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Pokémon Legends: Arceus

Pokémon LEGENDS アルセウス

Developer: Game Freak Publisher: The Pokémon Company
28 January 2022
Pokémon Legends: Arceus [Pokémon LEGENDS アルセウス] - cover art
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484 Ratings / 2 Reviews
#736 All-time
#19 for 2022
A youth awakens in the frontier region of Hisui after falling from the sky and takes up a position in the survey corps of a colonial expedition led by the Galactic Team to assist with the research of the local Pokemon, while helping the two native clans of Hisui calm their guardian Pokémon from their mysterious state of rampage.
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Despite what you might believe given my profile picture, I've never really cared for the mainline Pokémon series. I don't think before this game I had finished a single one--maybe HeartGold? I played it too young to really remember any of it, and any attempt to play any game in the series after that point would be pretty quickly abandoned, lasting at longest maybe 5 or 10 hours.

It wasn’t until I’d played most of the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon spinoff games back in 2020 that I actually started actually giving a shit about Pokémon, the media franchise. The PMD games are honestly home to some of the best stuff you’re going to be getting out of a game under the “Pokémon” label: engaging stories, absolutely stellar soundtracks, and fun gameplay to boot (I know this last one’s a bit more contentious, but I honestly prefer the faster-paced grid-based combat of those games to the standard turn-based affair you’ll see in mainline). They’re honestly the only reason I even wanted to give this one a shot in the first place, but I think the similarities between the two franchises are overstated a lot.

Anyways, onto Arceus. Pokémon Legends: Arceus has been marketed, both by Nintendo and by fans, as a breath of fresh air into a stale franchise—revamped everything. And after playing it, I can’t exactly say that’s true? Sure, you can throw Pokéballs at Pokémon on the overworld, but other than that? There isn’t really much new here, aside from the “open world” (which is pretty empty and lacking overall), and the rest is just your standard turn-based affair. It feels like a slightly different container on the same game that’s been sold for years.

Before I get into my criticisms, I feel like I should talk a bit about the part of the game that’s actually good; catching and battling Pokémon. Mechanically, they got this mostly right, although I have some gripes with how most battles end in you being one-shot by the enemy, or you one-shotting them. But that’s mostly a minor nitpick, and I would say this part of the game is still generally mostly fun. Sneaking through the grass and trying to snipe a Pokémon is genuinely a pretty entertaining part of the game. I also thought the boss fights were pretty fun, apparently this is less common of an opinion, but, like, dodge-rolling and timing i-frames was pretty fun to me.

I know some people might be reading this, surprised, thinking, “well, that’s the whole point of a Pokémon game!” and, again, I’d like to reiterate that I’m coming at this from the perspective of having played the PMD games first—story is given a pretty huge focus in those games, and the whiplash of coming back to a mainline with an almost entirely unimportant and unnecessary story is felt in full force. It's like the part of Nier Replicant before that game gets good, where you’re just running from point A to point B to go kill something. Whereas that game has purpose and a point in its drudgery, this game certainly does not; every story beat serves zero purpose other than to get you to go to some area and fight some boss, and the game really just does not care about hiding that fact.

And that last bit—about the game not caring—is a sort of through-line with most of my criticisms. Constantly while playing this game, I just kept thinking to myself “this is the largest grossing media franchise in the world??” And I guess it makes sense, you don’t make it to #1 without cutting a lot of costs, but like, come on. The most obvious complaint is how ugly the game is. It’s not really an observation most people miss, but yeah, it’s a really, really ugly game. You can’t blame it on the hardware because there are plenty of switch games that are eons above this one—It’s hard to believe that this is on the same system as Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, and that both of those games released over 4 years before this one.

Another aspect it’s sorely lacking in is music: to my understanding, most of it is just stuff recycled from Diamond and Pearl. I’m not even going to call them remixes—It’s painfully obvious that they just slapped in the MIDIs they had of the existing songs into some modern DAW and replaced all the instruments with some off-the-shelf Orchestra VST #4. But that’s only half of the game; the other half takes the BOTW approach and just has… no music. Just utter silence. And it doesn’t feel like an artistic choice as it does in BOTW, it’s not like there are reactive bits in the music that come in when you do certain things, it’s just complete silence. They couldn’t be arsed to midislap more than 15 or so songs, so they just gave up and turned off the music anytime you’re not in a battle. There’s tons of other corners cut in this game, from lackluster animations, to a weirdly cumbersome inventory system, it’s kind of ever-present throughout the entire experience.

