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Pokémon Legends: Arceus (28th January 2022)

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53 minutes ago, MindFreak said:

my two heavy balls dropped right in front of it so it ran. 

I'm sorry how has everyone just walked past this without commenting?

12 minutes ago, Glen-i said:

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.

Although weirdly not all European languages. Think it's maybe Italian and Spanish that didn't translate the names. Something like that. 

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6 minutes ago, Ashley said:

Although weirdly not all European languages. Think it's maybe Italian and Spanish that didn't translate the names. Something like that. 

Yep. Japanese, English, French, German, and Korean.

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34 minutes ago, Glen-i said:

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.

Nope. Not buying it. 

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25 minutes ago, Glen-i said:

Yep. Japanese, English, French, German, and Korean.

Pretty sure the Japanese didn't translate the names from the original 😉

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What's with the movement in this? It keeps forcing me to walk when I want to run and it feels weird.

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3 hours ago, Ike said:

What's with the movement in this? It keeps forcing me to walk when I want to run and it feels weird.

There's a stamina meter behind the scenes. Run too much and you'll have to wait for it to recharge.

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Right, some initial thoughts after the first day.

- Pokémon running away in battle sucks. It sucked in the Safari Zone, and it sucks here. Easily the worst thing about this game so far.

- Areas are too big for their own good. Takes ages to get anywhere, the sooner I get to ride around on Pokémon, the better.

- Yaaaayyyy... Another minimalistic soundtrack. Thank God the battle music is there, otherwise I'd write it off completely.

- Text is annoyingly small. I expect better from Pokémon games in this department.

- The stats of Pokémon are weirdly inflated. A Level 4 Drifloon had over 100 HP. Not bad, just odd.

- Sleep and Confusion are not in this game, are they? Another odd change, but one I'm not bothered by.

- The loading times are really good. Quite impressed. But Pokémon games seem to have this down pat.

- Gyro controls! Well done!

- I have to give them credit, the research tasks are encouraging me to use Pokémon I wouldn't normally use more. I mean, they're still getting boxed, uh, I mean, pasture'd once I finish their Pokédex page, but still.

- Some of the side quests are quite interesting, well, the ones that revolve around Pokémon facts (Bidoof terrorising the village by chewing wood, a kid playing with a wild Drifloon) at least, not the Buizel one. That quest was awful!

- The main character animations are a lot better, if you aim the camera at them during the battles, you'll notice them react to things (they get upset when a Pokémon flees, etc). If you stand too close to a dramatic attack, it knocks them on to the ground.

- This trading animation.

Pity the trading system is more pointless in this game, really.

So yeah, mixed feelings. Not awful, but not amazing. So far, at least. The format could wear thin.

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1 hour ago, Glen-i said:

Sleep

I've been put to sleep. My Pokémon got drowsy and a Zubat actually put me to sleep. 

I'm having fun with the game but I fear it's too big for its own good. It will most likely get repetitive after the first 20 hours or so. 

Edited by MindFreak

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20 minutes ago, MindFreak said:

I've been put to sleep. My Pokémon got drowsy and a Zubat actually put me to sleep. 

I'm having fun with the game but I fear it's too big for its own good. It will most likely get repetitive after the first 20 hours or so. 

Oh, so it works a little like Mystery Dungeons version of Hypnosis then? In that game, using Hypnosis on a sleeping Pokémon puts them under your control for a turn.

It's similar in that it has a different effect if stacked twice. Interesting.

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I have heard status effect moves are no longer permanent but just last a few turns. And can effect you but I assume that's when Pokémon are attacking you directly. 

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9 minutes ago, Ashley said:

I have heard status effect moves are no longer permanent but just last a few turns. And can effect you but I assume that's when Pokémon are attacking you directly. 

Yeah, pretty much.

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On the pokemon voices discussion from further up, I'm fine with the tones....but I still can't believe they haven't given voices to the human characters. :'(

The minimal music reminds me of BotW so it not been a issue so far.

So far loving it, love the catching and battling. Loving being able to toss out a Pokemon to hit a tree or break some ore.

Probably not too far into it, just beat Kleavers Warden and I think I need to gather food for him but that's where I left it.

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Poison no longer sticks after the fight. That's nice. I didn't have an antidote anyway. :D

I could do with a litlte more overworld music. Sometimes there is simply none.

Also, regarding sound, isn't the sound when collecting materials the same as in BotW? 

Edited by MindFreak

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39 minutes ago, MindFreak said:

I could do with a litlte more overworld music. Sometimes there is simply none.

It's an annoying trend with open-world games, the minimalistic music.

It's especially egregious here because Pokémon has consistently high quality soundtracks across the series.

