|Pokemon Box: Ruby & Sapphire
|Developed by||The Pokémon Company|
|Australia||July 16th, 2004|
|Europe||May 14th, 2004|
|Japan||May 30th, 2003|
|United States||July 11th, 2004|
Pokémon Box: Ruby and Sapphire is a spin-off game released on GameCube that is more of a companion tool to be used with the third generation games than an actual game. It is probably one of the rarest Pokémon games, due its limited release and the few ways one can get a copy. In fact, it was only released in New York's Pokémon Center and its respective online store.
The game was later on released in Europe as Pokémon Memory Magic, but this version could only be obtained with Nintendo Loyalty Program's Points for Europe. Another way to get the game was buying the Pokémon Colosseum Mega Pack. Due to its extreme rarity, a used version of the game would now cost nearly a hundred US Dollar. As stated earlier, Pokémon Box: Ruby & Sapphire is mainly a storage system hosted by Brigette, sister of Lanette the PC storage system host in the Hoenn region. Linking it to the third generation Pokémon games ( Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, LeafGreen and FireRed) gives access to many useful features, as a very big Pokémon storage, extra Pokémon eggs and a show case mode. Similar Pokémon games were released afterward, such as My Pokémon Ranch on the Nintendo Wii and Pokémon Bank on the 3DS.
FeaturesPokémon Box: Ruby & Sapphire offers mainly four fundamental features :
- The Storage Box: It is the main feature of the game and the most of important one. There are 25 boxes available, in which players can store their Pokémon from the third generation games. Each box can store up to 60 Pokémon, which means up to 1500 Pokémon can be stored in total. Within the boxes there are some fun options the player can select. The game allows the transfer of several Pokémon at once by holding the A button and selecting the desired Pokémon. Players can put a unique background for each box, including screenshot of their games, they can take with the emulation mode. Soothing and beautiful music can also be set for each box, alongside the ability to rename boxes differently. It is important to note that certain conditions are to be met within each of the third generation games before the player can transfer its Pokémon to or from Pokémon Box. The conditions are as follows :
Pokémon Ruby and Pokémon Sapphire: Before being able to put any Pokémon into Pokémon Box, the player must first acquire the Pokédex from Professor Birch. Additionally, to be able to retrieve Pokémon the player didn't deposit from Ruby or Sapphire into Pokémon Box, they must have at least 100 Pokémon caught on their Pokédex.
Pokémon Emerald: Before being able to deposit Pokémon in Pokémon Box, the player must have first received the national Pokédex. At least, 100 Pokémon must be caught and shown on the Pokédex to be able to withdraw Pokémon they didn't transfer from Pokémon Emerald to Pokémon Box.
Pokémon Fire Red and Pokémon Leaf Green: Transferring Pokémon into and from the game would require that the player finishes the Sevii Islands quest and activates the trade option with the games of the Hoenn region (Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire). Additionally, there's another withdrawal condition, which is to catch a 100 Pokémon just like the other third generation games.
- Pokémon Showcase Mode: This mode lets the player to display different figurines with Pokémon drawn on them on a variety of backgrounds. Similarly to the Storage Box, the player can alter the background, its music and its name. They are also able to adjust both the background's and the figurines' shapes and sizes.
- Pokémon Stats Preview: It is possible for the user to view detailed information about the Pokémon stored in Pokémon Box : Ruby & Sapphire and those stored in the game currently linked to the GameCube. The details include even the ribbons won by the Pokémon, which helps differ a Pokémon from its look alike.
- The Emulation Mode: It basically allows playing the GBA third generation Pokémon games Pokémon Ruby and Pokémon Sapphire on the big screen (Pokémon Leaf Green, Fire Red and Emerald can't be emulated). What's special about the emulator, is that it comes with the screen shot feature that allows the player to capture the current game moment and use it as a box background.
