As a fan of the Pokémon franchise for 22 years, you can only imagine how excited I was for an open world game where everything was yours to explore freely. With the success of games such as Breath of the Wild, it only made sense that Pokémon get the same open world treatment. But was it a success? Some say it was while others say it wasn’t. This article is my full and honest opinion on the newest chapter of the Pokéverse.
The game starts off with you seemingly in a dream. A voice speaks to you and you’re thrown into a tunnel filled with light. You awaken to find yourself on an empty beach where you meet Professor Laventon. It doesn’t take long to realize that the world you landed in isn’t the same world you came from. In fact, it’s not even the same time period. Everything is far less advanced than modern day and everyone seems to be terrified of Pokémon. You join a group called Galaxy Team, becoming a member of the Survey Corps. Your job is to both complete the Pokédex and find out what’s going on with the frenzied royals and what the connection is between them and the rift in the sky.
The first thing I noticed immediately was how expanse this new world is. In previous games, locations were limited to a certain space and that was it. You can run through a route in under a minute and it felt nowhere near as free as Arceus does. Every area you visited had so much to offer and had such diverse landscapes to explore; a bog, the coastline, a frozen winter wonderland. Every area had beautiful scenery and tons of wilderness to explore, much more so than the games that came before it. Seeing how the open world concept is a huge success amongst many games, I can see this becoming the blueprint for the Pokémon franchise from here on out. The input both Nintendo and Game Freak receive from gamers and fans alike can and should be used to improve upon the games in the future so that it can become an even bigger success.
There have also been a few new game designs implemented as well. Aside from the usual completion of the Pokédex like it’s predecessors, you can now complete “side quests” which will earn players rewards to help them along their journey. There are many tasks to complete so players will be kept busy throughout their adventure. On top of the side quests, players are also introduced to “alpha Pokémon” which are Pokémon that are abnormally large for their kind. Pokémon can also attack you and harm you; meaning you can black out and wake up at the nearest campsite. You will lose a few items in your inventory but thanks to a new helpful system, trainers from across the world can collect the items you dropped and return them to you (you can also drown and suffer from fall damage. It’s extreme Pokémon). This makes for much interesting gameplay and much higher stakes when attempting to catch a Pokémon in the wild.
Having finished the main storyline recently, I can say that it was an interesting plot from start to finish. It’s a new concept that isn’t like the previous games and I enjoyed the idea of time travel and affecting the way the people of the past viewed Pokémon in order to shape the future. Though the game was fun, I’m nowhere near finished the after game content (which I won’t say anything about in case readers want to try it out for themselves or they haven’t gotten that far). As much as I enjoyed myself, there are definitely a few things I think the game can be improved upon. For example there are a few graphical issues with pixelation where I’ll be standing somewhere and the pixels outlining my body will disappear and turn white. Those missing pixels aren’t necessarily a problem but they can be easily be fixed. Another issue I stumbled upon was Pokémon glitching into the ground. This happened to me a few times either in the wild where they were roaming about and suddenly fell into the ground or during a battle where I let a Pokémon out of a ball and it’ll glitch into the ground. I have no idea if anyone else have or had this issue but I think it can be fixed as well. But all in all, it’s a solid game that I can see being even better in the future once they smooth out the wrinkles.
With the success of Legends, one can only hope that this will be the set-up for future Pokémon games to come. Though it took 20+ years for the open world experience to become a reality, fans can’t wait to see what’s in store for the franchise in the future.
You can experience Pokémon Legends: Arceus for yourself by purchasing a hard copy of the game wherever games are sold or digitally from the Nintendo e-Shop.