No trainer customization in Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire, Game Freak keen on keeping random encounters
Pokemon X and Pokemon Y introduced trainer customization for the first time. Although it was far from extensive, it was certainly a great addition to the series. Players could dress themselves in various hats, boots, dresses, and more.
Unfortunately, Game Freak has decided against bringing back trainer customization for Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire. The studio’s Junichi Masuda explained why this is so to USGamer:
“In terms of the customization of the trainer, that was really kind of a special thing for the Kalos region, which featured this kind of motif of France and really focused on this beauty and fashion aspect, which is why it was a prominent feature in that game. For this game, we’re focusing on adventuring elements, so we don’t have the actual free customization of the trainer, but you’ll see the items you use throughout the game visually represented; for example, when you’re underwater, you’ll have this little mouthpiece that lets you breathe. So there’s some cool stuff for how your trainer changes clothes and puts on accessories throughout the game.”
“It’s really meant to give unique traits of personalities to the different regions. So with the secret bases, for example, they’re really popular in the Hoenn region. Everything we come up with always tie back into the themes of the games we’re working on, so with the original Ruby and Sapphire we had the theme of richness or abundance, which is in the name of the region: The ‘Ho’ part means richness or abundance in Japanese, and ‘enn’ means bonds, like the bonds between people and their Pokémon, for example. So it’s just reflecting the theme of the individual regions.”
According to Masuda:
“[Random encounters] go back to the idea that different kinds of play exist. I think there’s these core categories of play: you have competition, imitation, and the element of surprise or excitement. I think Pokémon lets you choose between competition and the element of chance, and with the random encounters it’s a kind of lottery as you enter the tall grass and you don’t know what’s going to appear. We think that by removing that, we’d be removing one of the big categories of play from the game, and we don’t think that’s a good idea.”