Pokémon revives stale formula




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Pokémon Legends Arceus is the newest Pokémon game for Nintendo Switch. The game starts with the player character being thrown into the past by the legendary Pokémon, Arceus, who is known in the Pokémon world as the creator of the universe and controls all of space and time. The game is set in the Hisui region, the long-forgotten past of the current day Sinnoh region.

If you know anything about previous mainline games, then you would know that they consist of linear stories and random encounters with Pokémon in areas known as tall grass. In this game, however, there is a main hub village where you can unlock different large open areas where the Pokémon are just wandering around in the open.

Usually, the player would have to battle these Pokémon to catch them, excluding the spin-off games such as the Let’s Go games and Pokémon Go, but now you can just aim a poke ball and throw it to catch a Pokémon. Battling is still an option; however, it is no longer a requirement to catch Pokémon.

Now, some Pokémon are more aggressive than others and will be harder to catch without battling them, but it is still possible with the right combination of poke balls, berries and aim. Some Pokémon may even run away if they spot the player character so stealth is also important.

Games prior to this one had attempted something similar but failed to make it work the way it does in Legends Arceus. It took previous mechanics and blended them with the worldbuilding, which the previous games failed to do. 

In this game, it feels lived in by the Pokémon who can be seen and the catching feels more natural since the player isn’t being thrown into a battle or a catching screen.

Pokémon can even attack the player character and if you get hit too many times or are hit by a powerful move, then the player character will pass out and be returned to camp having some of the items from their satchel having fallen out.

Although this game is a mostly open world, there are still limits as to where the player character can go, but this can be remedied by unlocking various ride Pokémon by progressing through the story.

With every great game, there are always flaws. While on any rideable Pokémon, other than Basculegion, you can’t throw any items or throw out a Pokémon, which adds the extra step of dismounting the ride Pokémon before you can do anything else. 

While it’s understandable, it’s also a hassle to players who want to move faster and still be able to catch Pokémon.

As a whole, the game is great and is worth playing for both fans and newcomers. With various new forms for existing Pokémon, a great story with plenty of side quests, new controls that may be difficult to get used to but work well with the game and new environments to explore along with great music, I’ll say that this game deserves all the praise and give it a solid 7 out of 10.

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