'Pokémon Legends: Arceus' is the game every kid imagined Pokémon would be (2023)

'Pokémon Legends: Arceus' is the game every kid imagined Pokémon would be (1)

Finally, a "see a bunch of Spheals on the beach and cry because they're adorable" simulator.Credit: Nintendo

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Behind all of their astronomical success, Pokémon games have always been an exercise in expectations vs reality. Expectations: exploring a vast land filled with adorable and dangerous creatures, feeling the awe of seeing a wild Pokémon in its natural habitat, and learning about each new monster like a fantasy zoologist. Reality: shuffling between a handful of regional cities in distant, tilted 3D and seven generations of surprise tall grass encounters followed by long-awaited free-roaming Pokémon in the Wild Area.

The immersive promise of an adventure that emulates what it feels like to fully live in the Pokémon universe finally arrives with Pokémon Legends: Arceus. PLA takes players back in time to the familiar Hisui region from Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl (as well as recent remakes Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl) and places them at a flashpoint in Pokémon history: the creation of the world's first Pokédex.

Fight me!

'Pokémon Legends: Arceus' is the game every kid imagined Pokémon would be (2)

Credit: Nintendo

To fill that Pokédex, players must explore huge, open regions of Hisui that are packed with wild Pokémon just waiting to become your new best friend. Some Pokémon are easily captured with basic stealth or after being bribed with some nice berries; others require the traditional battle before submitting to the Poké ball.

Battles go a lot faster in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, with most ending after three or four turns maximum. Part of this quickness comes with doing away from the constant unskippable dialogue screens that make typical Pokémon battles interminable ("Magikarp used Splash…it's not very effective…Magikarp fainted…" and so on). The other part comes from the innovative style system, which allows you to control the order of attacks by choosing if your Pokémon attacks in an agile style that gives you an extra turn in battle, or a strong style that deals more damage but risks losing a turn later on.

There are some trainer battles in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, but not many. Because of the historical time period, not many people have companion Pokémon and even fewer know how to train them, so the roster of potential opponents is small and there are no gym leaders to defeat. Instead of gym battles, players finish each region of the game by battling a boss-level "noble" Pokémon in a vastly different format than most battles — the player themselves has to dodge away from the attacks while attempting to placate the frenzied noble.

Further battle challenges come in the form of Alpha Pokémon, also known as extremely big boys. Wild alphas are recognizable for being substantially larger than their Poké-peers and they also have terrifying red eyes, which makes encountering one in the open world both exciting and creepy. Alphas pack a stronger punch and have more health than normal Pokémon as well, which essentially means the overworld of Pokémon Legends is littered with mini-bosses that can either wreck you or become an incredibly valuable member of your team.

The immersive promise of an adventure that emulates what it feels like to fully live in the Pokémon universe finally arrives with 'Pokémon Legends: Arceus.'

It's Professor Pokémon to you

'Pokémon Legends: Arceus' is the game every kid imagined Pokémon would be (3)

Credit: Nintendo

Zippy battles are a huge improvement, but they're not the primary focus of Pokémon Legends: Arceus. Because you're playing as a researcher and not a trainer, the gameplay revolves around observing and interacting with Pokémon more than it does around battling. When battles do occur, they're largely in unprompted self-defense as aggressive wild Pokémon attack the player and their party, which negates some of the fantasy dogfighting undertones of the mainline games where trainers capture Pokémon solely for combat.

Pokémon "research" means a lot of things in Pokémon Legends: Arceus. It can mean capturing a certain number of Pokémon, seeing what happens when you feed them berries, battling with specific moves, evolving them, or completing associated side quests that come with bonus rewards. These actions all take place in the open world of Hisui, which is broken into several regions, each with a different biome and unique Pokémon spawns.

