Pokémon Legends: Arceus (2022)

The First Bonafide Re-Injection Of Life & Major Evolution Of Series In A Decade+, PLA – despite a raw graphics/texture engine and vexingly-gatekept/info-lite box legend – is a BOTW-evocative ~open world adventure D/P prequel of bold, exiting new future directions capitalizing on Gen. IV’s greatest selling points/themes: history, proto-civilization, kaiju biblical awe, and religion vs. science-fiction exposition alongside the best story & characterization since Black/White, epic new features and QOL bloom-evolution, A+ new formes and roster additions/remixes, and mature fandom-symbiosis in a breathtaking old Maruyama BCE Japanese worldbuild for the God Of PKMN. 9.7/10.

Plot Synopsis: Pokémon Legends: Arceus is an upcoming 2022 action role-playing game developed by Game Freak for the Nintendo Switch and published by Nintendo and The Pokémon Company.

*Spoilers Ahead*

Official CLC Review

Gen. IV At ~20: Diamond/Pearl/Platinum

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Finally: D/P remakes! The Gen. IV Fandom had been dreaming of this day of proclamation for 10+ years – ever since the release of HeartGold & SoulSilver: perhaps the Greatest Pokémon Games Of All-Time, beginning a time-honored tradition of god-tier remakes on new consoles with new features and evolutions all improving upon the already-amazing original games from HG/SS (2010) to Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire (2013) to Let’s Go Pikachu & Eevee! (2018) on the exact same console the D/P remakes: Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl were scheduled to be released on. Then, the trailer hit… and Sinnoh-diehards were left shaking in pure agony at what was laid before our eyes. The cancerous tourbillion plaguing the franchise and dividing the fandom the past ~5+ years climaxed in BD/SP: lazy, basic, effortless, corporatized deepfake port-overs pretentiously galavanting as true evolutions failing the all-time video game legacy of epic PKMN remakes with a bad chibi style, mixed textures, quality-of-life reversion, challenge-dilution, no new mega-evolutions, no new regionals, no platinum content, no national dex, and no soul. Pokémon is the biggest media franchise in the world at a $100,000,000,000+ evaluation (2020), and thus had no possible justification for releasing such low-quality/craftsmanship cash-grab games – none worse than BD/SP: no difference to the original games it’s 10x preferable and more enjoyable to just fire up back on the DS, so why buy again?

Thrown Back Millennia Into Time

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Besides the capitalism exposition and lost-in-sauce greed allegations trainers were beginning to throw like pokéballs at a GameFreak whose avaricious hunger for our every penny never seemed to be satisfied, there was the herculean disappointment of knowing the best fictional idea/world of all-time was being failed, in addition to – quite arguably – the best gen. of Pokémon. A love-letter to previous generations with bold new evolutions of the mythology/overworld for new demographics, Diamond/Pearl adventured through a beautiful new Hokkaidö-inspired mountain-crux region in Sinnoh with the best 2D visual aestheticization of PKMN, diverse orchestration, magic new pre/post evos of old ‘mons, the #2 best starters of the series, clean NDS technical proficiency, feature calibrations/advancements (e.g. Contests, Poketch, Battle Mechanization, Underground, Gender Differences), & avant-garde storyline contrastively juxtaposing themes of church-like religion allegory with science-fiction galaxy x time x creation physics by complex ’50’s retro-futuristic cyberpunk antagonists, epic scale/ambition aggrandization, & all-time great legendaries. CLC et. al millions of alternative Sinnoh fans wept for the lost capitalization of [theme-synergized] scientifically-modernized re-engineering of the mythology with 2020’s technology… but then, the announcement of a new type of Pokémon game began to give us hope again – Legends: Arceus.

