Parents, Pokémon Sapphire/Ruby is the type of game that once your kids pick up, you'll be yelling at them to put down and come to dinner. The series has been known to induce drug-like trances on its players. If your kids are due for some major entrance exams, best wait till after the test date to ensure there aren't any distractions. Otherwise, the game is as family friendly as one can get.

Fans of Pokémon will find enough new features to keep them interested at least for certain amount of time. Once the new features are exhausted, the ultimate experience amounts to more or less the same as previous games so if you don't have 50 plus hours to devote to this, think again. Its also disappointing that Pokémon data from previous games cannot be traded to the new ones. For outsiders who have never taken up the "Gotta Catch'em All" challenge, Sapphire/Ruby is a great place to start. The graphics are well polished and the usually complex Pokémon organizational storage system has been improved many times over making this the most accessible version to date. Just make sure you have tons of spare time. Familiarizing oneself to the logic and science of the Pokémon world is often captivating and highly addictive.

For Deaf and Hard of Hearing Gamers, all the menus, battles and story is communicated via text and none of the sound cues are essential to gameplay.

Chi Kong Lui

Chi Kong Lui

In the 1980s, Chi grew up in small town on the outskirts of New York City called Jackson Heights. Latino actor, John Leguizamo referred to the town as the "melting pot of the world," and while living there, Chi was exposed to many diverse cultures, as well as a bevy of arcade classics such as Pac-Man, Space Ace, Space Harrier and Double Dragon. Chi's love of videogames only seemed to grow as his parents finally caved and bought him an 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System (after being the only kid in the block without one). In the 1990s, Chi finagled his way into the prestigious Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts.

Somewhere between all the gaming, Chi some how managed to finish high school and get into the New York Institute of Technology. At the same time, Chi also interned at Virtual Frontiers, an Internet software consultancy where he learned the ways of HTML. Soon after acquiring his BFA, Chi went on to become the lead Web designer of the Anti-Defamation League. During his tenure there, Chi was instrumental in redesigning and relaunching the non-profit organization's Web site.

Today, Chi is the webmaster of the American Red Cross in Greater New York and somehow managed to work through the tragic events of September 11th without losing his sanity. Chi considers GameCritics.com his life's work and continues to be amazed that the web site is still standing after the recent dotcom fallout. It is his dream that GameCritics.com will accomplish two things: 1) Redefine the grammar of videogames much the same way French film critic Andre Bazin did for the art of cinema and 2) bring game criticism to the forefront of mainstream culture much the same way Siskel & Ebert did for film criticism.
Chi Kong Lui

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