Completing research tasks and Pokédex entries requires intense exploration of each biome. Even though the landscape of each biome is technically simplistic (field, beach, bog, mountain, snow), the more time spent in each one reveals secrets that do make the world feel alive. Arctic mountains hide hot springs where rare Pokémon gather to warm up, ancient ruins transform at night when fairy and ghost Pokémon haunt their halls, and entire new segments of the map are hidden until the player figures out how to access them.

Those special moments of exploration fulfill the imaginative potential the Pokémon franchise always had. By focusing on research, Pokémon Legends: Arceus gets out of its own way and lets the player dive into the world at their own pace.

Room to improve

'Pokémon Legends: Arceus' is the game every kid imagined Pokémon would be (4)

Credit: Nintendo

To get this out of the way: the environmental graphics in Pokémon Legends: Arceus are not good. The settings are nowhere near as meticulously rendered as players have come to expect from open world titles — but adjusting one's expectations from "The Legend of Arceus: Breath of the Wyrdeer" to "a playable Pokémon cartoon" makes the graphics bearable. Also, haven't we learned our lesson about how terrifying realistic Pokémon would be? Let's not find out what a true-to-life Dusknoir would look like in 4K.

One place where the bad graphics do get in the way is draw distance, which is abominable. When and if (and it's a big if) Pokémon are visible from a distance, their animations stutter and in some cases glitch the model right out of existence. The lack of draw distance cuts short the open world joy of spotting something cool (is that an Alpha Steelix?) from far away and dropping everything to pursue it. It also makes for some unpleasant surprises, since dangerous Pokémon can just kind of show up within striking distance and decide you're their lunch.

Adjusting one's expectations from "The Legend of Arceus: Breath of the Wyrdeer" to "a playable Pokémon cartoon" makes the graphics bearable.

Another element of the game that seems like an error but isn't is traversal, which at first is limited to the point where the player can't even jump up onto a small ledge. In the early game the lack of movement options is frustrating, but Pokémon Legends: Arceus knows what it's doing when it comes to doling out upgrades at the right pace. Certain Pokémon eventually help you run, swim, climb, and fly, and once you realize that the initially inaccessible areas will eventually open up the replay value of each biome increases tenfold.

The Pokémon promise

'Pokémon Legends: Arceus' is the game every kid imagined Pokémon would be (5)

Credit: Nintendo

In addition to capturing, battling, and researching wild Pokémon, Pokémon Legends: Arceus makes the player integral to the Hisui region's large-scale adoption of Pokémon as friends and partners. In the beginning of the game, the people of Jubilife village are frightened of Pokémon and don't understand how they could possibly live among them.

Through the player's actions and research, the villagers learn to welcome Pokémon into their community — builders offer Bidoofs a home in exchange for helping them cut wood, water-type Pokémon volunteer to irrigate fields, and so on — and each new addition brings the village closer to the fully integrated Poké-future you know from the classic games.

Incidentally, stepping into the past moves the Pokémon franchise forward. Pokémon Legends: Arceus' focus on the majesty of Pokémon and the fun possibilities of having them around make it a unique and chill love letter to the Pokémon themselves, as well as the many, many people who grew up wanting an open world game just like this one. Finally: a Pokémon game where you can spy on dancing Clefairys, sprint away from raging Onyx, toss Poké Balls at Togepi, and otherwise vibe with a Poké world that doesn't expect us to be the very best, since no one ever was.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus is out now for Nintendo Switch.

More inGaming, Pokemon

'Pokémon Legends: Arceus' is the game every kid imagined Pokémon would be (6)

Alexis Nedd

Alexis Nedd is a senior entertainment reporter at Mashable. A self-named "fanthropologist," she's a fantasy, sci-fi, and superhero nerd with a penchant for pop cultural analysis. Her work has previously appeared in BuzzFeed, Cosmopolitan, Elle, and Esquire.

(Video) 'Pokémon Legends: Arceus' is the game every kid imagined Pokémon would be - Entertainment

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FAQs

Is every Pokémon in Legends: Arceus? ›

There are 242 Pokémon in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, and players will have to catch them all to fill the first-ever Pokédex of the Hisui region.