Sinnoh 0.0

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The First Bonafide Re-Injection Of Life & Major Evolution Of Series In A Decade+, PLA – despite a raw graphics/texture engine and vexingly-gatekept/info-lite box legend – is a BOTW-evocative ~open world adventure D/P prequel of bold, exiting new future directions capitalizing on Gen. IV’s greatest selling points/themes: history, proto-civilization, kaiju biblical awe, and religion vs. science-fiction exposition alongside the best story & characterization since Black/White, epic new features and QOL bloom-evolution, A+ new formes and roster additions/remixes, and mature fandom-symbiosis in a breathtaking old Maruyama BCE Japanese worldbuild for the God Of PKMN. The Concept-Pitch for Legends: Arceus is absolutely genius – God appears to us in a hypnagogic theophany and we wake up in a mysterious land, thrown back centuries into time for a pokéadventure like nothing we’ve ever experienced before. The idea completely understands and capitalizes on everything that made Gen. IV and Sinnoh so legendary – the primal, existential fascination of mankind with mythology, our ancestors, and history; the where?, what?, when?, why?, who?, and how? of both us and God. Better, it comprehensively lorebuilds the laws, religion, and creation genesis of the pokéworld canonically… even more so than D/P did, establishing a hierarchy of gods able to properly govern a world of such natural complexity and depth of fantasy and physical imagination, monsters are able to wield the very powers of the elements and the landscape around them. PLA [Pokémon Legends: Arceus] elucidates the mystery of how mankind and fantasy creatures so unimaginable came to be as one and in as much synergized harmony of love, friendship, and camaraderie as we came into back in 1996 – showing that it wasn’t always as we know.

Hisui: The Beauty & Brutality Of Nature

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PLA teleports us back into a biblical old-testament genesis: one in which mankind doesn’t hunt, catch, or own Pokémon… but the other way around; they want to *kill* us! The complete 180-flip of power dynamicism is epic and boldly-imaginative – antitypifying everything we know of the world’s biggest media franchise in a batsh*t-crazy idea of remarkable ambition and innovation we are extremely proud of GameFreak and the original creators of the worldbuild for finally having some balls to not play it safe [far from it]. The overworld is indeed a dark, edgy, brutal, savage nightmare landscape wherein everything we once loved about PKMN is weaponized against us; the cute, cuddly pre-domesticated creatures we once knew and loved now hurl lightning bolts, breathe flamethrowers, summon earthquakes, hypnotize, icebeam, razor leaf, etc. at us with hostile, dangerous, malice-heavy, deadly objectives [for the vast majority; there are a few meager or curious types who don’t attack or run away, but ~95% of ‘mons view us as targets]. Kids aren’t allowed to play outside at night, you’re outcast from the village or banished from entering at even the slightest suspicion of alternative intentions against the safety/survival of the group, etc. The super-effective concept-pitch is not only hyper-realistic to what creatures like pocket monsters would be like in real-life, but eulogizes nature and humbles mankind by evoking a history we’ve long since forgotten in our cushy suburban homes and cityscape penthouses: the cycle of hardship called survival out in the wilderness. Prehistoric times saw our ancestors and all forms of wildlife (even to today’s age for them) in a carnage-heavy worldbuild where you’re either the hunter or hunted, and everything is dangerous to survival… from disease to natural elements to predation to starvation.

Old-World BCE Maruyama Japan

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Life was indeed a daily struggle for survival wherein us writing and playing video games like this was neigh but a fantasy as much so as the world of PKMN – and PLA evokes its reminiscence powerfully while also serving to celebrate how far mankind has come over the centuries of yore: villages to cities, farms to facebook, journals to smartphones, etc. Precociously, PLA fast-forwards a bit from the cavemen era to a BCE worldbuild of feudal warlords, clans, hierarchical politics, and early social structure – a perfect goldilockian middle-ground in the story of mankind that’s not too advanced, not too primitive. The greatest achievement of PLA is its celebration of its culture and birthplace of origin: Japan. We’re transported back to a pre-Meiji Restoration Ezo Hokkaido, Japan with love, honor, and pride in every brushstroke of design. Specifically, there are multiple references to the Aīnu: the indigenous tribe of the real-world Hokkaīdo region Sinnoh/Hisui is modeled after in-game to make the design even more impressive. The background and heart-on-sleeve aestheticization is the most authentically-japanese of any game in the series [even over G/S/C’s Johto] – from the wooden architecture with tiled/thatched roofs and fusama-laden partitions & floor-cushions/futons in the villages complete with ryōtei [mochi] restaurants and dojinshi baaar marketplaces and shinden/shoin/sukiya-zukuri temples for daimyo nobility of importance to ninja, samurai, and traditional kimono-themed apparel (the greatest character design in the history of PKMN games, even outdoing the already-masterpiece D/P costumes!) for the characters in the overworld to sumo gong/drum entrances to battles to even japanese characters written with scroll-ink laid underneath the language-of-choice introductions to different wild areas and names being no longer Barry, Red, Cynthia, etc., but unapologetpically-Japanese names across languages: Rei, Akai, Kamado, Zisu, Mai, etc.

