Hey Traders! Welcome to another game review; this time I’ll be looking at the newly released Pokémon Legends: Arceus.
It’s been exactly 2 weeks since Legends: Arceus was released and I’ve unashamedly already logged over 45+ hours of play.
A few weeks ago I mentioned in my “Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl” review that I felt as though the effort that I expected to go into the remakes had probably been put into Legends instead. Boy was I right. I’d been disappointed with my playthrough of BDSP, but believe me when I say that Legends has not only restored my faith in the Pokémon Company, but it’s inspired me to branch out into a whole new realm of genres to play!
The game sees our protagonist (the ancestor of either Dawn or Lucas from BDSP) falling from the sky into the region of Hisui, a world where people and Pokémon live entirely separate lives; the villagers of Jubilife Village are fearful of the powerful and unruly Pokemon.
Early on you will meet Professor Laventon, who takes you under his wing. He explains his newest invention, the “Pokeball”, and tasks you with the completion of his Pokedex. This Pokedex is unlike any you may be used to from previous games, though! It’s a handwritten journal, and instead of an entry being completed upon catching a Pokemon, you have to complete 10 research tasks first. These tasks can be anything from catching a Pokemon at a certain time of day to seeing it use a specific move in a specific style a certain amount of times.
That brings me nicely onto one of the new mechanics of the game: move styles. This was teased in the trailers and it was something I was pretty dubious about to begin with, but I’ve actually found myself really enjoying the change! Agile moves allow the player to strike faster, giving them the chance to move again before the opponent, whilst strong moves will increase the power of the move but may cost you a turn. These can be really useful in certain situations, like getting a quick move in at the end of a boss battle.
A great returning feature is Ride Pokemon. They unlock as you progress through the game, allowing you to race across terrain, climb cliffs, swim the oceans and even fly through the sky! Each Ride Pokemon also happens to be a new or upgraded evolution for a pre-existing Pokemon; we see Sneasel, Stantler, Ursaring and Basculin receive new evolutions, whilst Braviary appears in its Hisuian form.
The main focus of the story is the increasing number of Space/Time distortions tearing through the region. The player must travel to meet the Guardian Pokemon scattered through Hisui, many of whom have been sent into a frenzy by the distortions. Once you beat them, you’ll receive an elemental plate (the ones used to alter Arceus’ typing). Eventually, you’ll come up against both Palkia and Dialga.I won’t give anything more away about the actual story, but I will say that the postgame is really gripping and has an unexpected twist once you gather all the plates. There are also nearly 100 side quests from various NPCs that you can complete alongside the main story, just to keep you on your toes!
When the first trailer dropped last year, I’d already invested so much of my excitement into BDSP, so whilst I was looking forward to Legends my main priority was the remakes. This game is unlike any other Pokemon game; the closest thing would probably be Mystery Dungeon, but no main series Pokemon game has broken the mold the way Legends does. I’m feeling hopeful that this will be the start of something amazing for the Pokemon franchise. The freedom of open world exploration, the way the player interacts with wild Pokemon, everything about this game is just so exciting! If more main series Pokemon games start to look like this, I think it’ll be a really brilliant progression for the games. Only time will tell, but I’m feeling cautiously optimistic!
Please let us know if you’ve played the game already and what your thoughts were on the new aspects! And as always, feel free to drop us a message on our social media if you have any requests for future blog entries. We look forward to seeing you in store soon, but until then have a great week!