This is what crunch looks like, in case you’re wondering. Were this game to have some more time in the oven I’d like to think a lot of these issues could have been remedied, hell, maybe they could use some of that $82 billion in merchandising revenue to hire an orchestra or something, but part of me thinks that this lack of giving a shit is a deliberate choice from higher-ups at the Pokémon Company.

Do they even really have to try? As long as it plays decently, it’s gonna be one of the best selling games on the switch. Hell, it doesn’t even have to be that great; Sword and Shield was critically panned on release and still sold 23 million copies. Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee is basically the definition of mediocrity, and it still sold 14 million. The Pokémon Company knows this, that they don’t have to try and they’ll still make bank off of brand name alone, and so they don’t. And this comes from a place of knowing that good shit can be made if they got off their asses and maybe tried a bit. The PMD games are great! There’s no reason to say this is any sort of unsalvageable franchise, and there’s no reason to say shit like “better things aren’t possible” because they are, and they already exist.

Notably absent in PMD’s development is Game Freak, as those games are made by a team over at Spike Chunsoft; is it any wonder that they obviously have so much more care put into them? And it’s not just PMD, Pokémon Ranger [ポケモンレンジャー] is dope too despite mostly just being a series where you draw circles over and over… and it’s developed by HAL Labs. There are plenty of examples of Pokémon done right, and surprise surprise, they’re all done by companies other than Game Freak. It’s just frustrating that a series that has all this potential, all of these possible greats of all time, is mostly just used for a quick buck by the teams getting the most resources.

The only way this changes is if people wisen up and stop buying these, but I doubt that’s gonna happen anytime soon. It’s reached the point where the Pokémon name is just so culturally huge that no amount of Gamers who want their silly little videogames to have effort put into them are going to counterbalance the number of parents who need a Christmas present for their kid, and they know what Pokémon is so they’ll just buy that. I don’t know. I just kind of wish people asked more of their Corporate Media Conglomerates.
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tdstr 2022-03-20T11:18:17Z
2022-03-20T11:18:17Z
2.0
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Old Dogs, New Tricks
It’s been 11 years since I’ve properly played a new Pokémon game and this is the one that drew me back in. BUT. I went in blind and chose Cyndaquil as my starter… yeah… you can go ahead and miss me with that Pineapple Express, fogging up the windows, I swear we aren’t doing anything illegal officer shit. A 46 Billion dollar franchise and the only 46 this version of Typhlosion knows is in ounces. Goddamn. Get a job. Despite that and some graphical flaws, which isn’t a dealbreaker for me but it was noticeable in some instances, Pokémon Legends: Arceus is a solid new entry in the franchise. And with some great new innovations to excite even life-long fans like myself who have turned a blind eye to the series.

