Published on February 28th, 2022 | by Zorbz0
Pokémon Legends: Arceus – I Have Fallen Back in Love with Pokémon
Article by: Kyle Tander
Everyone remembers playing their first Pokémon game; my first introduction was Pokémon Red for the original Game Boy. Every couple of years, a new entry would come out, with Pokémon Crystal being my favourite in the series. As the series progressed, they would have to change and improve with new hardware releases, and with that came greater expectations.
Mounting criticism was being thrown at the Pokémon series for being unwilling to change with the times when it released Pokémon Sword/Shield on the current hardware being the Nintendo Switch. Many fans cried out for a more open world experience and a much better graphically looking game, as gamers were able to see what the Nintendo Switch was capable of with the release of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. This resulted in many fans creating mods in the Unreal Engine 4 to make their own open world Pokémon game. With this came the meme “Nintendo hire this man!”.
Fast-forward a couple of years, we get trailer of a new Pokémon game where we would be shown not only a new time period but an open world game, that game would be Pokémon Legends: Arceus. Arceus was to be released almost in conjunction with the upgraded versions of Pokémon Pearl/Diamond, as it was to serve somewhat as a prequel to these games. What fans saw in this trailer sparked mixed reactions, some welcoming the changes in the game series by saying this is a step forward in the right direction, while others voiced their disappointment in saying that it doesn’t look great, and this isn’t what they were hoping for.
Now we come to its release, where it has been received well by the gaming community, but there is still a vocal minority who continue to voice their displeasure with the game, be it how it looks graphically or that nothing loads into an area unless you move into said area. While I can’t speak for the vocal minority, what I can speak for is my overall enjoyment and experience with Arceus, and that is, I love this game. Arceus breathes fresh air into a series that has been going stale for a couple of years. I did buy Pokémon Sword when it released and while I did enjoy it for what it was, with an expansive zone that would allow to join up with other players, I felt like I was just going through the motions and my overall experience felt lacking.
Here with Pokémon Legends: Arceus, I find myself falling back in love with this series. I spend more time in the open world battling wild Pokémon, catching Pokémon, filling out my Pokédex and doing side missions than I do completing the main story. Being able to explore an open world with a wide variety of Pokémon spawning in at different times of its day/night cycle and roaming these beautiful landscapes with each new zone offering up something different, from its lush forest habitat, a swampy marsh or to its picturesque beaches is a true sight to behold.
I never did think I would be able to feel like a kid again experiencing Pokémon for the first time, but here I am. I know some people will continue to drag on this game for what it is and for what it should be in their eyes, but let me have this. Think of this as a step forward in the right direction for the series, and whilst it may not be a big step, it’s a step that can lead to something for all fans to rejoice over in the future. I look forward to a future release where we can all discuss why we love Pokémon games again and not be met with constant negativity about what this series can do better.