These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
One of the more noted weakness of this set of games is that both the rival (Brendan/May, who doesn't fully evolve his/her starter and is the only one who can't be battled infinitely) and the Aqua/Magma Leaders (who only use a mere three Pokémon, all of them being ones that every one of their grunts use) are really pathetic compared to the rivals and Leaders in the rest of the series.
Wallace as the Champion in Emerald is thought of as being this due to falling to Poor, Predictable Rock unlike Steven, who uses a diverse typing of Pokémon. Steven does appear as a much harder Bonus Boss later, though.
Tate and Liza are fairly easy in Ruby and Sapphire. They only having two fairly weak Pokémon between them that are easily taken down by Surf, which is required to get to their Gym in the first place.
Wallace as a Gym Leader in Ruby and Sapphire and his replacement in Emerald, Juan. Their Pokémon are very unimpressive (they both lead with a Luvdisc and the rest of their team bar Milotic/Kingdra are pretty mediocre Mons) and the TM attack all of their Pokémon know is relatively weak with only 60 base power. By the time they are fought the player will more than likely have a dedicated Water-killer due to the amount of Surfing you need to do in the late-game and constantly dealing with Team Aqua up to that point in Sapphire and Emerald. Alternatively, the player can use a Pokémon with Calm Mind (like Gardevoir or Kadabra/Alakazam) to set-up Status Buffs in front of Luvdisc without being threatened and just sweep the rest of their teams with boosted STAB attacks.
Critical Dissonance: Believe it or not, the original Ruby and Sapphire received very positive reviews just upon release. The fandom was much more polarized for many reasons, and still is to a great extent.
Although not hard to run away from, Whismur can do a lot of damage with Uproar. If you're not careful, it can result in a couple Pokémon dy-fainting.
Trapinch usually have Arena Trap, which means you can't switch out or run unless your active Pokémon's a Flying-type or has Levitate. The Pokémon you open with is the Pokémon that lives or faints. If you're just trying to pass through the desert, and you weren't really thinking about your lead Pokemon, and you come across a Trapinch...
Best Level Ever: The last quarter of the game does also includes diving sections and Scenery Porn laden cities like Sootopolis and Mossdeep, which remain fan favorites. They just happen to be broken up by monotonous surfing.
Draco in Leather Pants: Sure, Archie and Maxie were some of the least openly-evil villain bosses to begin with, but some fans go even further and remove any traces of responsibility for their crimes from them. And then there's their underlings, who get this treatment as well despite being Psycho Supporters or Jerkasses.
Flygon has a pretty big underground cult following for being one of the coolest Pokémon designs of the third generation and for its unique typing. Even after Garchomp was released with the same typing and better stats overall, many players prefer the good old insect/dragon hybrid because its just way too damn cool.
Aggron is pretty popular, thanks to a certain poster. (See Memetic Badass below).
Absol got a lot of love for its cool design, though its veryAwesome, but Impractical nature (it was a Glass Cannon with a massive movepool that couldn't use most of it because of its horrible Special Attack, while its similarly bad Speed ensured that it would get killed before it could do much of anything) made it a competitive pariah until X and Y, when it Took a Level in Badass with a Mega Evolution that could actually abuse its Special movepool while buffing its Speed significantly.
Salamence also got a bit of love for being a Badass Dragon-type that could match Dragonite more or less hit-for-hit.
Shelly seems to flirt with you no matter what your gender.
Maxie with Archie, as well as the player in Emerald.
Seviper and Zangoose can breed, despite being enemies.
Game Breaker: In Emerald (unlike later third version games), Rayquaza needs only be encountered, not fought, to progress the storyline. If the player goes back to Sky Pillar however, the mascot is still there... and he's still rocking Level 70. To repeat: a level 70 Dragon-type Legendary Pokémon, before the Hall of Fame, when the Elite Four is packing Pokémon below level 60, and Steel-type professional Steven Stone is no longer Champion. Sayonara!
All of the enemies in the desert in Route 111 can be this, especially when combined with the perpetual sandstorm in that area and the fact that all of them have accuracy-reducing moves.
Sandshrew have high Defense and an evasion boost in the sandstorm, they can increase both advantages, and they can poison your Pokémon. If you aren't fielding a Pokémon immune to the sandstorm damage, they can go from this trope to outright Demonic Spiders after a Sand Attack or two.
Baltoy frequently Selfdestruct as the first move in combat, and if that fails, they may attempt to confuse your Pokémon.