Is Legends: Arceus for kids? ›

Rated PEGI 7 for Mild Violence. This game features cartoon-like combat between fantasy characters, mainly during turn-based battles. The violence found in this combat is unrealistic, as are reactions to it.

Does it matter who you choose in Pokémon Legends: Arceus? ›

The clan leader that players choose will affect the order in which they're able to get their hands on two particular Legendary Pokemon. It will also have a bearing on the game's final boss, with players squaring off against a different enemy depending on whether they choose Adaman or Irida.

What age group is Pokémon Legends: Arceus for? ›

Fun Pokémon Adventure for Kids

7+.

Is Charizard in Legends arceus? ›

Unfortunately, Charmander, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur (and therefore Charizard, Blastoise, and Venusaur) are not present in Pokemon Legends: Arceus… yet. Despite the popularity of the original Kanto starters, none appear in Pokemon Legends: Arceus to date.

Will Arceus get DLC? ›

Pokémon Legends: Arceus DLC Is Unlikely - At Least For Now

It is reasonable to believe that Game Freak developers shifted their focus from Legends: Arceus to the new game in order to meet their 2022 release date goal. This does not mean that there will never be a DLC to Pokémon Legends: Arceus.

Can a 5 year old play Pokémon Arceus? ›

Definitely. So far, all of the Pokémon games have been targeted towards children, though people of all ages enjoy them. Based on the trailer and the pattern that they have, Pokémon Legends: Arceus will also be perfectly child-friendly.

Does Legends: Arceus have a story? ›

Story. The game begins with the player speaking with a disembodied voice, identified as Arceus, the creator deity of the Pokémon-Universe, which tasks the player with encountering all Pokémon in the Hisui region before transporting the player there through a rift in spacetime.

Does Pokémon Arceus have multiple endings? ›

Pokémon Legends Arceus has three endings: the main ending (main campaign, to see the credits), the true ending (defeat a certain character and get THAT item) and the secret ending, which gives access to the showdown against the last Pokémon in the game.

Is the origin ball like a master ball? ›

The Origin Ball is the lone exception to this rule, as it is Pokemon Legends' equivalent to a Master Ball. There is only one, and it is given to the player late in the game.

What happens if you choose Pearl clan? ›

Whether you decide to pick Diamond or the Pearl Clan, the events in Pokemon Legends Arceus won't change drastically and your choice will not affect the quest to obtain the Red Chain. However, there is a slight change in the final stage of the game's main campaign.

What happens if you choose Adaman? ›

If the player chooses to side with Adaman, they will capture Dialga and then face Origin Forme Palkia as the final boss. If the player sides with Irida, they will capture Palkia and then fight Origin Forme Dialga as the final boss.

Who is the oldest Pokémon protagonist? ›

Hilda and Hilbert were designed to be older than most of the other protagonists at the time. They were visualized and to be at the age of 16 according to Toshinobu Matsumiya.

Is Ash in Legends: Arceus? ›

The game, which was released for the Nintendo Switch in January 2022, takes place in the distant past of the Sinnoh region. The trailer for Pokémon: Arceus Chronicles shows Ash and friends exploring a town that recreates the historic Jubilife Village, which serves as the main town center in Legends: Arceus.

How long will Legends: Arceus be? ›

Pokémon Legends: Arceus takes between 20 and 30 hours to complete if you're solely focusing on the main story.

Is arceus an Eevee? ›

Eevee is a Normal-type Pokemon and part of the Pokemon Legends: Arceus Hisui Pokedex. This Eevee Pokedex page covers how to get Eevee early on, how to evolve Eevee, where to find Eevee's evolution stones, the Moss Rock, and the Icy Rock; Eevee's Pokedex entry, and more in Pokemon Legends: Arceus.

