All right, all right; I get it already.
(This counts as my answer to ALL readers, past and future, asking about Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby)
So, I’m not that excited, I guess because Ruby and Sapphire just don’t have the same nostalgia value for me as they do for younger players, but I am very interested to see how they handle the story. A somewhat expanded treatment is surely to be expected, and they’ll probably draw on material and dialogue from Emerald, but they can’t lean too heavily on Emerald either because the paired game structure dictates that Team Aqua have to take the lead in Alpha Sapphire and Team Magma in Omega Ruby. Hopefully we can expect to see a slightly more nuanced portrayal of both teams’ motivations and plans (as well as of some other characters, like Steven – speaking of which, who will be the Champion, I wonder?).
I’m also curious whether contests will return, and in what form – will they give contest statistics to all the 5th- and 6th-generation moves that never had any, or create something completely new that has more in common with, say, Black and White’s musicals? Ruby and Sapphire were the generation that introduced the idea of interacting with Pokémon in that kind of way, so it seems only fitting that a return to those games will result in something fairly spectacular in that department.
In any case, seeing Hoenn on the 3DS is going to be a pretty huge deal – I can’t help but wonder whether some of the cities will look a little bland next to the varied and often eccentric settlements of Kalos, like Laverre with its fairytale aesthetic or Anistar with its… big-ass sundial whatsit… In fact, X and Y have just been such a huge step-up from their predecessors in such a wide variety of little ways that bringing Ruby and Sapphire up to speed with them seems to me like quite a daunting prospect!
Oh, and secret bases? Hell yes.
Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby strike me as odd titles to go with. I think probably the reference is to the logos of Team Aqua and Team Magma – Team Aqua’s would pass for a capital alpha as easily as a capital A (which looks exactly the same), while I guess Team Magma’s kinda looks like a capital Ω? If you squint a bit? Alpha and Omega placed in opposition like that tend to represent “the beginning and the end,” particularly in Christian iconography (come to think of it, Alpha and Omega would have made way better titles than X and Y for two games themed around life and death, but what’s done is done). Maybe the titles hint that the games will play up the importance of Mount Pyre and the Cave of Origin?
Probably I won’t do a playthrough journal in the style of what I did for White 2 or X, because honestly that $#!t’s getting kinda old for me and it’d be a little weird with a game where I already knew at least the outline of the story. I’ll probably think of something fun though. We’ll see.