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Regarding Contests in AG, I don't think they were boring, although of course visually the appeals and stuff like that impoved into DP. Most of them still had good battles besides a few (like the ones with skitty/dusclops and eeeve/brock being the worst ones) and they always had funny character interaction between May and her rivals, not just her main two, but all those one-shot coordinators she met in Hoenn.