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Pokémon Legends: Arceus (28th January 2022)

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Text box after text box with no voice acting whatsoever. Still, baby steps for this franchise I guess.

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11 minutes ago, Ronnie said:

Text box after text box with no voice acting whatsoever. Still, baby steps for this franchise I guess.

I always find this to be a humourous complaint. I genuinely don't understand why reading is such a big bugbear for some people. A lot of kids from the 90's basically learnt to read because games like Pokémon existed.
Dialogue goes along at the pace that is perfect for me, and there's no risk of bad voice acting rearing its ugly head because its left to my imagination how characters sound. I'd rather have silence then voice acting that 9 times out of 10, only plays in "important cutscenes" and the rest of the time, dialogue is punctuated by one word exclamations, or noises (I'm looking at you, Fire Emblem: Awakening). Loads of bigger RPG's do this and it always annoys me. Either go fully voice acted, or not at all. I'm fine with either.

Also, I don't like how Pikachu and Eevee have their anime voices these days, but none of the other Pokémon do, it makes them sound so out of place. It was cute in Pokémon Yellow, when voice acting in a Game Boy game was super novel, but now?

But mandatory slow text speed? That's where I start having issues.

Edited by Glen-i
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I think we're slowly creeping towards that decades-long demand for a MMO (PokéMMOn) where you have a particular 'job', whether that's a trainer, researcher, photographer etc but I don't think that will ever happen. But it would be nice to have that kind of option and interact with others. 

Basically we all want to live in the anime. 

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Once you are set free from the shitload of text boxes, the game is actually quite fun. It has the same kind of discovery as for instance Pokémon Go - you see something in a not too far distance (the draw distance is a bit short) and get excited when you discover that it's an Eevee for instance. You try to sneak up on it, but it discovers you and runs. Once it's running, it's nigh impossible to catch it! 

The areas are very big, perhaps 10 % too big. I also wonder how this region turns into the Sinnoh region in just a matter of 200 years. There are no settlements at all. The people living in Hisui have migrated from other regions (one NPS mentioned Hoenn) just a couple of years before the events of the game and yet, they don't know much about Pokémon. It's a weird universe. And despite them saying that no one is able to catch three Pokémon in a row, you see "plenty" of people with Pokémon that can fight you. I think the world building is a bit inconsistent. But it's still fascinating.

It was furthermore confirmed that it's the Pokémon themselves that know how to shrink and fit inside the Pokéball. Not the Pokéball making them shrink.

You have to investigate each Pokémon until you get 10 points to finalize the Pokédex entry. You get points for catching them but also defeating them, seeing them do a specific move, or evolving them. Doing more than this can reward you with money that you spend on upgrades, materials, and clothing. I was afraid of running out of Pokéballs but materials for crafting them are plenty and you can craft anywhere you want. 

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13 hours ago, Glen-i said:

A lot of kids from the 90's basically learnt to read because games like Pokémon existed.

Some even used it to learn a second language

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Yeah, I played Ocarina of Time with an English dictionary by my side, 10 years old. Taught me a great deal of English but even before that I was more interested in the language than my class mates simply because I needed it to be able to play games. 

But voice acting with text boxes is surely the best of both worlds? The introduction in PLA really feels like a drab, the characters just stand there, moving their mouths. It could be much more lively with a bit of voice over at least. Generally, I think introduction in games has become less boring over the years so when they are old-school like this, it really feels off.

Also... the way the NPCs walk in this game looks so silly. They have bent knees and straight upper bodies, arms barely swinging. 

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14 hours ago, Glen-i said:

I always find this to be a humourous complaint. I genuinely don't understand why reading is such a big bugbear for some people. A lot of kids from the 90's basically learnt to read because games like Pokémon existed.

I mean, to speak to how well the old games must have been designed to make them somewhat intuitive without an ability to read, my younger brother had a speech impediment which delayed his reading development quite significantly by a few years up until he was around 5 years old, and he completed both SoulSilver and Black before that point. So, at the very least, they've nailed making these games extremely accessible even for those with difficulty reading. 

Personally I don't mind if a game has voice acting or not, but ultimately I find it's down to the presentation. I think it was an easy thing to forgive back when the games were 2D, but once you make the jump to 3D and have characters miming speech like this...

