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SPOILERS: Best Main Pokemon Game of the 3DS Era?

Best Main Pokemon Game of the 3DS Era?

  • X and Y

    Votes: 18 19.6%
  • Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire

    Votes: 31 33.7%
  • Sun and Moon

    Votes: 19 20.7%
  • Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon

    Votes: 15 16.3%
  • All of them suck

    Votes: 9 9.8%

  • Total voters
    92
Lovely
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It has been around 2 months since the last installment of the 3DS Pokemon games were released. I felt that this might be a good time to make a poll for this.

What is the best main Pokemon game of the 3DS era?

I feel that compared to the DS era, the 3DS era overall felt lackluster. We've seen stunning visual upgrades, and heightened 3D graphics. However, considering the quality of the storytelling, it was the DS era that, despite its minuscule sprites and later pixelated movements, had much more to offer. Pushing the limits of technology is a challenge and seeing new developments are great - technological appeals are important in games after all. But in terms of entertainment and sensibility, I can't help but feel that sacrifices had been made. It looks like emotional appeals were given up in favor of technological appeals.

Thus, if I were to choose the best main Pokemon game of the 3DS era, I'd have to say Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. Yes, I'm still a huge Steven Stone fan, but aside from the stunning male specimen, at the very least, ORAS improved on Ruby and Sapphire. Maybe the overall difficulty was toned down to being a tad easy, but it still gave us plenty of lore to work on that connects to the established storyline while including the central theme of Mega Energy and the truth behind it. While there are still some knots left untied, my personal opinion is that they played their nostalgia cards right.

ORAS is not without disappointment, but compared to the other installments of the 3DS era, it, at least, felt complete with its own story.
 
Bringing the Thunder
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All of them suck. They really went style over substance and casualized the hell out of every single game to the point where the games practically play themselves and don't really provide much. A dark chapter in the series' history for sure.
 
Fluffy!
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I found the 3DS games fun and entertaining up to a degree, but they really are inferior to the DS era or even the GBA era if you count Emerald. Those games were fun but also had a lot of content, features and activities to keep me playing for hours on end after completing the main story. I hope the Switch era will bring better Pokemon games.

My choice for the best 3DS era of the Pokemon games are OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire. Part of it may be nostalgia and personal bias as Hoenn and Gen III are my favourite. In general, ORAS were an improvement of the original RS games. Several characters received better characterization or an expanded story. Mega Evolution and its lore were integrated to Hoenn fairly well. We got some cool new features like the DexNav and Soaring, while other features like Contests and Secret Bases made a return with some improvements. Unfortunately, ORAS weren't the best they could be as there really was no excuse not to add Trainer Customization, the Battle Frontier and other elements/areas found in Emerald.

The reason I can't pick the XY games is because of the lackluster story and post-game content. They were interesting for being the first 3DS games, but the only replay value I can see in them is the fact that they are the only Kalos games so if I want to revisit Kalos I have no other options. Two things they did right, however, were the PSS system and the fashion options. I think the idea behind the Festival Plaza is great, but it really shouldn't have replaced the PSS system for battling and trading. The fashion options in Gen VII are very limited. By the time I played UM I was sick of the clothes options so I spent most of my playthrough wearing the Pikachu shirt with the default hat and sometimes changing the shorts. I only changed my outfit when I finally got my hands on some dye shops so I could try to make some new styles.

SM did a lot of things right, but it lacked engaging post-game content so unlike ORAS, I didn't have much reason to play after I was done with the main story and the UB story. USUM fixed most of SM's problems by adding new features, side quests and little improvements that made Alola more immersive. Unfortunately, they messed up the story so they have little replay value to me because I'd rather replay Moon for the better story, while keeping UltraMoon for the post-game activities.

In short, to me ORAS have a replay value while also having decent post-game content. The other games either lacked one or the other so ORAS won.
 
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I would vote for either of the Generation 6 games. Both of them are a-lot more functional than Generation 7, thanks to things like the Player Search System, DexNav, Super Training, etc. I spent a-lot of time just raising different Pokemon and battling with people because of how well designed that whole side of the games were. Though XY is my personal favorite of the two. I'm less inclined to play ORAS due to the loss of player customization, the Friend Safari, and...Everything good about Pokemon Emerald...

I also like Kalos more as a Region for it's Euro-inspired architecture and landmarks, as well as the geography. I think it has some of the nicest set-pieces and locations, from the Kalos League's cathedral to the Tower of Mastery and even some of the Routes. The view from the cliffside of Muraille Coast, the really big Autumn area that spans Brun Way and Mélancolie Path, or the swamp underneath the bridge on Grande Vallée Way...There's a sense of grandeur about the game that makes it stick out in my mind.

