RPG File: Pokémon Legends: Arceus’ World Feels Empty, But Not Lifeless

When I first boot Pokémon Legend: Arceus Last Friday, I went into it pretty hazy. I haven’t read any reviews, nor have I heard any RPG lectures leading up to the game’s release. I want to experience the new iteration of Pokémon in the bubble.

Initially seeing the Jubilife Village in the game, but it became quite clear that this sign of civilization was one of the few that I would experience during my time in the game. Arceus. Unlike previous Pokémon titles, there are no city-to-city marches, gym leaders fighting and solving puzzles. Instead, the new title was placed in ancient Sinnoh, known at the time as Hisui, before the area was fully settled and built.

Therefore, instead of traveling between towns, you travel between regions with Jubilife acting as your home base or hub. It works, at least at first. However, about 15 hours after launch, I find myself yearning for more interaction beyond the central city and the countless camps you discover around the world. The result is that each area feels empty and unstable – no doubt designed as a way to represent the untamed Hisui in the face of modern skies. Diamond and Pearl.

Pokémon Legend: Arceus There are various biomes to explore throughout the course of the story, each with its own distinct feel – and Pokémon to catch. There’s a swamp that saw the Gravelers roll with wild patches, as well as a grassland at the top where Ponyta roamed wild.


However, because of the way the world is built, it also means that I feel like I’ve traveled the same terrain over and over again, with nothing to really break it down. Sure, there are differences within each biome, and no two biomes are alike, such as the jungle in the game’s first real area or the rolling tundra in the Alabaster Icelands region. The Pokémon you encounter in each species are also mostly different, and they have meaning to the area in the biome they inhabit. Psyduck hangs out near the water while Combee can be seen hanging out in the trees to hide when you get too close.

Usually, different routes and distances are broken down by multiple cities and settings, such as Mt Moon in the original between Pewter and Cerulean City. The towns themselves, even in their earliest days, had a distinct feel and layout to them, breaking the monotony of routes and grasslands to get around.

The problem I’m facing Arceus, however, is the lack of diversity in civilization. The world feels less, and each land in different biomes only adds to the feeling of emptiness when you realize there are no new cities or towns to explore on the horizon. Instead, it’s just more biome.

It doesn’t help, intuitively speaking. Pokémon Legend: Arceus not great. Sure, the catchy and casual art style can cover a multitude of sins, but Pokémon Legend feels dated even by Switch standards. The textures are flat and muddy, the pop-ups are extremely close, and the Pokémon you encounter at a distance are refreshed at a frame rate that is, frankly, funny. Much of the different biomes that look bland and uninteresting don’t help sell the vision that Game Freak sets out.

Yet while the world feels empty, it also feels alive. It has the soul of what has made Pokémon so good for so many years: the Pokémon itself.

Remember the Graveler I mentioned earlier? Watching it just roll around in the swamp, no care in the world really helped me root into the world in a way the actual biome could never. Catching an Alpha Rapidash speeding through the Obsidian Fieldlands, majestic and free, was an early sight of delight. The Pokémon also behaves as you would expect. Paras are more ferocious than they have any right, while Starly reminds me of the birds that would scatter as we approached my old high school compound as I approached.


I remember the first time I stumbled across an Abra in the wild. The first time I didn’t really know what I was seeing (thanks again, pictures), but when I got close enough and realized it was an Abra, I got super excited. However, a few seconds later, the Pokémon has teleported away. It reminds me of the times when I was a kid playing Pokémon Blue version that I would furiously try to catch an Abra before it teleports away, whether by sheer luck of an active PokéBall on the first try or putting the Abra to sleep first.

Having that same experience, but this time in the world as I crept up to the few Abras still left in the area was one of the early key points that helped me sell this experience. The formula that Game Freak took with interaction in the underworld and new ways to capture and battle Pokémon will be standard in every game to come.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus’ the world has defects that are different from its overarching world that I hope in the future Legendary title address. Yet despite this, it retains the soul of what has made the series so enduring. It’s the Pokémon that lights up everything, and it makes me want to keep picking it up, despite the problem, to catch them all. RPG File: Pokémon Legends: Arceus’ World Feels Empty, But Not Lifeless

Fry Electronics Team

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