...then I think it's fair to criticise. Either design the cutscenes so that we don't need to see a mouth moving, or take the plunge and add it, but having this as the introduction to the first Pokémon game to actually be designed more with 3D in mind (Gen VI and VII were basically 2D games in a 3D skin when it comes to their design philosophy) made it especially jarring I think. 

I actually wouldn't mind voiced lines only in particular cutscenes and then silence or grunts the rest of the time. It's far from ideal, but if you get the balance right, you can end up with games like Dragon Quest XI and Persona 5, where the voices in cutscenes actually help lend some weight and emotion in the form of a character voice that you can assign to the dialogue yourself. 

 

Anyways, this should be arriving today, and I'm pretty anxious to see what the game flows like. Pokémon games can definitely feel very stop-start at times, so hopefully there's something of a balance here. 

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14 hours ago, Glen-i said:

I always find this to be a humourous complaint. I genuinely don't understand why reading is such a big bugbear for some people. A lot of kids from the 90's basically learnt to read because games like Pokémon existed.

Back in that day you also had to actually solve caves and puzzles in Pokémon games instead of just walking straight through them. I agree with Ronnie and Julius, that it is a bit out fashion in this day and age to come up with no voice acting whatsoever. It just breaks the immersion, especially when the character is mouthing words and you just hear the bleep bleep bleep of you clicking through the text.

Anyway, the bike courier is on its way at the moment (got to love living in the Netherlands and have stuff delivered by bike!) so it will be here soon! And then I can play it... tomorrow as my day and evening are full. Ah well.

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1 hour ago, Ashley said:

Some even used it to learn a second language

This is a great little article.

While proper localisation in a wide variety of languages is always preferable, there's something to be said about how quickly children can grasp stuff like reading when it's for the cause of something they enjoy. And a series like Pokémon, which is aimed at precisely that kind of audience, can really benefit the children that commit to reading everything there is in the pursuit of understanding the game better. I should know. You lose that if voice acting is introduced.

I'm not trying to argue that this somehow excuses the lack of voice acting as a whole, but I don't think it's quite as clear cut as "More voice acting = better".

13 minutes ago, Julius said:

I think it was an easy thing to forgive back when the games were 2D, but once you make the jump to 3D and have characters miming speech like this...

...then I think it's fair to criticise. Either design the cutscenes so that we don't need to see a mouth moving, or take the plunge and add it, but having this as the introduction to the first Pokémon game to actually be designed more with 3D in mind (Gen VI and VII were basically 2D games in a 3D skin when it comes to their design philosophy) made it especially jarring I think.

Ah, I was waiting for this particular moment to show up. It's a pretty fantastic argument for voice acting.

This opening cutscene, while a fun take on the whole "Welcome to the World of Pokémon" spiel, is completely undermined by the awkward silence from characters.
You know why I think this particular scene (And another very awkward one late in the game) feels so dodgy? It's because the dialogue goes at a set speed that is choreographed to the cutscene. The majority of conversations in Sword/Shield do not happen like this because it's designed around the player having full control of when to press A to advance. As a result, less focus is on the character mouthing silently while most people have already read whatever is on screen, leading to less awkward pauses.

5 minutes ago, Dufniall said:

Back in that day you also had to actually solve caves and puzzles in Pokémon games instead of just walking straight through them.

That's still around. Although, these days, it's normally left to optional stuff. Opening a door to catch one of the Regis in Sword/Shield left me stumped for about half an hour trying to riddle out the solution.

Edited by Glen-i

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Oddly enough I just started Pokémon Sword last night and the lack of text skipping had me worried in that opening scene. Was very glad when I got to the main game and I could. Not being able to skip text when there’s actual audio I’m fine with but having to watch a silent scene play out after I’ve already finished reading is just annoying.

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I have to admit, I do much prefer audio to just text. Games just feel a bit basic without it nowadays. It's not a deal-breaker though. I can live with either.

I'm still undecided on Arceus. All the reviews sound good, but then I watch the footage and feel a bit "meh" about it. I do want a Pokémon game, but I'll probably just go with Sword/Shield.

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The IGN review of this game is excellent and deserves a watch for those still on the fence. It doesn't just hand wave away presentation issues like some do.

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I've only just started, but I have to say this right now.

That intro sequence smacks of Mystery Dungeon, I was half expecting to be given a personality test. And then you wake up with Pokémon staring at you?

