Pokémon Legends: Arceus Review | Invision Game Community

Pokémon Legends: Arceus is undeniably one of the best things to happen for the Pokémon franchise. Game Freak, the studio behind the hit IP, who has been adamant about keeping the series’ core mechanics pretty much identical for every iteration of the mainline titles finally broke its, at this point, ancient and antique tradition and gave us something that for a long time actually looks and feels like what the future of the series could’ve been when its first-ever entry came out in 1996. Now while this might just be a one-off title that has no definite plans for a sequel or anything of the sort, the kind of reception the game got in its opening week really does speak in volumes and they’d be crazy to brush it off as one.

And for a long time, Pokémon games have always been about being the very best like no one ever was… it’s a time where kids would eventually get their very own Pokémon from some weird old professor that would eventually be the only thing that could stop a well-organized evil organization from taking over the world or at least something along those lines. Arceus is a bit different though. The kind of story it brings to the table redefines the general formula while still staying true to what Pokémon is all about. You still get the goofy professors but you’re not just some kid waking up in the comforts of his bedsheets thinking of being the best Pokémon Master. You’re actually “the kid” that just got thrown out of a wormhole in the sky and would eventually be a real-life monster hunter. Sorry! I mean Pokémon Master.

Unlike previous entries in the series though, Arceus is set in a time when Pokémon has yet to be properly researched and documented which makes most of the civilization afraid of what they are capable of. There are only a handful of trainers that are capable of taming them and as such most of its gameplay revolve around the wild encounters in the overworld unlike the hundreds of kids and school girls around forests just waiting to ambush you for a battle that eventually leads to you taking their lunch money because why not. But what makes Arceus really different from its peers is that it doesn’t feel like your traditional Pokémon game and it’s more of a game that borrows the features of say, Monster Hunter. You get huge sprawling open maps with dozens of Pokémon just running around while some can even be seen sleeping which is the cutest thing ever in the entire game. Pokémon are also found in all sorts of sizes which really makes collecting them all the more enticing. Plus, just walking around, cruising at the back of a Pokémon or even just gliding high up in the air was something that I honestly didn’t think was anything special as most modern games let you do that anyway but here, it’s so much more enjoyable despite being unexplainable. It just screams Pokémon in every sense of the word.

As I mentioned earlier, the gameplay mostly revolves around the wild encounters with Pokémon in the wild with each Pokémon having its set behaviours such as passive Pokémon that doesn’t mind being near your presence while others would attack the trainer on sight using moves like thunder wave or hypnosis that can cause status effects like the trainer getting paralyzed or fall asleep which can lead to an eventual faint should you get a fatal blow from other attacks afterwards. This is where Arceus departs from the standard formula and gave it a more realistic vibe to it since you’ll be dodging attacks from Pokémon or skulking behind tall grass to hide from them which honestly was the other way around compared to its other entries where it’s the Pokémon that was actually hiding in the grass and not the trainer itself. Capturing Pokémon as well actually doesn’t mean you need to be in battle with it but instead, you can throw a Pokeball at it or give it some of its favourite food among other things until you capture it although battling it than catching it when its health is low is still an option.

But when it comes to its actual battles, there are still some key differences here… Pokémon now have the ability to learn new moves which can be added to its pool of learned abilities that can be swapped whenever through the menu while also having the ability to master a move which lets you do an agile or strong style of specific moves which could either give you a weaker but faster attack or a much stronger move but could potentially let your enemy do two attacks simultaneously. However wild encounters with Pokémon especially with the aggressive kinds does pose some threats as well. Because, unlike previous entries, Arceus can actually make you fight four or even five Pokémon at once while you can only control one at any point in time which makes it extremely vital to have a proper approach when it comes to battling Pokémon. And with it being in an open world setting with five separate biomes to explore, the game also has a lot of neat little things to do such as side quests like popping drifloons and what not or even just the procedurally generated timed distortions and Pokémon outbreaks which is a great chance to get some Pokémon that could either be shiny or even alpha which is a new feature only available in Arceus.

The only real caveat here is that visuals are kind of of a lower quality compared to other games on the Nintendo Switch which really shows with its open-world that sometimes feel a bit barren but this is something more of a nitpick that most people wouldn’t even mind it. However, the game does have some occasional problems of Pokémon spawning inside a rock or a hill which is especially true during Pokémon outbreaks while others would just spawn and be invisible which does cause me some grief at times when I’m trying to find the last few Pokémon to end the outbreak as I’d have to keep pressing the lock-on button just to see if there’s any invisible or out-of-bounds Pokémon that spawned in the area.

In conclusion, Pokémon Legends: Arceus is easily one of the better if not the best Pokémon game out there. The way it shakes up the entire formula of the series is something that isn’t new or even unique but with Pokémon, it feels like this was the much-needed formula boost it needed for a long time. Catching and collecting Pokémon of every shape and sizes, exploring vast open worlds and just battling with them is definitely something that doesn’t sound all too different from the traditional entries we’ve got in the past but the way even the story was structured gave it a different vibe altogether. You’re not just some kid trying to fight gym battles to prove yourself but instead, you serve a different and a much more important purpose such as quelling the rage of each region’s noble Pokémon other than catching every starly and bidoofs outside the village.

Grab your copy from any good retail outlet or online, here is a link to the official site of Nintendo https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-games/Pokemon-Legends-Arceus-1930510.html

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