Community Pokémon Archive: The Truth Behind The Hate by Notmman

Hey guys and welcome back to the Community Pokémon Archive, where members of the community can write any article pertaining to Pokémon that they choose in the hopes of building up the excitement for the TSG Pokémon Marathon in March and the release of Pokémon Black and White Versions on March 6th.

This project has really been a success so far and we’ve barely scratched the surface yet. So let’s get on to today’s article. Several months ago, Notmman created a forum post giving a detailed list of his opinions on Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald and has now requested it be put up on the blog for all of TSG to see. Just remember, Generation V was just beginning to come into the picture at the time this was written.

You can read the article after the jump.


The Truth Behind The Hate (For R/S/E)

This is going to be like Snowflake’s forum: long and informative, and it’s all based on my opinions of the games. Once again, this is going to be a long one so grab a drink, get some popcorn, sit right down, and let’s begin!

I’m going to start off with a fact. Ruby and Sapphire sold less than their predecessors (spell Nazi?) with 13 million copies sold and to this day, remain the best selling games for the GBA. But how can this be? Why is it that it sold less than R/B/Y and G/S/C? Well, I decided to write this article as a means of not starting a flame war, but to give you a solid opinion on these games. Your view is appreciated after reading this article.

Possible reason #1: The Pokemon

This is one I have seen a little too often. People didn’t really like this game because the Pokémon weren’t staying true to the original feel of Generation 1. To quote a forum member “They’re more like Digimon than Pokemon.” Fact: The original brain child of Pokemon, Satoshi Tajiri stated that he drew inspiration from catching and collecting bugs near his Tokyo home when he was younger. What does this have to do with the Pokemon? Simplicity for too long was going to get boring. Besides, the argument of the “true Pokémon feeling” is flawed because the older Pokémon weren’t as simple as some may think (Jynx, Ditto and Porygon to name a few). This argument also states that there are way too many Pokémon in these new games.

For something to be great, the idea first has to grow. In order for Pokémon to grow, they needed more Pokémon. It’s a truth many today still have yet to face.

In my view? The Pokémon introduced were unique. I might not necessarily use most of them, but it doesn’t make them any worse. My tastes in usable Pokémon were found in the 4th generation.

Possible reason #2: The Game Play

I think most of you know where I’m going with this. The games simply didn’t connect with the previous ones and, aside from running shoes, the game play hasn’t changed blah blah blah. I hate this argument. I found these games to be inventive for what they were trying to do. Maybe they are right in saying that you still gotta go round defeating trainers, getting badges etc etc. But that’s called continuity. You keep something older for the older players. Apart from this, the game play is simple enough. If you can play this game as a child then it doesn’t need to get any less simple. But it didn’t leave out the older players in terms of challenges (Battle Frontier).

As we have seen from the 4th generation and indeed what we have seen from the 5th, nothing big is changing in terms of game play. You still gotta do the same thing. However in each game you can do it differently. It keeps the franchise new and refreshing.

Possible reason #3: Pokémon Just Got “Serious”

Everyone who played Pokémon up to Generation III knew about the Legendaries. They were the cool looking Pokémon who had more power and were generally pretty difficult to catch. Then, everything changed when Groudon and Kyogre came along. Suddenly, Pokémon Fans were “forced” to believe that Pokémon now had deities of the Land, the Sea and the sky. Umm…hello? Lugia is part of the sea and Ho-oh…well he governs rainbows.

The point is that a Legendary is meant to symbolize a particular aspect of nature. This changed in Generation IV, but I won’t go there. Not only did we have representations of the Land and the Sea, but suddenly we had team Aqua and Magma both wanting control of Groudon or Kyogre so that they could expand their respective elements. Wow…to me as a kid, that was some heavy stuff. They were extremists driven by extreme stupidity. I can admit that almost none of the teams have ever been very smart or cool, but that’s what Game Freak intended; the perfect villain is always the stupid one.

It’s not so much that I think Pokemon has gotten too heavy, but it’s taken itself WAY too seriously as of late. Alas, I’m afraid this is one of those arguments that could go on for ages…

Possible Reason #4: Evolving Methods

Some people thought this game was bad because they thought that the way Pokémon were evolving just didn’t make sense anymore

If your saying they shouldn’t evolve by leveling up, then it would be a valid argument. But otherwise, I would have to disagree. In the first generation we had trading to evolve Haunter, Graveler and Machoke and in Generation II, you had to raise the happiness for some Pokémon or even trade certain Pokémon while they were holding specific items. If anything, Generation 3 broke the mold by giving you the ability to max out Feebas’ Beauty stat and getting Shedinja by having a Pokéball and a spare slot in your party when you evolved your Nincada into Ninjask.


