Longest look at Pokémon Legends: Arceus is still unconvincing

We’re just a couple of weeks away from the release of Pokémon Legends: Arceus and Game Freak / Nintendo have revealed the longest gameplay of the game so far with a 13 minute trailer.

You can watch this trailer in the embed below but we don’t want to bury the lede: this still doesn’t look great.

We don’t want to harp on the visual presentation and the graphics here, but this looks like an “in development” trailer that an Early Access game would post a year or two before it launches into 1.0.

Sure the game will probably look better when running on the 720p screen of a Nintendo Switch, but we’re still a bit shocked by how things look.

In terms of mechanics we’re shown quite a lot of them but many are just unimpressive. Players can now hunt down resources to make items which we guess is more engaging than the other Pokémon games where you just buy said items or collect them in the world or from NPCs.

Speaking of NPCs we’re shown that players can embark on missions and sidemissions with one of the latter – called a request – shown in full. This is made up to be some great inclusion but all the NPC asks is that the player catch a Shinx to show them.

This “catch a Pokémon and show it to an NPC” task has appeared so many times over the two decades of these games that it feels a bit insulting to have it paraded as some new feature here. We’ve seen this, we’ve done this.

It seems the biggest change here is in battles. Wild Pokémon roaming around will have different reactions to seeing the player by either chilling out and doing nothing, running away or becoming aggressive and fighting. We’ll give credit here this is actually a nice change as different Pokémon should have different personalities and dispositions.

Also welcome is the change to the turn-based combat. Strong and Agile Styles, which we covered in the past, will now affect the turn order that Pokémon follow when attacking. Priority, the weighting given to when an attack will happen, has been a mechanic for the longest time, but the styles system is a new spin on it.

That’s just about all that is exciting here. Player customisation looks ridiculous when the main character as the blank expression of a haunted doll, new alpha and noble Pokémon are just remixes of previous mechanics like the Totems and being defeated by wild Pokémon works exactly like losing a battle where the player passes out and loses some money.

We’d love to be eating humble pie on 28th January when Pokémon Legends: Arceus launches on the Nintendo Switch, but we’re fully prepared for another samey trudge like Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.


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