Kris and I are well-versed in the Pokemon world. We love each and every region, though we do have our favorites. However, even though we have similar tastes, we do have opposite opinions on which Pokemon region is the better one.
Last year, we did Johto vs Kalos, a couple of our favorite regions from the Pokemon games. This time around, it’s Hoenn vs Sinnoh, the pair of games that are not only right up there with our favorites list, but also the regions where we first poured in so many hours respectively in order to not only defeat the champions but also train our Pokemon up to level 100. I’m playing for Team Hoenn, the region that is home to the third generation of Pokemon.
And I’m playing for team Sinnoh, the fourth generation of Pokemon. Pearl was the first Pokemon game I played all the way through and beyond and it’s had a special place in my heart ever since. I had, of course, played Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald before Pearl, Diamond, and Platinum came out. I never actually beat those games though – not until Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire came out. I enjoyed the Hoenn games, but for some reason, I seemed to enjoy Sinnoh a lot more.
Hoenn was always one of my favorites, mainly because I really enjoyed the Pokemon of the generation. While Sinnoh was great, Hoenn was the first generation to give you the option to play as either gender from the get-go as well as having a slightly more defined family. The duality of Sapphire’s and Ruby’s stories were interesting enough to keep me invested, and Emerald incorporated both Team Aqua and Team Magma well.
True, it was pretty cool to play as a girl for the first time. However, one thing I really loved about Sinnoh was Barry, your rival. I know he’s annoying to some, but I felt as though he was the first rival of yours who didn’t have any background in the Pokemon industry (such as their father being a gym leader or brother being the champion). Barry did have a story and he grew during it, even if it was a bit lacking. It still worked and I enjoyed his personality and journeying alongside him.
Barry’s father, I believe, was one of the heads of the Battle Tower, if that counts. I believe catching up to his father was one of his main goals, other than just having a grand old time on a journey. Hoenn kind of had two rivals, the opposite-gendered avatar as the professor’s child and Wally, the kid who spent the time working to improve both his confidence and health. They weren’t too bad, as far as rivals went, except that they were the first rivals to be fairly friendly with the main character. The rivalry was good-natured and they helped to protect the world with the main character rather than just be considered another villain-like character.
I actually don’t remember that about Barry. Good-natured rivals are well and good, especially since Barry was your friend in Sinnoh. I have to say, I don’t necessarily like comparing Pokemon to other Pokemon, but… I do think the legendary Pokemon in Sinnoh are cooler than the ones in Hoenn. It’s cool to have Pokemon care for the land and one for the water as well as one for the sky, but Palkia and Dialga represent time and space and then Giratina is animated. How cool is that? I feel like land, water, and sky are a bit cliche and Sinnoh’s legendaries represent so much more.
The Hoenn legendaries, though, are more plot-relevant in the third generation than the Sinnoh legendaries, I feel. Sure, in Platinum, you go to another dimension to meet Giratina, but I honestly forget the major plot points with the other legendaries. Hoenn actually has Kyogre and Groudon nearly duke it out and destroy the known world, making it more exciting. Hoenn also introduced the Battle Frontier, giving trainers more battle challenges after the main story. While the Battle Tower itself was introduced in the Crystal version, Emerald expanded upon it with the whole Frontier.
I think we can agree to disagree that there are various differences between the two regions. They both have their ups and downs, though I still enjoyed Sinnoh a lot better. I think partly because it was on the DS instead of the Advance, but… I guess I can’t really use that as an advantage since that was just the technology at the time.
I adored the look of Emerald, even if it was on the Advance rather than the DS, with the scenery of the region throughout your journey. At least the third generation of Pokemon had remakes! We’re still waiting on the Diamond and Pearl remakes, haha!