I never much paid attention to the TV when I played Pokemon Emerald. It was something that would flash when I entered someone’s house, and if I watched it, I got a cute little short about how I beat some trainer or grew some berries. However, this still required me to hunt for TVs, which made it a bit of a chore to try and keep up.
The BuzzNav from Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire is the TV from the game’s previous incarnation playing constantly on the bottom screen, should you choose to turn it on. The demo really did not do a good job of showing the BuzzNav off, in my opinion. In the full game, though, I found myself tuning into the BuzzNav over the arguably more useful AreaNav and DexNav features on the PokeNav more often than I thought I would.
The news channel sometimes even offers insight into events happening outside of what your character can experience, such as news on Wally’s adventure, which happens largely offscreen or interviews with the Researcher who had research material stolen back in Petalburg Forest. Most of the news does center around your character, though, as he mows down Gym after Gym and later goes on to greater adventures.
Although the news is still largely centered around you, I really liked feeling that I actually had an impact on Hoenn, and that made the TV programs in the remakes more interesting to keep up with. In fact, there are plenty of other shows, too, and they run a wide gamut. “TM Treasures” will constantly poke fun at you for not using every single TM in your inventory, while “Shall We Douse?” is a sort of reality show focusing on items you find through the Dowsing Machine. Watch as the audience oohs and aahs over what you’ve found! On the other hand, “Today’s Smart Shopper” tries to make you feel better about throwing tens of thousands of Poke Yen down the drain by saying you got a deal.
(By the way, prices are always constant in this game … so far as I know.)
These shows are largely useless in the grand scheme of things (except arguably the BuzzNav, which helps with world-building), but they’re still fun to watch. The shows will even play during dialogue or as you enter and leave areas, when usually the screen would black out, which I thought was funny because this means now you have something to look at as you transition from one Route to the next! (Which usually takes less than a second, but hey.) I also find it funny that the channels are all about you. Later on, it makes more sense, but when you’re just starting out, you start wondering, “Was there no one better for you to stalk 24/7?”
On the other hand, the AreaNav is a very relevant application, and its features go well beyond providing the occasional amusement. While at first glance it looks like an advanced Town Map that actually shows you how far you are along a route, clicking on the map opens allows you to examine it in greater detail. There are several tabs on the bottom screen that provide you with a variety of information you would’ve previously jotted down on a sheet of paper or something. For example; where is your Secret Base (and those of your friends)? Where did you plant your berries? How much time has passed since you planted them? The AreaNav now keeps track of all of that for you.
It also shows you which trainers are available for rematch, as well as some details on them that are largely useless (yet again) but still cute to know. A pair of Twins has the description “We like the same kinds of Pokemon, but not the same kind of dessert.” This style of flavor text also extends to the locations themselves. For Fiery Path, the description is “The Pokemon that live in this area like to use the steam that erupts from the ground as a sort of bath.” I absolutely love any sort of world-building in a game, and the fact that it’s Pokemon, where almost everything was left undescribed in the past, makes it all the better for me.
Another favorite feature of mine is that, after viewing the details, you can Fly to all the locations. Granted, you can’t fly directly to your Berry tree or to the exact trainer raring and ready to go, but it saves you the trouble of exiting a menu, opening another one, choosing a few options, and then finally taking off.
Finally, there is one last application on your PokeNav, called the PlayNav. However, those who have played Pokemon X/Y will find the features available through the PlayNav very familiar. These are the PSS, Pokemon-Amie, and Super Training. I like that they condensed these three options into one screen. Clicking on any one of them will turn your bottom screen into that of X/Y. Less clutter, and it lets you focus more on Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire rather than on features introduced in another game.
Food for Thought:
As an example, here is an excerpt from “Search2Catch,” which covers the hidden Pokemon you’ve seen: “I had my fingers crossed for him! Joshua! There’s a cute Pokemon right in front of you! Do your best! Your fated encounter is waiting! But then… Joshua walked right on by! Joshua! Oh, Joshua! How blind are you?! Wasn’t it in your field of vision?! Couldn’t you see that cute Poochyena?!”
It’s true the BuzzNav can be a bit mean-spirited at times, but the fact they’re so enthusiastic about every little thing I do makes me chuckle. Yeah, I missed that Poochyena. I’ve captured, like, 10 already.