Pokemon Legends Arceus: New details give us Monster Hunter vibes

Nintendo /

On August 18th, Nintendo dropped a massive 30 minutes long Pokemon Direct going into detail from everything from updates to existing games like Pokemon Unity and Pokemon Cafe Mix to details about their upcoming games. But nothing about Sword and Shield because Nintendo is just done with it apparently despite there being a perfect setup for future DLC.

A major focus in the Direct, which got 10 minutes to itself, was new details about the upcoming Pokemon Legends Arceus. You can watch it here at 15:00 if it doesn’t automatically take you there:

In the presentation, they show us way more than we’ve ever seen yet for this highly anticipated title. We see that you can not only swim and ride Pokemon across the gorgeous landscape, but you can also fly underneath some of them like a glider, which I am absolutely here for.

The thing that surprised me the most though is that this game seems to have taken a massive amount of inspiration from not only the recent Monster Hunter Rise but also Monster Hunter Stories 2. Before you get mad, read on.

In the game, which takes place way in the past, you take control of a resident of a Jubilife Villager in a town that exists in an area near Mt. Coronet that will, one day, be known as the Sinnoh Region. You join a group called the Galaxy Expedition Team where you’re tasked with filling out the first-ever Pokedex.

Pokemon Legends Arceus
Pokemon Legends Arceus /

If “Galaxy Expedition Team” sounds familiar, their logo is disturbingly similar to Team Galatic’s and the leader, Cyllene. looks like she could be an ancestor of Team Galatic leader Cyrus. Though, I don’t think she’s the villain. I think she’s a red herring and I almost guarantee the Commander Kamada character they showed off is going to be the baddie. Mark my words.

As you go out to fill the Pokedex, you do so by accepting quests and missions. From there, in the first of many things that sound like Monster Hunter, you leave the hub world and arrive at a small base camp tent where you can choose a limited number of items to take with you best suited for the mission at hand.

From there you head out into the wild where your trainer can actually be hurt by Pokemon, causing you to have to dodge out of the way of attacks. You can also hide in small grass to sneak up on Pokemon, which is a weird role reversal for the series. It also makes me wonder what tall grass did to the people at Game Freak.

Pokemon Legends Arceus
Nintendo /

Some of the Pokemon can be captured by just throwing a Poke Ball at it without fighting it. But for ornery ones, you’ve got to battle them. You can do that by throwing a Poke Ball near it with one of your partners. The battles seem similar to traditional Pokemon battles at first but a cool new wrinkle is that based on their speed, you might actually be able to pull off multiple moves before the opponent attacks again. If you’re knocked out or your Pokemon needs to heal, you can rush back over to the campsite and heal up.

As you progress through the game a mysterious event happens, which might seem familiar to anyone who played  Monster Hunter Stories 2.A massive crack opens in the sky and a mysterious beam of light shoots down which affects several of the Pokemon. It makes their eyes glow red, makes them stronger, and makes them WAY more violent.

This is actually different from Monster Hunter Stories 2 story. In Stories, the mysterious beams of light that did the same thing to the monsters shot out of bizarre cracks in the ground and fired upwards as opposed to Pokemon Legends Arceus having mysterious beams coming out of cracks in the sky that shoot downward. Totally different.

Pokemon Legends Arceus
Nintendo /

The footage also showed off some cool new Pokemon unique to the region.

Wyrdeer is a much-needed evolution of Stantler, and I’m so happy about this. First off, I love deer. And secondly, Stantler’s flavor text states that it can alter reality by adjusting the way wind blows through its antlers. How is this thing not destroying everyone any time there is a gust? Anywho, Wyrdeer is apparently cared for and respected by not just me but everyone in the nearby towns and, eventually, will allow you to use it as a mount.

There is also Basculegion, the evolution of Basculon. No word on whether the blue variant is getting one as well as they only show a red one. Basculegion is a large fish that, as you near its tail end, slowly becomes a spirit-like cloud. In fact, its flavor text states that Basculon evolves into this when it’s surrounded by the death of its fellow Basculon, so much so that their spirits flock to it and give it strength because holy hell why not.

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It was also revealed that several Pokemon will be receiving new “Hisuian types,” similar to “Alolan” and “Galar” variants from past games. The two they showcased were the Hisuian Braviary which loses its American-inspired star headdress in favor of a flaming purple brow. It goes well with it being a Psychic/Flying-type.

There’s also Hisuian Growlithe, who has an adorable thing of white fur over its head that looks almost like a helmet. This “helmet” is actually made of rock which makes sense as this Growlithe is Rock-type instead of its traditional Fire-type.

It’s honestly looking like a great game despite having jocked so many things from Monster Hunter (or seemingly because) and I am really looking to see what Game Freak continues to do with this as time goes on. But I’m really hyped for it. Everything from the new battle mechanics to cool things like the steampunk version of the Great Ball they showed off has me nothing but hyped for this.

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And the fact that there will be no ranked matches in this game means that we’ll be seeing a lot of streamers playing this actually using Pokemon they think are cool instead of everyone adhering to the same tired meta. It’s going to be a good time come January 28th when this thing takes my money and free time away from me.