Pokemon Legends Arceus Review (Nintendo Switch OLED)

Our Pokemon Legends Arceus Review introduces us to a new take on the much fabled Pokemon series. For the first time, we get freely roam the lands, capture pokemon, and craft our balls! Please be warned that spoilers whilst dialed back will show up.

Pokemon Legends Arceus Review Pros:

  • Beautiful graphics.
  • 6GB download size.
  • Eight avatar choices – four female and four male.
  • Can skip the cutscenes.
  • In-game cutscenes.
  • Allows you to skip a lot of the Pokemon story/lore meaning returning players don’t have to sit through pages of text.
  • Invert axis and sensitivity sliders.
  • Save when you want.
  • Text speed – slow, normal, and fast.
  • Three starting Pokemon to choose from – Rowlet, Oshawott, and Cyndaquil.
  • Catching Pokemon is different in that you freely walk around and ready your aim. Kinda like Pokemon Go but in-game with an avatar.
  • The Arc phone holds all your data like Pokedex, maps, inventory, etc.
  • Icons will show up in-game for objectives.
  • Missions advance the story whilst requests are optional side quests.
  • All new looking game with menus akin to Zelda Botw, stylish fonts, and fights taking place on an isometric style viewpoint.
  • An open world where you can go anywhere.
  • Unlock new camps and unlock fast travel.
  • Sleep in a bed to rest for a while, heal/revive pokemon, and set the time of day.
  • Day/night cycle with weather effects.
  • Alpha Pokemon wander around and are higher level, bigger, and have big red eyes.
  • Distortion files will randomly spawn and in them will be rarer Pokémon including a lot more spawning.
  • Grit is available in a few forms and is used to boost pokemon stats.
  • Expand your satchel slots.
  • All requests are numbered to make it easier.
  • Big special boss fights against elite Pokemon where you have to break them out of a Fury by avoiding attacks and throwing balms at them.
  • Play how you want.
  • Many items can be bought/crafted to help catch/avoid Pokemon from smoke Bombs to firecrackers.
  • Lure Pokemon around with fruit/food.
  • Has a real stealthy feel to it.
  • The Long grass can be used to hide.
  • You will spend most of the game crouched as it’s harder for Pokemon to spot you.
  • Do requests for shopkeepers to expand their wares.
  • Pastures found in the village will house all Pokémon you catch and you can manage them here and from certain people at camps.
  • Your village has a farm and you donate pokemon to increase its size and you can choose what grows from fruit to berries and medicinal items.
  • Balloon races are scattered around along with target shooting. You can earn rare rewards.
  • Rank stars – you earn exp from doing missions, requests, catching pokemon, etc and when you then bank it all with the Professor, you level up and earn a rank star that enables you to catch higher level pokemon easier, get new recipes, and get better rewards from your excursions.
  • The game focuses more on catching many of the same Pokémon except you have certain things to do like catch them at night or fight them or maybe do a certain attack.
  • Rideable animals – don’t want to give away too much but you can unlock five animals to ride and each has unique benefits as one can jump and another can sniff out hidden treasure.
  • Throw your pokemon out whenever you want and get them to get hard-to-reach resources, they earn exp so you can level them up without fighting.
  • Beautiful lands to unlock amd each time you get a new one you are rewarded with a beautiful flyover of the land.
  • The lands have a lot of verticalities.
  • You can just watch the world play out in real-time.
  • Farm resources and stack up items.
  • Simple crafting system.
  • A lot easier to main the story.
  • Generally, the game is a lot more accessible and allows you to play how you want.
  • No random encounter, you always see and engage the enemy.
  • Has a “we used the Zelda Breath of the Wild template” feel to it but it works really well.
  • Pokedex is a lot more prominent as it not only keeps records of captured Pokémon but it also houses the full stats, bio and the criteria, and checklist to fill their individual entries.
  • You choose when to evolve a Pokemon.
  • When a Pokemon learns a new move it just happens and doesn’t trigger a menu or anything.
  • More feedback with exp earning popping up, names of items hover text and more.
  • Many types of balls are used again focusing on better chances at catching flying or swimming pokemon.
  • You can see if a pokemon is small or large in real-time.
  • Six locations to unlock, each unique and each with its own biome from greenery to the beach to snowy mountains.
  • Parts of the map can be invaded by a group of Pokemon at a time.
  • Few puzzle instances.
  • You can string the animal riding together, for example, you can ride full-on into the river and then automatically change into the fish then into a cliff and climb it.
  • When in a boss fight and you die you get to choose what to do. You can carry on and reset the gauge, carry on and keep the bosses gauge, and give up. Gauge is basically boss health.
  • Multiple choice interactions.
  • After finishing the story it goes into a new end game story extension and promotes finishing the Pokedex.
  • Lost packages are drops from other real players and retrieving them gives you merit points and gives the trainer some of their dropped stuff back.

