Pokemon Legends: Arceus is here, and it’s been a big hit both commercially and critically. But it wasn’t perfect.

The game’s mix of open-world elements, action sequences, and standard Pokémon gameplay breathed new life into the franchise for the first time in years. Although this is a big step forward, there are still important improvements to be made.

Chances are that Pokemon Legends: Arceus will be the foundation for the future of the series. This is good news due to the quality of the game, but there are definitely some rough edges that need to be ironed out if this is the system to be used in Pokemon games in the future.

Pokemon Legends: Arceus Needs Major Graphics Improvements

Anyone who’s played Pokemon Legends: Arceus, or even just seen the game’s trailers, knows that the graphics in this game are truly awful. While the gameplay more than makes up for most fans, there’s no denying that this is the ugliest AAA video game in quite some time.

Almost every facet of the graphics was bad in one way or another. Textures on Pokemon were generally bad with many of them being just solid colors. Draw distances are short, props and Pokemon can be seen spawning, and distant Pokemon can be seen with animations running at just two frames per second. That doesn’t even touch on the random issues with shadows and reflections.

It goes without saying that the next iteration of Pokemon is expected to be better than this one. There’s no doubt that this is possible, as games such as Fortnite and Genshin Impact look better on mobile devices that have less raw power behind them than the Nintendo Switch console.

Chances are developer Game Freak will find ways to make future games run smoother. But if not, that could be a problem.

Players should be able to ride their own Pokemon

Pokemon Legends: Arceus has done something that no other Pokemon game really has. This gave the player’s Pokemon party a physical presence and practical use outside of battle with the resource gathering system.

It added a lot to the Pokemon Legends: Arceus experience and gave a lot of Pokemon a bit more personality. The problem is that the Pokémon that ultimately get the most screen time during gameplay aren’t the trainer’s at all.

Ride Pokemon was first introduced in Sun and Moon, with the trainer able to unlock and ride a handful of rented Pokemon that replaced HMs and many key items. They returned in Pokemon Legends: Arceus along with Wyrdeer, Braviary, and Basculegion, and while they’re not bad, they have a much bigger screen presence than the player’s own party.

It doesn’t have to be. Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee actually had 18 different ones Pokemon that the player could ride. Doing something similar in a follow-up to Pokemon Legends: Arceus and having the player balance their strength in battle with the ability to easily navigate the map could add a lot to the experience.

Pokemon Legends: Arceus should have had control change options

Pokemon Legends: Arceus has some really weird controls. You get used to it over time, but even after dozens of hours of play, it’s easy to forget which button is which.

Even in the best of times, it doesn’t make sense that the control pad opens the menus while the plus button is what summons a Pokemon ride. It doesn’t even mean things like rolling, crouching, and running that tend to be associated with other buttons in other series.

While the default control scheme eventually works once you get used to it, it’s odd that Pokemon Legends: Arceus doesn’t offer many alternatives. Having some freedom there would be welcome in any follow-up to the game.

Defeat repeating bosses in future Pokemon games

Pokemon Legends: Arceus broke the Pokemon mold by providing action gameplay footage for its boss battles. Frenzied Noble Pokemon are drastically different from standard Gym Leaders, but unfortunately there’s very little diversity in these battles.

The five Frenzied Noble battles and a post-game bonus mission ultimately follow the same formula. Dodge attacks, hit him with balms, start a battle when he’s stunned, and repeat until his health bar is empty.

It’s not a bad formula and these battles are rare enough not to be annoying, but there’s definitely more to them. Whether it’s in-battle transformations, stealth elements, or whatever, there’s room for creativity with those battles that just haven’t been done in Pokemon. Legends: Arceus.

It’s possible that the Frenzied Noble boss concept will be dropped entirely from here on in much the same way the Sun and Moon Totem Pokémon were. But if they stay, things should mix up a bit more in future Pokemon games.

Future stories should be less linear than in Pokemon Legends: Arceus

The story of Pokemon Legends: Arceus is very linear. While players are incentivized to explore new areas and catch as many Pokémon as possible, progression is ultimately a straight line. The series should go back to its roots and give players a bit more freedom when it comes to tackling objectives.

In Pokemon Red and Blue, players actually had a degree of flexibility in terms of progressing through the game’s story. After defeating the first three gym leaders, clearing the rock tunnel, and chasing Team Rocket from the , the player has the freedom to go after a few different gym leaders, fight Team Rocket, or explore some optional areas.

This approach would be more appropriate today than ever. Although Pokemon Legends: Arceus is not a fully open-ended game, it offers the player freedom of movement and the ability to explore deeper areas than in previous Pokemon games. Making the story less linear in the same way would be a major boon.