Game Freak is taking the Pokemon franchise to new heights with a wealth of bold features and gameplay mechanics in the Hisui region. Here are five things players should be excited about in Pokemon Legends Arceus.
With just under a month from release, Game Freak has been pretty tight-lipped about Pokemon Legends Arceus and what we can expect from the Diamond & Pearl origin story.
After combing through every trailer and promotional footage, here are five things Trainers should be excited for when it launches on January 28, 2022.
New catching mechanics
After eight generations of sticking to the same formula, players will no longer have to engage a Pokemon in battle first in order to try to catch it. In what looks to be one of the game’s biggest features, Trainers will be able to to freely throw their Poke Ball while venturing the overworld.
Game Freak is also taking advantage of the RPG’s immersive semi-open world design by allowing players to catch ‘mon in a variety of ways, from sneaking up on creatures in tall grass to using smoke bombs to disorient them. But coolest of all is the ability to throw Poke Balls while riding on a mount.
In a December 2021 trailer, the protagonist is seen riding a Basculegion and then jumping out of the water. While in the air above a Gastrodon, the character then launches their Poke Ball down from the sky on top of the unsuspecting ‘mon. It demonstrates the true freedom the game will be offering.
No more loading screens
Unlike previous titles, Pokemon Legends Arceus appears to be ditching most loading screens once a player is in the overworld. Gone are the days of running up to a Pokemon and triggering a battle sequence. Now the fight literally starts in the exact spot you are standing.
Whether your party is gaining XP after completing a fight or you have just caught a new character, everything happens in real time seamlessly. The new design goes a long way to boost the game’s action-oriented gameplay, but also makes the world feel less static.
Experience and Pokémon capture screens don't interrupt gameplay in Legends Arceus. It just happens passively. It would seem that everything in Legends gameplay is seamless from overworld to battles to this.
Capture gives experience still for your Pokémon even if not used pic.twitter.com/GuVoCGcUA1
— Joe Merrick (@JoeMerrick) December 10, 2021
Epic Pokemon battles
Compared to the old system of pressing buttons and watching the same sequence of your ‘mon attacking over and over again, battles in Legends Arceus look incredibly exciting.
Trainers themselves can now be hurt in skirmishes, making the stakes much higher when facing down a foe. Even small details like animations have gotten a major overhaul.
In a 2021 preview of the game, for instance, the protagonist is seen flinching and being physically thrown backwards by the sheer force of their Pokemon’s special attack. After decades, battles finally look thrilling again.
Pokemon have their own unique personalities
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of Legends Arceus is that Pokemon are finally going to stand out on their own. With close to 900 characters in the franchise, all of those unique designs haven’t lived up to their potential in previous games due to development limitations.
In the Hisui region, a Pokemon will have its own personality. For example, some will be timid and will require you to sneak up on them before they bolt off while others will be aggressive. Catching ‘mon now has a new layer of depth to it and Trainers will need to figure out the best method to approach each creature based on their characteristics.
The possibilities are endless and we can only imagine how difficult Legendaries might be to obtain in this new system. At the end of the day, Pokemon will always be the star of the franchise. And it will be exciting to see how these beloved characters come to live in Game Freak’s latest engine.
Completing the Pokedex
Legends Arceus will launch as a single game. This means players will no longer have to rely on family or friends to trade with them in order to obtain exclusive Pokemon missing from their version of the RPG. Trainers will be able to catch every single ‘mon that inhabits the expansive Hisui region.
While it’s not clear how Game Freak will handle trade evolutions (trading or specific items may still be needed to evolve characters like Alakazam), you will at least not have to worry about characters not showing up in a certain region in your game.
Because the entire purpose of the story is completing Sinnoh’s very first Dex, it also means the Pokedex mechanic is finally getting to take center stage. Catching a ‘mon will no longer be enough to complete its entry, so in another first for the series, players will have to complete a variety of tasks for each character, which is incredibly exciting.