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How Pokemon Legends: Arceus Will Change The Series

Nintendo just announced Pokemon Legends: Arceus, an exciting new look at the Sinnoh region hundreds of years before the events of Pokemon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum. The trailer highlighted some of the ways the game will be a departure for Pokemon, while also giving fans a peek at a new Legendary Pokemon.

Pokemon Legends: Arceus takes place in Sinnoh's equivalent to feudal Japan. Though the trailer didn't offer a specific year, it stated that "this is a tale from a long, long time ago, when the Sinnoh region was still only a vast wilderness." On the table, next to a gorgeous clothbound storybook, you can see two wooden Pokeballs and an oil lantern, indicating that Pokemon Legends: Arceus takes place before the invention of modern electricity or metalworking.

Most importantly, the game seems to negate the need to battle wild Pokemon to capture them. The trailer showed a young trainer throwing a wooden Pokeball at a group of unsuspecting Pokemon and then waiting as the ball grew still. No Pokemon game would be complete without battles, but Pokemon Legends: Arceus will focus on research as well as training.

The official Pokemon Legends: Arceus website described the mechanics of the new entry as referential to older offerings while adding in "action and RPG elements." Those action elements seem to come from an emphasis on observation. As a young researcher building the nation's first Pokedex, the protagonist must find and capture Pokemon in order to study them. Instead of battling the creatures to the point of exhaustion, the protagonist will watch and wait for an opportune moment to release a Pokeball. If that doesn't work, players can choose to use an ally Pokemon to battle the wild creature into submission. While this system breaks from tradition, it also offers fresh ways to interact with Pokemon and experience their world.

As usual, players will be able to choose one of three starter Pokemon, but this time the options may look a little familiar. Rowlet, Cyndaquil, and Oshawott, who were all brought to Sinnoh by a Pokemon Professor, will make the decision of picking a starter Pokemon difficult for players. Arceus is a new legendary Pokemon that will appear in Pokemon Legends: Arceus, but not much is known about it just yet. The official site revealed that it is "the key to this tale" and classified it as an "Alpha Pokemon." 

Pokemon Legends: Arceus won't be available until early 2022, but fans will be able to play remastered versions of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl in late 2021. Fans have dutifully waited for Game Freak to announce remakes of the beloved Diamond and Pearl to celebrate Pokemon's 25th anniversary. Hopefully, all of this emphasis on the Sinnoh region will also result in some more cute merch — like these Pokemon tea sets.