Is Greninja in Legends: Arceus? ›

Pokemon Legends: Arceus' DLC Could Reshape the Game

Currently, there are 63 Pokemon missing from every Switch Pokemon game, including fan-favorite Greninja or the Mythical Pokemon Hoopa and Meloetta.

Is Mew in Pokemon arceus? ›

With all of the new eyes on Pokemon Legends: Arceus, many users are noticing a distinct lack of fan-favorite Pokemon in the new title. They are disappointed by the absence of loved Pokemon like Tynamo, Exeggutor, and Tyranitar. But most importantly, the original Mythical Pokemon, Mew, is missing.

Can you play Arceus without WIFI? ›

You can play without an internet connection by using the primary console instead or by making the system you are using the new primary console.

Will Pikachu be in Arceus? ›

Pikachu is an Electric-type Pokemon and part of the Pokemon Legends: Arceus Hisui Pokedex.

What happens after you beat Arceus? ›

After catching Arceus and completing Request 102, Daybreak, players will unlock a special game type known as the Eternal Battle Reverie. To get started, they'll need to return to Jubilife Village and sleep in the bed in their lodgings.

Is Pokémon OK for kids? ›

The Pokémon are kid-appealing, but the series features lots of fantasy violence, and pits the cute, monster-like characters against each other on behalf of their trainers. There are some positive messages (teamwork, sportsmanship, respecting elders), but it may be too intense for younger children.

Is Pokémon ok for 10 year olds? ›

Extremely entertaining series of series! Very kid friendly but some violence and scary scenes. Great messages about friendship and teamwork so I recommend children 5 and up can watch Pokemon!

What age is Pokémon kids? ›

Players from the age of around 8 usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Older players also enjoy what is essentially a deep role-playing experience, particularly if they have played the different versions growing up. Younger players enjoy the adventure and characters.

Who is the villain in Legends arceus? ›

Volo is revealed as Pokémon Legends: Arceus' villain, the wandering Ginkgo Merchant that meets and battles players at different points in the story.

Who is the ancient hero Pokémon? ›

Arceus is the titular character of Pokémon Legends: Arceus. Arceus is the one who brings the player from the present day to the Hisui region, and it also serves as the final boss of the game.

Is Hisui and sinnoh the same? ›

The Hisui region (Japanese: ヒスイ地方 Hisui region) refers to Sinnoh as it was known during discovery and settlement, in a historical period set prior to Generation IV. It is the setting of Pokémon Legends: Arceus.

What happens if you 100% the Pokédex in Legends arceus? ›

When players finish the entire Arceus Pokedex, they are rewarded with the Shiny Charm.

What happens to Volo after you beat him? ›

Volo summons Giratina in its Altered Forme immediately after his main team is defeated. Experience is awarded for battling his main team before Volo summons Giratina, but the player is not given a chance to heal.
...
Dragon.
Earth Power
GroundSpecial

Can you fight Volo again? ›

It's also possible Volo will appear in future Pokémon Legends: Arceus DLC. The open-ended nature of Volo's fate certainly suggests players will encounter him again. It's unusual for a Pokémon game to end with its main villain on the lam, so it's possible Volo will show up for a rematch.

What Poké Ball is all red? ›

From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia. The Cherish Ball (Japanese: プレシャスボール Precious Ball) is a type of Poké Ball introduced in Generation IV. Event Pokémon are often contained in a Cherish Ball.

What is inside a Master Ball? ›

A Pokémon within a Master Ball may turn the tide of battle. PAL: A rare type of Poké Ball that never fails to catch a Pokémon. Throw one in this game, and the Mythical or Legendary Pokémon inside will come to your aid. Master Balls are easy to identify due to their purple colour and the large M on them.

Is a Master Ball 100%? ›

The Master Ball is a special Poké Ball-type with a 100% catch rate. Each Pokémon has its individual catch rate; for example, rarer Pokémon typically have a lower rate, making them more challenging to obtain. Using the Master Ball will always work, no matter what Pokémon is on the receiving end.