Spoiler

Also helps that the voice that introduces you to is heavily implied to be Arceus in PMD anyway. Oh, and apparently, the main character has been transported from the normal world? Gee, just like Mystery Dungeon!

Keep it up, I say!

EDIT: Oh my daze! You fell from the sky? (Gates to Infinity) Onto a Beach? (Explorers) What next? You get attacked by Beeheeyem? Or have to rescue a Caterpie? Might as well go for all 4!

 

Edited by Glen-i
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You realise other media exists right? 😋

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Just now, Ashley said:

You realise other media exists right? 😋

Don't be ridiculous with your nonsense spewing out of your gob!

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3 hours ago, Ronnie said:

The IGN review of this game is excellent and deserves a watch for those still on the fence. It doesn't just hand wave away presentation issues like some do.

Watched earlier and I'm curious where Game Freak goes next as I feel that will colour how this game is viewed in the long run. If this is the type of thing they do going forward as 'mainline', or maybe even just a recurring spinoff, then maybe people will look over some of the issues such as graphics, empty areas etc as "well it was the first one". But if this is the only time they do this...

Guess we'll wait and see. 

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Haven't played the game yet as working (from home), but my son been playing and he just came across a wild Shiny Bidooff!!!

Sods law now says my game file has zero shinies :p

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38 minutes ago, Mokong said:

Haven't played the game yet as working (from home), but my son been playing and he just came across a wild Shiny Bidooff!!!

Sods law now says my game file has zero shinies :p

Naturally.

Had a bit of a scare when I looked at the Research Tasks and saw ridiculous things like "Catch 20 Starly without them seeing you".
But thankfully, you only have to do 10 Research Tasks milestones for a Pokédex entry to be considered completed. Much more reasonable. I would've dropped the game right there and then if you had to do every single one.

BTW, don't forget to go to Mystery Gift and claim early purchase/save data from other games bonuses. Darkrai and Shaymin are available through that method somehow. (Maybe not straight away, mind)

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48 minutes ago, Glen-i said:

But thankfully, you only have to do 10 Research Tasks milestones for a Pokédex entry to be considered completed. Much more reasonable. I would've dropped the game right there and then if you had to do every single one.

Yeah that's what I like (in theory as I don't have the game), you can play in a way that suits your gameplay style. I'm sure there will be grind but it's good you have options. 

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Yeah, you can even just defat them enough times in battles, though merely catching them will be good enough in the long run. 

Found a Chimchar standing by a tree, threw a cake for it but then my two heavy balls dropped right in front of it so it ran. It hasn't respawned. :(

Also went looking around for another Eevee but couldn't find it. It's a tad frustrating that it still depends on sheer luck if you find a Pokémon or not. 

Oh, and the first Noble Fight? Not at all as tedious and long as the gameplay trailer made it seem. It actually went pretty quick. 

Edited by MindFreak
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17 minutes ago, MindFreak said:

Found a Chimchar standing by a tree, threw a cake for it but then my two heavy balls dropped right in front of it so it ran. It hasn't respawned. :(

Welcome to the World of Pokémon! :D

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I see they're still using the same 'cries' from the original RBY games 20 odd years later 🙄. For the love of God why not just use the ones from the anime. The Pokémon deserve better! 

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4 minutes ago, Aneres11 said:

I see they're still using the same 'cries' from the original RBY games 20 odd years later 🙄. For the love of God why not just use the ones from the anime. The Pokémon deserve better! 

Actually, they're using the same ones from X/Y. They redid all of the Game Boy ones on the jump to 3DS.

Speaking of, I'm surprised Eevee and Pikachu have reverted back to their original noises, much more consistent. I approve!

Edited by Glen-i

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4 minutes ago, Glen-i said:

Actually, they're using the same ones from X/Y. They redid all of the Game Boy ones on the jump to 3DS.

Speaking of, I'm surprised Eevee and Pikachu have reverted back to their original noises, much more consistent. I approve!

They sound terrible. Particulaly Pikachu. 

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Just now, Aneres11 said:

They sound terrible. Particulaly Pikachu. 

Well, unlike Pikachu, most of the Pokémon have different names in other languages. The sheer amount of voice clips that would be needed to cover all of those would be astronomical.

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