Sun and Moon felt limited and underwhelming, especially for an Anniversary release. The things that XY/ORAS introduced or did well were either removed, replaced or muddied in some way. The Plaza has been beaten to death for it's design as a multiplayer interface. Rotom Dex is offers very little as a second screen tool when compared to the PokeNav+ apps, or even the Poketch from way back. SOS Battles can quickly become a bother when trying to catch Pokemon or find Hidden Abilities. Half of the Megas were locked behind time limited events. Clothes are version exclusive. We can't even sit down anymore :[ (But they made sure that you could sniff everyone's bed.............?)

I do like the game's world-building a-lot, for this new and unique culture in Alola. The characters are a-lot more involved in the Island challenge, and more memorable than the cast members of other games. But at the same time, the journey can be suffocating with that sluggish introduction and the interruptions that continue throughout.

As for Ultra Sun and Moon...The new additions like Mantine Surfing or the Photo Club are pretty cool, but the games were over-hyped by PR speak and trailers. It didn't do nearly enough to separate itself from the original like BW2 did. Even compared to Platinum or Emerald, it leaves more to be desired. We got one new Battle Facility. They added Lillie to the Battle Tree instead of bringing in more characters from past Generations. The Ultra Megahallway is a huge disappointment, and the wormholes don't give us much to explore either. It's pretty weak as follow-up game compared to what we've had before.
 
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Dieter
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ORAS for me, because it implemented a lot of great new features that didn't exist back in the RSE days yet, while staying true to the regions feel. It didn't have the region design problem I think Kalos had, which had an really linear strucutre and felt that way too. Pretty much every time you got somewhere new in Kalos, there was only one way you could leave or move on. BW had a similarly linear region design but the game let you explore a little without forcing you to do whatever the plot wanted you. Kalos didn't have this, and it had barely any roads that opened up connection between previously disconnected parts of the region. It's a pity cause aesthetically and conceptually, Kalos was incredible

SM/USUM was beter in this regard, but ruined it by the tremendous amount of handholding and emptiness of the region (USUM solved this and made the entire region feel more alive but). A pity, again, cause conceptually Alola was super interesting. Aesthetically it was very nice too. None of these games had the sense of exploration the previous Gens had, or at least not as much

I also agree with most of the other complaints voiced so far, so no need to repeat them.
 
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I went with 'All of them suck', simply cause I can't name any of them a 'best game' as they all have flaws that really bother me.

I might even call XY the best of them, despite really disliking those games. It has the most boring story of the three, the most annoying rivals, the worst to navigate city, and also the lamest villain team. However, customization is a majorly important feature for me and it did do that the best. It does have less diverse hairstyles than (U)S(U)M and the stores changing selection daily was annoying. But its way bigger and more diverse selection of clothing makes up for it, together with hat accessories, and being able to try on multiple things together before buying them. Also, despite me disliking how big the regional dex is, I have to admit it does have the most fun Pokémon selection of all 3DS games because of it, which makes the game really replayable. The region was also quite diverse, and of course the PSS was just perfect.

ORAS has the Dexnav going for it, and while I do really like this feature, it's pretty much the only thing I liked about these games. No customization is its biggest flaw for me, May's redesign and contest costume make me cry, the whole forced romance thing between May and Brendan makes me cry more, and Mauville gets second place in the 'worst city to navigate' contest. And somehow the region is just boring to me. Might just not be a fan of tropical regions, they just lack diversity imo. Replayability is a big thing for me, and I have no interest in ever replaying this game again.

And then there's (U)S(U)M which I will treat as one game, cause really, they are. Great story, great characters, great humor, and not being a chibi anymore and seeing trainers in battles is awesome. They also get bonus points for being quite hard. Festival Plaza ruins a lot though, it is the most impractical feature I've ever laid eyes upon. Also, customization somehow got worse. We got better hairstyles and you can take off your hat (though I don't really care about that), but the lack of selection is depressing and version exclusive colors and shirts is just....why. And if you do want items/colors from the other version, we're back at Festival Plaza. Furthermore, the whole Z-Move feature doesn't interest me at all, I'm just annoyed at having to watch way too long animations when other trainers use it. And SOS-battles are nice in theory but an impractical mess in practice. Also, the regional dex is just boring to me, including about 80% of the Kanto mons and also lots of mons we see in almost every game (eg. looking at you, Lucario D:<). And as said above, I'm no fan of tropical regions and I think these games lack even more diversity than ORAS. Can't remember any unique areas, only that it was mostly beaches and palm trees.