The Hills Are Alive

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That’s only in the [one] village of civilization (besides the Diamond and Pearl clans we’ll get to later); 95% of the landscape of Sinnoh is wild and natural, scarcely resembling the region we once adventured in back in 2006’s D/P, down to even its name not being the same – instead revisionizing Sinnoh 0.0 under a past ancient original name revelation: Hisui. The absence of perfectly-manicured routes lined with trainers itching to battle and only small distances between metropolises like Jubilife, Hearthome, and Canalave makes the worldbuild feel vastly-different than anything else we’ve ever seen in PKMN – and 1,000x the scale. In PLA, exploration and our adventure knows no bounds; we’re able to fly wide open skies, swim vast oceans, climb towering mountains, and gallop across endless fields all stretching for miles and miles in this beautifully-pastoral landscape of rusticism and soul-quenching natural majesty. There are four major areas in Hisui [outside of Jubilife village: basically the home base]: The Verdant Green Obsidian Fieldlands, Beachside Cliff-Fringed Cobalt Coastlands, Deserty Red Crimson Mirelands (harboring the Diamond Clan Settlement), and Snowy Tundra Alabaster Icelands (harboring the Pearl Clan Settlement) – all around the Mountainous Coronet Highlands with Mt. Coronet at its crux peak of centrality both narratively and geographically. The names and directions of the four major areas correspond to the Chinese Four Symbols, for even further eulogization of Asian cultural heritage. There are multiple references to present-day Sinnoh and its modernized landmarks like Jubilife Village | City, Solaceon Ruins, Lake Verity/Acuity/Valor, Mt. Coronet, etc., but it couldn’t feel more different – stripping the region bare to fill it with new topographical niches like Windswept Run, Nature’s Pantry, Tidewater Dam, The Heartwood, etc. fringed by bright white daytime sun to autumnal sunsets to hyper-star galaxy nights for the most predominantly natural and free-to-explore adventure of any PKMN game: one that may not be classifiably ‘open-world’… but basically is for major satisfaction adding an entirely new level of depth to the series capitalizing on the renaissance of gaming BOTW [Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild] inaugurated.

A Dark World Of PKMN Far From R/B/G/Y

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The hills feel 10x more alive with PKMN both old and new (as we’ll certainly get to later!) in their natural habitats with their own agency not just bowing or rolling over and letting us capture them but instead fighting back and making it a challenge to hunt and catch them, and there are infinite new features, QOL update/revisions, and comprehensive remixes of crux mechanization and ideas on how to interact with them in what’s – easily – the boldest and most imaginative/ambition post-R/B/G/Y game of the series to-date. There are hundreds of new items: doppel bonnets, smoke balls, iron chunks, scatter bangs, feather/wing/jet balls, tumblestones, sticky golbs, charms, bugworts, medicinal leeks, candy truffles, gigaton balls, caster ferns, origin balls, pop pods, sand radishes, vivichokes, black augurite, peat block, jubilife muffins, choice dumpling, swap snack, elemental balms, crunchy salt, bean cakes, springy mushrooms, grit pebbles/rocks, swordcaps, pokeshi dolls, and more in a comprehensively-anew distortion world/dimension its own in the mechanization of the game. Bonus points: the best new item in the game is the Linking Cord, letting us evolve ‘mons that previously were obtainaible only through trades ourselves. Game-changing. In PLA, we add necromancy, metallurgy, alchemy, and hand-craftsmanship of our OWN items to our extensive resumé from generations-past: biologists, researchers, trainers, heroes, etc. This imbues even more of a freedom, empowering self-sufficiency, and refreshing anti-capitalism into the game – letting us be the masters of our own journey and not have to interrupt our adventure in the wilds to run to the PKMN center or pokémart while also dialing up the Zelda and Harry Potter-feel plus honoring the open-world games coming before it [predominantly medieval-themed, when activities like these were at their zenith popularity crux]. Catching-wise, PLA praisably goes back to what Let’s Go, Pikachu & Eevee! got perfectly: being able to catch ‘mons without having to battle them or leaving the overworld. Not everything from the old games was the best possible achievement of the idea, and we [though we value nostalgia] are not apologists weaponizing it and toxically-venomizing any new updates to the sytem like much of the fanbase was when the new Go-like catching mechanic was introduced.

