I had my doubts about Pokémon Legends: Arceus from the moment I saw the visuals. I was ready to skip yet another generation of Pokemon games. However, given that it was Pokemon’s first real attempt at a 3D open-world game, I caved and bought the game to see what it’s all about. Needless to say, I was quite impressed at the overall experience, and yet disappointed at other aspects.
Let’s start with the negatives, which are the graphics of Pokémon Legends: Arceus. The graphics in this game are bad. I won’t sugarcoat anything. The fact that Game Freak is this insistent on releasing Pokemon games that look like they could have come out 10 years ago is mind-boggling to me. The bad textures, pop-in issues, and other graphical fidelity make it hard to believe that this is a 2022 game! I wonder how long Game Freak plans to ride out the nostalgia train before people finally wake up to what is been tolerated. That aside, the rest of the game holds out.
The gameplay, as most gamers will say, is the more important aspect of any game, and I’m happy to say that Game Freak knocks it out of the park with Pokemon Arceus. It’s been such a long time since I’ve genuinely had fun battling and collecting Pokemon. Being able to battle in the exact environment that you were in in real-time is a game-changer and adds a level of immersion I didn’t realize was missing. Not to mention seeing all the Pokemon moves and attacks animated so epic really adds to the flavor. The story was a simple one, to be honest, and kinda forgettable, yet engaging enough that I was intrigued by it. We didn’t have a huge cast of characters in this game, but the ones that we did get, were fleshed out enough to make up for it. I wouldn’t say I have a favorite person, to be honest, but I also can’t say I hated anyone either. It was just a fun journey to learn about how Sinnoh came to be!
Exploring the world and collecting Pokemon was fun for a time, but if I were to point to one flaw that I didn’t personally like, it was the tedious task of catching multiple Pokemon in order to progress the story. And the amount you had to catch was just large enough in number that you really felt the slowdown. I hope that Game Freak will remove this in a later iteration or tone down the number required to progress. I’d rather collect Pokemon in my free time as a secondary objective than be forced to do it. The Pokemon variety wasn’t as expansive as other games, but I’m sure you’ll find your favorite Pokemon among the once available.
There’s not much else to say! This is the direction I want the Pokemon games to go in the future. It’s not a bad game, but it needs improvements in a lot of areas in my opinion. However, I honestly don’t think I would be willing to play any other type of Pokemon games if they’re not realized in 3D!