Earlier this year, Nintendo announced the release of a brand new Pokemon game in a brand new region, with gameplay like no other game we’ve seen before in the series. Pokemon Legends: Arceus is shaping up to be potentially the most exciting Pokemon game we’ve had in a long time. But what actually is this game, and why is the hype train behind it so shaky?
What Is Pokemon Legends: Arceus?
Pokemon Legends: Arceus is the first title in what seems to be a new franchise of Pokemon games. It’s an open-world action RPG, unlike what we saw with Pokemon Sword and Shield in 2019. Taking place in the Sinnoh Region before it was known as such, players will explore the ancient world and discover secrets about the world and its inhabitants for the first time.
While we don’t know much about the actual story of the game, it’s heavily hinted that Arceus will be very important in this game (if you didn’t figure that out by his name being in the title). Nintendo has also let us know that the game will feature new gameplay that we’ve never seen in a previous Pokemon game.
When And Where Does Pokemon Legends: Arceus Take Place?
The game takes place in the Hisui region, a place in the ancient history of the Sinnoh region long before the events of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl. According to the trailers we’ve gotten, it looks to be some sort of feudal-era in Sinnoh’s past.
Nintendo has not revealed if the game will span the entire Sinnoh region or just a part of it, but we know that the precursor to Jubilife City will be the central hub for the game.
How Does Pokemon Legends: Arceus Connect to Diamond and Pearl?
Nintendo has stated that this game will be a prequel to Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, but we don’t yet know how impactful that will be on the overall game.
We know the main village in the game will be Jubilife Village, which becomes Jubilife City in the future, as well as some characters who are the ancestors of characters in the future. Commander Kamado will be a prominent character in the game and is an ancestor of Professor Rowan from Diamond and Platinum.
We’ll have to wait and see how much the events of Pokemon Legends: Arceus affect the original games.
Who Is Arceus?
Arceus is known as the “Alpha Pokemon” and was first revealed in the fourth generation of Pokemon games. Most references to Arceus point to it as being the creator or progenitor of all Pokemon in the universe, as well as the creator of the entire Pokemon world (or at least the Sinnoh region).
Although Arceus wasn’t available in the last two generations of Pokemon games, this doesn’t make it any less important of a Pokemon in the universe.
What Generation Is Pokemon Legends: Arceus?
While we don’t know for sure yet if this will be the new mainline series of Pokemon games, we’re pretty sure that Pokemon Legends:
Arceus will not be a part of the main franchise, and instead will be a spinoff franchise (if the game performs well enough). I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes a lot of the same moves from Pokemon Sword & Shield, but we shouldn’t expect it to be identical.
Are There New Pokemon In This Game?
From the previews we’ve seen, there will be new Pokemon entries with Pokemon Legends: Arceus. We don’t know how many Pokemon will arrive with the new Hisui region. So far we know about four new Pokemon in the game, two being new evolutions of Pokemon and two being new Hisuian versions of already-existing Pokemon.
I honestly kinda forgot that Basculin existed but these fierce little puppies can evolve into the (kinda terrifying) Basculegion, a Ghost/Water-type Pokemon that is apparently “possessed by the souls of other Basculin from its school that could not withstand the harsh journey upstream”.
Stantlers in the Hisui region can evolve into the majestic Wyrdeer, a Normal/Psychic-type that has THE most majestic beard I’ve ever seen on a Pokemon (sorry Perrserker).
The Pokemon’s psychic ability is “powerful enough to distort space” and can find safe paths by using its antlers like antennae, which may suggest some sort of travel or riding mechanic in the game like we’ve seen in Let’s Go Pikachu
Speaking of hair, talk about a weird haircut for our favorite fire pup. Sporting a bizarre hairstyle as well as an actual stone horn, this Pokemon has a new Hisuian variant that adds the Rock type, as well as a new look.
We haven’t gotten confirmation whether or not there is also a Hisuan Arcanine, but judging on past regional forms, it seems likely to continue.
