Why Pokémon Legends: Arceus Has Some Fans Excited

Gotta’ explore it all

Key Takeaways

  • Nintendo recently revealed a new open world, action RPG set in the Pokémon World.
  • Pokémon Legends: Arceus will explore the early days of the Sinnoh region and the area's first Pokédex.
  • Legends looks to deliver on features that fans have been asking for.
The Pokémon Legends: Arceus cover art.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus is a chance for Game Freak to deliver a true next-generation of Pokémon by digging deeper into its RPG roots, something fans have been begging for.

While players hoped the jump to the Nintendo Switch would push the series forward, Pokémon Sword and Shield left many disappointed, including myself. Fortunately, it looks like Pokémon Legends: Arceus is finally going to deliver on the bigger, wider worlds and RPG systems that gamers have been craving.

"It’s the first Pokémon game ever to feature an open world RPG concept," Roger Senpai, an avid fan of the series, told Lifewire via email.

"As a Pokémon fan playing the handheld games, I’d love the exploration aspect of the game in 2D and getting to see new parts of the region. However, I always wondered how Pokémon would look and feel in a 3D world where exploration was the main focus. With Pokémon Legends: Arceus, we finally get to see this! I'm really excited about this upcoming game."

A Whole New World

Over the course of its 25-year history, not much has changed about Pokémon and the way that we play it. Each region, while sometimes bigger than the last, offers the same loop of catch Pokémon, beat gym leaders, and collect badges.

It’s a tried and true formula that has grown more tiring than innovative, especially in recent years.

With Pokémon Legends, Game Freak has a new start.

Not only does the game’s narrative take players to a time that hasn’t been explored before—we’ll be putting together the first Pokédex in the Sinnoh region—it also will introduce several new mechanics players have been waiting for.

Most notable among these mechanics is the ability to freely roam the world and catch Pokémon without having to wait for random encounters. Sure, many of the main entries in the series offer exploration of the world to some degree, but it isn’t nearly as in-depth as what we’ve seen so far in the Legends reveal.

Based on what we’ve seen so far, it looks like Pokémon will appear in the world in real-time. This happened some in 2019’s Pokémon Sword and Shield, but not on the level that it appears in Legends.

On top of open-world Pokémon catching, you’ll also be able to sneak and roll through tall grass to stay hidden. This should make exploring the Sinnoh region much more immersive and entrancing, especially for long-time fans who have grown tired of the current formula.

One For the History Books

Unlike previous Pokémon games, which have focused around the formula of catching Pokémon, beating gym leaders, and becoming famous, Legends looks to hold a deeper, more RPG-like story.

Players will step into the shoes of one of the first Pokémon trainers in the Sinnoh region as they work to fill out the very first Pokédex in the area.

Screenshot from Pokémon Legends Arceus.

Legendary Pokémon Arceus also is at the center of the adventure, and its origins are encompassed by mystery and intrigue. Being able to mix the grindy nature of catching Pokémon with a deeper narrative is a massive change from past titles.

Sinnoh, the home of Pokémon’s Generation 4, is one that many will remember because of Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum.

With Legends, we’ll get to travel back to the past and explore how the region became such an icon in the Pokémon universe, and hopefully learn some new things about it along the way.

The Future of Pokémon

Not everyone is thrilled about the changes that Pokémon Legends is making, though. Jenna, a longtime fan of the series, spoke with us via email.

"I’m tentatively excited, but a little doubtful," she said. "People have been pushing for open-world Pokémon for a while, but I honestly love the structure of the original games—the new towns, battling a gym leader in each, training up, etc."

For fans like Jenna, who aren’t sure about the more open-world nature of Legends, it doesn’t appear that Game Freak is looking to make it the true future of the series.

Instead, many users seem to believe that Pokémon Legends: Arceus is merely the first in an upcoming line of spin-offs.

Whether this is true remains to be seen. But, it doesn’t change the fact that Legends has the potential to push the series further than any other entry has.

A new open world to explore and a fascinating dive into the backstory of Generation 4’s beautiful region could be the breath of fresh air for which fans have been holding out.

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