sapphire Version is similar to previous Pokemon games on the GBA. It's more or less a standard RPG style game where you walk around, talk to people, acquire items, train Pokemon and challenge other trainers to duels. In general, I'm not much of a Pokemon fan but I found myself becoming strangely addicted to this game and before I knew it a couple of hours had already passed. Part of the reason for that is how easy this game is to learn. Most actions in the game are menu based and while there are a lot of menus and options it doesn't take long to figure out what's what if you don't mind reading. And there is a lot of reading in this game ' in fact, the box even says 'Basic reading ability is needed to fully enjoy this game'?. They aren't lying, you'll need to read and talk to many people to find out useful information. As you move along in the game new items also become available to you and while the game gives some subtle hints as to what to do with them, it's still up to you to figure out how best to use them. Likewise you'll also need to figure out which Pokémon work well against other types of Pokemon. As you battle other trainers' Pokemon, your Pokemon gain experience, bolster up their attributes, and learn new attacks. And if single battles aren't enough, you can occasionally double your pleasure in two-on-two battles or link up with a friend to trade or battle!

The graphics are very typical for a game released by Nintendo ' clean and cartoony. During the overhead view portion of the game the graphics are a bit iconic, but during battles you can see greater detail of your Pokemon. I was more impressed with the music and sounds, though. There is a lot of different and cool sounding music and it never seemed to get annoying at all. There isn't much to say about the controls since this isn't really an action game. Move the control pad and you move your character or select items in a menu and that's about it. They do what they should when you want so there are no complaints here.

The beauty of this game is that you can play it at face level and just enjoy the battles or if you're really into Pokemon you can research every little aspect in the game and try to collect 'em all and become a human Pokedex. It's range like this that makes this game easily accessible to just about all ages and as such if you're into RPG's at all or want to start playing one, you should give Pokemon a try or if you're into Pokémon then quit reading this and just go pick up a copy because you know you need it.

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