Pokémon: The Legends Begin

Mateo "Schirmsklojm" Dueñas, Entertainment Writer

After only less than a week after the game’s release, Nintendo has already sold 1.425 million copies of Pokémon Legends: Arceus in Japan. This is the second largest release of any Nintendo Switch game, right below the Japanese release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons selling 1.881 million copies during its first week back in 2020.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus begins with the titular Pokémon, Arceus, introducing itself as a creator of sorts. Arceus shoots the protagonist backwards through time in the Sinnoh Region, back when it was called Hisui. The game was made to establish more lore for a fan-favorite region across all of the games.

The Galaxy Team’s Survey Corps, led by Captain Cyllene, a nod and possible precursor to the 4th generation game’s main antagonists: Team Galactic. The Professor, who helps the player upon spawning in, tells them about the Galaxy Team, and how they have begun to invade Hisui, forming multiple divisions to keep look-out on the area. The Survey Corps continues to spread a belief in fearing Pokémon, but having come from the future, the main protagonist must maintain a fearless attitude.

Although in most of the other main-line Pokémon games, players are taught to fear the wild Pokémon, this game adds a new meaning to that fear. Pokémon roam the wild areas, each having their own unique personalities and interactions with the protagonist. Some will be friendly, some run away, whereas others will attack the player, sending them to the village they were at previously.

Aggressive Pokémon may also follow the player into battle, and if more than one of them is in range of the player, the battle becomes a horde battle, which is a new mechanic introduced to the Pokémon franchise.

Nintendo and its partner Game Freak have also altered the Pokédex. In previous games completing the Pokédex just means catching one of every Pokémon. However, this new game implements the research mechanic. Sometimes it is lenient, only requiring the player to see the Pokémon in combat. Sometimes it is strict, forcing the player to catch ten of a single Pokémon to fully understand them.

The game will have the player deal with the Diamond and Pearl clans, both native to Hisui. Each clan has Noble Pokémon, Noble Pokémon are new evolutions, whether completely additional or Hisuian forms, that go on rampages. The player is tasked to calm them down through battles. These Noble battles are considered the boss-levels of the game, as Noble Pokémon can dodge attacks and require the player to spend turns through balms at them.

As the sales suggest, players are very excited to see what Nintendo and Game Freak are working on next. Whether it be completely new regions, or a continuation of the new Pokémon Legends franchise, it will probably come with more in-game mechanics and world-building storylines.