Pokémon Arceus: An interesting addition to the Pokémon universe
I was fortunate enough to receive this game as an early birthday gift. I’m one who has been around since the first days of Pokémon so I was very interested in this particular entry.
This takes place hundreds of years before the main entries, in a place identified as Hisui. Even before pokemon centers, before pokemon gyms, you meet precious few Pokémon trainers, and there are only a handful of battles you’re involved in. The trade off is that this is a time when people are wary of pokemon and battling wild Pokémon is the sort of thing Pokémon Professors have always warned you about. They directly attack you in the wild and can knock you unconscious, upon which you lose some of your items and only another player can retrieve them for you.
Now, my friend likened it to mixing Pokémon and Skyrim and that’s not entirely inaccurate. As an open world game, you have plenty of places you can go, many side quests and main story quests rather than the standard go from city to city, battle trainers and leaders and then elite four yourself to champion. In this one, you’re tasked with researching pokemon, pacifying Noble Pokémon and earning the trust of others that can help you access more places. Rather than simply being stuck buying pokeballs, you’re able to craft them, along with potions, revives and plenty of other things.
The presence of space-time rifts that drop high level Pokémon often not found anywhere else is also interesting, and there are familiar items found there. Evolution items and high value items like nuggets and stardust are some things you can find. Another interesting thing that’s reminiscent of Alolan forms of Pokémon, there are Hisuian forms of Pokémon that similarly have different types and appearances. Additionally, you swap moves through an npc, they never lose moves on their own.
Now, as it only came out recently, there’s not a lot in the scoring. Metacritic rates it 8.2/10 and here are my thoughts on that.
Music: the music is appropriate for all settings, and the ambient music is also nice, but let’s be honest, it lacks the same punch as more memorable music from previous games. That said, it’s an 8/10 for me.
Gameplay: I’m still having a blast with it. In some ways it’s easier than other games (being able to catch a legendary Pokémon in one or two attempts with a basic sort of ball) and in others, it’s harder. (You can fall in the water and effectively drown before you get access to the Pokémon that essentially surf) I think this is actually a 9/10
Lore: I’m a sucker for lore, and this tale is amazing. You meet two clans, the Diamond clan (led by Adaman, who is a snack.) and the Pearl clan, led by Irida, who undergoes some growth. One values time, the other values space. In this region, they worship (is that the right word?) Almighty Sinnoh, no spoilers, but anyone who played previous entries probably already know the Pokémon who rule over space and time. After overcoming every obstacle and managing to capture legendary Pokémon, you’re hailed as a hero and widely considered an expert. As always, you’re also tasked with filling out the Pokédex, but this time, it’s the first Pokédex. Also, the ArcPhone. Honestly? I love the lore. 10/10
Overall? I’d give this a 9/10. I’m absolutely excited to continue my journey and discover what other secrets are in Hisui. I would recommend this game to anyone who loves Pokémon and doubly for those who also love open world games. If you need something different, give Pokémon Arceus a try.
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