Nintendo and Game Freak new direction could revolutionise the Pokémon series
Pokémon is one of Nintendo ’s highest-earning franchises, but some may argue that the main entry games have become formulaic and even repetitive.
But developers Game Freak look to be breaking away from tradition with their next entry Pokémon Legends: Arceus.
Nintendo invited us to a virtual preview session, where we got to take a deeper look into the up and coming game Pokémon Legends: Arceus.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus will take place in the Hisui region, which is basically an early version of Sinnoh. It’s set in a time where it was rare for humans and Pokémon to work together.
The game also features several ancestors of famous characters from the previous games, such as Professor Rowan that will make an appearance along your adventure.
One of the big changes is that rather than being a Pokémon trainer, instead players will now be part of the Survey Corps and are tasked with creating the first-ever Pokédex, which is used to document and catalogue Pokémon.
I am very excited to see how the game divides your time between researching and battling.
Early glimpses of Hisui show a stunning region made up of several different biomes with Mount Coronet at its centre.
Jubilife Village, an early version of Jubilife City is said to be the only village in the game and will act as your base of operations.
It’s home to the Galaxy expedition team, which is made up of people from other regions and different corps.
Seeing as there is only one village in the game, it looks like Hisui could be a huge open world to explore, just filled with wild Pokémon, which will be fantastic.
It looks like the game will also change from using bikes and special HM moves to instead allowing players to explore the region. Now players will be able to use different Pokémon to access different areas.
There is also a new device called the Arc Phone which will allow players to keep track of their progress and whereabouts.
Another big change is how players interact with Pokémon, rather than random encounters, players will be able to see Pokémon roaming around in the wild. Much like the Wild Area or The Hideaway.
The Pokémon that appear in the wild have different temperaments, that will affect the way you can catch them. Some will be unbothered by your presence, while others will flee if they notice you sneaking around.
Aggressive wild Pokémon won’t hesitate to attack you, and if not careful players will blackout after taking too much damage and return to base camp.
Players will be able to catch Pokémon in various different ways from sneaking up on them, to throwing fruits to distract them.
Pokémon who become aware of your presence will enter a hostile state and players will have to engage in a battle with them to capture them.
Pokémon battles are still turned-based but with a few differences. Each Pokémon will still be able to choose from four different attacks, but each attack will also come in two different styles – Strong and Agile.
Strong style attacks make each move stronger, but your Pokémon will attack less frequently.
Agile style attacks will raise the user’s action speed allowing them to attack more frequently at the expense of the move’s power.
The new system certainly adds a risk and reward element to the battle system, so it will be interesting to see what strategies derive from this.
There will be two special types of Pokémon that will be roaming around the Hisui region, they are Alpha and Noble. Alpha Pokémon are larger, more aggressive versions with red eyes, they look like they will be tough to defeat.
Noble Pokémon are on the rampage and will need to be calmed down by using smoke bombs before you can engage in a battle. It looks like these Pokémon could serve as the game’s boss battles.
From what was shown it looks like players won’t be able to buy the usual items like Pokéballs or potions from a shop but rather will have to craft them from items that have been gathered.
A big change from the Pokémon series is that players will now be able to accept missions and requests.
A request will be a task from the residents in Jubilife Village and act as the game’s side quest, whereas a mission will advance the plot of the game.
Even though there have been side quests in past games, these look like they will be a lot more well thought out.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus looks like it will be a massive departure from the other main titles in the series.
There wasn’t any information on whether gym battles will make a reappearance or if PVP battles will play a major part in the game.
But from what I have seen, Pokémon Legends: Arceus seems to be a step in the right direction to elevate the series from its roots.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus will out for the Nintendo Switch on 28th January
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