First things first: If you want to avoid meeting Tentacools on water, use repels. That solves ALL of your problems with surfing, so I see no reason to complain about that.
Second of all, I will admit this was
the generation that introduced me to Pokemon, so Nostalgia Filter
may be in play here, but I will say that this region is the prettiest. You get to see deserts, volcanoes, secluded basins, floating houses, rainforests, heck, you can even go underwater
. I have never seen such diversity before or after this generation was introduced, and for that I will never forget Hoenn.
Continuing on, we have the actual Pokemon you see in Hoenn. The first pokemon you see in Emerald is Vigoroth, a sloth with the strength of ten men. Then you choose your starter; will you choose the Kickboxing Fire Chicken, the Ninja Sword Gecko, or the ever-so-loved Mudkip? You go through the routes and you meet Puppies that turn into Hyenas, Acorns that evolve into trees, a little girl that becomes a beautiful woman (or not
), torpedo sharks...
They've definitely stepped up their game from evolutionary lines that went from thing to bigger version of that thing (Grimer to Muk, Ekans to Arbok, Ponyta to Rapidash, the list goes on).
Next up, the Legendaries. This was the first generation to explode with Legendary pokemon, and I've got to say, I love each and every one of them. There's a male and female Jet. Behemoth, Leviathan, and Ziz. Poke-golems. Pokemon from outer space.
This generation seems to be going for a very diverse generation as a whole with tons of diversity, and having grown up in a place where I've been taught to celebrate diversity, this is just the perfect region for me. If you want to be introduced to an entire planet in one continental island, if you want to see just how Crazy Awesome
Pokemon and their evolutions can be, and if you want to be introduced to a place so diverse that rumors where you go into Outer Space could actually be believable, then try Ruby, Sapphire or Emerald out. I can't guarantee you'll like everything, but for me, this was the perfect way to introduce me to a franchise.