Pokémon Sapphire journal - entry three

Though I have accepted the fact that Team Aqua and Team Magma’s aspirations will probably never live up to the nefarious deeds of other villains in the series, I definitely like the way their story has paced itself thus far. The race to stop Team Aqua at the top of Mt. Chimney added a bit of tension to an atmosphere that has been otherwise laid-back and focused primarily on a sense of exploration/adventure. In regards to that last aspect, Sapphire reminds me a lot of my original playthrough of Gold on the Gameboy Color. The distance between towns in Hoenn may not be as great as those in Johto, but the routes are all well-designed and the realm a great realization of what the GBA hardware was capable of.

Generally speaking, I tend to lean toward Pokémon that have a three-stage evolutionary line, or at the very least, a two-stage evolutionary line. Unless I’m adding a legendary Pokémon to my team, it’s very rare that I will keep a non-evolving Pokémon in my party. With Sapphire, however, I currently have two Pokémon in my party that do no evolve – Torkoal and Sableye. Torkoal has proven to be incredibly useful as my defensive ‘tank’ party member, while Sableye not having any natural weaknesses and resisting the moves that any other Ghost-type Pokémon would makes it a highly-dependable team member for getting me out of rough spots. As I’ve stated many times in past journal entries and other Pokémon-related posts, Ghost Pokémon are among my very favorites. That said, I’ve never cared much for Banette, and Dusclops is just sort of ‘okay’ in my opinion. Sableye might be super creepy and weird, but he’s got a lot going for him at the moment – assuming he will learn some better Ghost and Dark moves from leveling up, I’ll probably take him with me all the way to the Elite Four.

As far as the rest of my team is concerned, I’m quite pleased with their current levels and movesets. Both Loudred and Pelliper serve distinctly different counters to a wide range of Pokémon typings (and moves, thanks to their respective abilities), and as a result, I effectively have two ‘jack-of-all-trades’ Pokémon at my side. Breloom and Torkoal are geared toward specializing in moves reflective of their typings, and while they have their obvious weaknesses, are both solid in terms of offense and have served me well through these recent legs of the game. I may change the lineup a bit sometime down the road, but I still have a sixth spot open, and while I have typings in mind, I don’t have a specific Pokémon that I feel I absolutely want. Bagon and Beldum would certainly be nice, but I recognize that it will be a while before I encounter either of these Pokémon in the wild.

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