How it interacts with other Pokémon titlesThe game was mainly conceived to function with Pokémon Ruby and Pokémon Sapphire, but it can also be linked to Pokémon Emerald, Pokémon Fire Red and Pokémon Leaf Green. As mentioned above, it allows principally, Pokémon players to store their Pokémon from the mentioned games, using stylish and fun methods of display.
An example of a Pokémon Storage Box, full of Pokémon (left) + instructions on connecting the GBA to the GameCube (right)
Bonus EggsAside from its unique features, Pokémon Box : Ruby & Sapphire also offers its player Bonus Eggs as a gift. These eggs can be obtained after reaching a certain number of stored Pokémon within the game. They can, then, be transferred to the other Pokémon games, where they are hatched in the usual way (walking around while having the egg in the player's current team). Each egg contains a different Pokémon but with a unique skill that it can't normally learn, which makes the eggs worth the effort.
|First Egg: The first egg contains a Swablu that has the special attack False Swipe. It is earned as a reward for just starting the game.|
|Second Egg: The second egg contains a Zigzagoon with the special move ExtremeSpeed. It is earned upon reaching 100 stored Pokémon.|
|Third Egg: The third one contains a Skitty that learned the special attack Pay Day. It is the reward of reaching 500 stored Pokémon.|
|Fourth Egg: Probably the hardest one to get, which requires way more effort breeding and catching Pokémon to store them in the game. It hatches as a Pichu with Surf and is the final reward for reaching 1500 stored Pokémon.|
Videos & MediaCheck out these videos relating to Pokémon Box: Ruby and Sapphire including commercials, trailers and gameplay.
A Japanese TV Commercial for Pokémon Box: Ruby and Sapphire
The E3 2003 Game Play trailer
A good quality video showing some of the features in Pokemon Box RS, by ShadowMario3
SalesJudging by the number of the sold copies, the game didn't achieve exceptional sales, like the third generation titles it functions with, which was mainly due to its limited release. Pokémon Box : Ruby & Sapphire managed to sell an overall total of around 0.28 million copies, which is still quite great for such a rare game. On the other hand, if we consider the game cost, we'd see that those who did buy it successfully gained a lot of value due to the rarity and limited availability of the title. In fact, upon its release the game cost around 20 US Dollars, and a used version of it now scales from a hundred US Dollars up to three hundred US Dollars, making it one of the most expensive Pokémon titles to be released.
- Brigette reappears on Pokémon Bank for the 3DS, as the main host of the game.
- It is possible to transfer Pokémon from Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness. This can't be done directly, but first through transferring Pokémon from the two mentioned Pokémon games to one of the third generation games, and then to Pokémon Box. As the Pokémon are actually "transferred" and not traded to Pokémon Box, Pokémon that were supposed to evolve upon trading won't.
- There are many rumors saying that the game can't be linked to Pokémon Emerald, although it is compatible with all the third generation games.
- When released in Europe as Pokémon Memory Magic, the name change was primarily caused by translation problems.
- An Absol is featured on the Box Art of the North American version of the game.
Review ScoresKnowing that the game isn't a game after all, but a storage solution to the other games, it was considered by some people as secondary and optional. Thus, it wasn't that well received and scored mediocre scores on major review websites. Let's take a look at those scores:
- Craig Harris from IGN thought that the game was just a good deal, since it comes with a free memory card and a GBA link cable, yet it was still unnecessary. He rated it 5/10, the equivalent of "Mediocre" on their scale, stating " Is it a necessary release? Absolutely not. It gives players more function for organization and storage, but only the true diehards will take advantage of the extra space the GameCube memory card offers."
- GameRankings also gave the game an average score of 50%, although it was only from a single review.
- Moreover, Pokémon Box: Ruby & Sapphire wasn't reviewed by the GameSpot staff, yet it still scored 7.2/10 from the websites members reviews.
Overall, the game can be considered average at best and an optional game that only a hardcore Pokémon fan would generally be interested in.
Media & ArtworkBox Art from Pokemon Box: Ruby & Sapphire including numerous regional variations + editions
Screenshots from Pokemon Box: Ruby & Sapphire