BOTW x D/P x Ghost Of Tsushima: An ~Open-World Game Of Remarkable Aspiration & Canon

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The perfect balance is reached too by the fact you can battle any ‘mon in the overworldand catch it the old-fashioned way, or opt for the 10x easier and more natural way by sneaking up behind them like the ninjas we’re dressed as or throwing balls from afar or by the help of strategic items now elevating catching to the level of fun as battling. Oh, and it’s far more realistic: we actually have to become hunters like our ancestors, only it’s the safe and healthy way to do so by the fact we’re not injuring or killing animals, but can get the same primal thrills from it in the near-perfect execution of catching. Interaction is also enlivened by the sheer brilliance of the Frenzy Mode – having to do battle and quell ~all big encounterable ‘mons and legends in the entire overworld before catching them in a pseudo-boss battle of epic proportions in what’s easily the best new feature addition to the PKMN series ever after Mega-Evolutions and makes legendaries.. feel more legendary. Alpha PKMN are a fantastic addition too: like square shinies in shield playing to the older mature fanbase by giving a more badass, powerful, rare, and difficult-to-capture version of every pocket monster in the overworld while again turning up the realism by the hierarchy of alpha males in animals in real life nature in our world. There are minigames like balloon races and target practices for even more tertiary fun, and no TM’s or HM’s – instead letting our creatures learn/remember moves themselves in what’s 1,000x better QOL-wise and more lifelike (how do you forget a move you knew since birth? After all, we don’t use y=mx+b anymore, but still remember it from childhood decades later) and relying on Ride PKMN more easily accessible whenever and wherever we want in the main world while ditching the corny cheeseball safety outfits that made us cringe/laugh back in Alola. The Pokédex experience is far more comprehensive and journal-like grassroots in experience – making us have to do more than just catch them but instead actually study them to learn about these mysterious pocket monsters, while also giving us more satisfaction and importance by having us write the very first one in the history of the overworld to be used as a basic guideline for all future iterations across generations and millennia.

Dozens Of New Features & Items In The Most Ambitious & Avant-Garde Pokéadventure To-Date

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The biggest feature change of all is the battle mechanization: PLA completely remixes a system that was never even broken, and *still* somehow manages to improve upon what is PKMN’s best feature. Challenge is leadened back in truckloads by a Game Freak finally listening to its fanbase and the older, mature fans who grew up with and have loved the series back since it was a niche indie adventure passion-project in black/white monochrome in ’96 no one had ever heard of and its creators had to self-bankrupt to even ever see the light of release date. There are no forced super-effective markings in battle anymore unless you actively search it out in the menu, tons of huge changes to battle moves like stealth rock and spikes now doing damage as attacks in addition to their effects while digging in each turn, hypnosis making drowsy and freezing giving frostbite like a pseudo-paralysis/burn/poison instead of full sleep and freeze incapacitation, no auto-switch capability after you defeat someone’s PKMN in battle [not giving us the chance to switch into a favorable type matchup and thus throwing us off our game by not knowing what our opponent is sending out next and giving weight importance to a switch-battle command], 3v1 multi-battles, less exp. given to counterbalance a forced exp. share that doesn’t seem as much a burden anymore, simplification of EV’s to a single digit universal scale based on addition, exponential volatility-increase in OHKO’s almost harkening back to the Gen. I RBGY days enough to put a smile on any longtime genwunners face and make us pack the max revives in the first game in 10+ years that we couldn’t sleepwalk through without taking any damage and instead had to replay several battles multiple times in, and the greatest addition: Move-mastering. Being able to use Strong or Agile-Style Moves in addition to normal ones completely remixes the entire battle system – shaking up the action order and giving an ENTIRE new level of strategy-depth to battles letting us go 2-for-1 or squeeze out a first-move when we need it, or hit harder when we otherwise want to or need that extra oomph. God, what a game.

