How Good is Pokémon: Legends Arceus?


Angelina Testani, Staff Writer

Have you heard of Pokémon: Legends Arceus? It is loved and praised by many fans of the series, myself included. The story takes place in the ancient region of Hisui, which is now known as the Sinnoh region in the modern Pokémon universe. Released for the Nintendo Switch on January 28, 2022, this new edition was an instant success, as it deserves to be. Though, if you are unfamiliar with the title, you might be asking yourself: What is so special about this game? Pokémon: Legends Arceus was a turning point for the future of the Pokémon franchise.

One major feature that is appreciated by all fans is the introduction of an open world. Unlike previous Pokémon titles, this one allows players to explore different areas of Hisui with Pokémon that appear in the overworld instead of random encounters in patches of grass. To further enhance this, you could rotate the camera with your Nintendo Switch’s joycon stick as well. While Pokémon Sword & Shield also had overworld Pokémon spawns, rotating the camera was only usable in the Wild Area. But, overworld spawns were first implemented in the Pokémon: Let’s Go! games, which were released some time before Sword & Shield. All other Pokémon games released before this did not have these features. Why is this important? Well, these features make the in-game environment feel more natural and realistic; the player gets to feel immersed in the natural habitats and observe the Pokémon. This is not the only new feature, however.

Another major feature is the implementation of new mechanics. These features were not yet seen in previous titles and enhanced the gameplay. One example is the ability to have battles in the overworld. In the older games, battling with either trainers or wild Pokémon would have only a select number of backgrounds and they were determined by your location. An infamous background that fans despise is the plain white background seen in the 3DS games, such as X & Y or Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire. It was known for being boring and lazy, which I can agree with. With the addition of this, the environment also feels more realistic, especially with the improved battle animations. Another mechanic is the ability to catch Pokémon in the overworld without physically encountering it. Players are able to sneak up on Pokémon, distract them, stun them, or just simply throw a Poké Ball without using other resources. With this feature, players can choose a strategy to help with catching Pokémon and completing the Pokédex. It makes the experience a lot more enjoyable. However, catching Pokémon can sometimes get frustrating if you’re trying to catch a Pokémon that gets aggressive if it sees you or if you initially fail, since they will chase you and try to attack you. These Pokémon get annoying very quickly, especially Paras and Carnivine, since they commonly spawn.

Pokémon: Legends Arceus is great game and is very much worth the hype it receives. It’s a well-executed game that lays the foundation of new concepts for future Pokémon titles. It’s a fresh idea that differs from the traditional mechanics and plot while still keeping core elements of the series.