Pokémon: Legends Arceus – Review


Cam Wade, Staff Writer

Pokémon as a series has come a long way from its 8-bit roots. Where in the nineties, middle aged moms believed that a little yellow rat was a gateway into satanic cults, to today where people only know it as that overly successful merchandise machine that releases a sub-par video game every year that sells a billion copies. When the latest game in the series, Pokémon: Legends Arceus released, I had been bombarded by so many advertisements for the game that I finally caved in and bought it in a vein hope for Nintendo’s guerilla marketing strategies to stop. It didn’t work.

Pokémon: Legends Arceus was developed by GameFreak and  published by Nintendo. It was released on January 28, 2022 to a fairly decent critical reception, with people praising the changes made to the traditional Pokémon formula, and while I don’t believe it’s as amazing as every other lesser game journalist, I do have to admit, the game’s pretty good. Something about the simple gameplay formula of chucking small objects at cartoon animals and running away is just satisfying.

Now don’t get me wrong, the game isn’t great. The graphics are less than sub-par, with copy and pasted trees littered throughout the map. This is especially notable when games such as Monster Hunter: Rise and Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild run on the exact same hardware. The story is also extremely underwhelming. In all honesty, you would have more fun just mashing the A button during all the dialog and coming up with your own plot. The game is also missing staple features that have been in the series since the GameBoy, such as being able to connect with your friends and fight each other. The tutorial is exceedingly tedious, with it holding your hand more than an elephant who just learned how to cross the street. For about an hour and a half during the beginning, all you do is read dialog boxes and skip cutscenes until the game finally lets you have fun. 

However, when you do finally get to explore, it is really fun. You can easily spend hours just running around and hurling Pokémon at rocks and collecting materials for crafting. Later on, you even get more mobility options like flying and swimming to be able to more easily traverse the landscapes. Even before you gain all those abilities, you still have a wide variety of movement possibilities, so you never feel limited by the controls. 

The best way that I can describe this game is fun, but flawed. It feels like for every two things this game gets right, it gets one thing that is fairly bad. I know I’ve bashed this game a lot, but I still have a fun time playing it.  I wouldn’t say that it’s worth the sixty dollar price point however, maybe something closer to forty would have been better for the amount of content supplied.  If you saw the trailer for this game and wanted to get it, then get it, but if you didn’t think it looked good, you’re not going to find anything that will blow you away. I give this game a rating of three taser rats out of five.