Impressions: Pokémon Legends Arceus One Week In

The changes in the Pokémon franchise we’ve been hoping for.

By Achi Ikeda. Posted 02/04/2022 19:21 Comment on this     ShareThis

Here we are, over 25 years after the release of the first Pokémon games. Eight generations of games, 898 Pokémon, and a global influence as the highest grossing media franchise of all time. Yet, though the games still soar up in sales numbers, there has been a growing discontent in fans. This became most notable with the release of the last mainstream games, Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. What would later be dubbed “Dexit,” major issues that fans were upset over were the lack of a national Pokédex, disappointing and outdated battle animations, lies by Gamefreak, the short length of the game, and aggravatingly low difficulty. The games also followed a trend of severe hand-holding and a dearth of deviation from the formula.

Fans still bought the game, myself included, and many loved it, myself not included. Personally, there’s been a magic I’ve felt missing in a Pokémon game since I’ve played Heartgold and Soulsilver. This is probably mostly due to my transition into adulthood and the sheer plethora of Pokémon games I had played up to this point. However, this hadn’t stopped me from hoping that someday a future game would change up the formula just enough to bring me the excitement I can get from other games. Other such games like indies with their refreshing creativity and innovation and Pokémon games like Pokémon Snap and the recent release, New Pokémon Snap.

I can confidently say that Pokémon Legends: Arceus has brought that magic back for me. I was initially hesitant. The graphics were not impressive and the trailers gave no clear indication if the elements that caused me to tire of Pokémon games were pushed aside just enough to make room for new gameplay alteration. I won’t delve too deeply, though we have a review incoming! What I will say is that this game has a the broader audience in mind and has clearly taken influence from other video games.

The new gameplay elements are polished and hook you in immediately. Turn based battles are still here, which for me is a plus, but if you have grown tired of them, the new stances add in an additional level of strategy. Transition from exploration and battle is seamless. When you aren’t battling, you’re exploring, gathering materials, and catching Pokémon. Catching Pokémon can be an almost unique experience depending on the environment, what tools you have on you at the time, and which Pokémon you catch. And when you aren’t battling or catching, there are minigames, quests, crafting, and just so much to do.

The challenge has also improved. At the start, I was concerned that my Pokémon were leveling up too quickly and that the experience share was too generous. It is not. I frequently end up with knocked out Pokémon. You must stay on top of material gathering, crafting, and storage management to ensure your Pokémon remain healthy. Luckily, it never becomes tedious or annoying as nothing ever feels time consuming.

Great innovation, new mechanics, more respect for players, and an increased challenge. If you are a Pokémon fan and you have yet to pick up the game, you are really missing out!

Look forward for our upcoming full-length review on the game!

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