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How Pokémon Legends: Arceus Refreshes The Age-Old Formula

Pokémon Legends: Arceus is living up to be the most different game in the series, with many changes that you can just notice at a glance. Recent entries to the Pokemon series were faced with criticisms for being too samey, with love for the game seemingly fading out but the new features emerging from the tall grass are looking to reinvigorate this old classic. Here is our list of how Pokémon Legends: Arceus is revamping the series.

Gotta Catch These Hands

Combat gets a major overhaul which adds some needed change into the series without being completely unfamiliar. It’s not changed entirely by still being turn-based, but the battle HUD looks a little similar to Persona 5’s, making it easier to navigate. The kicker though is that your trainer can now freely move about while your pokemon duke it out, giving you a more natural option for running away by literally running away from the encounter. You can even heal your pokemon several times in one turn. This minor change makes you feel like a part of the environment itself, as opposed to a transition to a stage with a generic background.

You initiate fights by throwing a Pokeball containing your pokemon at the enemy, which begins a familiar animation and brings up the battle HUD. Moves can come in two styles now once your pokemon has mastered it. Agile Style hits for less, but depending on your speed stat it can even let you hit twice in one turn. Strength Style hits harder but can be used less often, kinda like using more AP than usual.

How’s your throwing arm?

Mother Base

Jubilife Village serves as your homebase, where you can change outfits, hairstyles, and restock. Towns aren’t present in the game, but the base acts as one giant town with everything being there as opposed to being scattered everywhere. This new addition also brings major changes to how you store your pokemon.

Due to the time period it’s set in, PCs haven’t been invented yet, so you store pokemon the good old fashioned way, with pastures all around Jubilife Village. This adds a small sense of customizability as what pokemon you catch determines what roams in your base. We expect to see some really crazy bases in the future as players fill their bases with their favourite pokemon.

Crafting is also added to the game, letting you craft items such as Pokeballs and potions, using stuff you find in the world. Players will be able to craft at crafting tables in your base or at the many campsites you can set up.

Third Person Shooter… Pokemon?

Just like combat, catching pokemon has undergone a complete rework as well. Now, trainers will need to aim and throw Pokeballs manually like in a third-person shooter, letting you catch pokemon instantly and avoid combat entirely.

On top of that, different pokemon have different methods to be caught, sometimes requiring stealth or having to be weakened before you lob a Pokeball. This makes it more skill-based and a little less luck-based while giving players more incentive to learn pokemon habits that can make catching them more individually memorable.

“We shall no longer serve you.”

Did I also mention that Pokemon can and will attack you? Some portions of the game have the pokemon attack you instead of forcing you to dodge. Getting hit surrounds the screen with a red vignette, Call of Duty style, and getting hit too many times causes you to faint.

Fainting gives you a chance to lose items in your inventory so it kinda makes it the Dark Souls of Pokemon (Sorry). It even comes with boss fights in the form of Noble Pokemon which are special, especially strong pokemon complete with a healthbar. and you can even damage them using items that you can throw at them.

It seems Pokemon Legends: Arceus is doing all it can to fix its previous issues and reignite the love from the fanbase, even if there’s the other half who aren’t fans of change. Or having an open-world game run on Nintendo Switch hardware, which is arguably showing its age & prowess.

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