Cacnea have the same evasion boost as Sandshrew in a sandstorm (as well as Sand Attack) and can pile Leech Seed on that.
Trapinch are the least offensive, but they can become this with their Arena Trap Ability if you're trying to flee the area and limp back to a place to heal.
And of course, Zubat/Golbat and Tentacool/Tentacruel return to fulfill their role as Goddamn Bats for caves and for surfing. Wingull and Pelipper make their debut as the worst of both worlds — speedy confusion-spammers on the sea — in a game that involves a lot of surfing.
One feature that Ruby and Sapphire introduced that all the other main games following it has to the point of being indispensable is the menu-sprite based box system. In previous games, the box system was very clunky: when your box was full, you couldn't catch any new Pokémon until you physically changed the box yourself. Ruby and Sapphire completely overhauled the way boxed Pokémon were represented. You can now see all the Pokémon in a given box, arrange them however you want to, and even change the wallpaper to however you want it to look. At least three different Pokémon "games" (more like applications) are based solely on storing Pokémon in this manner (Pokémon Box: Ruby and Sapphire, My Pokémon Ranch and Pokémon Bank).
The Berserk Gene item from Generation II was often considered bottom tier due to its side effect of causing confusion along with the Attack boost it gives. It would appear it would have some use in Pokémon with the ability Own Tempo, but one, no Pokémon that had the ability had a Attack stat that could benefit from the boost until Lickilicky and Purugly the next Generation and two, Berserk Gene is no longer an existing item this game onwards.
The "Hoenn Confirmed!" meme becomes one after the announcement of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.
Idiot Plot: Maxie and Archie stealing the wrong-colored orbs can be considered this for the sake of the player getting the mascot legendary.
It's the Same, so It Sucks: Nothing has changed for Dark and Steel-types in this generation; Dark-type moves are assigned to Special Attack but most of them are physically inclined while any Steel-types that don't have claws, tail or wings are screwed in the attack department. It wasn't until the next generation that those two types finally show their true strength with the Physical/Special split and more reliable STAB moves for them.
Chimecho, found only in one area (Mt. Pyre) with a measly 2% encounter rate. Close to completely useless in battle.
Skitty as well, thanks to it also having a low encounter rate and a mediocre learned movelist.
Nosepass, despite its humorous appearance. You just have to get lucky in finding one by smashing rocks in Dewford Cave, and it has rather poor Attack, more than likely making you think, "THIS is the Pokemon I had difficulty with in Rustboro?" Luckily, Gen IV was kinder to it by giving it an evolution in Probopass.
Suverted with Luvdisc note despite not being that rare, it's still counts because it only appears at endgame. It's by far the worst Water Pokemon of the game, with terrible stats except speed. If this doesn't convince you, Smogon will. However, even if it's not any good for use in battle, it does have another use - Hunting them down and using either Thief or Covet on them is an excellent method of obtaining Heart Scales when you need them!
The Hoenn games rapidly went from near-universally hated to something closer to this. To sum it up, it's mainly players who can't stand the removal of several beloved elements from Gen II, versus those who think the many innovations of this Gen more-than make up for it.
The music. Some players feel these games still have some of the most epic tracks in the entire series, while others are annoyed by the overabundance of trumpets, since the GBA had better sound capabilities that just "trumpet sounds". And there are others who think that both are true.
Ironically, the poster sings Aggron's praises for having moves it doesn't get until Generation IV.
Now there's an updated version◊ that also includes its Generation V capabilities.
Steven Stone, as the Final Boss, naturally fell into this; when Emerald came out and he was replaced by Wallace, Steven was generally found to be the more difficult of the two—thanks mainly to having a more diverse team—and this was compounded.
"Hohoho! I like kid TRAINERS! Let's have a good one!" note Said by a Kindler on Route 119 who only appears in Emerald and can be fought in a double battle.
The Trick Master. Each time you enter the Trick House (assuming a new challenge is available), you're told that you're being watched, and have to find his hiding place. The large number of trainers apparently lost and trapped in the puzzles doesn't help.
The Furry Fandom, meanwhile, gets Gardevoir (and to a lesser extent, Kirlia); they're extremely feminine humanoids and the Pokédex describes them as very loyal to their trainers. The result is that, not only do the furries latch onto them for their anthropomorphism, but they're also granted enough appeal to give them even admirers from outside the furry fandom.
