Published on February 10th, 2022 | by Chris O'Connor
Pokemon Legends: Arceus Switch Review
Summary: Journey back in time to when Pokemon and humans didn't live in such close harmony and get to know all the inhabitants of Hisui (later to be known as Sinnoh)
This review is another collaboration with my son who knows far more about Pokemon than I do.
The main story in Pokemon Legends: Arceus is a step back in time to the region of Hisui (the area that comes to be known as Sinnoh in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Pokemon Shining Pearl). Your job is to travel all over the Hisui region meeting and learning about all the Pokemon you find.
My first impression of the game was that it has a much more “mature” look to it. Compared to the recent remakes of Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Pokemon Shining Pearl that have a somewhat more “cutesy” child like aesthetic… Pokemon Legends: Arceus gives me more a Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild or Skyward Sword vibe which I think also fits the dynamic of the game.
This is a much more open game than certainly the last few releases, quite fitting given your role as a researcher tasked with learning about all the different Pokemon in the region. You head off from Jubilife Village, the base of operations for you and your colleagues in Galaxy Team, and venture into Hisui’s biomes. This more open world style is aided by the fact that you can now ride certain Pokemon, so travel can be a lot of fun. You aren’t the only one enjoying the more open gameplay… the Pokemon themselves will be found all over the landscapes, in tall grass, high up in trees, in deep swamps… all over the place. Some of the Pokemon will happily come up to you but others may scamper away in fright and others may simply attack you. Observation is key to being successful learning about all the Pokemon you encounter.
If things do get aggressive you will find yourself in combat that is a little different to what you are used to. You now have the option to fight with Agile or Strong attack styles. Agile style gives you the chance to attack twice in a round (at the expense of power)… Strong, not surprisingly, focuses on power (at the expense of speed, potentially taking longer to have your next move). My son was rather impressed with this addition to the combat. He was also quite keen on the new Pokeballs.
It’s kind of funny that a game in a series that has spanned so long should take a step back in the game’s timeline whilst introducing such fresh gameplay elements… but they are certainly welcome and if my son is any indication they are a lot of fun.
It’s easier to follow the notion of “gotta catch ’em all” in regards to the games when they release such engaging content and that’s just what we have here. A great fun way to step back in game time and contribute to the study of Pokemon that will be both familiar and new to players. A great addition to your Pokemon gaming collection.