The release of Pokémon Legends: Arceus is just a couple of days away, and I am rife with anticipation. It’s not just that I’m personally starved for new Pokémon content, it’s that, for the first time in so, so many years, GameFreak is actually trying something a little different with the established Pokémon paradigm. The mainline Pokémon series has been mildly stagnant for the last few generations, so if Pokémon Legends: Arceus hits it out of the park, we could be seeing the next big thing for the franchise.
The review copies of the game have already gone out and the critics have had some time to get to know the Hisui region, and so far, it seems that while Pokémon Legends: Arceus isn’t the gigantic paradigm shift some were waiting for, it takes enough steps in the right direction to make many hopeful for the franchise’s future. Here’s a roundup of reviews for Pokémon Legends: Arceus.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus Review Roundup
- Metacritic – 86/100
- Dexerto – 9/10
- GamesRadar – 4.5/5
- VG247 – 4/5
- GameSpot – 8/10
- NintendoLife – 9/10
At time of writing, Pokémon Legends: Arceus has built up a very respectable critical Metascore of 86 based on 41 critic reviews, a generally positive reception. The consensus from the majority of reviews is that this is an absolute step in the right direction for the Pokémon franchise, incorporating many of the mainline series core tenets and refining them for a more exploration-focused experience. The only really consistent gripe is the graphical quality, which occasionally drops hard enough to momentarily take you out of the experience.
“For years, fans have begged Game Freak for deeper storytelling and Pokemon Legends Arceus absolutely delivers that,” writes Dexerto’s Brent Koepp, who scored the game 9 out of 10.
“This is the most exciting that the Nintendo RPG has been in years and a blueprint for how the series can move forward in the future.”
“Pokemon Legends: Arceus is a refreshing take on the Pokemon formula, stripping back the game to focus on the titular creatures with such great success,” writes Gamesradar’s Sam Loveridge, who gave the game four-and-a-half out of five stars. “It’s just let down by the graphics.”
“Pokemon Legends: Arceus threads the needle and somehow finds a brilliant balance between old and new, between tradition and upheaval,” writes VG247’s Alex Donaldson, who gave the game four out of five stars. “It’s the 3D Pokemon adventure that I imagined back in the 90s that never came. It’s fresh. It feels new, exciting, and like a powerful new beginning for the series. Technical shortcomings and minor frustrations can’t take away what this game achieves elsewhere; it’s the best main-series Pokemon game in a long, long time.”
“Some of the new ideas in Arceus have rough edges, and it’s slow to start before you get access to many environments and mounts,” admits GameSpot’s Steve Watts, who gave the game an 8 out of 10.
“Once Pokemon Legends: Arceus finds its stride, though, it’s the most daring and inventive the series has been in years, breaking apart the staid core and creating something new and exciting from its pieces.”
“Pokémon Legends: Arceus feels like the result of Game Freak learning lessons for 25 years, refining the formula, and finally taking the franchise in a new, incredible, exciting direction,” writes NintendoLife’s Jordan Middler, who gave the game nine out of ten stars. “With its emphasis on extremely rewarding exploration, addictive catching mechanics, a fine roster of Pokémon, and a genuine sense of scale that’s unlike anything in the series, Pokémon Legends: Arceus is quite simply one of the greatest Pokémon games ever made.”