So my tl;dr judgement on all these games is: I'd rather play Platinum/HGSS again.
 
Fluffy!
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I also like Kalos more as a Region for it's Euro-inspired architecture and landmarks, as well as the geography. I think it has some of the nicest set-pieces and locations, from the Kalos League's cathedral to the Tower of Mastery and even some of the Routes. The view from the cliffside of Muraille Coast, the really big Autumn area that spans Brun Way and Mélancolie Path, or the swamp underneath the bridge on Grande Vallée Way...There's a sense of grandeur about the game that makes it stick out in my mind.
Despite the content of the XY games, Kalos was quite memorable. In fact, it's in my top three favourite regions. Maybe the overall geography didn't make much sense, but it sure was nice to look at. The execution of the lore and the story was lackluster, but the concepts behind them were good and had a lot of potential. I can appreciate that. I do have an issue with how linear Kalos was, but it could be fixed by adding more content in the routes, connecting some areas (via caves, perhaps) along with opening up the southern part of Kalos.

I love the world building of Alola and the way the lore, lifestyle and the island challenge are visibly integrated into the characters. The way characters act or the things they say are a result of the way Alola is and has been, instead of NPCs just being there to info dump and help the player where needed. In some aspects, the previous regions felt a little disconnected between its people and the actual region. However, I have an issue with two things: the Alola region feels somewhat monotonous and it lacks a sense of exploration.

The monotony comes from the fact that Alola, as a region, lacks variety and diversity from its themes to its game design. Alola has this prevalent theme that everybody is nice and chill there, and the region is like a paradise with bountiful nature, berries and Pokemon that love helping humans. This is nice and all, but it became somewhat tiring after a while. Hoenn has the theme of adventure and Kalos has the theme of beauty, but both of those themes are somewhat broad and can be interpreted in different ways so they let players decide what the regions mean to them. I felt pressured to accept Alola as the paradise it's supposed to be.

In terms of design, to me it felt like all the islands were similar to each other because most of the diverse areas were too short,"skip to the top" or inaccessible. I'm sure if you put Alola next to Hoenn or Kalos and compare them side by side, you can see that Alola isn't just sunshine and beaches. It has some diversity and some truly beautiful areas, but like I said, those areas are too short and we can't properly explore them. Also, I really didn't like that Alola didn't have unique music for each individual route. It made Alola's few route tracks very repetitive. Music is an effective way to make routes memorable; see Route 113 of Hoenn.

I might be remembering wrong since I haven't played the older games in a long while, but I generally felt like Alola didn't give me many opportunities to explore like Hoenn and Kalos did. I won't compare towns since all three regions from the 3DS era had both great and generic towns.
 
Am I getting dabbed on by a Stunfisk?
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XY

While the story execution is flawed on its own, I think a big part of its problem is that it came after Gen 5. BW showed that the series could tell a far more intricate and character-driven story than the games of the past four generations had done. XY pale in comparison to that, but if you hypothetically delete Gen 5 from the lineup, XY actually look like a bit of an improvement over DP. The plot is just as formulaic (having, in fact, almost exactly the same basic story skeleton), but there's more emphasis on the themes, on forming a cohesive backstory for the region, and on creating characters that are a little more vibrant and unique. And of course there's the Looker Bureau, which takes the general idea behind Platinum's Charon/Heatran coda and shapes it into something far better.

So if you can get past that - which I personally can, easily, since the story in all of the games is next-to-meaningless - then I think XY have a lot going for them. There's a ton of fresh ideas and refined UI work, a good roster of new Pokémon, the biggest in-game Pokémon selection ever, greater accessibility for competitive battling, the glorious PSS, and customization for the first time ever. It's a lot of forward progression for the series, and much of that stuff was even handled better in XY than it was in the Gen 7 games.

I like ORAS, and they add some nice improvements and have a better story than XY, but they also take several unnecessary backward steps (Poké Center/Mart mitosis, cluttered bottom screen, GF not being able to resist reviving HM Rock Smash, no customization because muh originals). In terms of personal taste, I also just outright prefer Kalos over Hoenn. And I can't really vote for the Gen 7 games either, because while I enjoyed many aspects of them, they are a painfully clear case of reach-exceeding-grasp that resulted in a very pretty Hallway Simulator with a nice storyline, which is pretty much the opposite of what a Pokémon game should aim to be.
 