In a way, I always liked Ruby and Sapphire because they have the nostalgic value to me. Ruby was my new Silver and Groudon became my first legendary to have been caught without a Master Ball. People, in my view, seem to criticize this game more than the others and I know that they were a huge leap of faith. In my view, they landed the faith safely.

To summarize it all up, Generation 3 broke the mold of Pokemon and if it hadn’t done so, I doubt Pokemon would have been as successful as it is today.
Interested in writing an article for the the Community Pokémon Archive? Check out this forum thread!

20 thoughts on “Community Pokémon Archive: The Truth Behind The Hate by Notmman”

  1. Honestly, I have no idea why I just don’t like Generation 3. None of the reasons above were the reason, I know that. (Having to constantly switch bikes though, that was stupid). I don’t know, maybe it was the graphics, or the GBA sound chip or something. I just didn’t like Gen III.

  2. I can’t really say, because I had came to 3rd gen after a long hiatus, and then solely to get stuff for importation into 4th gen. But I’m sure that for some people, something just rubbed them off, even if they don’t know what. It’s kind of like me and FF9. It’s hardly my favorite of the series, but I just can’t identify exactly what it is.

  3. Gen 3 is easily the best gen.

    The idea of the ‘stupid villain is the best villain’ is crap – the best villain is the smart, calculating, manipulative, near impossible to kill villain.

  4. I’ve always liked RSE. I thought they were great games. But I’ve always disliked FRLG. Not entirerly sure why but I know I hated that Teachy TV popping up each and every time I accidently pressed R or L.

  5. Generation 3 was always my more favorite of the Pokemon games (although Black and White may take that spot). I guess it’s because my favorite Pokemon, Sceptile, is from that generation and I liked how the region was layed out. And although both of the first two generations did have a story, I felt Gen 3 went into more depth with two teams instead of one and a few other concepts, althouth this was probably due to the GBA being able to represent more graphical wise. All in all each game is great.

  6. I think one of the biggest reasons why the third generation gets hate is because they can’t trade with the second generation!

    “Boo! Liek, I can’t dominate them all with my Level 100 Lugia!”

    Also, you forgot to mention Kadabra when the Trade Evolutions are mentioned.

  7. Gen 3 has the most nostalgic value for me since it was the first Pokemon RPG I beat. I didn’t mind all of the surfing really, and gen 3 has some of my favourite Pokemon in it, again probably because of nostalgia. Other arguments I’ve heard are there isn’t night and day graphic effects and as many timed events, which I agree with. As far as evolving by leveling up go though, I like it more than raising Pokemon like a Tamagotchi.

  8. Thanks for the positive comments everyone 😀

    Having played Ruby for a second time, I can see Scruff’s arguement being very valid in that there is no night and day, plus the graphics at times can be a little lack luster…

    To be totally honest though, I still really love my Ruby for the the nostalgic value and the fact that the Hoenn region felt a little more natural exploration then going from city to city

    1. That and Ruby has Zangoose, so I have to use my sister’s copy of Ruby to get one.

      Also the lack of the night and day aspect was only slightly disappointing for me because I have seen friends play gen 2 and I hadn’t actually played much of them myself at that time, so I was only aware of the night and day aspects from gen 2 but it didn’t really take away from the gen 3 games at all for me.

  9. I have a love/hate relationship with Gen III… I really only HATE all of the surfing one has to do, but I LOVE most of the rest of the game…I’m in dire need of replaying it.

    (I also find myself humming RSE music to myself quite often, even though I haven’t played it for at least a year if not two!)

