Those of you who are old enough to remember when Pokemon fever first hit in 1998 will recall the first time you set eyes upon the Pokemon Red and Blue GameBoy games. The idea of embarking into the world of Pokemon to start your own adventure wasn’t just exciting but overwhelmingly alluring. As a child, freedom is incredibly limited and rightfully so – let’s face it, the world is a dangerous place for adults let alone youngsters. When Pokemon hit our screens, however, we were instantly offered a virtual escape, learning about a 10-year-old who leaves home to meet new friends, explore strange lands and capture a variety of fantasy creatures with their own charms and traits. We needed this. We needed a cute friend who could also be a badass in battle. We needed to collect gym badges to proudly show everyone the merits we had achieved. We needed to take on every challenge and become the best. We needed to be a Pokemon trainer.
With the original Pokemon games and those that followed, we were given the closest thing to living inside the world of Pokemon. With the graphics of the day and the RPG elements of those titles, this is exactly what we got… until we grew up and our expectations rose. Don’t get me wrong, the current games are still fun but the idea of openly roaming the vast regions of Pokemon is still just a fantasy that took root way back when we were kids. With the release of the spin-off game Legends: Arceus, however, we get to immerse ourselves in a way that we only ever hoped to when we were younger.
Game footage of Pokemon Legends: Arceus shows a game that takes aspects from the previous games, such as the storytelling of the main titles, the 3D graphics and original landscape of colosseum and the luring, researching and throwing aspects of Snap!.
Personally, I think this culmination of strengths is incredibly exciting and offers an experience that could make it, dare I say, the perfect Pokemon game. I think setting Legends: Arceus a century in the past is a really good decision, as it bolsters the idea of being a pioneer in the world of Pokemon. Prior to the release of this game, we know that Pokemon are often helpful and friendly, but in this new world, it’s a wild west where we have no idea what to expect around the next corner. Exploring unknown and foreign lands recaptures those feelings we had the day we got our first Pokemon game and the trials we had to overcome. Not everyone could get their hands on guides to tell us how to light up Rock Tunnel or which tiles got us safely through the Rocket Warehouse, but with exploration and patience, we made Kanto our home.
So where will the Pokemon Company go next if Legends: Arceus proves itself to be a roaring success? A Pokemon MMORPG would be incredible to play and would surely bring players together. I remember playing an unofficial Pokemon MMORPG that used the graphics of Fire Red and Leaf Green a couple of years ago, which proved to me that communities, markets, PVP, questing and raiding all have a place in the world of Pokemon. Gaming has become an incredibly social medium in which the Pokemon company have only dabbled in. We saw it with Pokemon GO, which brought players together to raid against powerful Pokemon, as well as the wild area in Pokemon Sword and Shield. By using Legends: Arceus as the inspiration for a thriving world where other trainers can share a server, I think we will be able to check another box off the list of things we always wished for when we were first introduced to the franchise – finding a place to share our Pokemon adventures with others!
Mathew Parkes – Ludkins Media
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