The main series Pokemon games have stuck closely to the formula established when the original games launched in the mid-90s. With each new main series Pokemon installment, Pokemon trainers select their starter Pokemon and head from one town to the next in a linear fashion, building a team of Pokemon, defeating Gym leaders or their regional equivalent, and ultimately becoming the Pokemon League Champion. It’s certainly a winning formula and has helped the Pokemon series become one of the most popular in all of video game history, but for some, it’s been getting stale. In response to this, Game Freak and Nintendo have released Pokemon Legends: Arceus, a game that takes the Pokemon franchise in bold new directions.
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When Nintendo first announced Pokemon Legends: Arceus, it was heavily implied that the game would be an open world title in the same vein as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It was later clarified that Pokemon Legends: Arceus is not a true open world game, but instead features large, segmented areas that players are free to explore, assuming they’ve gained access to them. Pokemon Legends: Arceus players start in the Jubilife Village hub area before each expedition, and then choosing which specific area they want to explore from a map.
Previous Pokemon games typically have players moving in a straight line, entering a town, collecting a Gym badge, progressing the story, and moving on to the next. Pokemon Legends: Arceus lets players run loose in its wild areas, and the actual battles against Pokemon trainers are few and far between. Instead the main goal in these areas is to document Pokemon for the Pokemon Legends: Arceus Pokedex by catching them and completing other tasks.
The ultimate goal in Pokemon Legends: Arceus is to complete the Pokedex, as it is in other Pokemon games. But where Pokemon Legends: Arceus differs is that players are starting from scratch. They need to study each Pokemon’s…