Like Giovanni, I've been gone 3 years
Member for 15y & 6mon
December 3, 2022 12:12am
I'm now six years the wiser since this thread started, here are my thoughts.
Emerald had battle animations, so there's that. The other nice additions like the Battle Frontier and the more fleshed out story with Rayquaza's role in the regional lore and both Team Aqua and Magma being bad guys and trying to realize their own designs is why I think it's the one I most frequently choose to replay nowadays from Gen 3.
However - I do agree about Wallace. I get the feeling he was promoted to be a Champion because it was easy for the game designers, and not because it particularly makes sense. Also, even though he's a kind of mystical head of Sootopolis like you say, Steven was always a better fit for this in my opinion because he's a really tough trainer and the Champion of Hoenn who's also very wealthy so he spends his time being the good guy going around and fixing big problems that affect the whole region. This is also a nice contrast to ?????? from G/S/C, who is a bad guy for most of the game, but collaterally cleans up most of Team Rocket because they get on his nerves. Therefore Steven makes a lot of sense to me, Wallace feels a bit of an afterthought.
A lot of this opinion might be because I played Ruby first, though :)