When I picked up my copy of Black as a 13 year old, it came down to a case of diminishing returns. Platinum and Soul Silver were just the shit man and I don’t know many hours I sank into those puppies while others were worrying about things like first girlfriends, energy drinks, doing “cool” BMX tricks… and I don’t know… school? How do I know what I was supposed to worry about at that age? I was a repressed catholic kid, who’d been a closeted nihilistic since he was 5 and I was just thankful that the shit I did that once got me beat up, made people laugh instead. Comedy was my calling, evidently not so much now. But I do remember not having any connection to the new Pokémon in Black and the momentum of the game being abruptly cut for me by the time I reached the ground gym. This then resulted in years of all my new Pokémon knowledge being filtered through the eyes of a good friend and never having any personal kind of compulsion to buy a 3DS. As I understand it though, the franchise has been in this ongoing stasis of one step forward and at least two steps back. As well as the fact that Black & White or maybe its sequels are generally considered to be the last great titles in the series. Which is something I’ve never understood; why Black & White 2? True, I never finished Black, so it might be story related but seriously Game Freak?! Kinda seems like you were gettin’ some of that sweet, sweet revenue, weren’t you? Why not Pokémon Gray? It’s only logical isn’t it?! That’s what you get when you put Black & White together! Plus X & Y?! Sun & Moon?! Sword & Shield?! Let’s Go Eevee & fucking Pikachu???!!! What’s going on Game Freak?! These titles suck! No wonder I didn’t buy a 3DS! Anyway, from what I’m seeing, that aforementioned stasis seems to have lasted, for the most part, until this game.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus is more like Monster Hunter to me than any of its first party contemporaries. Which is a great touchstone and in-point for me coming back to the franchise seeing as Monster Hunter, the Shin Megami Tensei & Persona games have filled that monster collecting sized void left by the Pokémon series. Is it open world Breath of The Wild style like everyone thought it was? No. But I think if you’re slowly doling out a new direction for the franchise in that sort of vein, then this is probably the best way to go about it. The large sandboxes are great and really go a long way to remind just how damn fun it is to catch Pokémon. Especially now that they’re walking, talking, flying and just generally coexisting in the world around you. They’re more tangible than ever and dropping you in a world where human understanding of them is limited and they can actually run your shit up if you’re not careful adds a whole new dimension to an ever addictive formula. The combat’s fantastic too, the strong and agile styles don’t add a whole lot but are interesting nonetheless. Which, I guess, leaves us with the story. It’s not too wildly different from previous entries but having the driving force being understanding over the usual mass slavery really incentives you to keep trudging through and complete that first edition Pokédex. The various dynamics the inhabitants of Hisui have with Pokémon, especially formidable ones like Kleavor, I found quite engaging too. As well as the Pokémon being not as evolved as we’re accustomed them today. All in all, it’s a great title, maybe its best in year and the breath of fresh air I feel the franchise needed. I’d recommend this to any kind of fan, whether that’s a disheartened one like myself or a diehard one who has a copy of every game. I doubt it’ll be everyone’s pick of the year or anything but I’m pretty sure we’ll look back on it fondly and find hours upon hours of enjoyment.
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thedjohnhill 2022-01-29T22:59:11Z
2022-01-29T22:59:11Z
4.0
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I went into this mostly blind, though I've played nearly every mainline game and a few spin-offs. If anything, I had mildly low expectations from the one trailer I saw, mostly based on the visual fidelity (shader quality, jaggies, whatever). By the end though, I can say that I had a pretty enjoyable time and was overall pleasantly surprised.

I won't be comparing this to Breath of the Wild by the way (I feel like so many people have already brought this up), because not only would that misguide and perhaps disappoint you, it would probably be giving Breath of the Wild more credit for the individual ideas contained within it than is really deserved, despite how much you may or may not enjoy that game. And I emphasize the word misguide because frankly I didn't think that most of the mechanics which actually separate Breath of the Wild apart from other open-world games are even mirrored that closely in Pokemon Legends Arceus anyway. So rather, I invite you look at Pokemon Legends in comparison with the rest of the franchise itself, and how it differs from previous games; through this lens I think that you'll find more to appreciate in terms of what this game could imply for the series in the future.

