As you know, I've been playing Pokemon Ruby in Japanese. The problem is that I really understand only a smattering of Japanese, so even though I can read the letters, I don't really know what I'm reading.
So, in my dreams, it's kinda cool because I'm in Houen and I have pet pokemon with me, but I have a problem understanding the people around me. So, it's cool that I have pets, but it's frustrating because I don't know stuff.
First I have to mention the LOADS of new pokemon! I'm not as patient playing in Japanese as I am in English, so I haven't taken the time to document things like new attacks and stuff.
I'll tell you right now that I don't really understand the Contest, or Po-rocks. I only partially understand Ki no Mi, and that's just the ones from G/S/C that do stuff if a pokemon is holding it. Maybe I should go back to where I buried the buryable ones and see how they're doing.
The big dissappointment is that the pokemon don't move when they pop out of the pokeball, like in Crystal. I really loved that. There's no Poke-gear, either, so you can't call people. There's a new thing called Poke-nav, it includes a map of Houen and a list of all the trainers you've battled. It also has a thing called Condition, which is somehow related to the Contest. I don't know how you increase your pokemon's condition for the contest, though. I think that has something to do with Po-rocks, but I'm not sure.
One of the best new things about Ruby/Sapphire is learning new moves. When your pokemon is going to learn a new move and you are asked which move you want to replace with the new one, it gives you the stats of all the moves side by side, as well as a description of the move, so you can decide which moves to keep and which to replace. This has been especially handy since I did not know the Japanese names of the moves that I know from R/B/Y/G/S/C.
Every pokemon has some special ability that is inherent to it. For example, Guraena is so intimidating that it's opponent's Attack power goes down, just from seeing it. Some of them get random boosts of Attack or Defense, and some can cause an enemy an abnormal condition when they are touched (e.g., Tackle or Headbutt.) This is great because all of your pokemon have an advantage, but all the pokemon you fight also have an advantage.
Now, the part we've all been waiting for, the graphics. Absolutely brilliant. Bright colors, keen detail, and the ability to distinguish objects from people. I know people rave about the Golden Sun graphics, but quite frankly, I couldn't tell what things were sometimes. Each pokemon has an icon that actually looks like that pokemon next to it's name in the lineup. The Pokemon Storage system shows the whole box with icons of all the pokemon in it, rather than a list like previous games. Now, these icons, they move. Like little animated gifs, which adds to my dissappointment that the pokemon don't have animation associated with them. Other than that, I really think this game takes advantage of all of the capabilities of the Gameboy Advance. The music sounds really good, especially the Dive music.
Oh, I forgot to mention that? Yes, new HMs, Dive and Rock Smash. Well, Rock Smash was a TM before, but now it's an HM. I think my biggest complaint about all of the pokemon games is HMs, because some of them are relatively useless in battle. Luckily for those of us who hated to waste a technique spot with Flash, you don't NEED flash to get through dark tunnels anymore. It helps, a lot, but when you go into a dark tunnel, there is a small halo of light around you. So you can see one space in each direction, even without Flash. I don't think the lack of really good HM moves would bother me as much if they were ALL that way, but you have lame things like Flash and Rock Smash, next to really powerful moves like Strength and Surf. Dive is a new one that allows you to go underwater! Underwater you can find, aside from the regular stuff to find, you can get pearls, which are worth a lot of money.
I have to go to class now. I'm all :