The recently released Pokémon Legends: Arceus massively shook up the traditional Pokémon formula that fans had grown accustomed to for over two decades, completely changing the game mechanics, story, map, and more. The game’s main focus was on expanding and explaining Pokémon’s extensive lore, and it did so with a refreshing premise that sent players back-in-time to venture across the Hisui region, an ancient land that would later become Sinnoh.

Fans are loving Legends: Arceus so much that so many gamers are already crowning it as the best Pokémon game so far. But despite most fans and developers alike agreeing that this exciting revamp was well overdue and desperately needed, some big things still harmed the player’s enjoyment and excitement of the game, begging the question of if Legends: Arceus is truly that great.

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The Best

The Story

Pokémon Legends: Arceus is overflowing with juicy new lore that expands on Pokémon’s existing canon and answers many big mysteries, and is one of the game’s biggest selling points.

The Pokémon community are putting more and more puzzle pieces together and learning more about the Pokémon world’s history with every day that passes, and specifically, the epic backstory of Sinnoh that fans were desperate to know after Pokémon Diamond and Pearl offered mere clues and more questions than answers. Furthermore, Legends: Arceus explained more about the legendary Creation Trio, who are regarded as having some of the best legendary Pokémon lore, which Diamond and Pearl failed to showcase.

Swapping Moves

An incredible quality-of-life mechanic introduced in Legends: Arceus is the ability to swap out and retain a Pokémon’s moves, differing from previous titles that annoyingly forced Pokémon to completely forget a move if it wanted to learn another.

Fans have been begging for this feature to be added to Pokémon games for a very long time, as the irritating process of finding, choosing, and learning certain moves became so tediously unorthodox, especially when special moves such as cut and surf were often required to complete certain tasks. This is a fantastic and well-welcomed new feature and generates hope for future Pokémon games and competitive battling.

Riding Pokémon

Throughout past Pokémon games, players could use Pokémon to traverse across the region quickly, however, the Pokémon would have to know specific moves such as ‘fly’ and ‘surf’ to do so. In Legends: Arceus, this has been taken to the next level, as large Pokémon can be mounted and used for travel.

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Pokémon Legends: Arceus’ map is much bigger than previous Pokémon games, so using Pokémon to travel across the region can be a huge time saver for players on their journeys – and is one of the greatest improvements Legends: Arceus brings to the franchise. Furthermore, riding on flying Pokémon that fly is an epic sight to behold, and Pokémon fans both old and new are sure to marvel at how far Pokémon has come.

New Animations

Pokémon Legends: Arceus features the largest Pokémon map yet, filled with lots of Pokémon in their natural habitats that can be snuck up on and caught whilst in the middle of some adorable and neat animations. Legends: Arceus adds tonnes of new animations for players to enjoy, allowing the world and Pokémon themselves to feel and look more alive, creating an all-new level of immersion for fans to enjoy.

These awesome new animations range from cute sleeping Pokémon that can be found resting across the region, to breathtaking idle animations such as Ninetale’s nine tails flowing in the wind. How majestic! The addition of these fantastic animations helps Legends: Arceus craft a beautiful, living, breathing world, and makes up for the expectations it fell short of delivering.

Crafting

Another new mechanic inspired by Breath Of The Wild is crafting and fits in with the game’s historical theme, where players can craft useful items, such as Pokéballs and potions, to help them on their journey.

This is a huge improvement from previous Pokémon games, as items were often hard to come by as they were only available to purchase using Poké Dollars in Poké Marts scattered across the region. This was rather inconvenient for players, slowing down their journeys in frustrating ways. This addition is certainly an incredible game-selling feature, and fans are hopeful it stays for the next Pokémon game.

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Not The Best

Limited Amount Of Pokémon

One of the most disappointing things about Pokémon Legends: Arceus is the surprising lack of different Pokémon species throughout the Hisui region. One of the game’s main story objectives is compiling the world’s first Pokédex, a unique twist on the classic Pokémon task.

The huge lineup of almost 900 different Pokémon has made some Pokémon recognizable to even non-fans, and it truly is a shame to see so many of them missing from Legends: Arceus. Previous Pokémon games incorporated online trading mechanics and other methods of collecting Pokémon across the regions, so Legends: Arceus’ lack of Pokémon trading is a much-missed feature that harms the game.

The Barren Overworld

When it was first announced, gamers across the world noticed the striking similarities between Pokémon Legends: Arceus and The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, with the biggest connection being the open-world map. However, unlike the Zelda game’s breathtakingly detailed open-world, Legends: Arceus is mundane and bland.

This is a very disappointing aspect of Pokémon Legends: Arceus, as instead of a fully open-world experience, the map is divided into different areas – and most areas feel underwhelming and repetitive. The lack of detail often ruins immersion, and it’s something that fans hope will get special attention in potential future Pokémon Legends games.

The Graphics

When compared to similar Nintendo Switch games such as Breath Of The Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, Pokemon’s latest adventure looks lazy and unattractive graphics-wise, with many fans finding the outdated graphics disappointing.

As the gaming industry develops and grows, graphics become more and more breathtaking to look at, creating an incredibly immersive experience for the gamers that witness them. Unfortunately, the Pokémon franchise’s graphics have often been the subject of ridicule, as it minimizes the immersion and enjoyment that is felt in their games. Pokémon Legends: Arceus is no exception, with many fans feeling let down by the game’s disappointing graphics, and its negative effects upon their immersive experiences.

Unfair Battle System

The revamped battle system present in Pokémon Legends: Arceus is both a refreshing and frustrating change, bringing new features that are lots of fun at first, but quickly become aggravating and overwhelming.

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The new battle system allows for multiple Pokémon to jump in on the revamped battles within the overworld, putting the player at a disadvantage and creating a harder challenge, which most players enjoy. However, sometimes the Pokémon that hop into the brawl can be too powerful and one-shot the player’s Pokémon without a chance to fight back, creating some very irritating moments for fans. Furthermore, the battle system itself remains boring, with the same small-scale animations and the same battle process – leading to some disappointing and boring battles.

Repetitive Boss Battles

In Legends: Arceus, rather than having an Elite Four and Champion to battle like previous games, the player must battle and capture four majestic Noble Pokémon – boss-like Pokémon that are much stronger than normal Pokémon.

Although the concept sounds exciting, when players finally battle each Noble Pokémon, it quickly becomes repetitive and boring. The same battle format is followed with each Noble Pokémon, and it becomes less-satisfying to beat each one, unlike the exciting feeling of beating the Elite Four and the Champion in previous Pokémon games after venturing across the region obtaining all eight gym badges. Noble Pokémon battles are very disappointing with how overwhelmingly similar they are, making Legends: Arceus feel unimportant and less memorable than other Pokémon games.

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