It’s not every day that the Pokemon the franchise breaks with its own formula. On the contrary, Pokemon the games cling to a lot of traditional approaches to combat, intrigue, and new game mechanics. Pokémon Legends: Arceus so exciting. In a franchise so obsessed with its own conventions, Pokémon Legends: Arceus is a breath of fresh air. It’s a very open world that allows players to explore at their own pace, it uses a historical period largely unknown to the Pokemon world, and its central plot seems very different from Pokemon tradition. Pokémon Legends: Arceus plays totally different from its predecessors, which many fans find exciting.

While it’s great that Pokémon Legends: Arceus is so unique, what is perhaps more important is whether or not Game Freak takes this approach to Pokemon games the standard. Pokémon Legends: Arceus is a more liberated Pokemon game than most, but it’s also more dangerous, putting the protagonist on the front line in a way that most Pokemon the games do not have. At a glance, putting the player’s character in danger seems like a stark departure from the franchise’s usual model, but it might actually be the best thing Game Freak does to. Pokemon‘s Generation 9. There’s a lot the franchise would benefit from preserving Pokémon Legends: Arceusapproaching danger.

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Pokémon’s relationship with danger

Kleavor as depicted before a Noble Pokemon encounter in Pokemon Legends: Arceus.

Most of them Pokemon games, the player character really never has to worry about being in danger himself. Only the player’s Pokémon team takes or deals damage in battle, no matter how explosive or calamitous a particular fight becomes. Although this approach corresponds Pokemoncentral themes of teamwork and sportsmanship, it doesn’t quite make sense in a world with so many powerful and dangerous creatures going on rampage. In addition, the Pokemon world suffers from a wide range of villainous groups like Team Rocket with little respect for the rest of the world. It’s surprising that neither of these teams seem selfish or callous enough to attack the protagonist with Pokemon, choosing instead to engage in standard and honorable Pokemon battles.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus completely reversed that. In this game, stealth is crucial, as many wild Pokémon will attack the human protagonist without hesitation. Similar to open world games like Horizon: Zero Dawn and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, players sometimes have to carefully walk past dangerous creatures rather than sprinting through their territory or facing them head-on. In other situations, players must put themselves in danger to achieve a goal. In the recently revealed Kleavor encounter, it appears that players need to dodge Kleavor’s attacks on their own and sprinkle balm at the Noble Pokémon until it can be fought.

The contrast here is striking. Most of them Pokemon games, the protagonist passes out and runs away when their Pokémon are all unconscious, but in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, players faint when they’ve taken too much damage. The contrast shows the value of Pokémon Legends: Arceus‘approach, however. Players may feel a little sad or guilty when their Pokemon is knocked out, but there is a lot more tension and immersion when the player character is at risk of injury. If this stance on danger seems to work so well for Pokémon Legends: Arceus, then that could do wonders for the rest of the Pokemon franchise.

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How damage to players could improve the Pokemon series

The next generation of Pokemon games could be based on Pokémon Legends: Arceus‘damage mechanic. For example, this could extend to situations where the player must choose to be in danger. Pokémon Legends: ArceusKleavor’s Fight requires players to approach the enraged Pokémon on their own, rather than launching into a Pokémon battle on their own. It would be great to see a Generation 9 Pokemon game with a similar situation where players are trapped all alone in some kind of arena with angry and powerful Pokemon. Players may need to activate certain devices or collect items while dodging the Pokémon or even triggering other devices that buy player time.

So future Pokemon the games pick up on those confrontations between humans and Pokémon, and then there’s room for a new category of tactical items. Player characters can develop combat stats like defense and speed which they can modify with special pieces of equipment, increasing their defenses and allowing them to withstand more attacks. Some equipment might even have Pokemon-style type affinities, giving players resistance to some types and weaknesses to others, encouraging Pokemon fans weigh the costs and benefits of their equipment.

The Pokemon the story would also benefit from putting the protagonists in danger. It would be great to see a really menacing Pokemon villainous team who are not afraid to attack humans with their Pokemon. Players may need to dodge certain attacks in combat with naughty Pokémon trainers, or alternatively, some villains may use their Pokémon to shoot players cheaply before a battle begins. At a time when Pokemon stories face increasing criticism for weak plotlines, it would be great to see a villainous team behaving like that because they actually felt like a threat. The following Pokemon the villains of the generation should be dangerous and intimidating. Even though the Pokemon the world is generally light, there must be stakes, or players will hardly feel motivated to conquer evil.

Pokemon Legends: Arceus strikes gold

pokemon legends mount fuji

Pokémon Legends: Arceus‘ideas about danger and player damage might not reach the main line Pokemon Games. As the name suggests, Game Freak, Nintendo and The Pokemon Company may have plans in mind for a long version. Pokémon Legends game series that uses Arceusopen world, damage mechanics, etc. If so, the ideas will likely stay separate from the kernel. Pokemon games to preserve Pokémon Legendsunique identity. While it would be great to see more Pokémon Legends following games in the wake of the first title, it would also be a shame for the main one Pokemon series, which could really use a reshuffle.

For now, however, hope remains. Game Freak has been quite busy with others Pokemon projects that generation 9 Pokemon games are probably still a long way off, so there is still time to incorporate new ideas from Pokémon Legends: Arceus. A new sense of danger could really make future games appealing. So many recent Pokemon games have experimented with new combat mechanics to make them feel unique, but many of these mechanics have received mixed reviews. Maybe it’s time for Pokemon to experience the combat side of the player rather than the Pokémon side.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus releases January 28, 2022 for Nintendo Switch.

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