Editorial: A Healthy Hoenn

Here it is, the third editorial in this series all about the different generations of Pokemon. For this edition, it is all about the Hoenn region and the games Pokemon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald while briefly touching on their remakes Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. Without further ado, time to dive right into to the water soaked region known as Hoenn.

You have to catch ’em all!

Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire launched in late November of 2002, just about 2 years after the launch of Pokemon Crystal. They were the first two main entry Pokemon games on the Nintendo Game Boy Advance, launching Pokemon into an insane frenzy of being even more convenient to carry around with the player, thus furthering their descent into Poke-based chaos. Really, the Hoenn region was gigantic for the time on such a portable gaming device. Hours upon hours of gameplay was right there in the player’s hands, and they just had even more time to catch ’em all.

Adeki spent more time in the Battle Factory than he did in the main game.
An entire new frontier to battle in…a Battle Frontier! Awesome naming skills, Game Freak.

Now, coming from the Johto region, Hoenn added a lot of changes when it came to battling and transportation. A smart change to battling would be the abilities for flying Pokemon to now become immune to ground-type attacks, something that was not the standard in previous games. This was also paired with the inclusion of Double Battles to add some energy into the mix, thus creating new strategies as to how to use specific Pokemon moves and a new layer of depth. Now, arguably the most important new feature in Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire is Pokemon Contests. That is correct, Pokemon Contests, where the player shows off their Pokemon’s beauty, intellect, cuteness, or other physical traits, might just have revolutionized the gaming industry. The player can now decorate their Pokemon and then have it compete like a pageant girl! Albeit, without the weird usage of vicariously living through their Pokemon or the new development of anorexia.

Though, try not to look at those creepy-ass anime eyes your friend is rocking.
Look at how far Pokemon has come, all within the span of a little more than a decade.

Now, the culminating edition of the Hoenn region, Pokemon Emerald launched just about two years after Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire in September of 2004. The greatest addition found in this new game was undoubtedly the Battle Frontier, an area with a series of different Pokemon based challenges that gives the player even more reason to keep coming back to Pokemon Emerald. A fan favorite activity in the Battle Frontier is undoubtedly the Battle Factory, which supplies the player with random Pokemon that have preset values and moves that can be completely different from the Pokemon the trainer might have spent hours training by themselves. Meanwhile, the remakes Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire unfortunately do not have this area, but do include a ridiculous amount of new features when compared to the base games. One of the biggest changes is obviously bringing these originally 2D games into 3D graphics on the Nintendo 3DS, fleshing them out in ways unseen before and breathing new air into aged locations.

So, that really is it when it comes to the Hoenn region. What do you think of the originals? Do they maintain their classic appeal or do their remakes reign supreme? Make sure to leave a comment below to let us know what you think.


  1. I hope my Pokemon, sporting now-classic 1990’s heroin chic, will win all of Pokemon Contests!

    In reality, however, I’ve only just begun playing my first Pokemon game; having picked up Pokemon X for my 3DS. I would definitely describe it with words like ‘cute’ and ‘colorful’, but I haven’t been smitten by the PokeUniverse just yet. Then again, I have less than an hour invested.

  2. @Sebastian: One of the things about Pokemon is that it is superficially quite simplistic. The actual depth is all stuff that is hardly mention in the game, and which requires a bit of looking around on the internet to learn: breeding, IVs, EVs, traits, and so on.

    There’s a moment at the beginning of Disgaea where one of the NPCs mentions Item World (I think) and says that it is complicated, but also that the player shouldn’t worry because the game is easy enough to beat even if the player never learns anything. That goes for Pokemon as well: you can beat the game and get through the ‘story’ without ever bothering to learn about breeding the best possible Pokemon customised to destroy worlds. But the real fun comes in putting together an amazing team and collecting all the Pokemon you want.

    For others, the fun comes from actually trying to ‘catch them all’–something that Imitanis was trying to do for a while.

    And then for others there are competitions and battles, tournaments and all the ‘PvP’ stuff you’d expect.

    Really, Pokemon is a sort of venue for a bunch of different kinds of interests. If one doesn’t tick the right boxes for you, another might, but the chances are that you will not encounter any of these in the basic ‘play-through’ of the game. Instead, you’ll need to start snooping around and trying to find out things about the world of Pokemon. Then, you will be amazed at just how deep the rabbit-hole goes.

  3. @Lusipurr I think I’d be more interested in breeding a powerful Pokemon, and winning tournaments, than collecting. But the depth you describe is intriguing; and my tastes might change as I progress into the world.

    My problem at present is that I am a little ways into a number of games. It’s like snacking. I’m not getting real gaming nourishment; I’m simply indulging myself at a whim. I keep waiting for a game to engross me, but maybe I’m just being entitled.

  4. I’ve been reading you Pokémon articles! I just didn’t continue the series after Blue, so I don’t have much to relate with them. Instead I got into a German series like it called Glümbugs. Still looking forward to the next article though!

  5. It’s Glümbugs, with an uumlaut. Die Glüm Aktiengesellschaft came out with a whole line of related toys besides Glümbugs dolls, like Glümblocks, Glümglop, Glümrüm playsets, and you could even get Glümfüd over there (I didn’t care to import this stuff though).

  6. @Dancing Matt Are you taking a piss? “Glümbugs” doesn’t appear to exist on even the German Googles.

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