Arceus introduces refreshing change to Pokemon formula

“Pokemon Legends Arceus” was one of the most anticipated games for early 2022. Ever since the initial announcement of the game in late February 2021, fans of the “Pokemon” series have been eager to finally play “Arceus finally.” 

Now “Arceus” is finally out, and it is safe to say it lived up to the hype. “Pokemon Legends Arceus” was released worldwide on the Nintendo Switch on Jan. 28 and sold over 6.5 million copies within the first week.

Many of the most recent “Pokemon” games have followed the same formula introduced in the original games, but “Arceus” broke out of this mold and introduced a plethora of new mechanics into the game. This risk absolutely paid off, and “Arceus” is one of the best games to come from the “Pokemon” series in a long time. 

Screenshot by Arianna Nalbach

“Arceus” takes place much earlier in the “Pokemon” timeline, allowing Game Freak to introduce new changes to the combat system. While the fights still play out in a similar turn-based style to the previous “Pokemon” titles, “Arceus” does away with the constant battles with other trainers. 

The game takes place when Pokeballs were just first invented, so humans are still learning how to co-exist and work with Pokemon; it wouldn’t make as much sense from a story perspective for everyone to want to battle with you. This eliminates a lot of the grinding nature that comes with “Pokemon” and prevents it from getting tiring from constant battle after battle. 

Similarly, “Arceus” takes inspiration from mechanics first introduced in the mobile game “Pokemon Go.” Finding Pokemon is no longer a random encounter; instead, you can see them on the map with you. 

This makes “Arceus” feel much more alive and immersive in comparison to previous “Pokemon” titles and will hopefully be a change implemented into future mainline “Pokemon” games.

Players can now choose how they want to interact with wild Pokemon, and it adds a lot of variety to how you can play. Each Pokemon species has different personalities, and players must analyze them to know how to best approach and hopefully successfully catch them. Some Pokemon will attack the player while others will run (or fly) away from you if they spot you. 

Screenshot by Arianna Nalbach

“Arceus” also introduces a whole new crafting system. Instead of having to buy Pokeballs, potions, and other items constantly, players can now choose to craft them instead to save their money for storage upgrades or changing up their look with new clothes or hairstyles.

One of the more notable changes in “Arceus” is the revamped Pokedex. Instead of just catching every Pokemon once to complete their Pokedex entry, you must complete various tasks to fill out their entry fully. 

Completing a Pokedex entry will also slightly increase shiny catch rates for that particular Pokemon. Perfecting a Pokemon’s Pokedex entry by completing every task a certain amount of times will further increase their shiny catch rates. 

“Arceus” is a refreshing change from previous “Pokemon” titles, and hopefully, some of these changes will stick in mainline titles. Game Freak took a gamble by changing so much from the traditional “Pokemon” formula. Even so, many of these changes were much needed, keeping “Pokemon” relevant in the modern age of gaming. 

“Pokemon Legends Arceus” is genuinely one of the best games from the series to come in a long time and is definitely worth picking up, regardless if you are a long-time fan of the series or just getting into it.

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