While Growlithe may get a new type added to it, the Hisuan Braviary swaps it’s Normal typing for Psychic type. We don’t have many other details about this Pokemon aside from the type change, as well as confirmation from Nintendo that there is not a Hisuan Rufflet variant.
What Are the Starter Pokemon for Pokemon Legends: Arceus?
For the first time in Pokemon history, Nintendo is giving us three different options from three different generations of Pokemon.
- Cyndaquil, the best fire Pokemon starter out there (@ me on Twitter and try to tell me I’m wrong, I dare you) from Gen Two.
- Oshawott, the Water type from Generation Five.
- Rowlet, the Grass type from Generation Seven.
When Will Pokemon Legends: Arceus Release?
As of right now, the game is slated to release on January 28th 2022. Nintendo hasn’t given any indication that the game will be delayed at all, but there are some folks on the internet who were skeptical of the game’s level of completion.
The announcement trailer from the Pokemon 25th Anniversary show featured a low-quality build of the game with framerate issues, but more recent trailers show the game has evolved passed that.
Will This Game be Like Pokemon Sword and Shield?
So far, we know that this is an entirely new entry to the Pokemon franchise. Nintendo intends to have this game play similarly to the original Pokemon games, but with new twists for the actual gameplay mechanics.
Pokemon seem to be out in the wild just like in Sword and Shield, but instead of running up to wild Pokemon to initiate fights you’ll be throwing your Pokemon at them, instantly starting a battle. You’ll also be able to hunt and observe Pokemon in the wild, with some Pokemon only appearing under specific conditions.
Crafting has been added to the franchise, and not just cooking. We don’t know much about how detailed the crafting system will be, but we know you’ll be able to craft items like Pokeballs and Smoke Bombs to help expand your Pokedex.
Speaking of the Pokedex, it looks like there’s a slew of new things you’ll need to do to finish your Pokedex beyond catching pokemon.
You’ll need to research them by catching multiple, defeating multiple, evolving multiple, and even observe them perform specific moves. This is a welcome change to the game in my opinion, since I’ve never really felt satisfied with just catching Pokemon for no reason.
Because the Hisui region isn’t fully settled, in lieu of cities we now have Base Camps to rest up, heal our Pokemon, as well as crafting spaces. We don’t know yet if these will be spread out like cities in previous Pokemon titles, or if they are less common and difficult to find.
Will Pokemon Battles Be the Same?
We already know from the trailers that Pokemon Legends: Arceus will not be similar to other games in the franchise. Not only is the world opened and explorable like in Sword and Shield, but you’ll be able to battle wild Pokemon seamlessly – no need for a cut-away to a different battle menu. You just need to throw your Pokemon out there, and the fight starts.
Combat is no longer one turn at a time between you and your enemy. Now, a Pokemon’s stats (as well as “other factors” that Nintendo hasn’t clarified yet) will determine turn order, with the chance for one Pokemon to take multiple turns at once. This is a huge change to what we’re used to, and hopefully Nintendo nails it.
One of the new features of combat in this game is Styles. While Pokemon will still only know four moves, they can now perform them in either Strong Style or Agile Style, changing up how each move performs in battle. We don’t know much else about how they affect combat, but it’s something to be aware of.
Question: What is Pokemon Legends: Arceus?
Answer: It’s a new entry to the Pokemon franchise that includes all-new Open world gameplay in a past version of the Sinnoh region known as Hisui.
Question: What Ties this Game to Diamond and Platinum?
Answer: This game serves as a prequel to Diamond and Platinum, but we don’t know yet what that will actually mean until the game releases.
Question: What is the Release Date for Pokemon Legends: Arceus?
Answer: January 28th, 2022.
Closing the Page on Pokemon Legends: Arceus
Pokemon Legends: Arceus is probably the most exciting entry in the Pokemon franchise we’ve seen in a long time. Thanks to the lukewarm response with Pokemon Sword and Shield for its bland approach to the franchise, Pokemon Legends may just be the new style of Pokemon games we’ll be playing for years to come in new incarnations.
We don’t have all the information yet, but what Nintendo has shown us so far is ambitious and exciting for longtime Pokemon fans.