Well now, this is my 4th attempt at writing this post, as WordPress decided it didn’t like saving my work, for some reason. I took that as a sort of excuse to take a mini-hiatus from blogging to rest and recuperate, and now i’m back and doing great! So, without any more wait, here’s my review of Pokemon Gen 3!
Generation 3 of Pokemon was an absolutely awesome generation. Bringing in the fantastic Hoenn region, along with a brand-new selection of Pokemon, not to mention my having grown up quite a bit since my Crystal days, the Hoenn region is truly the region that shaped me from a casual player into a Pokemon Master.
As far as design goes, the Hoenn region is by far my favorite region in the Pokemon franchise so far. The volcanic island setting worked perfectly for the games, and because I had very recently gone to Hawaii for the first time, I felt even more enthralled by the beautiful, open setting of this region.
Of course, you can’t talk about the Hoenn region without mentioning the music. Arguably the most well-recognized soundtrack in the franchise, Hoenn is known for liberal usage of trumpets, horns,and guitar. The vibrant, upbeat tracks do more than their due justice to the region itself, and help Hoenn feel even more free and liberating than it already does.
Gen 3 was the first generation of Pokemon that inspired me to pick up and play all three games, not just one, so I went through a playthrough of Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald, in that order. These three games are quite special in that the story is significantly different depending which version you choose to play. The villainous teams, their Pokemon, locations, dialogue, and much more change from version to version, making each playthrough feel unique. So, let’s talk about each game individually for a moment.
Ruby was the first game I grabbed, right off the shelf. Groudon looked so cool in the box art, I couldn’t wait to get into the game and start playing. Of course, after booting it up, I was soon faced with an incredibly difficult decision: What starter should I take? Hoenn has, in my opinion, the best choice of starters in any region, as all three look awesome, and all three are very strong Pokemon in their own right.
I ended up taking a Treecko, which eventually evolved into a Sceptile. My team filled out later with a Shuppet, Numel, Aron, Gyarados, and Swablu (Of course, with an extra Linoone for the HM slave.) Gen 3 was the first generation of Pokemon where I really tried to assemble a strong, well-balanced and cohesive team of battlers, and boy did it pay off. I swept through the game, caught Groudon, and defeated the Elite 4. While Steven was a bit of a pain, I managed to beat him, and became the league champion.
I totally fell in love with my Sceptile during this playthrough, but the MVP of my team was definitely my Altaria. Sporting great defenses, speed, and damage, Altaria pulled me through more than one tight spot, and is still one of my favorite Pokemon.
With one Gen 3 game under my belt, I felt it only fitting that I take a stab at the other game, not really knowing what to expect. While I had enjoyed Maxie and team Magma as foes, I really think they pale in comparison to Archie and his team Aqua. Archie is so charismatic and cool, a far more colorful character than the straight, smart Maxie. Plus, they’re like, pirates!
I took Torchic for my starter this time around, wanting to try out the awesome Pokemon Blaziken, which quickly become one of my favorite starter Pokemon ever. My team filled out with a Ralts, Milotic, Roselia, Flygon, and Armaldo. I wasn’t a fan of Kyogre’s design or moveset, so after being caught, he got to sit in the PC box for eternity.
Aside from Blaziken, two Pokemon managed to work their way into my heart during this specific playthrough: the elegant psychic-type, Gardevoir, and the adorable, tiny little flower Pokemon, Roselia. Between these two Pokemon and my Blaziken, they really carried my party through most of the game. I’d never really used Special sweepers before this playthrough, but both of these Pokemon are, to this day, on my list of my top 10 favorites.
Emerald came out later than the other two games, and i’d been unsure if I wanted to play it or not. However, when it came out, I ended up getting it, and man, was I in for a surprise. The story was completely changed… characters and dialogue, the general plotline, even, were very different from both Ruby and Sapphire. Having never really seen this in a game before, I was blown away.
I grabbed a Mudkip for my starter Pokemon. Later additions included Breloom, Exploud, Torkoal, Skarmory, and Grumpig. Not my best team composition, but more than good enough to blast my way through the game with relative ease. I’d never really taken the chance to catch Rayquaza in the previous games, so I took the chance in Emerald. By some stroke of blind luck, the first shiny Pokemon I ever encountered in the wild in any Pokemon game was a shiny Rayquaza. I transferred this Rayquaza forward into later versions, and still have him to this day, currently on my copy of Black 2.
These games are absolute classics. From the memorable, bombastic setting and soundtrack, the awesome story, and the many, MANY Pokemon introduced in this version that have stayed favorites of mine for a very, very long time, this is a game that defined and shaped my childhood a great deal.
And there you have it, guys; another trip down the crosswalk between memory lane and ranting boulevard. My love for the Pokemon series is probably pretty apparent, and these games are very close to my heart. Even though they’re not my favorite games from the series, they’re very, very nearly there.
Thank you guys so much for reading. Let me know if you guys have any cool experiences playing the gen 3 Hoenn games, and if you’re a fan of the Hoenn trumpets like me!