But what does this historical setting mean? Just how different is the ancient world of Pokémon? Well, for one thing, there will be no Pokemon League in this game. No gym leaders to beat (haha fuck you, Cynthia!). The Pokéballs are made of wood, while the clothing and architecture in the game resemble feudal era Japan. The hub of the game is a quaint village called Jubilife – a far cry from the bustling metropolis that is Viridian City.
As for the gameplay itself, Game Freak have stated that "new action and RPG elements" will be present, and thankfully, the catching system has also been overhauled. To catch Pokémon, you will need to sneak up, aim your Pokéball and throw it at them. Once again, long grass will be your friend, but this time it will aid a stealth approach to catch the Pokémon, rather than provide patches to aimlessly trawl through while waiting for a battle. That was always one of my least favourite parts of the game and I'm glad to hear it's changed.
The new battle styles, however, do make me nervous. Players will be able to choose between two different approaches: Strong and Agile. Using the Strong style, the power of the move will increase but the speed will be lowered, while Agile decreases power and increases action speed. As someone who is not the most strategic in battle, it will be interesting to see how these new styles affect my winning ratio.
But I am excited for Pokémon Legends: Arceus because the historical setting will serve to fill in gaps of Pokémon lore and add even more depth to this enchanting, expansive world. I can’t wait to explore the mysteries of the past with nothing but an empty Pokédex, wooden Pokéballs and my trusty Cyndaquil.
Speaking of exploring, I was on tour with my band Svalbard recently and we stopped off at NQ64 in Cardiff after our show. NQ64 is a neon-splattered arcade bar (a barcade?) full of retro arcade games and free-to-use consoles. With its floor-to-ceiling cosmic decor, walking into NQ64 is like stepping into space… if space had the finest selection of games cabinets out there. After a heated round of Mario Kart between my bandmates, I settled in on the Bubble Bobble machine for the evening – a game as cute as it is frustrating! With locations in Edinburgh, Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham, I would highly recommend visiting this bar for beverages and button bashing!