Pokemon Legends Arceus Review Cons:

  • Only one control layout.
  • Still no actual voicework in-game.
  • Learning the throw ball mechanic is tricky at first.
  • The Pokémons line of sight is very good, almost too good.
  • Hard to break a Pokémons gaze.
  • The buttons for menus are a pain as missions is found by visiting the map then clicking missions then selecting missions or requests.
  • Every time you dismount a rideable animal you are standing up.
  • Cannot ride animals in the village.
  • Running is done in short bursts and you can’t set it to toggle or press button.
  • Fall damage is harsh even when riding animals.
  • The request criteria aren’t always clear.
  • Luck plays a part in a lot of the requests.
  • They stretch the last hour of the story out with a lot of needless battles.
  • The last few end game parts extend the gameplay with more fights which is alright but the to get the true actual ending you have to complete the Pokedex.
  • Performance is not great amd is shown when flying around, it shows just how empty the world is and how a lot of it pops in and out.
  • Only a handful of resources to go after.
  • No mid-fight saving which is rather annoying when you get the full stack fights.
  • You cannot just change areas and instead you must go back to the village then the entrance.

Related Post: OlliOlli World Review (PlayStation 5)

Pokemon Legends Arceus:

Official website.

Developer: Game Freak

Publisher: Nintendo

Store Links –


  • 9/10
    Graphics - 9/10
  • 8/10
    Sound - 8/10
  • 9/10
    Accessibility - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Length - 9/10
  • 10/10
    Fun Factor - 10/10


Well, Nintendo or Game Freak should I say, did it, They went and Breath Of The Wilded Pokemon. They completely flipped the script and have made one of the most realized games in years. The World is an open world, split into regions that unlock as you progress the story so gone is the whole gym leader battle progression. You can walk around and do what you want from watching the world play out, collect resources to do the newly added crafting system, or just capture Pokemon! Pokémon are everywhere and you can see them walking around in real-time, they can be alerted to you and attack you but it doesn’t trigger the traditional battle, to do that you must initiate it with a throw of the Pokemon in your party. Not one part of the traditional Pokemon games survive here, to be honest, the Pokedex is a book now, you catch a pokemon to add their entry but to fill their entry in completely you need to do a series of tasks for each one. For example, one could be found and capture ten of them during the day, a surprise catches them X amount and fight and defeat them so many times. It sounds like a drag but it isn’t really as it encourages you to try new things, hunts them down, learn patterns and spawns, and plus you still get exp and cash from it! Talking of which, when out in the world it’s classed as an expedition, this means you go about collecting and battling earning exp as you go but then at the end you have to register your finds with the Professor so you can update your Pokedex. Doing so also gives exp to go towards your overall trainer rank that unlocks new recipes etc. Pokemon legends Arceus really does have a lot going on and with the story done how it is, allowed me to dip in and out at will whilst also doing optional side quests as I go about the story. Even when finishing the story it’s not the end, there is like an extended part of the story that then leads onto completing the Pokedex for the true ending. Living and playing in a world of this size it is odd to not have any online but then it is nice to play I’m this world without any griefing. For those that do want online, it does have a system in play, packages drop with materials in them from trainers that die, in your world you see their packages and can recover them to mot only send them back to the player but also net yourself some merit points to buy new/old gear in the special shop. I couldn’t believe how fleshed out and expansive this game was, I must admit I was beginning to tire of the same Pokemon game loops every year, here I can do and go wherever I want, I like St hours just exploring and building up resources, then I would go on package collection duties all whilst being transfixed with the story and the Pokedex. Never before has a Pokemon grabbed me and refused to let go, well not since Pokemon Go but that’s a whole different story! I love Pokemon Legends Arceus and despite the hardware being the only thing to drag it back, even that doesn’t take the shine off what is an excellent and game-changing entry in a well-established game series.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!