I'll start by bringing up the game's visuals on a technical level, since I have the least to say about it. Yeah sure, I honestly agree that the Pokemon Company could have put out something a bit more crisp, and I don't think it's that wrong to expect no less than the best from such a big franchise, despite any talk you want to have about hardware restrictions. That being said the game does have its genuinely pretty moments when actually played, and you'll stop worrying about it that much. As for the visual style, there's an interesting psuedo-historical approach to the world-building which I think is a solid effort with enough charm. The choice of making a (sort of) open-world game like this with Hisui (Sinnoh) as the region of focus was a clever choice, and a particularly interesting one given the time period loosely alluded to. What's presented is a heavily fictionalized, and perhaps even more heavily optimistic alternative to the history of the region's real-life analogue (Hokkaido). But throughout the game you'll experience traversing a terrain which feels a bit empty, and that's probably not that inaccurate to the source of inspiration, a region that at the time would have been comparatively undeveloped (Hokkaido is extremely large) save some sparsely scattered indigenous villages. I say empty, but really I'd like to call it more frontierish, because ultimately with your custom character as the protagonist, it's pretty easy to get self-inserted, and the world's openness plays to an advantage by switching your attention to game's strong point of actually observing pokemon, and seeing how they are perceived by most characters as either mysterious or dangerous. The game's plot points themselves are nothing to write about (it didn't take long for me begin mashing through most of the dialogue), but the game sells the personality of its world through other means in ways that I think are more important. Watching with your eyes as Jubilife Village literally develops over time, or experiencing the individual moments of wonder as its newfound settlers learn more about Pokemon, creatures that were before largely unknown to many of them (told through the game's robust number of simple side missions); these themes could have been explored a bit further and aren't necessarily deep, but you will feel them as you play and it's more satisfying than any broad and vague lesson about nature and our relationship with it that is presented by the mainline games. Lastly on the topic of style, the sound design and music are great, matching the atmosphere well. The nature sounds, swaying grass, and Pokemon cries in the distance keep you thinking imaginatively, bridging the gap between some of the visual weaknesses actually on screen. By the end, I think that some real credit is due here and that combined with the game's structure, the timeline and setting presented in Pokemon Legends offer a unique and refreshing angle at experiencing the Pokemon world.

The gameplay: I'd be lying if I said that the loop is anything less than fun. It certainly kept me engaged longer than the mainline games have lately (I actually plan on 100%ing the game, something I haven't really been driven to do in Pokemon for some time now), bringing in an almost tactile style of play which seems like it should have been the franchise's direction of choice for years now. I would have liked to see slightly more variety in terms of Pokeball types and Pokemon behavior, but sneaking around to catch a Pokemon with a back strike is an immensely satisfying core mechanic which matches the appeal of any precision sport. The game is no longer mainly about the battle, but the thrill-of-the-catch. And with this new style of play comes a new outlook towards the world of Pokemon, one which I think is more attuned with the franchise's charm. Pokemon Legends is about observation and understanding each Pokemon; you'll realistically need to battle to catch certain Pokemon, but in fact it's just a means to the end of your real goal, which is to survey and learn about every Pokemon you encounter. We might not all agree on how fun it is to actually play a spin-off like Pokemon Snap, but the way that it presents Pokemon candidly, teaching us things about the Pokemon world we didn't previously know, is I think what makes it a memorable entry within the series. With Pokemon Legends, there's not much true variety at all in how each Pokemon behaves (though when startled, each will defend themselves with their own moves, a nice touch) and I'd like to see much more, but at any rate you're still forced to stand back at a comfortable distance, letting each Pokemon simply be what they are for a second. Yes, this game is very easy, but do you really care if the mechanics are engaging and fun? It's a step in the right direction towards what I personally think enjoying Pokemon is really about, and takes the tactility of Pokemon Go while adding a small bit of strategy, though the battle elements are still there in full form for those who really want it. If you really insist on battling, don't fret, because completing entries in the Pokedex actually rewards both defeating and capturing Pokemon, making either choice or a combination equally viable. Also on a side note, this doesn't really affect gameplay, but you now have the ability to run around freely during battle in real time, which adds a lot to the immersion and can lead to some absurd/funny or atmospherically more powerful moments (such as commanding your pokemon in battle from atop a towering cliff). It's pretty awesome and if Game Freak returns to the old Pokemon formula, they better not take that out.

