Pokemon games first delved into 3D graphics on the Nintendo 3DS handheld systems, giving fans an experience like never before. Now, with the Nintendo Switch, the Pokemon series has embraced even more 3D games, including its newest addition, Pokemon Legends: Arceus. 

This game from the main Pokemon series has completely changed the typical Pokemon gameplay and allows players to learn more about the history of the fictional world surrounding the series. It also features the legendary Pokemon Arceus, the namesake of the game. It was first introduced in the Diamond and Pearl Pokemon games, which are now getting a remake.

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    So what is this new game all about? Below you’ll find information on the game’s story, gameplay, and more. 

    What Is the Pokemon Legends: Arceus Story?

    This Pokemon game takes place in Hisui, the fourth region in the Pokemon history timeline, known as Sinnoh. The game allows you to explore this area in a time before humans and Pokemon worked together. 

    In Pokemon Legends: Arceus, you play as part of Team Galaxy, a research team focused on surveying and cataloging Pokemon. You will be trying to complete the first-ever Pokedex as you explore Hisui and discover its Pokemon inhabitants. 

    Team Galaxy is based in Jubilife Village, which you will spend much of your time preparing for new tasks, shopping, or visiting the Trading Post to trade Pokemon with others. 

    What Is Gameplay Like in Pokemon Legends: Arceus?

    Nintendo confirmed during a Pokemon Presents livestream that this new Pokemon game would be open-world, meaning you can generally explore the area in any way you like. The tasks from Team Galaxy will guide you through the game’s story, but you can explore the Hisui region on your own.

    If this isn’t different enough from the older Pokemon games, the way you encounter Pokemon has also changed. If you want to battle a Pokemon, you can throw a Pokemon in a Pokeball, and a battle will ensue. There will be no separate battle-screen either, such as in previous games. Instead, you’ll go straight into battle within the surrounding environment. 

    The battling system is still very similar, though. You’ll choose what move you want your Pokemon to perform, or you can use an item, flee, or switch Pokemon. One difference in battling is that you can now perform Strong or Agile versions of any move. Using a Strong version of a move will increase its power while decreasing speed, and using a move as Agile will do the opposite. This adds a whole new layer to strategizing during battles. 

    The battle sequence also won’t be the same. In previous games, each Pokemon took turns making one move at a time. In Pokemon Legends: Arceus, each Pokemon’s stats will determine how many moves they can make at a time. 

    You will be able to catch any Pokemon in the game you encounter, and this will be how you fill-up the game’s Pokedex. To catch Pokemon, you can weaken it in battle and then throw a Pokeball at it, similar to previous games. 

    Are There Any New Pokemon?

    As with any new Pokemon game, players will want to know what new Pokemon they can expect. Since Pokemon Legends: Arceus takes place in a region already covered in previous games, there aren’t too many new Pokemon. However, there are a few new faces you can expect to see. 

    The first is Wyrdeer, a standard/psychic type that resembles a deer. It evolves from the Pokemon Stantler, a Pokemon already previously introduced in generation two Pokemon games, but this is an all-new evolution. 

    The next new Pokemon is Basculegion, a water/ghost type. It’s a large fish-looking Pokemon that evolves from another already established Pokemon, Basculin, originally from generation five.

    There are also a couple of new regional-specific forms of the Pokemon Growlithe and Braviary. These are slightly different from the previously-known forms. The Hisuian Braviary is psychic/flying type, whereas the past form is normal/flying type. Hisuian Growlithe is similar, as its form is fire/rock type, and the original Growlithe was only fire type. 

    If you’re wondering about starter Pokemon, the developers did something never-before-seen by including starter Pokemon from three different generations. So you can choose from Rowlet, from generation seven, Cyndaquil, from generation two, or Oshawott, from generation five. 

    Other than this, you can expect to see Pokemon you may already know that were previously introduced in the Sinnoh-region-based games, Pokemon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum.

    A Brand-New Pokemon Journey

    Pokemon Legends: Arceus provides both long-time Pokemon fans and newcomers with a one-of-a-kind experience within the game’s series. With so many new gameplay elements, it’ll be interesting to see how they work within the game. 

    Many have compared this new Pokemon look to Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which is pretty apt, with the open-world style, graphic design, and exploration-driven story. However, it is still certainly a Pokemon game, as the developers stayed true to some of the most critical aspects of the series that keep fans coming back for every new generation. 

    Pokemon Legends: Arceus is set to release for the Nintendo Switch system on January 28th, 2022.