Sapphire Edition

Format: Game Boy Advance

Immerse yourself in the beautiful region of Hoenn, a place of masterful heroes and mysterious teams, of friendship and battles. As the new kid in town, you set off on your journey as a Pokémon Trainer. Who knows what wonders and dangers await you? It's time to grab your gear and head out on your own...

At long last, Pokémon takes a huge jump into the world of Game Boy Advance. For the first time in a Pokémon game you can participate in 2-on-2 battles (which means that you can send out two of your Pokémon against two of your opponent).

There are over 200 Pokémon, of which around 100 are new discovered species which your friends will want to link up with you to trade. There is also a new feature which allows you to groom and show of your best pets in the Pokémon version of Crufts. These Pokémon contests allow your pets to win ribbons - another way of showing off to your classmates in the playground.

On the minus side, this game is not compatible with other games in the Pokémon stable (apart from the new Pokémon Ruby) so you won't be able to swap those prized Pokémon with other games.

With another game released this month (the aforementioned Pokémon Ruby) parents are going to have to shell out £60 for what is really the same game, but with different Pokémon. I couldn't help thinking of the South Park episode Chinpokemon which changed the Pokémon catchphrase "Gotta catch 'em all!" to "Gotta buy them all."

Having said that, this is an incredibly well polished addition to the Pokémon range of games.

Pete Boomer

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