Misblamed: The one thing fans seem to remember to blame GameFreak for rather than Nintendo in the Pokémon games is the inability to transfer Pokémon from the first two generations' games to Ruby and Sapphire onward. However, this is — coincidentally enough — the one complaint that the company had no control over — the Game Boy Advance wouldn't allow interaction with the Game Boy and Game Boy Color games at all, even if they wanted to make it possible (which it probably would have been considering every other generation at least allows transfers from the old games to the new ones).
Replacement Scrappy: Wallace as the Champion. Not only is he an Anti-Climax Boss, he's the Water-type Champion in the Generation infamous for the amount of Water the lategame contains and comes after an evil team based around them and a Water-type Gym Leader.
Scott from Emerald, due to his tendencies to appear or contact you at odd times.
Masquerain, for evolving from the uniquely-typed Surskit and then turning into yet another Bug/Flying type.
Aqua and Magma were considered poor replacements for Team Rocket and are still seen as lackluster compared to the other villain teams. While the consequences for both team's plans were certainly more dangerous than Team Rocket's, the plans themselves were rather stupid. They also had the least variety in their Pokemon teams, using only the Zubat, Poochyena, and Numel (Magma)/Carvanha (Aqua) lines.
The fishing mechanic as a whole was much more needlessly complicated than in the other generations:
Previously and after, you would cast your line and wait a few seconds and either get a bite or don't. In this generation, there's a needlessly long series of button pushes that literally amounts to "Oh a bite! Oh a bite! Oh a bite! Oh a bite! Oh a bite! Oh a bite! Oh a bite! Oh a bite!"
The Old Rod makes you go through this timing check only once per attempt. The Good Rod increases this to a max of three checks, and the Super Rod takes it all the way to a max of six checks. Have fun fishing with the Super Rod for that 15% chance of a Horsea!
There are several routes where using the Super Rod reduces the types of Pokémon you can catch compared to the Good Rod.
Berry farming could be aggravating, since it lacked any means of finding where you planted your berries. Certain Berries (mostly the rare ones) also required that you must water the Berry plant during each stage of growth (not multiple watering during one specific growth stage); otherwise, your Berry yield when you harvest the plant will be exactly what you started with: one Berry.
Puzzles involving steering the difficult-to-control Mach Bike.
The Bicycle concept in itself. Switching Bikes requires the player to travel to Rydel's Cycles in Mauville City each time the player wishes to switch, as he/she is only allowed to take one kind of Bike (Mach Bike or Acro Bike) out at a time. Several puzzles also require a specific kind of Bike — the Mach Bike is used to navigate across muddy slopes and cracked tiles, while the Acro Bike is needed to traverse distinctive white rails and rocky platforms. Hoenn's Safari Zone is probably one of the best examples — one area requires the Mach Bike, while another requires the Acro Bike, meaning that the player can only visit one of them during a Safari Zone session. For the next games, they essentially combined the two bikes into one by having two speed settings.
That One Attack: Flannery's Torkoal knows Attract, which will cause the target to not do anything 50% of the time if they are of the opposite gender. Since Torkoal is naturally bulky it'll almost always be able to get one off and proceed to elongate the battle while you try to hit it unless you brought a female or genderless Rock-/Ground-/Water-type. Good luck if you wanted to use Mudkip since they have a gender ratio of 7 males to 1 female!
That One Boss: Depending on the version you play some significant NPCs that can be challenged can gain and lose this status.
In Ruby/Sapphire, Tate and Liza only fight with Solrock and Lunatone, and they can get decimated by Surf easily (the very HM that is needed to access their gym in the first place). Emerald gives them Xatu and Claydol in addition to their signature Pokémon. The latter is especially difficult to break through due to its Stone Wall nature and the entire team can buff their Sp. Attack & Def. with Calm Mind, making this fight a frustration to most players.
Norman in Ruby/Sapphire has two Slakings, who despite the hindering ability is tough to take down due to only having one weakness (Fighting) which doesn't really help due to their high Defense stat. Emerald tones down Norman's team by giving him only one Slaking, but he is still a tough opponent nonetheless.
Subverted if you caught a Wingull and evolved it into Pelipper, which naturally learns Protect and lets it exploit the Slakings' Truant ability.
Finding Feebas and evolving it into Milotic. You can read the full summary here, but in short, it involves hours and hours of systematic searching, endless fishing, finding/breeding a Feebas with the right nature once you've found a Feebas tile, and lots of Berry farming and Pokéblock making. At least it's easier than in Generation IV where the Feebas tiles get scrambled every day rather than by something reasonably under your control.
