Pokemon Ruby carries the same charm, the same appeal as all the other Pokemon games. The concept behind these games is simply brilliant, perfect, in that sort of “simple genius” sort of way. It’s not that it’s some far out idea that happens to be brilliant, it’s just that it’s such a smart idea that it’s strange that it wasn’t capitalized on before Pokemon did it. It’s really pretty obvious, when you think about it.
The appeal? These games combine pretty much everything Pokemon Moon ROM kids love. The most obvious aspect of this, the core of what these games are all about, is the fun of collecting. In real life, collecting can cost a lot of money, and it can turn you into a pack rat. In a video game, there’s room for as many items as you can find, and while you have to work for them in-game, they don’t cost you (okay, your parents) any money.
This results in gameplay that is addictive, which is integral for any game that hopes to bring players back again and again, but because of the work involved with earning what you want from the game, it’s the sort of addictive where you’ll want to take a break now and then. It’s fun work, but to “Catch’em All!” you’ll have to do a lot of hunting. Some games, a kid can sit down and play it sixteen hours a day if you let them, but Pokemon knows that you have to pace it out and make things tough or, 1: It gets boring because it’s all the same, and 2: It’s too easy to spend the whole day playing it.
Secondly, the games always have a really cool look, sound and feel to them. The game takes place in an atmosphere that feels friendly, but fascinating. For parents, this is a nice change of pace with so many violent games out there. There’s a sense of danger, which is integral to a good adventure game, but you know that all of the actual content in the game is something that a kid can play without asking you some tricky questions an hour later.
And third, the context. The Pokemon games always take place in a world that’s not much different from the player’s. They use a modern day setting, kids as the main characters, and the hero always seems to be from a town that’s not much different from the player’s. When the player names the character after themselves, they can easily see themselves in their video game counterpart’s shoes.
Really, if you want to make a game that appeals to kids, these are the three notes to hit, and this is why Pokemon has succeeded where so many knockoffs have failed.
So what does Ruby add to the mix? For starters: Double Battles! This allows the trainers to put not one, but two Pokemon into the ring to do battle. This is a lot of fun as you get to work out more complex strategies that you could never try with only one Pokemon at a time. Plus, if you have two favorites, you no longer have to choose one or the other!
Another cool added feature is the way that the game keeps track of real time. This affects the game tremendously. For example, berry plants will actually take real time to grow, tides will be affected by time of day and so on. This adds a whole other layer of depth to the atmosphere of the game.