Daily Archives: 2022-01-26

Pokémon Legends: Arceus is a breath of fresh air for a stale franchise

Source: Ars Technica

Article note: Oh no, it looks reasonably compelling. Must avoid the expensive time-sink for at least a couple months.
<em>Pokémon Legends: Arceus</em> is as close as we've ever gotten to an open-world <em>Pokémon</em> game.

Enlarge / Pokémon Legends: Arceus is as close as we've ever gotten to an open-world Pokémon game. (credit: Nintendo)

Last year's by-the-numbers Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remakes did even less than most Pokémon games to spruce up and modernize the series' decades-old formula. That's understandable for a remake of a 2006 Nintendo DS game, but the games were still disappointing follow-ups to the more adventurous Sword and Shield.

The good news is that if you've been waiting for Game Freak to really shake up Pokémon's gameplay without totally burning it to the ground and starting from scratch, Pokémon Legends: Arceus is the game you've been waiting for. Part Pokémon and part Breath of the WildLegends takes the free-roaming "Wild Area" concept from Sword and Shield and updates the series' catching and battling mechanics to match.

That's not to say it's a perfect fusion of those disparate elements. Its mission-based structure gets pretty fetch quest-y, it leans heavily on an over-familiar roster of existing Pokémon, and the aging Switch hardware sometimes struggles to make it look good, especially when docked. But despite those problems, the whole package works together surprisingly well, and it makes the Pokémon feel fresher than it has in quite a while.

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