Remember your first battle underwater in the original Ruby and Sapphire? It felt new and actually exciting to search for a few Pokémon in the depths of Hoenn’s seas. By comparison X and Y’s Skybattles are a neat little novelty, but the limits they place on usable Pokémon are very strict.
Now we can fight both kinds of battles in Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby, but they’re absolutely comical and make zero sense. Ever since the introduction of Sky Battles, Pokémon that can’t fly or levitate have been left out. It makes a lot of sense – how would a Stunfisk be able to battle in the air? That’s been scrapped now – any Pokémon can battle in the sky. If you’re exploring the skies of Hoenn you can take on a flock of birds with an Onyx.
Seeing Dugtrio – a Pokémon that is always stuck in the ground – battle suspended in the air is a near-miracle. Since every Pokémon can fight that means all attacks can be used, whereas before Ground-type attacks and other nonsensical abilities were left out. How can you use Earthquake when there’s no earth to quake?! It’s ridiculous to see Nintendo flip-flop like this within a single generation.
In Ruby and Sapphire you could bring Fire-types into battle underwater, but it doesn’t make sense within the current generation. There should be limitations in the sky and underwater. It gets more ludicrous when you reach the ending of the Delta Episode and all of your Pokémon can now magically breathe in space. Pokémon are theorized to come from the moon, though, so maybe that last one makes sense after all.
I suppose because Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are remakes and crucial moments occur underwater, it would undermine the experience to restrict these battles, but that doesn’t excuse the sky or space fights. On the bright side it is more fun this way, even though nobody liked Sky Battles in the first place.