Obtaining a Lucky Egg in this generation. It's a hold item that boosts EXP gained by 50%, making leveling much easier. However, it's only held by wild Chansey. While you could use Thief to steal the item in other generations, In this generation Chansey only appears in the FR/LG Safari Zone, meaning that you have to actually catch the Chansey. They're rare, hard to catch, quick to flee, and only have a 5% chance of actually holding the Lucky Egg, making it nothing but a Luck-Based Mission. Most players didn't even bother.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks: When originally released, there was no hint of a Generation Iremake, meaning that around 184 Pokémon were completely absent from the games. The only hint that they would return was their isolated data, which usually indicates event Pokémon (a very beloved game mechanic). That, combined with a number of expies for the missing Pokémon, replacements for Team Rocket, no way to return to Kanto or Johto, minimal time-based events, and an overall similar structure to Generation I led many a fan to think the release of Ruby/Sapphire was a franchise reboot, and said fans were not happy.
Tough Act to Follow: Ruby and Sapphire had the dubious honor of following up on Gold and Silver. Gold and Silver were highly regarded as an Even Better Sequel, giving players more Pokémon, a longer game, and introducing a number of new mechanics to the series like friendly evolution, day-night cycles, and breeding. Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire in comparison got rid of the (visible aspects of the) day-night cycle, was a shorter game, and introduced a slew of Scrappy Mechanics.
Vindicated by History: Most fans these days appreciate the games and Game Freak for understandably changing the often slapdash code of the previous generations into something more manageable, while introducing new mechanics that improved battles. Thankfully, many fans rejoiced when the news came that remakes are in the process of being made, Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.
Mega Sableye. People can't decide on whether or not its design is good and if giving it a Mega was a good idea due to it losing Prankster (the only reason to use a Sableye in the first place) upon Mega Evolving.
Mega Salamence. On one hand, people love how its wings have combined into a dual-function glider/blade and are happy the dragon can come back after the Fairy-type nerfed it (complete with Aerilate giving it usable Flying-type STAB moves). Others dislike the fact another pseudo-legendary got a Mega Evolution and feel it will be overpowered in addition to its bizarre, frisbee-like design.* Though remember that the other 2 pseudos to get Megas aren't anywhere close to being Game Breakers despite their insane Base Stat Totals. Mega Garchomp is outclassed by normal Garchomp due to being slower and needing Sand support to hit harder than a Life Orb Garchomp, while Mega Tyranitar can only do one thing better than normal Tyranitar (Dragon Dance sweeping). For a short time, its apparent loss or atrophying of its front limbs was also a matter of debate, although a trailer now clearly shows that its forelegs are still full-size and it tucks them inside its armor.
Mega Slowbro. Some think it has an unbelievably stupid design, while others think the dopey appearance is perfectly fitting for Slowbro.
Nearly all of the redesigns have caused debates on whether they're better, worse, or as good as the original. For example:
Team Aqua: Are their newly found skin-tone and their new outfits/designs awesome looking and befitting of their Pirate-like nature, or are they too garish, outlandish, and silly? Similarly, what of Archie's design? Does he look better now◊ or before?◊
Team Magma: Are their more subdued outfits a good way to contrast Team Aqua's looks? Or are they too subdued to the point that they come off as boring? Are the Admin's designs interesting and refreshing, or do they take you out of it, especially Tabitha's? Similarly, what of Maxie's design? Does he look better now◊ or before?◊
The Magma Grunts themselves don't help matters when in the original, they look laid back but decently menacing, while in the remakes they look like they're trying too hard to be menacing and instead look like they came from the Satsuki Kiryuuin School ofPerpetual Frowning.
Brendan and May: Do their new, more athletic clothes come off as more region appropriate? Or do they just look all wrong? Does May look too young/too much like Serena/Shauna? Is Brendan's shirt too tight? Hair too visible and brown? Skin too tanned? Nose too invisible?
The games' release date in Europe (one week behind the rest of the world), and lack of explanation as to why have been a source of large amounts of controversy amongst the fanbase, especially given how much they promoted the simultaneous worldwide release of X and Y.
Mega Swampert's super buff appearance has been subject to all kinds of memes, such as parodies of online "get buff quick" ads. It also gets paired up with Ike and Knuckles.
Mega Slowbro almost immediately spawned tons of jokes concerning its appearance. Some of the more popular ones compare it to a spinning top (or a Beyblade) or poking fun at how it shouldn't be able to keep itself upright.