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Our examiner, Ben Kendall, first checked Pokémon Legends: Arceus 20 months ago. It was re-examined by Andy Robertson and updated 8 days ago.
Set in the distant past, in the Hisui region, which eventually becomes the Sinnoh region where the Pokémon Diamond, Pearl and Platinum games, along with their remakes, take place. Unlike the previous games, where people and Pokémon have coexisted for centuries, most of the people you meet are ignorant, and in many cases fearful, of the Pokémon of the land. It's up to you, with the help of Galaxy Team's Survey Corps to complete the first-ever Pokédex by capturing one of every species. Along the way, you face off against powerful alpha and noble Pokémon, and even a dangerous rift in spacetime itself.
Whereas other Pokémon games have you entering turn-based battles, weakening the Pokémon and then catching them, here, you have the chance to catch a Pokémon without even battling it, by sneaking up behind it and using a well-timed throw, or distracting them with a lure. Battles, too, are different: while they are still turn-based at their core, you have the choice between using more powerful versions of moves more frequently or more powerful versions at the expense of speed, allowing an opportunity for opponents to counter. This all results in a more skill-based experience than the previous games, where you have the opportunity to employ multiple different tactics. You can also complete side quests that reward you with valuable items or money in the town, which is the hub for all your surveying expeditions into the varied and unique climates of Hisui.
It's a unique game in the series, that retains the essential elements of Pokémon games such as battling and collecting, but changes the formula first introduced in 1996 by adding new mechanics and changing existing ones, which makes for a more skill-based, exploratory and novel addition.
There's an asynchronous multiplayer feature where you can find lost items from other players and their Merit Points. Other players can also find items that you have lost. You need Nintendo Online for this feature to be enabled.
You can play this game in the following styles:
Rated for younger players in the US. Rated ESRB EVERYONE for Mild Fantasy Violence. Most battles are turn-based, with players performing attack moves (e.g., bites, elemental attacks) to deplete opponents' health meters. Some battles occur close-up, as players try to calm enraged Pokemon by throwing balms (bags containing the Pokemon's favourite things) at them.
10+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. The nature of the more open-world play means that you can hit difficulty spikes that are not good for very young players. Pokemon Let's Go or Pokemon Go are a better place for new-to-the-series youngsters to start.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus
- Trade Items In-Game: Players can trade items they have earned or purchased, with other players in the game.
To trade Pokémon, which makes some Pokémon evolve, you need a Switch Online account, but you can also evolve all of the Pokémon in the game through other means without trading them.
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Release Date: 28/01/2022
Out Now: Switch
Content Rating: PEGI 7
Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds
Accessibility: 19 features
Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Day and Night, Open World and Weather
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