The Problem with the Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire Remake

The Problem with the Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire Remake

I’ve been a fan of Nintendo for as long as I can remember. I grew up with their games, their consoles, and their way of looking at how fun can be achieved in video games. Times change, as have my video game tastes, but my love for Nintendo has remained. The problem, however, is that my love for Nintendo has become a little bit strained as of late–and the recent announcement of remakes of both Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire have only made me more frustrated.

Nintendo are not in a great position at the moment, mostly due to the Wii U’s continual failings. The fall in profits, the stagnation of their brands, the struggle to remain relevant to the masses, have all taken their toll on Nintendo. It’s a tricky time for anyone in the industry, but Nintendo seem to struggling more than most (at least in terms of their direction). While they may produce some quality titles such as Super Mario 3D World and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze , there’s a sense that perhaps Nintendo are running short of ideas when it comes to their franchises.


The Wii U remains a rather untapped platform for Nintendo’s much-loved franchises. Sure the likes of Mario, Pikmin, and Donkey Kong have made appearances, but the likes of Metroid, The Legend of Zelda, Kirby, Fire Emblem, and more have yet to appear on the system. Heck, even the 3DS is crying out for a fancy new Metroid title. With all this potential floating around, then, it becomes frustrating to hear that time and money is being spent on yet another Nintendo remake.

It’s not that respect or appreciation is lacking for these games. Wind Waker HD, for example, is a stunning piece of art in motion, with a nifty use of the Miiverse. Ocarina of Time 3DS may be a classic title based around a new gimmick, but it was still handled well. The reason for the frustration is purely down the timing more than anything. Nintendo is currently on a tide of good will after all the Directs featuring Smash Bros., and now was the time to capitalize, build interest around the Wii U; instead attentions have been turned towards a remake that not a whole lot of people were really asking for.



Is it a remake that people will shun? Of course not. But that’s not the point. Nintendo seem to be switching their tactics from creating vibrant video games full of charm to releasing remade titles making use of features in either the 3DS or Wii U. There is an argument to be made whether Nintendo have been putting out the same core Mario game for the last few years, but even then each game shines with its own sense of identity and bleeds a sense of creative genius. Releasing another 3D Pokemon game so soon after the last just seems a little forced; perhaps the dropping profit margins are forcing Nintendo into these kind of decisions?

As a Nintendo fan, I only want to see them succeed while doing what they do best. As a Wii U fan, I want to see Nintendo use the system as a home for their most-loved franchises, or even new ideas. The sheer amount of positivity surrounding the Wii U after Smash Bros. and Mario was shown was the perfect time for Nintendo to truly bring some momentum and interest to the system–even from skeptics. The reveal of the Ruby/Sapphire remake feels like a step backwards for Nintendo.


Sean Halliday


  1. midnightsun
    May 9, 2014, 6:47 am

    my only reply to this is that while Nintendo owns the IP it is actually Game Freak who makes the games. I believe they have only made 2 non Pokemon games since they started making Pokemon games (Drill Dozer and HarmoKnight).

    While it’s easy to say that Nintendo could have used the resources to create a new Metroid, Zelda or Star Fox game you also have to remember that Game Freak is THE Pokemon Company. This is what they do. A remake using the same engine as X/Y is a quick turnaround and a huge profit maker for Nintendo.

    Same as The Wind Waker. Just because Nintendo spent 6 months making TWW HD doesn’t mean they aren’t working on a new Zelda. Any game Nintendo can get on the Wii U right now is a huge boost for them. If they can release a game like TWW HD, take only 6 months to do it and have it not distract them from creating new games I say the more the merrier.

    Nintendo is working on their big guns, just give them time to reveal them.

  2. Kevin
    May 9, 2014, 4:30 pm

    Actually, the remake got a lot of people excited for the right reasons. Mainly because the 3rd generation of Pokemon was the favorite generation for a lot of the fanbase. Not to mention this will be the first remake that will make its transition to a full 3D environment much like Pokemon X and Y.

    Moreover, the release gap between 2 game titles for Pokemon isn’t exactly as big as most would think. They’ve more or less released games in a matter of 1 year, which is what’s happening now, with most of the release gap being between a year and a half or so.

    So there’s really not much relevance on pointing out the fact that they’re releasing titles yearly, specifically now, when they’ve been doing the same thing forever.

    • Sean Halliday
      May 10, 2014, 5:37 pm

      Think you’ve missed the point.

    • Sean Halliday
      May 10, 2014, 5:37 pm

      Think you’ve missed the point.

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