Why A Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire Remake May Never Happen
Update: I was wrong. Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire have been officially announced and are due to be released this year.
With Fire Red/Leaf Green and Heart Gold/Soul Silver being remakes of Red and Blue and Gold and Silver respectively, quite a few Pokemon fans seem to be interested in the idea of a Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire remake. But might it never happen? I think so, and here are some reasons why.
1. Backwards compatibility makes it Unnecessary
First and mostly importantly is this point. Put simply, the main reason Pokemon Red and Blue and Pokemon Gold and Silver were remade was because you couldn’t trade anything from these games to the latest installments.
So to remake them meant not only could people who’ve not tried them go back and play the games, but they could carry their progress over to later titles and catch any legendary monsters you can’t find in Ruby/Sapphire or Diamond/Pearl.
But this isn’t relevant for Gen 3. You can trade stuff straight from Gen 3 to Gen 5, assuming you go in sequential order, so there’s no need for a remake. And as for getting the Pokemon from Ruby and Sapphire in gen 4 or 5, that’s no big deal either.
Why? Because here’s everything the Gold and Silver remakes let you obtain without connecting to older titles:
- Ho-oh and Lugia
- The legendary beasts/dogs/cats
- The legendary birds from Kanto
- The weather trio (Grouden, Kyogre and Rayquaza)
- The gen 4 box art mascots (Dialga, Palkia and Girantina)
- Latias and Latios
And for the legendary Golems/Regi Trio? All obtainable in Pokemon Black and White 2. Same with the lake guardians.
Of course, that does leave Jirachi and Deoxys, but those are given out in wifi events now. There’s no practical reason to have a gen 3 remake, since it doesn’t solve anything or let you get any Pokemon you couldn’t otherwise get easily.
2. Content and Pokemon from Gen 5 couldn’t be logically included
Here’s the second issue. Remember how easy it was to justify including things from later games in the remakes due to how all the games took place in different regions of a Pokemon equivalent to Japan?
Well that’s not true of gen 5 or perhaps any generations released after that.
Which means including things from Unova in Hoenn would just seem illogical. How can a species (especially a non flying one) get from the equivalent of the United States to the equivalent of Japan? You might as well have Polar Bears show up in Mexico or Kangaroos in Japan.
Land based legendaries from Unova like the Musketeer Pokemon have no reason to show up in Hoenn or other ‘Japanese’ regions.
It just seems unlikely anything from the later gens could be included in the remake without it seeming strange (like these supposed ‘unique’ Unova Pokemon suddenly being native to Hoenn and Sinnoh), and there’d be no point in it all.
3. No Major Gameplay and Design Tweaks would be needed
Finally, there’s no gameplay or design related reasons to remake gen 3. What do I mean by gameplay or design related reasons? Well, look at the first two generations:
Generation 1 had a whole bunch of game breaking glitches that completely changed/ruined the metagame and anything related to it (ghosts were supposedly immune to psychic attacks instead of weak to them), two whole types didn’t exist yet, Psychic types were really overpowered due to a lack of ghosts and dark Pokemon, abilities didn’t exist and things like graphics and sound were really primitive to the point they might bother fans of newer games. So there was plenty to change in a remake, and plenty of things that were added on.
The games were rebalanced to make psychics like Mewtwo less overpowered. Worked for Alakazam, although not really at all for Mewtwo.
For Heart Gold and Soul Silver, similar technical limitations applied and made the regions seem much smaller and more empty than later ones and yet more gameplay mechanics weren’t introduced yet. So the remake gave Nintendo a chance to make massive changes to the game structure and add tons of additional content.
Like this new Safari Zone in Johto!
But Ruby and Sapphire have far fewer things that could be fixed up or brought up to date. Sure they could try the physical and special attack split or the gen 5 level up system, but is there really a point now? And the major criticism level design wise was too much surfing and too much water, which short of Team Magma succeeding would be nearly impossible to logically fix in a remake.
There’s just less than needs to be fixed up and hence less reason for a remake to exist. And when you factor in content related issues and how backwards compatibility with these titles still exists today, it just seems like a fairly pointless endeavour that would take time and effort away from making new games.