Ben Franchi ’18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
It’s hard to believe that it’s been over ten years since the release of Pokémon Emerald, one of the most beloved (and despised) entries in the well-known monster fighting series. And with the release of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Pokémon Emerald is a game that helped revolutionize the Pokémon series as we know and love it today.
The plot of Pokémon Emerald is one of the more noteworthy in the series, an odd statement for Pokémon, as the plot has always played second banana to the gameplay. Emerald was unique for mashing the worlds of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire together. All the Pokémon exclusive to each version were present here, and a new legendary Pokémon, the intimidating Rayquaza, took center stage in place of Kyogre and Groudon, who each caused trouble in their respective games. Both Teams Magma and Aqua, super environmentalists whose love for their respective elements nearly drives the world to ruin, are given their day in the sun, bringing the story more balance. It’s not a particularly deep plot, but it helped reconcile the differences between both Ruby and Sapphire storywise.
The biggest changes that Emerald brought to the table still remain prominent in the series today. Double battles, introduced in Ruby and Sapphire, were cranked up in frequency in Emerald, and wireless battles were made possible, allowing players to battle each other without messy link cable setups. Emerald could also link up minor mechanics, such as item locations, Pokémon breeding, and stat changes gave players of Ruby and Sapphire new reasons to explore the world of Hoenn. There were new characters to meet, including a new champion of the Elite Four, and areas to explore, such as the Battle Frontier, where you could continue your journey after beating the main adventure.
Pokémon Emerald set a lot of standards for future installments. As the first crosstitle game in the Pokémon series, it gave players a lot to look forward to, and hit its mark perfectly in that regard. If you still have Emerald, pick it up again and give it another go. It’s a hell of a nostalgia trip that won’t disappoint.
Pokémon Emerald was released may 2005.