The Hoenn region represented a big change up to me. It introduced a ton powerful Pokemon that would present more of challenge during the in game battles. While I can agree that like the newest gen of pokemon, Hoenn seemed to copy the two gens before it. It also had a lot more pressure on it. Hoenn was the change over from old cartridge to the new one. It was our introduction to how Pokemon would from that point on. It had to set a bar. It had to give you access to a lot of new Pokemon, plus give you access to some of our old favorites.
Hoenn had a ton of legends but if you break that down you are just adding what people were already use to. You have three legends set in stone...ahhh get it?
The rocks stayed in one place, like the birds did. The eon twins roamed and were separated in different games kinda like the dogs. You had your title legends and then you had Rayquaza ! a monster of a pokemon that you fought at the top of tower !
Deoxys and Jirachi were like Mew/Celebi. Only Jirachi came free with stadium bonus disc so if you bought the game you could get your hands on unlimited Jirachis.
In short, I like the way the story change, Hoenn made competitive battling what is is, and you cant forget classics like Breloom, Kecleon, Flygon and Torchic the first fire/fighting starter...which pretty much set the standard for fire starters.