Review: Pokémon Legends: Arceus [Nintendo Switch]

Review: Pokémon Legends: Arceus [Nintendo Switch]

June 4, 2022

A new adventure awaits for Pokémon fans! Pokémon Legends: Arceus , which was released worldwide on January 28, 2022, promises to stand out from all previous Pokémon games with innovations such as an open world. What does GAME FREAK's new project published by Nintendo for Switch family consoles actually have to offer? Kay Thorben shoe

ATTENTION: Any statements in this review only reflect the personal opinion of the author and not (!) those of ITweakIT and its partners.

Travel to a bygone age

Pokémon Legends: Arceus starts with a strange encounter and a journey into the past immediately after choosing a template character. None other than the legendary Pokémon Arceus asks the player to travel to the Hisui region and encounter all the Pokémon there. A journey through time follows in said Hisui region, which is the Sinnoh of the past, known from the fourth generation of Pokémon.

Initially only equipped with the ArceusPhone received through Arceus, through which you can access some features, you quickly enter the central hub of the game – Jubeldorf. After receiving a starter Pokémon to choose from in Pokémon Legends: Arceus Bauz, Ottaro, and Ignegel, and some introductory gameplay, it's off to the wide world of Hisui. As the newest member of the Jubeldorf-based Galactic Expedition, the player is tasked with creating the first Pokédex in history through field research and earning the trust of the Hinsui people.

A region in turmoil

During the exploration of Hisui, it is not only a question of confronting free-roaming Pokémon in the wild, which also pose a threat to the player himself. Some Pokémon have gone berserk under mysterious circumstances, including special Pokémon known as the kings of each of Hisui's territories. There are also two clans, the diamond clan and the pearl clan, which have always been in conflict there; and all while a menacing rift in the fabric of space-time gapes across the region.

In order to ensure order, the player also opposes the kings and queens, who have to be appeased in new boss fights. In numerous missions around the Pokédex and a lot of quests received by the inhabitants of the regions, you acquire a higher rank within the Galactic Expedition as a protagonist, contribute to the expansion of Jubilee Village and track down the secrets that are in the Open up Hisui region. All with the ultimate goal of eventually meeting the legendary Arceus again.

Pokémon meets Breath of the Wild

Pokémon Legends: Arceus is in many ways part of the Pokémon series game as we know it. As usual, the goal of the game is to fill up a Pokédex and fight against the Pokémon of the wild or other characters. However, compared to the wild zone from Pokémon Sword & Pokémon Shield , the open world of the Nintendo Switch offshoot is a lot better.

Random Encounters have been eliminated and the player will now encounter Pokémon roaming wild in the world. To get around the reasonably expansive areas, various Pokémon become available as you progress, which you can ride over land, water, and through the air. When catching Pokémon, fights can now be avoided entirely by sneaking in and using items such as decoys. In other situations, stealth is used to keep your character safe from dangerous Pokémon, which can black out if they take too much in the wild. The new features and gameplay are strikingly reminiscent of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild , which appeared at the beginning of the Switch era and shaped many cross-platform games that followed.

The player's character is based on the protagonists from the fourth generation of Pokémon , but the player can customize eye color, hairstyle and, above all, clothing over the course of the game. However, what we don't know from past games is the new crafting system and the Pokédex missions. Instead of having to buy items like Poké Balls and potions, the player is able to craft them from found items. Instead of catching Pokémon to complete the Pokédex, the player must now complete different missions per Pokémon. Incidentally, there are also rank advancements and bonuses in the Galactic Expedition.

In order to make the open world, which is admittedly not very dynamic, more exciting, there are space-time distortions in some places, within which the player can encounter rare and powerful Pokémon and items. Unfortunately, there are no player battles for online enthusiasts yet, but there is a barter system and the opportunity to help other players find their lost items in the wilderness in order to receive rewards.

Graphically with weaknesses

The new Pokémon offshoot has some features in store that will revolutionize the gameplay of the series, but what about the graphic implementation? The game offers large, varied areas that are nice to look at when exploring, but are not a graphical revolution. Again, taking The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for comparison, its world is fuller, more detailed, and larger. The animations in the game are solid, but can also be implemented with a lot more variety and quality in the future.

The game's soundtrack features appropriate music for the different areas and locations, and has numerous remixes from the Sinnoh region that promise to please Pokémon veterans. The ancient style of the game world is well reflected in the soundtrack and makes Pokémon Legends: Arceus feel all the more nostalgic. In this respect, there is very rarely anything wrong with Pokémon.

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Graphically without a brilliant performance, GAME FREAK succeeded in implementing a new type of expansion of the Pokémon series well with Pokémon Legends: Arceus . From the start, the plot seemed more interesting than what you are used to from the main series. Excited to see what happens next as you experience a new and refreshing gameplay experience. The game feels repetitive in places even after a great number of hours, but prevails with its exciting new feel that makes it hard to take breaks.


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Full of references to well-known characters and music remixes, the new Pokémon adventure also combines its new gameplay with a lot of nostalgia. Exploring the world is fun, even if by today's standards it can be fuller, livelier, and more detailed. Ultimately, there 's definitely hope that some of the innovation in Pokémon Legends: Arceus will carry over to future titles, but the initial announcement of Pokémon 's ninth generation already indicated that.

short conclusion

Pokémon Legends: Arceus is a great step forward for Pokémon in the series with exciting new gameplay and an interesting storyline, even though the games are still allowed to evolve a lot in terms of graphics.

Images: ©2021 Pokémon / Nintendo / Creatures / GAME FREAK

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