A lot is far from perfect; in fact all of the ideas are great at their core, but just need to be a bit deeper (variety in pokemon behavior + ways to catch them, beginning is a little slow to start, would be cool to see this expanded with multiplayer and with the national dex, plus some of the side quests are bland or not much of anything). If pressed, my brain finds it difficult to give this above a 7.5/10, but I'll settle with an 8 for optimism and really who cares about numbers? I had a lot of fun with what was presented, and you'll have a hard time convincing me that there's any reason to return to the JRPGesque battle-and-grind of the mainline games after having played this. For me, that hole is already filled with other franchises like Shin Megami Tensei (my general recommendation to fans looking for a Pokemon alternative) which I personally think have always played the actual turn-based card more cleverly and deeply. I hope that it isn't simply a one-off and that Game Freak will continue to expand on what's going on here; maybe they wont, who knows. But despite it's flaws, Pokemon Legends is undoubtedly the frontier that I think its developers ought to continue exploring.
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Sisu 2022-01-28T12:28:17Z
2022-01-28T12:28:17Z
4.0
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A Breath of Fresh Air
I've never been a Pokémon fan. I think the games are insanely easy, and the mainline titles through the decades feel like they don't want to change. They introduce changes here and there that either are negligible to the gameplay, tacky, or otherwise scrapped altogether when the next ones come along. By embracing influences from another tentpole Nintendo title and other games, Arceus is finally ushering the series to a new, exciting direction.

Arceus, the open-world of Pokémon titles?

Let's get this out of the way. Arceus isn't an open-world title, well at least, the way the maps are laid out. They're more akin to Monster Hunter: you have a starting camp where you can do various things to help you out in catching your Pokémon, and the maps are divided into regions you can go to and from your starting village. That doesn't mean that openness isn't found somewhere else. When you start the game, you're pretty much landlocked, but that changes as the story moves along, and you gain different traversal options that makes exploration effortless throughout these maps. These make hunting for specific Pokémon less of a hassle when you can just quickly move area to area by using these traversal options, which are definitely inspired by BOTW.

The maps are fairly sizable and some of them are really well thought out, like I'd remember where to go without opening the map because the landscape is so distinct. The game fully adopts a day/night cycle along with different weather, though so far I only noticed that it's either raining or sunny. The skyboxes are very pretty to look at.

Catching them all

Pokémon now roam the maps, with the exception of certain types of Pokémon, you will be able to see Pokémon freely running around the landscape. The random battles are all gone, now you can choose if you'll engage in battle or not. There are two ways to catch Pokémon: you can either do it the old-fashioned way by battling them into submission or just by throwing a ball and hoping that the Pokémon is willing to become part of your ever growing stable. Opting for the latter is the best choice for weaker, smaller Pokémon, while the stronger or feistier ones are harder to catch without a fight.

Throwing balls outside a fight is as simple as aiming your chosen ball of choice to the Pokémon you want to catch. Different balls will have different arcs depending on their weight, and certain Pokémon are more likely to be caught by certain balls. You can increase your chances by crouching in tall grass, hitting them when they're backs are turned to you(complete with a satisfying audiovisual cue, backstab!), or waiting for them to sleep. If these doesn't work and the Pokémon notices you, they will start attacking you, or running away. If they start attacking you, you either engage them to start the fight or you should run away. If you stay long enough and get hit, you'll eventually faint and your precious items will get lost.

A wild Pokémon appears!

Onward to battles. To engage in wild Pokémon battles, you just throw your own ball with a Pokémon inside it to start the battle. Throwing it behind the enemy will give you an advantage because you caught them unaware. The option to throw a selected ball to battle is a welcome change, what this eliminates is having to go through your menu and having to change who is the first Pokémon in your lineup as usually in the previous games, whoever is in that slot is the one that will head into the battle. See a Geodude throwing rocks at you? Handily switch to your water-type Pokémon by just clicking L or R and then throw it back. It's very intuitive and convenient.

Once the battle starts, it feels seamless because where you engage the wild Pokémon is where the battle will happen. Say goodbye to bland, infinitely reused battle backgrounds as now the landscape of Hisui is your battleground. This sometimes makes for a hilarious show. The first moment you get, try throwing a landlocked Pokémon into water.

You're also part of the battle now, well, at least visually. You can move your character while the fight is occurring, and the great thing about this is you can get caught in any of the Pokémon moves. Try asking your water-type to cast Aqua Beam and stand in the crosshairs and watch your character get blasted. This only applies visually as this won't result into you fainting, no matter how many times you get caught. You can also pretend to be the trainer of the wild Pokémon by standing behind them.