  10. I’m sad that people seem to go hating on R/S/E and I’ve never understood why.
    I LOVED my copy of Sapphire and I’ve probably played it more than any of my other pokémon games.
    I didn’t mind the surfing, I found it quite fun. Heck, I even loved the music I got when surfing. I remember I spent alot of my time in the sea there…
    Ah~ I truly love Sapphire, it’s one of my favorites in the pokémon series~ (Sadly, my copy of it suddenly disappeared… I hope I can find it one day…)

  11. I always preffered RSE, even when DPPt came out. Now that I have played BW and I can say that RSE is still my favourite. It is the region I find the most enjoyable to play through again. I came to it after a bit of a hiatus, which meant I didn’t know about ANY of the new Pokémon beforehand, making it more like playing RBY for the first time. For example the first time I ran into Latios I freaked out. It was just so unexpected! It has been one of my favourite Pokémon ever since. I also found my first shiny on Ruby (Beldum; IMO Gen III has the best looking shiny forms. Green Salamence? Yes please.) I must admit was a little miffed by the lack of a day/night cycle, but that just meant that I didn’t have to wait for hours for a certain poke to appear somewhere. It was just the berries that I had to wait days for >___> Plus Emerald is IMO the best 3rd installment of all of the generations, purely for the Battle Frontier, the most frustratingly awesome place in Hoenn.

    1. Like you, I came back to the Pokemon series in Gen 3, and I loved RSE (gen 1 remakes were nice too). I can honestly say that this gen has my favorite Pokemon designs overall (if I were to make a top 20 list from all gens, at least 8-10 of my favorites came from these games). I can only speak for myself, but the first time I got to the final Aqua/Magma showdown in Sapphire, I was pretty impressed compared to the first two generations. Overall, 3 is probably my favorite gen, even though fixed any of the flaws in mechanics.

  12. Idk, i’ve always disliked Gen 3. I always felt that it was a bit boring in terms of gameplay and whenever I go back and replay the games I find myself needing to grind a HELL of a lot more than the other generations(especially right before gym 7), which was annoooyyyyinnngggggg…… and, way too much water, and there was quite a bit of backtracking, which doesn’t really happen in any other game…. Whatever,

    Gen IV is surprisingly enough my favorite gen, recently surpassing gen 1 with the edition of heartgold, (and soulsilver, i guess…) Then gen 1, then 2, then 3

    Whatever… opinions

  13. I have never understood why people hate Generation 3 either, I was around back in 1999/2000 when Red and Blue were released (in Europe), I have many fond memories with these games, but after Gold/silver I lost interest in Pokemon.

    3 years ago, i regained interest in the franchise(not just the games either). I replayed Blue & Gold, but after playing Saphire, Generation 3 became my favourite, even against the nostalgic value of Generations 1 & 2.

    It felt fresh to me, maybe because i had played Gen 1/2 to the death back in the day, and seeing somthing new was exciting, exploring a new region, catching new pokemon, battling new Gym Leaders etc.

    Generation 4 didnt have the same effect though, and to this day Generation 3 remains my favourite(I havn’t played Black or White yet)

  14. I thnik pokemon s/r/e where the best probly because it was my frist pokemon and my frist game i got for my gb i spent over 200 hours playing and replaying it and i still go back and play it to this day not as soon i complete but still i dont thnik ive gone a year without playing it twice since 2003.
    pokemon 3rd gen FTW

  15. I believe my reason for not liking the 3rd generation stems from the narrative. There was no solid plot for the character to get swept up in, and I believe the root of this was the two teams. Having one extremist group be the good team (in R/S) and one be the bad never made much sense to me, and then the way the player was instructed to do things could be cloudy at times (the volcano grunts anyone?)
    In Emerald they fixed the directional part of the plot, and made it so both teams were bad, but that just left the player even more lost in this senseless (as i like to call it) “Slap-fight” betweeen 2 adults. One wanted nothing more than to make the whole world land, while the other had the exact opposite intentions. Both chose the wrong orb, and both came to an all-to abrupt realization of their wrongdoing and suddenly left. For me it was never the design of the pokemon, or the gameplay that hindered this generations’ impact, it was allways the story. Usually the pokemon games have some way of involving the character in the plot in a way that actually makes sense for the main character to be swept up in despite not speaking. in R/B/Y it was team rocket taking over cities and making it impossible to overcome obstacles, in generation two it was your rival, his hatred for team rocket, and team rocket themselves who kept the player going, in generation 4 it was team galactic and their megalomaniac leader’s desire for power, causing grief for the citizens of sinnoh. in generation 3 however, the player has a passive rival, no clear alleigence to either team, except for what the teams deem your help, and many random encounters with people that – in the end – were no real threat to anyone because of how easily they were shown the error of their ways. Pokemon games have always been, and will always be, about the level of immersion I recieve from the plot of the games. If a pokemon game does not allow be to be sucked into the world of the game, and form my own opinions about the heros/ villains of the game,It simply will not make an impact on me. As generation 3 failed to do. Had I been a few years younger, perhaps this story would have been more thrilling, but alas, I was not.

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