*Warning this may contain small spoilers for Pokemon Legends: Arceus*
Pokemon is a series that I have grown up with and it has been interesting to see the series grow and see the ups and downs. After 25 years, we get a semi-open world game set in a ancient version of the Sinnoh region and on paper this seems like a good idea, but was it executed well. Today, I will be putting this game under the spotlight and pick out the good, the bad and see if there is anything to build off of for future series. So, let’s start with the good.
The first thing I noticed and really liked were some of the quality of life updates they added. The two I really liked was the ability to change move sets without the need of going to a move re-leaner or any item, I figure this is due to the agile and strong style mechanic and given some PokéDex requirements so you can freely swap moves helps with both. The other thing I liked was the ability to use evolution items in place of trade evolutions. As a person that is really bad at asking for help, completing the PokéDex has been an issue especially with trade evolutions, so I was very happy to learn that I could use an item made it more inviting to complete the Dex.
The next thing I liked about the game was the setting. I think they did a great job of creating a environment were the characters you interact with people who are looking to learn more and are still afraid of Pokémon would feel like. Though I wish the main story would of dive a bit more into this, I think the side quest were a fun opportunity to explore the early encounters between humans and Pokémon.
The last positive I want to pull from this game is how they broke up the areas. I know it would of been nice to be able to go from one area to another as one whole map but I think this make it better I like it as it gave a way to focus on certain Pokémon as some are in every area and some are not.
These were that things that kept me playing as I was able to party members the way I want it and enjoyed exploring the areas. However, there were some things that we a bit annoying and hurt the game.
The first issue I had with the game was fighting multiple enemies. Now, this is nothing new, however in other games you had moves that would hit multiple targets. In Legends: Arceus, they appear to have removed that affect from the moves which makes the in story 3v1 fights super annoying. I don’t mind fighting multiple opponents but it would be nice to either have multi-target moves or the ability to send out a second Pokémon. This was a bit annoying but over all not game breaking.
The other thing was the presentation, but more due to it being a missed opportunity. I’m used to Pokémon sticking to a certain art style but with the release of the New Pokémon Snap for me it showed what a Pokémon game could look like and it would of been nice to see those improvements used in following games. Especially when Pokémon in the distance are clipping or weird outlines around your character when in caves. Luckily it looks like the Generation 9 games looks like they may make a major jump in the visual presentation.
The last thing that bugged me was the story. Similar to the presentation, I wasn’t excepting a amazing story but it would of been fun to more explore story more focus on growing the village and exploring the early relationships of humans and Pokémon and I feel like that would of been more interesting and allow more diversity when it came to boss fights and may of gave some motivation of exploring the areas.
It felt like another example for GameFreak to show that they what a Pokémon game could look like, but there are a few things I want to see moving forward.
With Gen 9 announced it will be interesting to see what influences and mechanics could be pulled from this game into the new one. The major things I would like to see continued from this game are; Ability to swap moves freely, alternate methods of evolutions for trade based Pokémon, and tools/Pokémon to help transverse the area. Another thing I do hope is the Hisuian stay in Legends. As much as I like some of this Pokémon, I like the idea of them remaining in the past better. I would also like to see another Legends game made in the future with next one either in Johto and focusing on Lugia and Ho-oh or in set in ancient Unova and focus on the origins of Reshiram, Zekrom and Kyurem.
As a fan I am always curious to see how a series I grew up with changes over my lifetime. Despite my issues with the game, I do recommend playing Legends: Arceus as it does over a unique enough experience that both long and short time fans can enjoy. Thank you for taking the time to read this mess of words and until next time: Stay Safe, Be Kind and Game On!