Pokémon Legends: Arceus receives praise for its sandbox exploration and combat systems in Japanese previews

These positive first impressions of Pokémon Legends: Arceus bode well for the game ahead of launch.

Image via Nintendo/YouTube

Following a hands-on event in Japan with Pokémon Legends: Arceus, a handful of Japanese video game websites have shared their initial hands-on impressions with the sandbox RPG, many of them positive. The websites shared their experience with the game and detailed the unique systems coming to Pokémon Legends, making the series stand out compared to previous mainline Pokémon entries.

All of the websites sharing these impressions wrote them in Japanese, and we do not speak or have a way to translate these websites outside of Google translate directly. We apologize in advance if incorrectly translating any of the quotes from these sources.

One of the websites, Famitsu, highlighted the vastly different experience of the previous Pokémon games with Pokémon Legends, detailing that, “Unlike the traditional series of works that traveled from town to town with aim of becoming champion … [Players] Do the mission while going back and forth between the field.” Players would be spending more time in the field to explore the nearby outdoors to discover more details about the nearby Pokémon.

We’ve also seen these details shared in the 13-minute gameplay preview of Pokémon Legends highlighted the need to observe and study Pokémon in the wild. Previous games had players entering the wild to battle other trainers and wild Pokémon to strengthen their team. The research appears to be at the forefront of this game, encouraging players to find and explore Pokémon throughout the wild areas.

4gamer, another press outlet that played the game, shared how capturing wild Pokémon was widely different. Previously, players had to battle and weaken a wild Pokémon. Now, 4gamer detailed, “Even if you suddenly throw a monster ball without a battle, you can catch more and more Pokémon. If you catch the same Pokémon, the investigation of that Pokémon will proceed according to that number … report the findings to Dr. Raven in the base camp, you will get money.”

The approach to wild Pokémon appears to be widely different, relying on a trainer to learn from their past experiences and adjust their strategy accordingly.

Despite the game being a week away, ahead of these impressions, many leaks have already been pouring out, with some fans already getting their hands on physical copies of the game. Regardless of the leaks, these impressions bode well ahead of Pokémon Legends’ release to the Nintendo Switch on January 28.