The newest Pokemon game is out and I have literally spent my entire weekend immersing myself in this world. Pokemon Legends: Arceus is the Pokemon game I have been waiting for. Finally, an open world game where you explore and see Pokemon interacting with their environments. You aren’t blindly walking around in tall grass until your screen starts flashing. Instead, you visit a wide variety of terrains littered with Pokemon from different generations. It’s a new approach to a classic game and I would go so far as to say it’s my favorite Pokemon experience yet.
Let me tell you, it has been a long time since I’ve played a game that I never want to sign out of. I think of it when I can’t play it. I want to ignore all other responsibilities and play this game all day, every day. Even if the main story isn’t exactly riveting, the new approach to gameplay has fostered an addiction in me and I can’t get enough.
Rather than being a kid from a small town in competition with the professor’s grandson, you’re a stranger who has fallen from the sky into a new world that is just now learning how to co-exist with Pokemon. Joining forces with the townsfolk, you traverse vast grasslands, snowy mountains, and ocean shores to collect data in your trusty Pokedex. Before you embark on your adventure, you’ll pick your very first Pokemon to accompany you. This was an easy choice for me.
Pokemon Legends: Arceus makes the world feel more lived in with NPCs offering optional quests as you progress through the main storyline. While I do think some of the dialogue and cutscenes are dragged out for entirely too long, I appreciate that they’ve added elements such as a hair dresser and crafting stations making it more immersive than past Pokemon titles. Instead of fighting gym leaders and collecting badges, the data you collect in your Pokedex will cause you to level up, allowing you to command higher level Pokemon and cross over into new zones.
As you explore the various areas, you’ll run into a wide array of Pokemon who react to people differently. Some will run in fear from you while others will curiously observe you, but largely ignore you. There are also a LOT that will see you and attack you. Unlike in other games, the Pokemon in this world attack people. You have the option to engage them in battle with your Pokemon or you can make a run for it. It is not difficult to escape them, but it can be pretty annoying when you’re trying to capture one. I’ve found some good rhythms with many zones, but the one area I consistently fail at is the water zones. Maybe I have bad depth perception, but I swear I caught this fool many times before it actually went into the Pokeball.
While you’re battling your way through the story, you’ll also happen across Pokemon called Alphas. These are very large, very strong Pokemon with glowing red eyes and they are the stuff of nightmares. The first one I saw was Rapidash. Standing around a bunch of Ponyta, I decided, forget these tiny nerds, I’m going for the big one! It should’ve been obvious from its massive size and intimidating stance that it was not to be trifled with. I am laughing watching this next video because I still went for it even though it was clearly a super bad idea. Take the red eyes seriously, especially when you are just starting out.
You may have noticed earlier in this post that I was on the back of a Pokemon. Pokemon Legends: Arceus has introduced specialty Pokemon who help you move quickly and reach new locations. So far, I have unlocked four. Some of these allow you to access areas of the map that would otherwise be inaccessible while others just change your exploration experience. You can shuffle through them at any time, and what’s nice is even if you are quickly switching between land and water you don’t have to change anything. Your Pokemon will automatically change for you (Oh my god, Lickilicky is so gross and I hate it).
I am impressed by how many Pokemon are in this game. I was wondering which of my favorites would make an appearance, and I was relieved to see Eevee in game along with the stones needed for evolution. My favorite Pokemon is Jolteon so the second I found a thunder stone, I ran back to town to grab my Eevee from the pasture and bring Jolteon into the fold. I should note that you can change your Pokemon at any campsite in the game which is a nice addition. Your Pokemon now live in ‘pastures’ rather than spending their days confined to a dark Pokeball wondering if they will ever see the light of day again.
I’ve largely avoided Alpha pokemon, but as I’ve reached higher levels, I’ve decided I want to try and take some on. I’ve found some silly Alphas, like Bidoof, and I’ve also seen awesome ones that I want to catch but don’t stand a chance against. Even though I usually make a run for it, when I found an Alpha Gabite at the end of a path, I decided to go for it. He wiped my team twice. I had nothing left. No revives, no more potions. I have one Pokemon left and every time I throw a ball, he breaks out. I have to decide what I’m going to do: try and catch him again, knock him out, or make a run for it. Watch the next video to find out how that encounter ended (why can’t I just have a normal Typhlosion).
Gabite became Garchomp and is easily my strongest Pokemon. He’s also my most powerful Pokemon in Pokemon Go. As of now, I am not sure if Garchomp being an Alpha at the time of capture affects the stats, but battling with him is always entertaining. The battle sequences are actually really nice looking even when they can be a bit ridiculous (I have found myself in several 3-on-1 scenarios and they are not always easy to navigate). You can even move around and observe the battle from different angles as moves are executed.
There is SO MUCH going on in this game. Powerful Pokemon are frenzied and the only person who can bring them back to their senses is you. What 6 Pokemon will you bring with you on your journey? This game has me turning on my Switch and ignoring my Xbox. Yes, the graphics aren’t the best, but if you enjoy Pokemon and you want a fresh experience in the franchise, you need to get this.