Pokémon Legends Arceus Nintendo Switch preview: A Pokemon game with a difference

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If you weren’t blown away by the changes (or lack thereof) to Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, then Pokemon Legends Arceus might be the game for you.

The upcoming Nintendo Switch release is set in the Feudal Hisui region, which would later go on to become Sinnoh.

Not only will you explore recognisable locations such as Mt. Coronet, but you’ll run into the ancestors of familiar faces from recent releases.

The difference, however, is that in this world, Pokemon and people don’t live in close harmony, which is where you come in.

Your job is to catalogue the Pokemon of the Hisui region, creating the world’s first Pokedex as you go.

While this may not sound terribly different to the Pokemon games you’re used to, Arceus is more action-oriented.

Battles are still turn-based, although the process of entering a fight is seamless.

You can throw your Poke Ball at the wild Pocket Monster to attempt direct capture, or initiate a battle if it’s in an alert state.

Once you enter a battle, you have two fighting options in the form of Agile style or Strong style.

Agile style raises speed, which gives you a better chance of striking multiple times in a row. Likewise, Strong style raises attack power, at the risk of being on the receiving end of heavy strikes.

Needless to say, Nintendo recommends mixing styles up, using Agile style to paralyse powerful alpha Pokemon, before unleashing stronger attacks to finish them off.

Don’t fancy battling a Pokemon, you can always distract the critter with a batch of berries, or sneak up using stealthy techniques.

This same method can also be used to gain an extra hit in battle, making it easier to defeat.

Then there are the Frenzied Noble Pokemon, which require balms and attacks to calm them ahead of battle. Once you’ve survived the onslaught and have soothed them enough to battle, you’ll need to actually defeat and capture them as normal.

It’s not just battles that have been transformed in Pokemon Legends Arceus, but also traversal.

You can use captured Pokemon to soar through the skies, or as a makeshift jet-ski to cruise the waters.

The addition of stealth, new traversal methods and action-packed battles make for a much faster and more dynamic experience compared to your average Pokemon game.

There’s even a new mission system, which task players with discovering specific Pokemon, defeating powerful Pokemon and capturing a set number of Pocket Monsters or finding items.

If this exciting new direction for the Pokemon series sounds appealing, then the good news is that you don’t have long to wait.

Pokemon Legends Arceus has a January 28 release date exclusively on Nintendo Switch. Expect a review soon.

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