On Playing Through Alpha Sapphire: Ep III

I don’t actually want to go on a Pokémon training quest anymore; I just want to live in Lavaridge Town, lounge around in their hot springs every day, and make a killing on the herbal medicine market by training Grass Pokémon to prepare stronger concoctions.

Current team:

Thoughts of the day:

  • May’s interest in and commitment to her father’s research on Pokémon habitat distribution and ecology comes through much more strongly in the remakes.  She’s also involved with the events at Fallarbor Town when Professor Cozmo is abducted by Team Aqua, and fights a double battle with the player against the Aqua admin Shelley and an Aqua minion to free him.  She is, in short, working overtime to prove that she has become much more competent since the original game.

  • The Dowsing Machine is a pair of wavy antennae things that you wear on your head, and they light up in different colours when you walk near a hidden item.  They look ridiculous.  Your character is is so adorable wearing them.

  • Mauville City.  Holy $#!t, Mauville City.  One of the things I was concerned about, going into this game, was that it would be too difficult for Hoenn to catch up on three generations’ worth of new graphics, and that the cities of Hoenn wouldn’t be able to match the quirkiness and individuality of places like Laverre City and Anistar City in Kalos.  Mauville City – which was pretty bland and forgettable in the original Ruby and Sapphire, and would have become even more so with the disappearance of Game Corners from the Pokémon world – has quite thoroughly shut me up on that score.  The new incarnation of Mauville City is a single enormous building complex, with living spaces on the upper floor, commercial areas below, and a huge rooftop garden.  Wattson, the Gym Leader, is apparently responsible for this transformation.

  • The old Game Corner actually still is in Mauville City, but it’s closed down, and the owner is just hanging around outside feeling dejected and talking about how fun it used to be when people came to play games with him.  Wow, Game Freak, way to guilt trip everyone who said we shouldn’t have gambling in Pokémon games!

  • In both the Slateport Market and the offices of Mauville TV, I’ve found piles of unsold and unwanted merchandise for a group of fictional superheroes called the Hoenn Rangers Coexistence Force, who seem to be an unspeakably dull hybrid of the Power Rangers, the Planeteers and the Teletubbies.  Perhaps the oncoming Kyogre crisis will help their fortunes by creating new interest in preserving ecological balance.

  • The guy at the Pledge Move Dojo in Mauville City uses the word ‘amazeballs.’  I just don’t know anymore.

  • Secret bases (no, I will not start calling them “super-secret”) now have a face – a twenty-something adventurer named Aarune, who apparently heads up a guild in Fortree City.  Bit of a prat, to be honest, but I’ll take what I’m given; his presence might mean exciting things later on.  You can now heal in your secret base if you install a bed; they’re not quite personal Pokémon Centres because, as far as I know, you can’t connect to the PC storage network from them, but they’re still pretty cool.  Looking forward to investigating further new features.

  • I’ve met Maxie.  In contrast to the original Ruby and Sapphire, the writers seem to have gone to some lengths to convey that he and Archie have very different personalities – while Archie is boisterous, energetic and, dare I say, fun-loving, Maxie is serious, stoic and arrogant.  Maxie’s Digivice seems to be built into his Google Glass – a very functional contrast to Archie, who incorporates his into his ridiculous maritime bling.

  • Archie apparently wants Professor Cozmo’s meteorite because he believes that the geothermal energy of Mount Chimney can be used to refine it into a Mega Stone, or possibly even the core of a new Digivice.  This is important; no one on X and Y ever talks about making new Mega Stones.  Lysandre built himself a Digivice using data he’d gathered on the player’s, but it’s not entirely clear whether he created the Key Stone from scratch.  It also makes for a much less silly way of fitting the Mount Chimney sequence into the plot than his original ‘evil scheme’ to render Mount Chimney dormant and form a new lake in the crater.  Furthermore, I now have the meteorite. 

  • Archie didn’t deploy Mega Sharpedo in our battle, but strongly implied that this was because he was holding back – he actually wanted to have another battle immediately, one where he would really cut loose, but received an urgent phone call from his second admin, Matt, and had to leave immediately for Mount Pyre.

  • Gonna need a Dawn Stone for Galahad pretty soon.  Might rotate him out of my party until I find one; I’ve got loads of other Pokémon who could fill the space.  Will think about that before challenging Flannery.

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