Which starter should I pick Pearl? ›

A great move pool, type advantage against tons of trainers, and high attack make Chimchar our pick for the best starter in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, but no Pokémon is perfect.

Can you get all 3 starters in Pearl? ›

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are out now and bring us back to the Sinnoh region. These remakes are incredibly similar to the original 2006 games, though there are some major changes to be found. One of these changes is the ability to catch all three starters - Chimchar, Turtwig, and Piplup.

Can you catch the alpha Goodra? ›

Finding Alpha Goodra

If players don't mind waiting, they can catch an Alpha Goodra (level 70) at the Ancient Quarry in Coronet Highlands. To get to the Ancient Quarry, players will need to be able to call Sneasler with the Celestica Flute. Trainers should also be at Rank 6 before trying to catch Alpha Goodra.

Is Adaman a guy or girl? ›

Adaman (Japanese: セキ Seki) is the leader of the Diamond Clan.
...
Adaman.
Adaman セキ Seki
Art from Legends: Arceus
GenderMale
Eye colorBrown
Hair colorBlue, green, blonde
9 more rows

Can you get both origin forms? ›

Along with Hisiuan forms in Pokemon Legends: Arceus, you will also encounter the Origin forms of Palkia and Dialga. These two legendary Pokemon make their appearance at the end of the main story, however, you will only get to see one Origin form.

Who was the first Pokémon ever born? ›

It may be entry #112 in the Pokédex, but according to Ken Sugimori – the primary designer for the Pokémon games – Rhydon was the first Pokémon ever created. This is also the reason why sprites of Rhydon were so widespread in the original games.

Who was Ash's first Pokémon? ›

Ash discovers and catches a Caterpie—his first Pokémon capture!

Who is the first girl in Pokémon? ›

Kris, also known as Crystal, is the female playable character in Crystal, her first and only game. She was the first ever playable female character in the Pokémon games. In the Generation IV remakes of Gold and Silver, HeartGold and SoulSilver, she was replaced by Lyra.

Does Ash have Solgaleo? ›

As a young Cosmog, Ash cares for Nebby as one of his own, following a dream he has where he makes a promise to Solgaleo and Lunala that he would do so. Two evolutions later, it becomes the magnificent Solgaleo itself.

Will Marshadow be in Pokémon Legends: Arceus? ›

It sinks into the shadows of people and Pokémon, where it can understand their feelings and copy their capabilities. This Pokémon has no Pokédex entries in Brilliant Diamond, Shining Pearl, and Legends: Arceus.

Does Ash and Goh go to Hisui? ›

The Pokémon Journeys special does not seem to send Ash and co to travel back in time to the realm of Hisui, unfortunately. As such, this plot point is still open should the creators of the anime ever want to send Ash and Goh back in time to Hisui, perhaps to the events of the game Pokémon Legends: Arceus.

What is the longest Pokemon game? ›

The longest Pokémon game to date is the 2006 release, Diamond and Pearl, for the Nintendo DS. It clocks in at 40.5 hours, with 93 hours required to beat the main game plus extras, and 260 hours to complete. The Switch remakes are shorter, coming in at 26.5 hours.

How long does it take to get 100 percent in Pokémon Legends: Arceus? ›

When focusing on the main objectives, Pokémon Legends: Arceus is about 25 Hours in length. If you're a gamer that strives to see all aspects of the game, you are likely to spend around 77½ Hours to obtain 100% completion.

Is Legends arceus selling well? ›

Released on January 28, 2022, Pokémon Legends: Arceus sold more than 1.4 million physical launch units in Japan and had reached 13.91 million global unit sales as of September 2022. The latest entry in the long-running Pokémon franchise outsold other recent titles in the series on their launch weekends.