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Stuck
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SM were a decent experience despite the linearity, but they aren't fun to replay and the Battle Tree was only entertaining for a while (thanks to QR codes).

I didn't buy ORAS or USUM because I didn't want to revisit either of those regions, and the new features didn't grab my attention at all.

XY's story, characters and implementation of Mega Evolution annoyed me too much. About the only good thing I have to say is that the Pokemon diversity was nice, as were 3D battles for the first time on a handheld. I made the mistake of keeping Exp. Share on, which made the game too easy; SM actually punished me for leaving it off.
 
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The Best Gym Leader
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ORAS and USUM are tied as the best 3DS games for me. However, I voted "all of them suck". I don´t really think any of the games trully sucks, and I used to be a big fan of ORAS for instance (and I still am to some extent) but I felt the urge to vote they all suck simply because all the 3DS games have more flaws than previous games had. I mean... it is hard to find any major complaint regarding the best GBA game (Emerald) and the best DS game (BW2/ HGSS/ Platinum). But finding major complaints regarding the best 3DS game is quite easy and there's quite a few of them in all the 3DS era titles.

It seems that Game Freak have become lazier and don't care about fan's feelings anymore. They don't mind trolling us with the Battle Frontier in ORAS, or Gyms and lack of Alola formes in USUM. They don't mind if they underperform anymore. They know their games will sell a lot regardless of quality.

Like said above, I just find more pleasure in replaying Emerald, BW2 and HGSS than replaying the 3DS games. The good side of this, is that I don't expect GF to do something of that level of quality anytime soon, so I feel zero pressure regarding the Switch era. I expect it to be even less satisfying than the 3DS era, and I don't care, as long as I have my favorite GBA and DS games to play and replay. :)
 
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A tie between XY and ORAS for me. Absol is catchable early and the Absolite is not locked in the post game.

I do like the regions of the 3DS era.
 
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It seems that Game Freak have become lazier and don't care about fan's feelings anymore. They don't mind trolling us with the Battle Frontier in ORAS, or Gyms and lack of Alola formes in USUM. They don't mind if they underperform anymore. They know their games will sell less regardless of quality.
This comes over as a bit subjective if you ask me. Although I too really enjoyed the Battle Frontier, it's kind of understandable since the remakes are aimed for RS's storyline. I will be saddened yet reasonable if they don't add the Distortion World and BF in the DP remakes (though I might turn my back if they dare to nerf Dawn's looks or replace her with someone else like they did with Kris and if they remove The Underground). Not only that, but GF tried to compensate it with the Battle Maison (though it's nowhere near BF's level IMO). As for the removal of the Gyms, lots of people appreciated it. I don't really think that GF are lazier at the moment. It's just, I think they're having a (severe) 'identity crisis'.
 
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He's probably criticizing them more for teasing the BF in ORAS and gyms in USUM, than for not bringing them back.
Lol, really! GF has begun to tease the fans and then suddenly leave them behind like a candle in the wind, so it seems. I will make my comeback to the Pokémon games the moment that DP's remakes are out, and if they dare to troll me like that...
 
The one once known as Alphaphlare
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USUM had acceptable difficulty but loses points for having its legenary hunt tied to a motion control minigame I suck at and not much postgame besides that other than Rainbow Rocket.
 
The Best Gym Leader
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@Meta Boss I didn't expect you to change your mind on ORAS.
Well, yeah. I always had a love- hate relationship with ORAS tbh; I like most things about it: the atmosphere, the plot, the new content, DexNav, Soaring, Super Secret Bases, etc.

But the few things I always hated about ORAS became more important to me over time, until one day I realized they eventually overshadowed the positives. Whenever I picked up the game I would start thinking about the wasted potential rather than enjoying what they did improve. I use to be able to "justify" these flaws and omissions in my head, but now I can't. And as you say, it's not really what content they decided to omit, but how they still fucking remind you of it ingame.

You have to take fan's feelings in account when remaking a game. And they didn't give a shit.

I'll be careful with the first Switch games; I'd hate to buy a console for an underwhelming game.
I am on the same boat. I only buy a new console for a new Pokemon title. And I have decided this has to stop. I am not buying a new console (especially such an expensive one) unless it offers me something as good and content rich as Emerald, BW2 and HGSS, etc.

If it is inferior to those games, I will skip it. Not only the Switch debut game, but also every new Pokemon game. I am not wasting any more money on good games, only on really good ones.
 
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