Sometimes, there will be distortions that will appear throughout the map that will house a lot of unique, rare, Pokémon that can only be caught in these distortions, and most of them will appear bunched up along with other powerful Pokémon, ready to beat you senseless. These distortions also has a lot of treasure to be found just scattered on the ground, and I found almost every evolution stone I have from these distortions. These only appear rarely and when they do, they only stay for a set amount of time before the area returns to normal, so better run towards one when you find them, as the risk versus rewards is well worth it.

Another new addition are alpha Pokémon. These Pokémon have better skills, stats, and are much larger than their non-alpha counterparts. These are harder to catch but well worth it. In fact, I find that alpha hunting is pretty fun, as most of them appear in the same place at the same time, and they're huge! The cuddly ones look even ridiculously cuddlier as their alpha counterparts.

Cyndaquil will remember that

A welcome change is now, your Pokémon will remember every move that they learn, what this means is you can swap out freely between old and new moves. The Move Tutor is back, and this time, they'll only ask for money, so seemingly, it's simple to just buy all the moves money can buy, but money is very precious in this game, at least for me. Still, this new change of you being able to swap out moves is very cool as it allows for more flexibility when heading out as you won't need to rack your head as to what moves to keep, in turn you can just change your Pokémon's moves rather than swapping them out altogether for other mons.

Front and center

The Pokédex now plays a bigger part than ever before. Each Pokémon now have tasks associated with them, and finishing these tasks will reward you with points. Tasks range from the standard catch x of these Pokémon or defeat x of these, to beating them with certain moves, to more unique ones that are just specific to a selected few. Getting enough points will earn you a star, and the stars are the only way for you to catch and command higher level Pokémon. This encourages players to engage with more Pokémon in different, varied ways. Does it mean that gym battles are no more? Yes, they are gone, but the storyline battles make up for those, Still, unlocking the next part of the storyline require you to have enough star levels, and by the end of the game, at least for someone like me, I was just trying to get to enough star levels to see what's next. I kinda feel as the game went on the points they're giving out do not change, so it feels just a tiny bit grindy, but it helps that moving across the land and doing battles feels so much better now.

Walking around, Hisui, on a quest to fulfill requests

Arceus now has proper sidequests you can take at will and will earn you different rewards, from your common 10 Pokéballs, to new hairstyles, to new photography styles from the photography shop. Some of these quests are fun and easy to do, like tasking you to get this specific Pokémon to perform certain tasks for villagers, while others task you to get rid of certain Pokémon pestering them, to helping people from your team set up new campsites for you to start your tasks with. These are very welcome as they truly add longevity for the game, and you can ignore them if you've got your fill of sidequests. I just wish that some of these actually rewarded you with rare Pokémon, while some tasks do end up with you catching them, it would've been nice to actually get them as rewards since your request lists will show you what rewards you can obtain.

People that will challenge you on the wild are also gone now, you can willingly choose to battle other people in the village, but other than that, these are gone, which is a good thing as I didn't like them before. The only bad thing about this is that it means this avenue of earning a steady stream of income by sending out a fully decked out Golem to fight their puny Eevee is gone.

There are quite a number of things you can also do in the village, from getting haircuts, buying new clothes(the clothes are awesome, Japanese-style), and even farming for specific crafting materials. I ended up spending more money on the clothes store more than the vendors.

Hey, listen!

When Sword and Shield were first announced, all eyes were on these titles as these were the first mainline Pokémon title in 3D(we're not counting Gale of Darkness). For me, gameplay-wise, it delivered nothing new that was exciting, but otherwise it was your old, regular, Pokémon romp, but the story was atrocious. Don't give me that "this game is made for kids" crap, even as a toddler, I'd be insulted with the story. Usually RPGs, JRPGs in particular, go out of their way to put kids into world-ending situations and make them ultimately come out on top, but SwSh went out of its way to preach that adults should handle these adult situations, while simultaneously being useless. You're handwaved every step of the way.

The story in Arceus heads the opposite way with themes of camaraderie sprinkled throughout, and how ultimately, teamwork blows out distrust and alienation out of the water. This is a proper JRPG story now, no more heading to gyms for some flimsy reason, you have a purpose why you're doing the things you do. It helps that the in-game cutscenes are more in line with what you'd come to expect with RPGs now, so finally, we have a Pokémon game story has that proper JRPG storyline flair, complete with the tropes you've come to expect along with that. It's a far cry from SwSh's honestly offensive story.

