Nintendo released a new trailer for Pokémon Legends: Arceus ahead of the game’s launch later this week.
The 6-minute ‘overview trailer’ gives a roundup of the game’s main features and the ways it’s shaking up the series format.
Of particular interest is the glimpse of its boss fights. When taking on certain Pokémon that have become “frenzied by a mysterious power,” you’ll face them head-to-head in an arena battle. After dodging their attacks and wearing them down with your own weapons, you’ll get to bust out your pocket monsters and challenge them to a more traditional Pokémon battle.
The trailer also gives us another look at the new rideable Pokemon. You’ll occasionally find these larger land, sea, and air creatures roaming about, and can use them to reach previously inaccessible areas of the Hisui region.
Those regions look pretty varied, but central to the map is Jubilife Village. In the main town of the game, you’ll be able to do all the usual things you can in Pokémon villages, such as buy items, purchase new outfits, craft items using resources you’ve gathered from the wild, or unload the Pokémon you’ve caught at pastures.
Besides mentioning that you’ll be completing the first Pokédex, the trailer also namedrops the game’s namesake, Arceus, but leaves the role of the mythical Pokémon a mystery.
Analysis: change for the better
Pokémon Legends: Arceus represents a major change for the series. Not only a prequel that will explore the historical Hisui region, it’s infusing the franchise with elements of action-RPGs, as you explore an open-world and track the wild Pokémon that inhabit it.
The basic Pokémon formula is still there - find the cute critters, battle them, stuff them in a Pokéball, and fill your Pokédex - but everything around it looks radically different. Battles are fought in a hybrid real-time-turn-based system, and gyms have been cut completely. This game is more about exploring the wild of the landscape than proving your worth in Pokémon duels.
It didn’t take long after the game was announced for fans to draw comparisons between it and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Alongside strikingly similar visuals and audio (the piano flourishes that open this trailer could be taken straight from Ocarina of time), its pivot to exploration-driven gameplay and integration of a third-person combat system bears a close resemblance to Link’s most recent outing. Throw in the addition of crafting, and it looks like Arceus will be a big change of pace for the series.
This trailer does nothing if not double down on Arceus’s new features, telling fans to expect something altogether different from what’s come before. It won’t be long before players can decide for themselves whether that’s a good thing.
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