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Pokemon Legends Arceus, the first ever open-world Pokemon game due in early 2022

An open-world Pokemon game set in a feudal Japanese setting? What a time to be alive!

Pokemon Legends Arceus

Is it finally be happening? After decades of fantasizing, yearning and clamoring, is Game Freak finally giving us the open-world Pokemon game we’ve always dreamed of? Kind of. Pokemon Legends Arceus, the first-ever open world Pokemon game is set in ancient Sinnoh, the region in which Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, the Generation IV games take place.

The Pokemon Legends Arceus trailer showcases a male and female trainer, complete with wardrobes reminiscent of traditional, feudal-era Japanese clothing as they make their way through vibrant, green fields; past cone-shaped mountains that loom above the countryside and into quaint villages with wooden buildings capped with curved, tiled roofs.

Although Pokemon Legends Arceus appears to still be in the early stages of development, given some of the roughness of the framerate and unpolished animations, there’s no denying that the premise of an open-world Pokemon game set in a historical Japanese-esque setting is a captivating one — and it’s exciting to see a breath of fresh air applied to the formulaic approach to the game we’ve seen with the series over the past three decades.

From what can be gleaned in the trailer, players will choose from Cyndaquil (the Fire-type starter from Generation II whose final evolution is Typhlosion), Oshawott (Water-type starter from Generation V who evolves into Samurott) and Rowlet (Grass-type starter from Generation VII, final evolution Decidueye), set out into the Sinnoh wilderness to complete the region’s first PokeDex and solve the unraveling mystery of the eponymous Arceus, who we know from Pokemon Diamond and Pearl to be the “Original One,” or the creator of Sinnoh (and possibly the entire Pokemon universe).

Pokemon Legends Arceus

Nintendo

Gameplay hints at players crouching in the grass, sneaking around bushes and throwing old-fashioned, wooden Poke Balls (Apricorn Balls?) at wild Pokemon, with no necessity for battling seen as of yet, suggesting the gameplay will borrow from the Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu! and Eevee designs.

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Here’s the official Pokemon Legends Arceus description from the official website:

You’ll be brought to the Sinnoh region, the setting for the Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl games. But this story unfolds in a long-gone era, before ideas such as being a Pokémon Trainer or having a Pokémon League even existed.

All around, you’ll find Pokémon living wild in harsh environments that make for a Sinnoh unlike the region you may remember from the days of the Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl games.

Pokemon Legends Arceus

Nintendo

Will Pokemon Legends Arceus feature primitive variations of familiar Pokemon similar to regional variants somewhat similar to what we saw in Alola and Galar? Instead of regional variants will they be called ancestral variants? Will the game feature some survival and exploration elements in addition to collecting Pokemon? We’ll find out in 2022.

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Ninja Gaiden was my rite of passage at an early age. After finally beating that game (and narrowly dodging carpal tunnel) I decided to write about my gaming exploits. These days I enjoy roguelikes and anything Pokemon but I'll always dust off Super Mario RPG, Donkey Kong Country and StarFox 64 from time to time to bask in their glory.

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