Party Chat: Pokémon Legends: Arceus
So I’m a few hours into Arceus now and the two obvious issues of graphics and no voice over aside, this is the best Pokémon game I have played – just the speed and fluidness of the game feels and plays great.
There are no long load screens when starting a battle – just throw a ball and you’re in a battle. I like how the menu system is very user friendly, you can evolve Pokémon now when you want, no more forgetting moves – just swap in/out any learned move.
I would like to see the ability to track multiple quests/requests at one time, as only being able to do one at a time is a bummer.
I’m not sure why graphics are even a complaint – this is the artstyle they went for.
Huge issue with the request system – so many quests ask you to speak with a certain individual, but you need to set guidance in order to see the region that NPC is situated in. Extremely frustrating to go back and forth between maps and menus to make sure I’m going to the right place.
In all honesty, I do get SOME of the complaints about visuals – the rendering and pop-in is pretty noticeable, and some textures are very ugly. But I really do like this game very much. The act of catching Pokémon is snappy and soothing, battle transitions are very smooth. I think the only thing I would want here is, well, more Pokémon. Not saying there isn’t enough variety – I’m pretty sure I still have more to see in every biome I’ve visited – but more variety means more stuff to obsessively catch. And I want to obsessively catch.
Even with some of its issues, I still think this is a step in the right direction with the Pokémon series. I’ve been wanting this for so long. It was much needed.
I’m about six hours in. Having a great time. I’ve definitely noticed some frame rate drops but whatever, lol. The genre desperately needed to recapture its sense of adventure and this one is finally a step in the right direction. Feels like there is so much to discover. You finally feel like you’re in the Pokémon’s world and not the other way around. That alone is enough of a selling point for me.
So I’m still in the beginning but I’m enjoying the game so far. I was a bit nervous that I wouldn’t be as captured by the game since I do like the typical Pokémon formula, but I’m having fun so far! I like the characters a lot, they have a lot of charm. And seeing the Pokémon wander around always makes me smile.
Although the world does feel about as empty as I expected it would…Will that be different as you go deeper into the game? Who knows, but I do think this is a good first step at Game Freak/Pokémon Company doing something new with the series.
In terms of visuals, honestly, most of my gripe is with the terrain – I like how the characters and Pokémon look, but the backgrounds do look a bit funky. I also miss the aesthetics of turn-based battles. Sure, it’s cool that you can move the trainer around, but I did like the panning shots from other Pokémon games.
Arceus has surprised me as well, though the jury is still out as to how long the gameplay loop will be entertaining. I also like the aesthetics but do agree that the constant pop-in and certain muddy textures are a bit distracting. That said, performance overall seems relatively good and I always prefer that over graphical fidelity anyway.
I agree that request tracking needs a bit of work, and I also had an issue where my joycons had to be recalibrated because they weren’t working right – apparently a known and common issue with this game for some reason.
I actually prefer the new battle perspective over the more cinematic feel of the other games. Being able to move the camera at will and almost anywhere is pretty neat IMO. One small quality-of-life feature I’d love to see added, however, is the ability to endlessly sprint in town. I get why you can’t out in the wild, but constantly running out of breath going around town is a bit annoying. Maybe this is an unlock later on in the game, though. Overall, so far, I’m impressed!
I like the new perspective – feels like a 3rd-person lite-shooter.
I agree, Rich. Also, I personally don’t mind the “empty” world. I’ve always felt as though searching for Pokémon should require a bit of adventure. It resurrects the excitement of finding them. Somewhat akin to fishing and hunting in real life. The thrill of the hunt is 75% of the adventure in my opinion.
I am not a PvP person, but I could see how this game would need to be re-worked for that as the style system might not work in PvP.
So I’m over a dozen hours in now, and have a five-star rank or whatever. I love foraging and looking out for swarms of Pokémon. I love that weather changes and time of day matters so much, and crafting is pretty easy to get used to. I’m always surprised at how many items I go through. I’ve expanded my satchel several times and am always in need of inventory space.
Graphically, I’m reminded a lot of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, because handheld looks like hot garbage and docked looks pretty great. I see the art style going for an anime aesthetic with feudal Japan vibes and I dig it.
Noble Pokémon fights are jank, though. I found out in the second one that I don’t have to fight the Pokémon at all and can instead just dodge a lot and lob food at the critter and still win, so that’s kind of lame, but I still enjoy the hell out of the game.
I’ve played more of this already than BD/SP in the same time frame.
Expanding on my earlier notion of the game doing a decent job of making it feel like it’s the Pokémon’s world and not humans; I would love to see that expanded even more. Maybe you need a fire Pokémon to help keep you warm or build a fire at your camp in cold habitats. Maybe an electric Pokémon can provide power for your living quarters. Grass and water Pokémon can help you grow food in a garden. Things like that would really take this game to the next level. Maybe the next entry!
So I hate to be that guy, but after musing over this game I can’t help but compare it to Shin Megami Tensei V. Both have very free-form overworld design and pods of monsters, though catching is of course very different. I can’t help but think that SMTV’s “Koroks,” quests, and set pieces are a little bit more intelligent in design, though, and there are some choices made in Legends that baffle me – the position of the base camps, for example. I know that fast travel and base camps are not synonymous here, but I can’t help but think it could have been done better.
This does feel like “the Pokémon’s world,” and honestly, I love that so much more than the overly-civilized modern era of Pokémon. When the games were smaller, the small routes and lack of foliage seemed excusable, but Hisui truly feels so much more claimed by the wild in a logical sense – and makes its monsters feel so much more real by having them be at least a little threatening. If the Legends style gameplay returns, I’d want to see the gameplay in a completely unexplored region, further accentuating the sense of discovery.
SMT V feels off because of its archaic save system that does not respect your time. I do agree with some of your other comparisons to SMT V though, especially wandering around finding pockets of monsters, etc.
I feel that the base camp system and the inability to swap Pokémon out while on expeditions is just as disrespectful of your time, if not more than SMTV’s save system. But they are catering to specific audiences.
I LOVE THAT IDEA, Evan!
What are your thoughts on Pokémon Legends: Arceus so far? Stay tuned in the coming weeks for a full review!