And now, I shall bring you my first rant.
I’m a 90’s kid, so naturally, I grew up in the golden age of Pokemon. It’s always been something I loved. Although the series has, in recent years, went a bit downhill, it amazes and upsets me that people can look at me with a straight face and tell me that Generation Three (Hoenn/Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald) was the worst out of them all.
I can’t even…
What is wrong with people?
Gen Three has it’s flaws. All Pokemon games do. However, to sit there and say that Generation Three is the worst is just ridiculous. I won’t say which I think is the worst, but Gen Five is infamous for a reason. I’m hoping Gen Six learned from Gen Five’s mistakes.
So, here’s the biggest criticisms I’ve heard aganist Hoenn:
1. The ‘broken’ attack system.
2. The lack of night and day
3. The ‘horrible’ Pokemon designs.
4. The bad plot.
Allow me to dissect this piece-by-piece.
First of all, I’m not even going to humor the bad Pokemon designs argument. Let us compare the starters of all five generations, shall we?
Really? Are you really going to say that Gen Three has the worst designs out of all of them? *Cough* GENFIVE *Cough*
Now, don’t mistake this as me saying that I think Gen Five is the worst all-around, but I do agree with the general opinion that it has some of the worst designed Pokemon. Gen Three certainly doesn’t. Hoenn gave us some truly unique designs, like the dragon-dragonfly crossover (and my favorite Pokemon of all time) Flygon, the jet-themed Legendaries, Latios and Latias, Milotic, Rayquaza, Absol, Aggron, Salamence, the ONLY Dragon Type that isn’t pseudo-legendary: Altaria, the first Legendary set that wasn’t Fire, Water/Ice, and Electric: the Regis, the first Fire/Fighting starter: Blaziken… I could go on and on, but my point has been made.
What did Gen Five give us?
Oh, right. The solution to our nation’s landfills. Thanks, GameFreak. This is clearly a better Pokemon than ANYTHING in Gen Three.
On a more serious note, to be fair, Gen Five DID add some things to the series. It gave us arguably the best storyline, and a very deep and emotional character through N. However, I’m here to defend Gen Three, not Five.
And speaking of storylines…
Once again, Gen Three wasn’t the worst. I actually think Gen Three was the turning point as far as plot goes in the Pokemon series. I know I’m going to get a lot of shaking heads at this, but here goes nothing: I think Gen One has the worst plot, and Gen Two isn’t a whole lot better. Before you slam your computers shut in a blind fury, hear me out.
The original Pokemon games weren’t made with plot in mind. They had a revolutionary new idea for an RPG, and gave the series the most bare-to-the-bone story they could. Red and Blue focused more on gameplay than story, so they gave it a few main concepts:
1. Catch creatures and raise them to fight.
2. Give the player a rival to test their growth at key points.
3. Battle Gym leaders to become the champion.
4. Throw in an evil organization for the player to thwart a few times.
That was Gen One in a nutshell. Gen Two was still an experimentation stage , so they didn’t push things. They added a bit more to the series, like genders, breeding, night and day, and gave some characters a bit more personality, like making your rival a cruel monster with no concept of love rather than an arrogant douchebag. They also added a few more sub-plots, like the Lake of Rage and focused more on the legendaries, but the plot still wasn’t the best.
By the time Ruby and Sapphire came out, GameFreak knew that it would be successful. Therefore, they could afford to drop the whole ‘Team Rocket thing and start over, with an entirely new organization that were motivated by things beyond mere money. They added a new depth to the plot, and Gen Four and Five followed that pattern, making each have a slightly more developed storyline. Pokemon is no longer about merely catching creatures to fight. Your character is just as central to the story as the Pokemon he or she catches.
As for the ‘broken’ attack system, I will admit it: that was Gen Three’s big weakness. But they fixed it and learned from their mistake.
And finally, are you REALLY going to bitch about Gen Three taking away night/day? Do you people that complain about that even realize what Gen Three added to the series?
3. Contests, Pokeblocks, Sheen and everything else that goes with contests
5. Double battles, which, by the way, revolutionized Pokemon as a competitive multiplayer game
6. New methods of catching and evolving Pokemon (Feebas)
7. Here’s a big one: Your character actually has a father
8. Your rival changes based on gender
9. An entirely new criminal organization via Team Aqua and Magma
10. Diving, which is a highly underrated game mechanic present only in Hoenn
11. Your starters aren’t sitting in a lab when you find them
12. Growing berries
13. Areas that are only accessible during certain times of the day
14. Areas that are only accessible if you have a certain bike
15. Pokemon Colosseum and XD: Gale of Darkness, two extremely underrated games
16. So many Pokemon firsts. Here are a few:
1. Blaziken is the first dual Fighting/Fire Type starter
2. Altaria is the only fully evolved Dragon Type that isn’t psuedo-legendary
3. Latias and Latios, the first legendaries to have genders
4. Deoxys is the first Pokemon to have multiple forms
5. Shedinja. Just, Shedinja
I’m sure there are more thing introduced in Gen Three that I’m not thinking of at the moment. It find it truly sad that some people can’t see past their nostalgia goggles and appreciate Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald for the revolutionary games they were.