A new generation of Pokémon has just started, namely with Scarlet and Violet it’s now into its 9th gen. BUT I have my schedule and a Pokémon game takes A LOT of time to really get into so I can’t do that review… BUT I haven’t reviewed an older Pokémon game for a while so let’s go into one of the times that there was a major shift in the franchise.
I remember back with the announcement of the new Pokémon games for the then new handheld the Game Boy Advance. It was a big jump in graphics. Gen 1 to Gen 2 was the same resolution just a slightly more powerful handheld that now had colour, but the GBA was a much bigger leap in appearance and power over that. So, then Gen 3 felt much more like a full generational leap rather than an upgrade or update fixing the issues of the previous gen (while making a bunch of new issues).
Set in the Hoenn region and like the rest of the first 4 regions of the franchise it’s based on locations in Japan. Thanks to the new graphics you are able to far better appreciate the new settings appearance as it comes to life far more than the previous 2.
I find it funny how so many people made a fuss like fools given Gen 8 removed the ability to get all the old Pokémon. Yet that issue first appeared all the way back here, heck even major features like Night and Day cycles were remove. Including the 2 Mythics , Legendary Pokémon only acquirable by events (this will become a massive issue later on) there are 202 Pokémon in the Pokedex 135 of them being new, which is more than the previous entries of Gold and Silver.
While there are no new Pokémon types this game, 2 major additions to the Pokémon themselves were added. Natures, which cause one stat to be higher while another lower and Abilities Passive abilities related to that one that can range from simple things like a move taking 2 pp to use or more dynamic ones like those used by the cover Legendaries causing weather to happen just by them coming in.
Other additions new to this game include Double Battles which have you controlling 2 Pokémon at the same time while fighting 2, this causing some different strategies as some moves work differently in Multi. Another addition was the Pokémon contests which had an alternative game style showing off Pokémon as a sort of beauty show to try and gain ribbons, sort of like an alternative to Gym Battles (though the plot still has you have to do Gym Battles and not contests, but the manga had them be important)
As mentioned, the world of the franchise started to become more alive. This ranges from things like the story getting a fair bit more complicated, villain teams now much more active and having proper goals (Team Rocket fans don’t seem to want to accept they were kind of just there in the first 2 games) usually involving some major plan that leads up to the cover Legendary (which is now exclusive to game, with it being unobtainable in the other) To the world not being stagnant as weather can happen in the Overworld which affects what happens when you enter Battle (though this mainly happens in late game when the Legendary is set loose). Also, for those that didn’t get Crystal (like myself) this was our first time being able to choose the gender of our protagonist.
I recall this being the first gen that Ghost and Dragon types felt like proper Pokémon types. Thanks to new Pokémon these two types that both had only 4 Pokedex entries (and both of those its technically 2 since 3 of those were all on the same evolutionary line). Given Ghosts are my favourite type, this was a huge plus for me.
I Loved it when Ruby came out, I found the new Legendaries and Villain teams having much better plots than just random thugs. Yeah, it started to get a little out of hand but that was much more a gen 4 issue. I had failed to notice the loss of Night and Day since Eevee, one of the best uses for that cycle at the time was missing. But sadly, as gen 3 went on more and more off the issues would start to emerge, but as just these 2 they were definitely fun games and a big leap forward containing many things that are now very much standard.