The Time Sucking Adventure that is, Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire

After putting in what I believe to be a considerable amount of time into Pokémon: Alpha Sapphire, I’ve realized that the game itself is a true testament to Nintendo’s ability to suck an irresponsible amount of time out of my life. Not only does the game itself manage to be an exemplary remake of one of my first beloved gaming experiences, but it also manages to pepper in new or improved features that cause me to move through the game at snails pace, yet I still enjoy it every step of the way. Features in the game such as the DexNav and Super Training are two of the main causes for my slow progress, and through this article, I’m going to explain how both feature have managed to create considerably large detours as I make my way through the newest Pokémon iteration.

Shortly after departing on your new and exciting Pokémon adventure, you receive the DexNav. The DexNav, for those who do not know, is a new feature in Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire that allow you to search for wild Pokémon in a new way that, at its simplest form, consists of your trainer creeping up on Pokémon in shaking patches of grass. The more you encounter a certain Pokémon, the better the search function will be on your DexNav, allowing you to find wild Pokémon with a variety of special features. For a complete and thorough explanation of all the DexNav features, feel free to check out a full guide on it here.

The specific function of the DexNav that is responsible for making it so addictive for myself is its interface. When using the DexNav, the bottom half of your screen displays the route that you are on, along with icons of the Pokémon that you have caught and can be found on the route. What makes this so enticing, especially for completion-oriented players, is that once you have captured every Pokémon available in a certain area, your DexNav will display a congratulatory badge on the top right of your screen.

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And trust me. You will not feel complete until you get that badge.

This congratulatory badge serves no semblance of a purpose to me in the game, yet I’ll be damned if I pass through a route without earning that badge. Just by adding the smallest amount of meaningless reward to catching Pokémon, GameFreak managed to incentivize me to painstakingly capture each and every Pokémon I can during my adventure.

My determination to receive my pat on the back badges wasn’t truly tested until I reached route 110. Everything seemed normal, I had caught a majority of the Pokémon on the route, but I couldn’t seem to capture the last Pokémon I needed. After some online research, I found out that the Pokémon I was missing was a Minum. This was somewhat discouraging because Minum is a version exclusive Pokémon that is exclusive to the version that I don’t have. Upon further research, I found out that you can encounter Pokémon that are normally unavailable to your version through horde encounters. Just like in Pokémon X and Y, you can encounter a horde of five Pokémon by using the move sweet scent outside of battle.

At this point I had to make a decision. Do I want to get on with my virtual life in the wondrous world of Pokémon, or do I want to spam the use of sweet scent in the hopes of coming across a horde of third generation Pikachu knockoff Pokémon just so that I can finally receive a complimentary virtual badge of completion? Looking back now, after brutalizing countless wild electrikes and then finally being able to put my newly caught Minum into a PC box where it will remain for eternity, I can’t help but think it was worth it whenever I see my congratulatory badge while strolling through route 110.

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I will never ever use you and you will rot in my PC

Super Training is back in the new Pokémon Games, and while I could be in the minority school of thought on this, I was mildly excited to see its return. For those who don’t know of it, Super Training was first introduced in Pokémon X and Y as a fun variation to EV training. It consists of your Pokémon innocently popping balloons in mini games, which is a quite different and welcome change to the old method of EV training, which, at its core is a simple and tedious process that consisted of slaughtering hundreds of a single type of Pokémon. If you have yet to discover what EVs are, please do yourself a favor and don’t learn anything more about them, and keep your Pokémon experience simple and joyous like I wish mine still was.

To get back on track, I had a Kirlia in my party for the sole purpose of evolving it into a Gallade. To get a Gallade, you must give your male Kirlia a dawn stone. After shamelessly searching online, I found that the earliest findable dawn stone isn’t found until victory road, and I wasn’t about to drag my Kirlia through most of my adventure. I needed to take an alternate approach. Turns out that by performing well on the last several super training challenges, you can receive evolution stones as a reward. The only problem is, to do these last super training challenges, you need to complete all previous super training challenges and use a Pokémon that has maxed out its EVs.

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God help you if you are left handed and want to super train your Pokémon

At this point I had just beaten the third gym leader, my team averaged around level thirty, and once again I had a decision to make. Keep going along my adventure like a normal trainer would, or pour a couple hours into throwing soccer balls at a variation of large Pokémon shaped balloons? Seeing as I had already taken a multi-hour detour solely for a congratulatory badge, it would be irrational to not do the same so that I could get a Gallade, which, unlike the badge, would actually have some type of value to my team.

So here I am. Sixteen hours in, three gym badges to show for it, but at the end of the day I can rest easy with my Gallade and congratulatory DexNav badges. Stay tuned as I trudge through my Hoenn Adventures, and undoubtedly pour copious amounts of unnecessary time into side ventures such as the Pokémon Contest, and Super Secret Bases.

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Not to mention the dangerous levels of nostalgia

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About The Author

Feature Writer

Eli Hile is a feature writer at Always Nintendo. He likes spreading his opinions and knowledge on all things Nintendo, and is currently a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Aside from logging countless hours into Pokemon and Super Smash Bros, Eli enjoys playing tennis or golf with friends.