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Didn't get to play as much as this I wanted yesterday, but I did make a start and I'm a few hours in. Fast and loose early thoughts:

• This is basically Pokémon: Dopamine Rush For Monkey Lizard Brain Edition, good lord. Throw a Poké Ball to try catching a Pokémon while sprinting away before you see what happens to immediately throw your Pokémon of choice at a tree or some ore for materials, bundling into the grass to sneak and then throw another Poké Ball at another Pokémon, rolling out and throwing another Pokémon out to do some more material gathering...the speedruns of this game are going to look absurd! 

• So far, I've been pleasantly surprised by just how animated the characters are in cutscenes and battles, they seem far, far more emotive than they have been before. Akari takes the cake for most animated so far, I chuckle every time I see her swing her arms around to do the stupid little "let's get on with it" jig. 

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• I saved and reset my game for an hour straight to play around with hair and eye colour combinations, before landing on a good combination of the two but realising that I like a fair number of the styles on offer. Naturally, this means I'm going hardcore RP mode and starting with a shaved head before "growing out" my hair as the game goes on :D funnily enough, I landed on the same colour combination as I did in Sun, but for an entirely different reason...

Spoiler

Growing up I always though Tsubasa from Beyblade Metal Fusion was by far the coolest character, which was my reasoning behind the colour scheme this time around.

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Yeah, I'll be growing it out to one of the longer hairstyles by the end! I hope silver hair unlocks later in the game to see how it looks compared to the white, though! 

• the arc of the Poké Ball when thrown can feel incredibly satisfying. I've been playing around a bunch with seeing how far away I can hit a tree or catch a Pokémon when throwing them, and catching a Pokémon while it's running around and nailing that timing is a lot of fun. Well, the dopamine hit is nice I mean, I don't know about "fun" :p

• some other QoL features worth shouting out: the streamlining of changing movesets (evolution is a bit weird, but sure, why not?), receiving a quest and then adding it as your objective by pressing +, etc. 

• while they're neat mechanics on their own, Heavy Ball + Back Strike is insanely overpowered, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. I caught an Alpha Luxray on my very first attempt by just sneaking into the grass and using that combo. 

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• Pokémon running away in battle sucks. It sucks hard. It's always sucked hard. 

• research tasks getting me to use Pokémon and moves that I never would have given a second thought otherwise is actually really great. Normally in Pokémon games I get my main team and don't use the rest, sticking to the most powerful attacks I can get early on rather than using a wide range, before using more nuanced movesets later on. 

• someone managed to fit in the phrase "crammed cheek by jowel" into a Pokémon game, which is way too funny to not mention. 

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• despite the game looking leagues better than it did when it was first shown last year, it's still rough around the edges. The framerate isn't great at times, textures leave much to be desired, and having a vast open world where your radius of vision is, like, 25 metres before Pokémon vanish/start popping in can be pretty distracting. 

• on the flip side, there are some really cool minor details that I'm appreciating a lot, like how your character takes off their sandals when entering the upper level/deck of a home. 

• in terms of the gameplay loop, it's a bit distracting at times to basically find myself stopping after running around like a headless chicken for 15 minutes, catching new Pokémon while collecting materials, and composing myself before opening up the Pokédex to see what I actually need to be doing. I wish you could either pin an abbreviated checklist of your research tasks to the HUD itself, or just streamline the process of getting to the details in the Pokédex (for something I need to check more frequently than before, why can't pressing down take me to the page I was last on rather than having to press 'A' as well?). 

• speaking of the HUD, I love that there's an option to toggle it by clicking in the right stick, it makes capturing HUD-free screenshots so much more convenient! I do wish it stayed off and wasn't brought back by interacting with things, though. I also wish removing the HUD didn't mean taking away the aiming reticle when trying to catch a Pokémon. 

• I'm pretty happy with the soundtrack so far, especially some of the battle themes. The Galaxy Team HQ has a theme which sounds like a mix between Rowan's theme, something from Monster Hunter, the Pokémon Ranger HQ theme, and the barracks theme from Fire Emblem: Awakening -- I'm not complaining! 

• Regarding the story...

Spoiler

...I laughed my ass off that it's. an. isekai. :laughing: because of course it is! 

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Considering the storytelling potential of a series like Pokémon, I find it so funny that this trope is what they went with. Goodness knows why Arceus is speaking like it belongs in the Velvet Room or confidant screen from Persona.

Thou art I, I am thou...