The focus now is less on how you're going to be the very best Pokémon trainer, the focus of the story is in finding out how people and Pokémon can coexist peacefully, and I commend them for trying out something new and something that goes against the grain from the previous stories.

The Breath of the Wild Pokémon

While not the revolutionary game that is BOTW for Zelda titles, it is still the next evolution of Pokémon titles, and a very welcome one at that. Most of this is thanks in no small part to BOTW's influences. First, the ways you can navigate the maps are very convenient are directly influenced by BOTW. The ways the land are laid out, especially the first one, is very reminiscent of the plains of Hyrule. Design cues are taken advantage of from BOTW: the way they show the names of new places and bosses, the ways they show the level up screen, the little audio clips, some I'd even say are directly lifted from BOTW, the influence is very, clearly there. This works great from the most part, though some of those, for example the audio cues, sometimes border on parody. When it comes to music, most of it is also reminiscent of BOTW, and there are some great tunes in here. The greatest ones are the understated but still moving pieces.

Will we see more Wilding of the Nintendo titles? Only time will tell.

Accentuated the positives, now for the negatives

The game still has faults, and these are them for me. First, while building the Pokédex is more meaningful now, I've mentioned it before, but they could've added more variety to the points you receive while filling out tasks. in battle menus, some of the functionalities in the overworld still exist. I think at least 3 or 4 times, I wanted to throw a ball, but I end up making my Pokémon attack. Some of the user interface in general is unwieldy and cumbersome.

Now let's go to inventory space, this is very precious in this game and the way you get more inventory space is through a person that teaches you how to become more efficient in sorting through your items. This person charges you for every item slot added to your backpack, and by the end game the costs are enormous. I find that money is a bit hard to come by in this game, but then again I haven't tried looking for more ways to make more money.

The starting village at first is impressive but then you realize the people don't move, well some of them do, but they do not leave their place and the others are stuck, like they're in a Twilight Zone episode, and they only move their heads to talk to you or follow them when you speak to them.

One of the traversal options is stupid, that or I'm stupid. You'll know it once you start doing it.

For the most part, the designs of the characters that populate Hisui are really good, in fact I'd go so far to say there are only two poorly designed characters in the game, so this might not actually part of the negatives, but I'd like to put this in anyway.

Water Pokémon are a bit shafted in this game, as it's quite hard to tell where certain water-type Pokémon are. In fact, this leads to the illusion that there are only a few water-types in the game, which I'm unsure if it's true or not.

Boss fights now take place in arenas and involve you doing actiony things, you can beat the bosses this way or when enough actiony stuff has been done, you can send in your Pokémon to finish the fight or just put the boss into a coma while you pummel it senseless with actiony thingamajigs. The problem is one of these fights is poorly designed. While the others are very simple dodging affairs, one fight in particular takes place in a very oddly shaped arena, and this boss has a move that blocks all the other areas you can maneuver to. You cannot regain your character's HP, at least I think you can't, so you're left with waiting for that boss to pummel you. I think the developers realized that these fights that are action-packed(debatable) might prove to be too much for your regular Pokémon fans so they put in the option for you to continue the fight with where the HP bar of the boss was when you fainted.

The game is still generally on the easy side, but the bosses and especially the endgame ones do put up a fight, so there's that to look forward to, but you definitely can't just work your way through the game with just one Pokémon easily as you can before. I'd actually count this as a positive, that they're making the fights a bit more challenging.

The graphics if you're getting nitpicky are a bit on the jaggy side, but I tuned it out fairly quickly as the art style is really nice and I was busy playing the game. Sure, it may look emptier than BOTW, but it gets the job done. I'd argue BOTW is also empty, but I don't need people descending on me so let's leave it at that.

On battles again, I find it frustrating that a bunch of Pokémon can gang up on you but you can only have one Pokémon battling out for you, so oftentimes, especially in rift distortions, these are tough fights to win. I wish we could also send out multiple Pokémon at once.

