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Pokémon Legends: Arceus Review

Pokémon Legends: Arceus

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Release: / 2022/28 January
Publisher: Game Freak
Developer: Nintendo
Genre: Action, Adventure, Family, Genres, Nintendo Switch Categories, Role-playing, Switch Reviews, Turn-Based
PEGI: 7+
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In our review-in-progress of Pokémon Legends: Arceus, we talked about what made the game different than previous games in the franchise. And now in our review we look at the game as a whole and pass final judgement on it. Is Pokémon Legends: Arceus the best game in the franchise so far?

Pokémon: Legends Arceus is set in a different period than previous games in the franchise. It’s in the distant past and finds the main character putting together that region’s first Pokedex. It’s an interesting new setting and story but, as with all Pokémon games, it’s the gameplay that really matters.

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As noted in our review-in-progress, this game is a turn-based rpg but it also has action elements. The new gameplay is pretty unique, but it does leave Pokémon Legends with an identity crisis.

Arceus is almost an open-world game. It is almost an action RPG. It’s almost a totally new experience.

Legends seems to be setting the table for future Pokémon games but not actually committing to a new vision yet. One can’t help but think that if the game had committed to an open-world action RPG that it would be even better than it is.

Still, if you’re looking for a new Pokémon game to play, then you’ll love this game. The gameplay is great, and the new twists presented (rideable Pokémon especially) are a lot of fun. Pokémon Legends: Arceus doesn’t feel like the future, instead it feels like a door opening possibilities. Oh, and its looks good while doing that…well, mostly.

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Arceus is a great looking game. The design of the humans and Pokémon are stunning up close in battles and in cutscenes. The town is really nice looking too.

There are, however, some rough edges in places such as grass that moves in an odd manner or open areas that don’t look as good as they should (a bit muddy looking). Despite these flaws, Arceus is one of the best looking Pokémon games so far.

As for the game’s music and sound effects, they are all really good. That said, when is a Pokémon game going to get voice acting for at least for its main characters? We see the character’s lips moving in Pokémon Legends and its so odd that no voice comes out. This game would have epic with voice acting!

Overall, Arceus is a great game but isn’t as good as it could be.

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Pokémon Legends: Arceus isn’t what you’d expect. The traditional Pokémon experience is present but there are plenty of new elements too. It feels like Pokémon is moving toward a more open-world action rpg but it isn’t there yet.

While Arceus isn’t the best Pokémon game yet, it will surely lead to that game. It is the setup for a new direction for the Pokémon franchise. And while it’s not perfect, it’s still pretty great and well worth checking out whether you’re a long-time fan of the franchise or someone new.

Thank you to Nintendo Canada for providing a digital code for this review. Pokemon Legends: Arceus is now available via retail and on the Nintendo Switch eShop.

 

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blank Daniel Fugate has wanted to be a writer since he was seven years old. He has a bachelor's degree in English and he's a huge Animal Crossing fan. The Wii U and 3DS are currently his favorite video game systems!

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Twitter: @df2506