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Everything You Need to Know About ‘Pokémon Legends: Arceus’

2021 marked the 25th anniversary of one of the world’s most iconic and long-lasting IPs of all time – Pokémon.

Among a wealth of announcements regarding the franchise’s ongoing anime, manga, and all sorts of additional merchandise, new games that allow users to still “catch ’em all” were also revealed. An upcoming project that got Pokémon fans super excited is a new action RPG that transports players to an older time period within the Sinnoh region long before the events of Pokémon Diamond/Pearl and their remakes. Pokémon Legends: Arceus is shaping up to be a true evolution for the series that looks like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild-esque experience that fans have been patiently waiting for.

Before January 28 arrives, let’s take a deeper look at the latest Pokémon Switch release and provide some essential info about the game’s story, main gameplay mechanics, and collection of recognizable Pocket Monsters you’ll encounter during your journey.

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Story

Pokémon Legends: Arceus will whisk players off to the vast expanses and biomes belonging to the Hisui region (which is modeled after 19th Century Japan), a locale that eventually evolves into the Sinnoh region. As a Survey Corps member belonging to the Galaxy Expeditions Team, you’ll set out to complete a wide variety of tasks centered around researching every species of Pokémon’s living habits and overall behaviors. Your main objective is completing the region’s first-ever Pokédex as either Rei (a boy) or Akari (a girl).

The avid researcher that tasks you with seeing that mission through to completion is Professor Laventon. The actual leader of the Survey Corps is named Captain Cyllene. And finally, the boss behind such a huge undertaking and the Galaxy Team working to fulfill it is called Commander Kamado (who just so happens to be an ancestor of Professor Rowan). You’ll end up running into a host of other individuals who handle other assorted tasks, such as “Wardens” that protect special Pokémon, leaders belonging to the Diamond & Pearl clans, guild members, and merchants.

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Gameplay

Unlike past entries in the series, Pokémon Legends: Arceus actually lets you engage in battle and capture wild Pocket Monsters seamlessly just by interacting with them in the open-world environment. Simply put, you can lock eyes with a Pokémon you desire, then throw a Poké Ball with one of your creatures inside of it to fight it or fling a Poké Ball at that wild Pocket Monster to catch it while freely exploring the game’s overworld. You’ll encounter some much tougher Pokémon known as “Alphas,” which can be recognized by their larger stature and glowing red eyes. You’ll need to be extra careful when confronting these types of Pokémon since they’ll chase you down in a bid to attack you once they spot you.

One of the cooler aspects tied to battles is the ability to have your Pokémon utilize one of two combat styles – Agile Style and Strong Style. Agile Style is broken down as follows – “using a move in the agile style raises the user’s action speed, which may make the user’s next turn come sooner, but lowers the move’s power.” As for Strong Style, it’s explained in full like this – “using a move in the strong style raises the move’s power, but your Pokémon’s action speed will be lowered.” While running into Pokémon trainers won’t be a regular occurrence in this game, you’ll still find yourself getting caught up in one-on-one battles with Wardens from time to time.

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Researching different types of Pokémon in order to fill out your Pokédex means you’ll need to complete research tasks centered around seeking out/observing different monsters depending on their biome of choice and the time of day/night. At the start of your Pokédex completing endeavor, you’ll be given one of three starter Pokémon to choose from –  Rowlet (the grass-type starter Pokémon from the Alola region), Cyndaquil (the fire-type starter Pokémon from the Johto region), and Oshawott (the water-type starter Pokémon from the Unova region). And once you get your hands on the special “Celestica Flute,” you’ll be able to use it to summon special Pokémon that’ll let you ride them across the land, through the skies, and even over the water!

Hanging out at base camps outside of the main location of Jubilife Village will be a necessity. Base camps allow you to take a quick breather during an excursion, recover your Pokémon party’s health, and craft items via workbenches. The items you can create on your own include Poké Balls, special versions of those capture devices called “Heavy Balls,” Smoke Bombs, and so much more. Relying on your “Arc Phone” to get a good look at the in-game map and using all of the facilities afforded to you in Jubilife Village are also essential when it comes to your mission survival and success.

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Different Types of Pokémon

There’s going to be a huge collection of Pocket Monsters to encounter while on your journey in Pokémon Legends: Arceus. Besides the three Starter Pokémon we mentioned already, you’ll run into recognizable creatures such as Pikachu, Kadabra, Onyx, and Eevee. As far as brand new Pokémon species go, you’ll run into Wyrdeer, Basculegion, and Kleavor. When it comes to Hisui region-specific Pokémon, the ones you’ll discover among that line of Pocket Monsters are Voltorb, Zorua, Zoroark, Braviary, and Growlithe. And finally, the mythical Pokémon you’ll come across include Darkrai, Shaymin (Land Forme), and Arceus.

Some of the toughest Pokémon you’ll engage in battle with are referred to as “Frenzied Noble Pokémon.” You’ll easily recognize them due to their bright exterior and have to quell their anger by hitting them with balms, which are items made using their favorite foods. Steering clear of their attacks and sending them into a dazed state via attacks from your Pokémon through battle are what you’ll need to do in order to assault them with balms and permanently calm them down.

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