BWU: The Worst Gyms in Pokémon OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire

The transition from Generation III to Generation VI gave the Hoenn region a gorgeous aesthetic lift, transforming the games into the best looking entries to date. However while many of the region’s Gyms followed this suit, others have still failed to leave an impression on us. Whether it’s the Gym puzzle retaining the limited capabilities of the Game Boy Advance titles or simply the update was unremarkable, either way not all the Gyms in Hoenn are so nice to relive…

Worst #1 – Mauville City Gym

Mauville City Gym

Ah Mauville City, the one city in the Hoenn region to be entirely unrecognisable. I’m not at all convinced when some backpacker tells me that it’s as big as Unova’s Castelia City but it’s still a pretty sizeable location in the new games. However the city’s Gym gives a lacklustre performance considering how interesting a place this has become. The electric gates have returned and this time they are within some kind of generator which I presume fuels the whole city. The place is almost entirely dedicated to the colour grey which, when the world outside is so vibrant and interesting, is quite jarring to behold. However a lot what makes this Gym one of the worst is the Gym Battle at the end of it. I remember battling Wattson in Pokémon Ruby and he quite frankly thrashed me almost every time. That Magneton of his was one evil Pokémon and when you haven’t chosen Mudkip as your starter he is not an easy battle to overcome. We can’t avoid his attacks thanks to Shock Wave and we can’t raise our defences thanks to Sonicboom, which made Wattson one of the more challenging battles in the game. This all changed in Pokémon OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire; even using Grovyle, my victory was more akin to when Ash inadvertently defeated the man without breaking a sweat in the Anime. Thus with the Gym layout being so forgettable and dull and the battle being far less engaging than it was originally, Wattson and the Mauville City Gym sadly have become cemented as one of the worst Gyms in the Hoenn region.

Worst #2 – Mossdeep City Gym

Mossdeep City Gym

Back in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire this Gym was most definitely the most unique because of course Tate & Liza were the only Double Battle Gym match in the series’ history. However times have changed now and Mossdeep City Gym has gone from an interesting experiment to a laughable experience. For starters the Gym has never been able to hold onto a single design, utilising movement pads but going from a huge mass of them all in one room, to several smaller rooms in Pokémon Emerald to what it is now, a series of lights hanging in space that hover us between small rock platforms. At least the concept of forced movement has been retained in every appearance. However I found that in this instance I wasn’t able to even fight every Gym Trainer like I would normally do. This was due to the fact that I’d chosen the pathway that lead back to the start of the Gym without knowing it was not possible to reset any of the buttons that had been pressed along the way, meaning the only path that was left to take was the one leading straight to the Gym Leaders. I can’t recall another time when the Gym puzzle could not be done over so this felt very frustrating to come to terms with. Besides this the aesthetic of floating around in space feels all too similar to the Anistar City Gym in Pokémon X and Y, only without the interesting spherical layout. Sadly the Gym battle follows suit as one of the most underwhelming in the series. When Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire introduced Double Battles the system was quite limited at the time with opposing trainers only able to use two Pokémon against us; the true form of Double Battles we play today didn’t hit the main series until Pokémon Emerald (after Pokémon Coliseum experimented by dedicating an entire  game to it). Thus Tate & Liza followed suit and only used two Pokémon themselves; by Pokémon Emerald their line-up was more substantial. Thus why three generations later and their back to only two Pokémon is beyond me; their Lunatone and Solrock can be so easily overcome when we have a team of six at our disposal. It’s a crying shame something more wasn’t made of Mossdeep City Gym but alas the twin Gym Leaders will just have to deal with their Gym being at the bottom of the list.

Next up the most unique Gym in Pokémon OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire

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