Last one that I can think of, I wish that Pokémon could follow you around because it's a shame not being able to see your Pokémon venturing out with you. You can take them out of their ball but they just stand there, you can talk to them, that's it.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, Arceus succeeds in incorporating its influences from Breath of the Wild, adding a much needed change to the Pokémon series, and hopefully, the developers learn from this game as they can only go up from here. Coming from a non-fan of the series, this game has got me preoccupied quite nicely, and I feel like most of the fans of this game will be left with wonder, exploring the land of Hisui from shore to shore. If you're new to the series, this is the place to start with the series, and if you're a lifelong fan, you'll get to rekindle your love once again with these little critters.
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Were Pokémon LEGENDS アルセウス 2023-01-29T22:20:44Z
2023-01-29T22:20:44Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
josephrobert Pokémon LEGENDS アルセウス 2023-01-27T12:11:05Z
2023-01-27T12:11:05Z
2.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
dolu Pokémon LEGENDS アルセウス 2023-01-27T01:57:36Z
2023-01-27T01:57:36Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
RoryBurrows Pokémon Legends: Arceus 2023-01-26T14:10:59Z
Switch • GB
2023-01-26T14:10:59Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
stonecoldmiracle Pokémon LEGENDS アルセウス 2023-01-26T04:20:08Z
2023-01-26T04:20:08Z
5.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
m_neco Pokémon Legends: Arceus 2023-01-25T11:34:34Z
Switch • US
2023-01-25T11:34:34Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
angeles_122 Pokémon Legends: Arceus 2023-01-25T08:04:08Z
Switch • US
2023-01-25T08:04:08Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
planetzr3 Pokémon LEGENDS アルセウス 2023-01-23T05:10:55Z
2023-01-23T05:10:55Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Legionend09 Pokémon Legends: Arceus 2023-01-23T03:27:04Z
Switch • US
2023-01-23T03:27:04Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
AusiRealBigMan Pokémon LEGENDS アルセウス 2023-01-22T08:16:39Z
2023-01-22T08:16:39Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
kadybug3227 Pokémon LEGENDS アルセウス 2023-01-21T23:27:25Z
2023-01-21T23:27:25Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
dmnx Pokémon LEGENDS アルセウス 2023-01-21T23:08:35Z
2023-01-21T23:08:35Z
3.0
1
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  • Previous comments (69) Loading...
  • drewtwo 2022-07-02 19:34:13.550068+00
    I told myself I wouldn't buy any of the switch Pokemon games, but the average rating has me intrigued.
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  • Fowlawneeshafow 2022-07-14 23:06:43.629195+00
    Yeah this has a top 3 pokemon OST all time, spinoffs and mainline. Go Ichinose and Hitomi Sato fucking killed it, even better than the Gen 4 OSTs it recalls imo.
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  • seysey 2022-07-15 22:27:21.283599+00
    I (and I guess many people) like this game because there's finally a radical change in the gameplay, we have the open-world we've been asking for and I like the battle system (although I find it nonsensical that a trainer can send 3 Pokémons at the same time and that I can only send one at once despite being a trainer myself lol). The rating would probably be lower if this game was more similar to the other ones I think.
    I actually like the OST as well. But there are a lot of visual bugs (at least that's funny, I saw a Rapidash climb a tree once due to that lol).
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  • Meervo 2022-07-19 22:34:29.281478+00
    This got a nice score on here, happy about it
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  • SemtexRevolution 2022-11-03 05:54:44.331577+00
    This is unbelievably horrifically embarrassingly ugly
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  • PKPeridot 2022-11-26 12:54:45.907494+00
    Graphics are genuinely really sad especially looking at games like BotW and Xenoblade but it really is pretty great in every other aspect. Most fun I've had with a Pokémon game in a while and I very much enjoy how it changes up the formula
    reply
    • Fowlawneeshafow 2022-12-18 03:00:39.120731+00
      to be fair on the graphics front, PLA (and SV) had 3 years of development time compared to BotW and Xenoblade 3's 5+ years. A lot of stuff visually was clearly made with haste, except for the Pokemon.
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  • Meervo 2022-12-14 12:18:30.608561+00
    Goated game
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