Monday, October 17, 2011

To remake or not to remake, that is the question.

Ever since the announcement of the Pokemon Gold and Silver remakes, Pokemon Heartgold and Soulsiver, fans of the Pokemon series have been speculating about whether or not Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire would get remakes.  Fans argued that since Pokemon Red and Blue and Pokemon Gold and Silver got remakes, then so would Ruby and Sapphire.  Others, however, disagreed and said that the only reason Red and Blue and Gold and Silver were remade was because all of the Pokemon weren't available in game before the remakes, and now there's no need for Ruby and Sapphire remakes since we can obtain all 649 Pokemon in game without cheats.

The debates about Ruby and Sapphire remakes dwindled when the fifth generation of Pokemon, Pokemon Black and White, were announced and released in 2010.  However, debates have recently rekindled due to Junichi Masuda, the director and composer of the mainline Pokemon games, responding to a tweet asking about Ruby and Sapphire remakes.  His response was vague, saying that the two third generation games were very important to him, but it was all that was needed to reignite the debate over the possibility of remakes.

Are these two games going to receive the same treatment as Gold and Silver?

Based on previous entries in the series, if Ruby and Sapphire were to get remakes, they would be announced and released sometime next year to honor the tenth anniversary of the third generation.  Because of this, they'd probably be released on 3DS.  By the time late 2012 rolls around, the 3DS will be a few months shy of being two years old, so you can bet that any new mainline entry into the Pokemon series will be on the 3DS.

The almost certainty of this can work both for and against Ruby and Sapphire remakes.  Since it would be on the 3DS, GameFreak would have to create an entirely new engine for the Ruby and Sapphire remakes.  Fans wouldn't accept DS level graphics on a system that can produce Gamecube level graphics.  So why would GameFreak waste time creating a new engine for remakes of the worst selling mainline Pokemon games?  Creating a new engine takes time, and fans are already eagerly awaiting the release of the third version of Pokemon Black and White.  On the other hand though, creating a new engine for Ruby and Sapphire remakes would allow GameFreak to quickly create a third version of Pokemon Black and White by borrowing heavily from the Ruby and Sapphire remakes.

With all this in mind, I do think that there will be Ruby and Sapphire remakes announced next year.  GameFreak was reportedly one of the first companies to receive a 3DS development kit from Nintendo, so they've had plenty of time to create a new engine.  There's also the fact that GameFreak was hiring 3D modelers back in late 2009, so they will have had three years to work on improved 3D environments, which is more than enough time.  I highly doubt they were working on the third version of Black and White a year before they were even released.

Would Ruby and Sapphire be remade just for these two Pokemon?

In regards to the argument saying that we can obtain all 649 Pokemon in game now, I say this: Yes, we can get all the Pokemon in game, but due to Black and White's transferring system, we can't trade items from the fourth generation games to the fifth generation games.  One of the most iconic Pokemon/item combinations is Latios/Latias with the Soul Dew.  Currently, there's no way to have Latios/Latias holding a Soul Dew in Black and White.  Sure, it's two Pokemon, but all of the Pokemon except for Celebi were available before HeartGold and Soulsilver were released, so if you use that argument, then Gold and Silver were remade for one Pokemon.

All signs are pointing to yes, we will get Ruby and Sapphire remakes next year.  All arguments against them can be refuted with evidence or logic.  You may not want to see Ruby and Sapphire remakes due to there being too much water in Hoenn, but your personal grievances agaisnt the third generation could be solved in a remake.  GameFreak could easily add large islands in the water routes to cut down on surfing time, just like how they added Viridian Forest in HeartGold and SoulSilver to expand Kanto.  In the end, we won't know for sure if we're going to get remakes of Ruby and Sapphire until GameFreak announces them or not, but until then, all the arguments against them don't hold any water in my eyes.

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