Also getting weird vibes from that Volo fella, not sure how much I trust him. Gender bent Cynthia, cool, but us being told by Arceus that our aim is to catch all of the Pokémon, and then a merchant of all people - a gender bent Cynthia, no less! - saying that he wants to see us catch all of the Pokémon? I think this guy wants to see Arceus, it'd be a strange if that's all a coincidence...

The Commander (I forget his name) also gives me an odd vibe too, he just seems like he's going to be a wall that gets in your way at some point in the game. I mean, the dude literally tosses you, a 15 year old child, across the room! Poké Balls are a thing here, so how about social workers?! 

To wrap up my thoughts: so far, so good. I'm enjoying this more than I would have hoped early on, though I do share the opinion that others have voiced that this could very easily get repetitive very quickly, especially with all of the bursts of dopamine you get from the saturation of different tasks to do out in the field, but I'll have to wait and see on that. 

So yeah: thumbs up from me! 

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20 hours ago, Glen-i said:

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?

  PMD Spoilers (Hide contents)

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!

 

Totally agree! 

The intro like you said smacks of PMD, but the whole vibe too. Being taken in by a town/guild, and something I've found mirrored it very closely too - and I don't know if this is just down to us not having cutscenes curated well previously - is when Akari/your opposite character says something at night early on, before it cuts away to Mt Coronet and the rift above it. Got huge Explorers vibes for what happens at night in that game for me. 

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32 minutes ago, Julius said:

and something I've found mirrored it very closely too - and I don't know if this is just down to us not having cutscenes curated well previously - is when Akari/your opposite character says something at night early on, before it cuts away to Mt Coronet and the rift above it. Got huge Explorers vibes for what happens at night in that game for me. 

Oh good, I wasn't the only one then.

Speaking of "Mystery Dungeon called, it wants its idea back" I dig the Lost and Found mechanic in this game. The SOS mail was always a cool feature, so it's nice to see Legends crib that.

Also funny running to a satchel and seeing that it's at the top of a cliff. Because then you know exactly how that person blacked out.

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Also, somehow I completely forgot to mention: having individual ABXY buttons assigned to different things in the main battle menu is such a godsend. It just snaps onto how quick and snappy the battles are this time around, they feel the fastest they've been since maybe Gen V. 

I'm blanking on whether any big JRPG's did it before Persona 5 (feel free to chime in, I'm sure there are others, but P5 might have popularised it?), but it was one of those things where when I first experienced it in that game, I came away wondering why every turn-based game doesn't make use of it. If you have more options than there are ABXY buttons? Then make it a radial wheel or something. 

But yeah, just needed to gush about that for a sec! Now back to it :p

Edited by Julius

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1 hour ago, Julius said:

I'm blanking on whether any big JRPG's did it before Persona 5 (feel free to chime in, I'm sure there are others, but P5 might have popularised it?), but it was one of those things where when I first experienced it in that game, I came away wondering why every turn-based game doesn't make use of it. If you have more options than there are ABXY buttons? Then make it a radial wheel or something. :p

super-mario-rpg-screenshot-goomba-battle

Not exactly the freshest idea.

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In Julius' defense that never came out here so it doesn't count

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Just now, Ashley said:

In Julius' defense that never came out here so it doesn't count

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3 minutes ago, Ashley said:

Exactly. "Released in the USA"

A statement that only shows up on an European Wii. Note the nice colours on the controller in the background.
It was quite the big deal when that got an European release. I was proper hyped!

Anyway, it either means one of 2 things. It slipped @Julius's mind, or he needs to play Mario RPG.

Edited by Glen-i

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25 minutes ago, Glen-i said:

super-mario-rpg-screenshot-goomba-battle

Not exactly the freshest idea.

Yeah, I knew there would have to be something. Still, though, I don't think it popularised it, because as far as I'm aware it didn't carry over to other games at the time. 

Which is I guess to say, I think it's far more likely Game Freak was inspired by Persona 5 than they were Super Mario RPG when making this game :p

25 minutes ago, Ashley said:

In Julius' defense that never came out here so it doesn't count

I was also -2.75 years old :laughing:

11 minutes ago, Glen-i said:

Anyway, it either means one of 2 things. It slipped @Julius's mind, or he needs to play Mario RPG.

I haven't played it! I've heard great things about it but I've honestly not seen anything beyond the main menu I think? 

Which I'll change at some point. Let me get back to Ocarina of Time and every other Nintendo classic first :p

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14 minutes ago, Glen-i said:

A statement that only shows up on an European Wii. Note the nice colours on the controller in the background.
It was quite the big deal when that got an European release. I was proper hyped!

Anyway, it either means one of 2 things. It slipped @Julius's mind, or he needs to play Mario RPG.

I know. I was just pulling your leg. I remember the brouhaha when it was finally released here.

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