Genwunner plays Pokemon Legends: Arceus
By: Justin Hopkins
So, this is later then I was expecting. Wanted to have this up on Tuesday, but, and this may be a hint at final thoughts, I couldn’t put it down. So much I wanted to do and trying to do as much as I could and I am nearly at the finish line. No sense in holding off any longer. Reviews are piling up and time to get the train going. I was excited, from the trailer, looked like they were shaking up the gameplay in a big way, and after so long of the same formula. Had no idea what to expect and hype was real. So, after a bit of a disappointing trip the last go around. Time to unretire Mui for another adventure.
Game starts off with us talking to Arceus, in a dark void. Falling through after the conversation and coming to on Prelude Beach. Being waken up by Professor Laventon and three Pokemon, Rowlett, Cyndaquil, and Oshawott. Who scamper off after Laventon talks to Mui. Who has no idea where we are or what is going on. Catching them for him, he takes us back to Jubilife Village. Centuries back in time from our normal stomping grounds. A place that doesn’t know much about Pokemon, fears them and are wary over the new person. After meeting with Captain Cyllene. Letting us have a place to stay for the night, but would have to pass as trial tomorrow to stay or be expelled out of the village and possibly die out in the wild. Overnight, lightning comes out of the rift we fell out of. Rei wakes us up, and takes us to Cyllene’s office. Giving us the challenge to catch three pokemon, Shinx, Starly, and Bidoof. Before we leave, Laventon offers us one of the three and after some thought, Shida the Rowlett became pokemon number one. Each representing how Pokemon are going to react to noticing you in the wild. Either going to ignore, run, or attack. After catching them, we are accepted into the Survey Corp at rank zero and instructed to go see Kamado. Commander of the Galaxy Expedition Team and challenges me to combat, Sumo throwing Mui into a wall. Warning us that not everyone will take kindly to us right away. Rei taught us how to craft and we got to run about the Obsidian Fieldlands for a bit and some requests from civilians and workers. Getting to Rank one and ending the day. When we wake up, have a meeting with Kamado, along with Irdia and Adaman. Leaders of the Pearl and Diamond Clan. Pearl believing in the god of time. The other, god of space. The Lightning from the other night have riled up the lords around the world. Sent to go talk to Klevor’s warden to find out more. Learning that Klevor won’t even let him get close. After a long time thinking. Laventon comes up with the idea to throw his food at him. I go back armed with Balms and start throwing them at his face. After a long sequence of him trying to attack me while I smacked him in the face with his food. Managed to settle him back to his normal state, and we were off to do the same with the next Lord, Lilith. Before we could do that though, have to appease one of the Pearl’s members and track down stolen goods. Leading us to the bandits, The Misfortune sisters, Coin, Charm, and Clover. Who coughs up the goods after we beat them. Returning it to her and calming down an out of control Ursaluna. Finally getting access to Lilligant and calming down their Lord and moved onto the next, a place without a lord. Since Arcanine drown saving him pup. Palina refusing to rush the young Growlithe’s traning. However when the Misfortune Sisters arrived and stole on of the Growlithes. The Growlithe evolves into Arcanine and becomes the Lord, and immediately, goes into Frenzy and another Balming fight later. We move on, with the new Lord in his place. Moving slowly on and doing the same to the fourth, Electrode, and even faster to deal with Avatugg. Due to the unmerciful attacks from Glalies and Abomasnow. Everyone cheering that all the lords are calmed, but that night, the rift acts up again, but Kamado in blaming us. To the point he expels us from the village. Much to the dismay of Iridia and Adaman. Told that we would be welcomed back if we can solve the issues. Resisting the urge to burn down the village as we left. Running into Volo who takes us to Madame Cognita. Telling us about the pokemon at the lakes and the red chain.. and that is where I am going to leave it for the time being.
They took a big gamble, changing up the formula this much. Battles being a minimum, and putting the whole focus on exploration and catching pokemon. Helping to build a pokedex and educate the people in the village so they wouldn’t be as afraid of them. While at the same time, knowing which ones to be worried about, cause oh will some of them mess you up just the same.
That may have been my favorite part of the game though. Can still initiate the battles and do things the old way, but the new aspects are fantastic. Had so much fun trying to stealth around, failing because I am bad, and being chased by angry pokemon. At one point, had a Luxray after me, that became a pack of Luxray. Thought I lost them, but didn’t see I had angered another pokemon and an Alpha Alakazam flew in from out of nowhere. Scaring me off the side of a hill. Loved seeing Ghastly and Haunter rising up out of the ground, warmed my heart and made me laugh as I had to run again. Making the world so much more fun to travel around. See everything they had to offer because of the way the pokemon acted and reacted to your presence was such a delight. Which really went into immersing me into the game.
Another massive plus was that I was genuinely amused by most of the NPC characters that I dealt with throughout my playthrough. Never related more to a character than when Cyllene wouldn’t eat with us, because she wanted to enjoyed her meals better alone. From some fun requests like, investigate the Mr. Mime that was messing with the one guy. Helping a woman somewhat overcome her fear of Starly and continue having to go find the lost worker, Wanda. Loved watching the village grow, especially the shop. and meeting the different members of Diamond and Pearl, even Melli. Not everyone was a hit, but majority of them were fun.
I loved the art style they used in the game. Following Brilliant Diamond this felt like a giant leap forward. Did a really good job at adding emotions to the characters when they are talking and interacting with each other. Liked the biomes and territories that certain pokemon could be tracked down to. Such as Turtwig in a little lake, in the Droning Meadows, for example. The scenery and colors were beautiful and loved looking out across the terrain when I was flying around.
The little thinks such as the link cable so you didn’t have to trade pokemon to get them to evolve. Waiting for so long for stuff like this. Finally get to fill the pokedex without having to bring in another person. They were nearly perfect, but for one part.
Mixed feelings now surrounding request number 22, eerie apparitions in the night. The sole reason why I haven’t completed the Dex at the moment of writing this. I am all up for challenges, and all for running around the world, but it becomes quite different when you are trying to spot tiny purple lights. Some places have one left and I am pulling my hair out trying to find it. It gets real monotonous after a while. They have done these before, but never finished them and am actually trying this time, but wow it gets you down after a while.
Thought they could have done more with the Misfortune Sisters. They were fine, but reveal being they were just rowdy “bandits” was kind of anti-climactic. Now, admittedly, I did it to myself. Saw a couple story threads they could’ve went with. Particularly after we are kicked out of the village. Almost showed have gone further with Kamado being a baddie as well. Particularly knowing where Galaxy would end up becoming.
If you are into Pokemon for competitive side of the games. This game might not be all of that for you, but I am not one of those people. The battles tend to rank pretty low, and this game delivered so much of what I did like. Loved how the game looks and being able to run among/from the wild pokemon. Felt like the world was alive and NPCs were fun to interact with and did enjoy the direction the story went, and the surprise at the end took me off guard and would gladly suggest trying this game out. Final Grade – S
As always, I hope you enjoyed….
Thank You For Reading!!!!