Pokémon Alpha Sapphire

As tired as the series can often seem, these games still shine.

Key events

3DS sales nearly doubled last month in US retail following Pokémon Go craze

3DS sales nearly doubled last month in US retail following Pokémon Go craze

The aging handheld tops hardware charts, Monster Hunter leads software.

Despite being five years old, the Nintendo 3DS became the most popular selling system in US retail for the month of July, according to Nintendo via analyst group NPD.

While Nintendo didn't disclose exact figures, it noted that sales of the 3DS skyrocketed up 80 per cent compared to July 2015.

It's worth noting that this includes all models of 3DS: the original, the budget model 2DS, and the premium Nintendo New 3DS.

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Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire UK's biggest Pokémon launch ever

Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire UK's biggest Pokémon launch ever

Super Smash Bros. in at 13. DriveClub up 999 per cent.

Combined sales of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire have earned Nintendo its biggest UK Pokémon launch of all time.

The combined sales total beat last year's launch of Pokémon X and Y by 17 per cent, UK numbers company Chart-Track announced - despite Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire being remakes of the series' Game Boy Advance incarnations.

Previously, the UK record for a Pokémon launch was held by 2011's Black and White on DS.

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Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire review

As the remakes pile up, it's easy to become cynical about Pokémon. There's always a young hero, there's always a team bent on world domination, and there's always turn-based combat. It's easy to conclude that every few years Game Freak releases a slightly updated version of what they already have, before dashing off to collect their money.

Yet the more I play the series, the more I keep coming back to it, and the more I begin to notice its subtle evolution. The writing gets stronger, the moments more personal and enriching. The turn-based, JRPG-inspired combat at the heart of it all is just as suited to forming the backbone of these increasingly mature adventures as it was for genre greats like Chrono Cross.

Pokémon is good. It's not ironically good, and its strengths aren't fuelled by nostalgia. It's just plain good.

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In a city full of foreign language and customs, visiting Tokyo's Pokémon Centre is a strangely welcoming experience. It's hard not to feel a sense of familiarity when surrounded by some of Pokémon's most famous faces - even when they are staring down at you from endless shelves of action figures and plushies, cereal boxes and spaghetti tins, hats, backpacks and badges.

Nintendo of Europe is offering a free game for registering your 3DS with select titles

Buy Super Smash Bros., Pokémon Omega Ruby or Pokémon Alpha Sapphire to qualify.

Nintendo of Europe has announced the Nintendo 3DS Winter 2014 Bonus Game Promotion wherein it's giving away vouchers for a free game to anyone who registers their 3DS, 3DS XL or 2DS at Club Nintendo along with one of the following titles: Super Smash Bros., Pokémon Omega Ruby or Pokémon Alpha Sapphire.

Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire release date announced

Nintendo's just announced that it will be releasing Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire for the 3DS in Europe launch in Europe on Friday, 28th November 2014.

The games reimagine the Ruby and Sapphire versions of Pokémon, which were released for the GBA back in 2003. Expect a fresh and fairly pretty take on a couple of classics, then.

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