Redemption for the Pokémon series

The Pokémon (videogame) series is like our childhood sports team. We support it because it was great that one time.

Published: 16th February 2022 08:43 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th February 2022 08:43 AM   |  A+A-

A scene from 'Pokémon Legends: AA scene from 'Pokémon Legends: Arceus' videogamerceus'

A scene from 'Pokémon Legends: Arceus' videogame

Express News Service

The Pokémon (videogame) series is like our childhood sports team. We support it because it was great that one time. Year after year, we forgive the same mediocre experience. But, we persevere. Their repetitive strategies make us nostalgic of a lost past. “But…someday…it will be cool again”, we dare hope.

It is now February 2022, and ‘Pokémon Legends: Arceus’ releases for the Nintendo Switch, a grand departure from the now-familiar Pokémon formula. The specifics of this are at once made clear to us by new tutorials. Like the earlier games, it continues to be a grind, albeit a completely new one this time.

This time, it focuses on capturing new Pokémon, as opposed to battling and levelling them up. Lobbing Pokéballs in this universe also feels less of a chore than ever before, given that the new system now rewards us for expanding our base of these strange creatures. There are side missions involving completing research tasks, collecting craftable items, and discovering secrets of the Hisui region. 

Unlike the earlier games, we are also engaged with the main story from the start. We hurtle through space-time to fall into an ancient civilization—one that is warming-up to the idea of Poke-human interactions. The journey is not without danger, covering different terrain in sprawling landscapes. It feels more action-adventure and less turn-based combat, as we face wild Pokémon who are unafraid to attack us at sight.

Our job is clear, we must perfect a fleet of party Pokémon, and solve the mystery behind the glowing black hole that has appeared in the sky. In our journey of catching ‘em all, we interact with the leaders of different clans in Hisui. Their fears worsen as the space-time hole in their sky grows darker, and only we can stop the slow erosion of their world. The good Pokémon story that we all deserve is finally here. 

Pokémon Arceus is by far, the most involved experience I have ever had in the series. As a fan of the series, I cannot help but feel a bit frustrated. What Arceus does in terms of the mechanic, and the action-adventure experience is new only to Pokémon but is not new in the realm of gaming itself. Why did we put up with years of recycled games when it was possible to make one like Legends Arceus? Let’s hope that Legends: Arceus sets the standard for change in future Pokémon games — it gets a “Star rank” of 8/10 from me.


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