Soapbox articles give our team the opportunity to share some personal views; today it was Tom Whitehead’s turn to make the confession.
We all have our hidden flaws and gaps in games, and it’s time to share one of them. Even though I’ve been writing about Nintendo for almost 8 years, I’ve always shied away from one of the biggest franchises on its systems – perhaps v biggest. I have never played Pokemon games.
Now it is not fully that’s right, since I’ve played a bit of a couple of free spin-offs, mostly small puzzle games in the 3DS era. I would not say that they broadened my knowledge of the series as such. I don’t really know anything about Pokemon, in fact I wrote several news articles on the topic when needed. Each time I relied heavily on other people’s knowledge and did a little research, or just shared a trailer and said, “Oh look, there are Pokémon in it.” When other team members are around, I usually let them do a much better job of lighting the franchise.
When it comes to gigamaxing, doodleballs, EX levels or whatever, I just get lost and think it’s too much to “delve into.”
I was tempted to dive into the game a few times, but it felt like the stakes were growing with each release, with each generation adding more Pokémon and gameplay ideas. When it comes to gigamaxing, doodleballs, EX levels or whatever, I just get lost and think it’s too much to “delve into.” Technically, I was supposed to start playing Let’s Go games as a beginner, but I was put off by the movement tricks, and ironically, they looked a little too much simply.
From the outside, looking at Pokémon can seem almost impenetrable, which is also a source of general concern between developers and fans. Fans often want more and sometimes less. new things, and the developers are trying to please a huge and passionate fan base, and also aiming to lure newbies.
This brings us to Pokémon Legends: Arceus, which I am planning to buy. I have a voucher for a Nintendo Switch Online game and that’s it, I’m taking the leap. That said, and even though the game was so close, I’m still pretty unsure what I’m getting myself into; The Pokémon Company and Nintendo have had a somewhat convoluted and slow build, likely aided by the fact that they were promoting Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl just a couple of months ago.
However, despite these reservations, it seems like a good starting point for a 30-year-old who has so far been too lazy to “commit” to the show. First, this is the definitive prequel, taking us back to the days before all things of the main games. I also love the look of the world, as it seems like an adorable way to introduce yourself to the pocket monsters that are so popular with tens of millions of fans.
As for the issues, besides the confusion about “what is the game loop”, I’m a little unsure about combat. There seem to be battles out there that I’m interested in trying out, as well as action-style fights where you mostly throw pokeballs and dodge. The latest overview trailer (Japanese only at the time of writing) shows the character fighting the boss (?) Monster, mostly throwing small brown bags at him. It looks a little rough to me, but still bearable.
Overall, I tend to be in awe of the game. I want to enjoy the series and possibly use Arceus as a starting point before returning to some of the games in the main series. IP is a cultural phenomenon that I don’t want to overlook.
I just hope Pokémon Legends: Arceus has magic that will make me a Pokémon fan – only time will tell.