The holiday season is finally upon us. For us nerds, that mean new electronics, video games, and consoles! There were some pretty sweet Wii U, 3DS, and 2DS deals over the weekend too. Maybe you picked up a swanky new 3DS or 2DS for yourself or a loved one. Thinking of getting into Pokemon or introducing it to someone else, but don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, we’re here to help!
The latest entries into the Pokemon series are the remakes of the Game Boy Advance games, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. Last year, Nintendo released Pokemon X and Y, which featured brand new Pokemon and a new region to house them. All four titles are current generation though and are the most up-to-date games. So, which one do you get? Naturally, I’d tell you to get at least one game from X/Y and OR/AS… but maybe you’re on a budget and can only afford ONE game. This guide is for you.
Pokemon games are great in that they’re perfect for almost any age. It’s a simple enough RPG that anyone can pick it up and play with ease, but the underlying mechanics can make for a very complex and strategic game. If you’re returning to Pokemon from your glory days on the Game Boy, you’ll find that while much has changed, the overall mechanics have not. Your only real issue might be trying to tackle all those Pokemon (721), their types, and their strengths/weaknesses. Luckily, there are more than enough helpful guides to aid you if you get stuck.
Let’s take a look at the differences between XY and ORAS:
- For those returning to Pokemon, XY might be your best option. While these games take place in a new region and introduced 65 new Pokemon and the fairy type, they’re really a re-imagining of the original games; going so far as to ensure you receive one of the original three starters early on in the game.
- XY are very fast-paced games. The main story can be completed quickly, not only because it’s short, but also because of how the map is arranged. Everything you do, for the most part, goes in order. You hop from town to town with very little confusion as to where you should be.
- New mechanics, like Mega Evolution, are introduced… but never fully explored. You’re eased into the concept of it so it doesn’t feel overwhelming.
- For those that want a more relaxed Pokemon game, check out Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. ORAS take place in the Hoenn region, which is covered by a lot of water. The path you’re supposed to take isn’t always a clear one, and that’s okay.
- ORAS, being remakes, feature most of the Pokemon from the Hoenn region. Most newer Pokemon, including fairy types, aren’t really introduced until after the game is completed. So, if you want to get into Pokemon, but mostly ignore that other stuff, this might be your game.
- There are new Mega Evolutions that are exclusive to ORAS.
- ORAS feature nearly all legendary Pokemon available for capture, except those that are available to capture in XY; like Mewtwo and the Kanto birds.
- ORAS not only features a main story, but there is a newly added Delta Episode afterwards that adds a few more hours worth of gameplay before you’re actually complete.
Those are really the main differences. It’s difficult for me to tell you to get one over the other. I loved XY when I played through them last year. The actual story, while incredibly short, is probably the more original and heart-wrenching ones. The starter Pokemon are all fairly awesome, and getting those Kanto ones early one made it even more exciting. The new Pokemon introduced, as well as Mega Evolutions blended a lot of the old with the new, but never felt overwhelming. However, once you’re done, there isn’t much to do aside from work on your meta game. With ORAS, it feels like a gentler game that doesn’t want me to rush through it. You notice little things, like how the grass sways or the flocks of Pokemon that fly overhead. The story might be typical Pokemon, but it’s at least fun to play through. The additional Megas, as well as the newly introduced Primal Reversion, make for a fun new element. There seems to be a lot to explore, especially now that I’ve completed the game. The map is crawling with places to explore. And if I guess correctly, there will probably be additional DLC later on to add more to the games.