What Pokémon are not in legends arceus? ›

The Missing Diamond and Pearl Pokemon
  • Hoothoot.
  • Noctowl.
  • Wooper.
  • Quagsire.
  • Marill.
  • Azumarill.
  • Houndour.
  • Houndoom.
1 Mar 2022

How many Pokémon are in legends arceus? ›

Arceus Pokédex size: How many Pokémon are there in Pokémon Legends Arceus? There are 242 Pokémon in Pokémon Legends: Arceus. Each one is recoreded in the Hisui Pokédex, including the new Pokémon making their debut in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, like Wyrdeer, and the Hisuian regional variants.

How many Pokémon are missing from legends arceus? ›

Every other missing Gen 3 Pokemon

The missing starting Pokemon and legendary Pokemon is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Gen 3. There are 96 other Gen 3 Pokemon that did not make the cut for "Pokemon Legends Arceus" meaning that the majority of Gen 3 Pokemon did not make it.

Are all Gen 4 Pokémon in Legends arceus? ›

The Pokemon Legends: Arceus trailers showcase several Gen 4 Pokemon appearing in the Hisui Region, but there are some Sinnoh staples still missing. Pokemon Legends: Arceus sets a unique prescident by taking place in the Hisui Region, which would eventually be called the Sinnoh Region many years later.

Is Mimikyu in Legends: Arceus? ›

This Pokémon has no Pokédex entries in Brilliant Diamond, Shining Pearl, and Legends: Arceus.

Why is Mew not in Legends: Arceus? ›

Mew has never made an appearance in the Sinnoh region. Hence, it only makes sense that it would not make an appearance in the Hisui region as well since the two are in the same area. Every other Mythical Pokemon aside from Darkrai, Shaymin, Manaphy, and Phione are not and will not be present in Pokemon Legends: Arceus.

Is Flygon in Legends: Arceus? ›

This Pokémon has no Pokédex entries in Legends: Arceus. This Pokémon hides in the heart of sandstorms it creates and seldom appears where people can see it. It is nicknamed the Desert Spirit because the flapping of its wings sounds like a woman singing.

Can you get Greninja in Pokemon arceus? ›

Pokemon Legends: Arceus' DLC Could Reshape the Game

Currently, there are 63 Pokemon missing from every Switch Pokemon game, including fan-favorite Greninja or the Mythical Pokemon Hoopa and Meloetta.

Why is my typhlosion ghost type? ›

At level 36, the Fire-type Quilava will evolve into Hisuian Typhlosion. This leaner and spookier variant becomes a Ghost-type and gains eerie purplish flames that sometimes appear around its neck. Fittingly, this Fire/Ghost-type can also learn several Ghost-type moves by leveling up, including Hex and Shadow Ball.

Is Pikachu rare in Legends: Arceus? ›

Pikachu can be caught in the Obsidian Fieldlands, Crimson Mirelands, and the Cobalt Coastlands. It will appear regardless of weather conditions, and, unlike its pre-evolved form, Pichu, isn't a rare spawn. The earliest point players can catch Pikachu is at Nature's Pantry in the Obsidian Fieldlands.

Is arceus unfinished? ›

'Pokémon Legends: Arceus' is an Unfinished Masterpiece | The Daily News.

Is Cynthia a Cogita? ›

Cogita (Japanese: コギト Cogito) is a character who appears in Legends: Arceus. She bears a striking resemblance to Cynthia and by extension Volo, but the relationship between them, if any, is unknown.

Are Volo and Cogita related? ›

Cogita and Volo are clearly connected in a big way. For example, the word “Cogita” is Latin for “I Think” whereas the word “Volo” is Latin for “I Wish”. Secondly, Ingo's appearance as literally just Ingo from Black and White shows that characters from other games can end up here.

Who is the villain of Legends: Arceus? ›

Volo is revealed as Pokémon Legends: Arceus' villain, the wandering Ginkgo Merchant that meets and battles players at different points in the story.

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