Illustration of player in Pokémon Legends: Arceus.
Many longtime Pokémon fans have been craving an open-world game that is more focused on the Pokémon themselves, and it seems that Pokémon Legends: Arceus will provide this and much more. (Illustration by Kati Dean, Chapman University)

Pokémon Legends: Arceus Will Offer a Breath of Fresh Air for Fans

While the anticipated game possesses clear similarities to other games within the Nintendo franchise, it will be introducing many new aspects to enrich the player’s experience.

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Illustration of player in Pokémon Legends: Arceus.

While the anticipated game possesses clear similarities to other games within the Nintendo franchise, it will be introducing many new aspects to enrich the player’s experience.

Although many of the games in the Pokémon series have been consistently popular and well-received, the upcoming Pokémon Legends: Arceus is expected to completely transform and revitalize the long-established franchise.

Nintendo’s most recent Pokémon Presents livestream offered many excited fans a more in-depth glimpse at the new game. While the overall goal of Pokémon Legends: Arceus — to catch as many Pokémon as possible — remains the same as its predecessors, the setting, art style and battle system have been completely revamped.

It seems that Nintendo is finally offering fans what they’ve been desiring for a long time — an open-world Pokémon game that allows players to freely explore a nature-filled, pocket monster-stuffed world with no enforced set of rules.

Overall Plot and Setting of Pokémon Legends: Arceus

Pokémon Legends: Arceus takes place in the Sinnoh region of the past before it was even called Sinnoh. The land, which was once called the Hisui region, is essentially a natural paradise that features a variety of ecosystems and different kinds of regional Pokémon.

Fans will play as a character that is part of the Galaxy Expedition Team, a group made up of people from many different regions who have teamed up together to explore the numerous mysteries of the Hisui region.

As a member of the Survey Corps, players are responsible for capturing and recording Pokémon in various areas of the wild land. With the headquarters of the Galaxy Expedition Team being in Jubilife City, players will journey through the vast Hisui region, battling Pokémon, gathering and crafting items, and even riding Pokémon to help investigate.

Besides exploring and trying to “catch ‘em all,” fans can also expect to encounter and help solve the mystery concerning the legendary Pokémon Arceus, hence the title. Despite the lack of further details, it remains clear that the upcoming Pokémon Legends: Arceus will most likely consist of a plot that is as enriching and beautiful as the game’s new, extensive landscape.

What Exactly Has Changed and What Has Stayed the Same?

Like its predecessors, Pokémon Legends: Arceus seems to start off by allowing players to pick one of three starter Pokémon: Rowlet, Cyndaquil or Oshawott. With one of these starter Pokémon in hand, players are then tasked to fill out one of the very first Pokédex in Sinnoh history by battling and capturing Pokémon.

While the foundations of the Pokémon series are still somewhat present, Pokémon Legends: Arceus consists of some surprising new twists, with one of the most unique and astonishing being the revamped battle system.

Although Pokémon battles are still turn-based in the new game, each Pokémon’s moves will now have two styles: agile and strong. The agile style will increase a move’s speed, but the move will be weaker than usual. On the other hand, the strong style will allow the Pokémon to unleash a more powerful attack, at the expense of their speed being greatly reduced.

Interestingly enough, the new battle system in Pokémon Legends: Arceus is not dissimilar to that of Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin. In this recent installment of the Monster Hunter franchise — which is often likened to the Pokémon series — each move is associated with a certain element (power, speed or technical), with each element functioning as another element’s weakness.

Another game that the new Pokémon game has been widely compared to recently is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Not only are the art styles somewhat similar, but the series’s shift to a more open, improvisational and physics-driven world from a restrictive, rule-driven system definitely resembles that of the Zelda blockbuster.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus also seems to incorporate some features from the recent Pokémon Snap, where the primary focus is on observing Pokémon in the wild rather than on combat. Although there may not be as much variety as there is in Pokémon Snap for interacting with Pokémon, Pokémon Legends: Arceus proves to be a step in the right direction.

Overall, it ultimately makes sense for Nintendo to increase immersion and adopt what works in these specific games, which have all been received warmly by fans. Not only does this add a whole new layer of depth to the mainline Pokémon games, but it allows the series to truly evolve after repeating the same formula for decades. 

How This Game Will Change the Pokémon Series Forever

Although many fans were widely disappointed with the lack of new features in Pokémon Sword and Shield, it seems that Pokémon Legends: Arceus is planning to remedy that by placing a never-before-seen emphasis on the nature of wild Pokémon as well as the world they live in.

By making the game an open-world system, a fresh and more realistic tone is brought into the Pokémon series as players will be able to have a proper adventure or even feel as if they’re actually “inside” the world of Pokémon while playing.

Consequently, many fans can expect future Pokémon games to be more immersive and adventurous, whether it’s through the addition of more detailed animations or the continued implementation of the open-world system. Overall, Pokémon Legends: Arceus is already proving to be the breath of fresh air the series requires.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus will be released on Jan. 28, 2022, and is now available for pre-order on the likes of the Nintendo eShop, GameStop and Amazon.

Writer Profile

Alice Han

Pepperdine University
Communication Studies (Minor in Journalism)

My name is Alice Han, and I am currently a third-year student at Pepperdine University majoring in communication studies and minoring in journalism. I am originally from Los Angeles, California, but currently reside in Alaska.

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