Genius Additions, 1 QOL Reversion: Bag Size

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Gameplay-wise, Pokémon – Legends: Arceus is like Ghost Of Tsushima x Diamond/Pearl x Breath Of The Wild in cultural authenticism and setting, mythology, and open-world system & aestheticization, respectively. The Star-Rank Progression System instead of gym battles & badges is the most antitypifying change against the crux of the series and everything we know, yet [somehow] works by the skill of its execution – and the missions, side-quests, and requests let you create your own game map and playstyle letting you chart your own adventure and do as much or as little as you want to minimize or maximize your experience in this layered game whose hyperambition and bold mutation of series-expectations/hallmarks [as well as finally making a game solely-targeted at the older mature slice of its fanbase] deserves celebration. The only new feature that’s problematic – besides a minor gripe with how fast day/night and weather cycles shift in the overworld: minutes instead of hours like even past games such as SwSh and the flying mechanic forever tilting down and not allowing for vertical locomotion or catching from the air – isn’t so much a QOL revision as a reversion… 25+ years’ worth of upgrades ago: bag space. This is a big problem that haunts the periphery of almost every natural excursion we go on in Hisui – and one we have to save up every pokedollar we earn throughout our journey to spend on to even have a chance at a somewhat-normal experience not plagued by the notification ‘there is no space for this item in your bag’. Even in the original Diamond/Pearl games, there was unlimited bag space, so it makes no sense to be running out decades later like we’re back in Red/Blue – especially with the infinite new items to be collected and required to craft essential items in the overworld, down to even pokeballs and revives/potions. The über-capitalist in Galaxy Headquarters who 1-ups his charge fee every single time we have to pay him for more bag space is one of the most noxiously-vexatious people in pokéhistory – hilariously-ironic given that he synergizes to Niantic, Game Freak, & The Pokémon Company in modern times making hundreds of billions of dollars out of the pokéfandom yet continually producing mediocre content that often feels like a corporatized cashgrab meant to buy their CEO a new yacht or mega-mansion.

The Greatest PLA Changes: Battle System

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On the subject matter of lazy capitalism and antiquated effort values comes PLA’s biggest flaw by far [&, really, *only* one to be honest… though it’s a major problem]: the graphics/textures. It pains my soul to say this: Pokémon – Legends: Arceus is an ugly game on any visual scale. Now, it’s very important to specify & underine: zero blame is to be heaved on anyone dealing with the character/’mon/overworld design. In fact, the diametric opposition:; almost every single new Pokémon is amazing [as we’ll get to later], the character-design is easily the best and most avant-garde in the series, there are even new move animations and box sprites that must’ve taken a long time to implement for the ~250+ mons in the game, and the worldbuild of pure old BCE Japan architecture juxtaposed with wide-open natural vistas is limitlessly-explorable and sounds absolutely flawless on paper. A raw texture/graphics engine in the game 100% due to corporate politics is what’s completely to blame for this tragedy. There is no excuse for a video game In the Biggest Media Franchise In The World in the complex technology age of the 2020’s to look as bad as Pokémon – Legends: Arceus. Go play [or even just watch 15 seconds of the E3 trailers] of Ghost Of Tsushima, Horizon: Forbidden West, Resident Evil: Village, Cyberpunk 2077, Batman: Arkham Knight, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, etc. and compare the vast difference in visual quality as epic as the scale of the wild areas of Hisui. Even if they didn’t want to go with an ultra-lifelike 3D texture-skin like the aforementioned titles, there are equal masterpieces in the more-2D aestheticizations: Cuphead, Super Mario: Odyssey, and even the own series’ previous title on the same exact system years ago Let’s Go, Pikachu/Eevee! – while even the game PLA most clearly evokes and references in watercoloresque stylism to the point of ostensible and unoriginal ~plagiarism Breath Of The Wild [impossibly] looks better despite being almost half-a-decade older.

The ~Only Flaw [But A *Huge* One]: Primitive, Lazy, Unfinished Graphics/Textures W. No Excuse From Biggest Media Franchise Ever, In 2020’s

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Nay, PLA’s raw graphics and textures indeed look like the (proverbial) PS2 games memes have so longly claimed – complete with a muddy grayscale color dilution siphoning life by the lack of vibrance and making the overworld seem too-unvaried in topography [the long CLC-documented laziest way to make your game/movie/TV-show feel mature]. I know the motif of the game is old-world, but it shouldn’t feel like cavemen were the ones coding the visuals In what is otherwise a masterpiece game; a metaphorical soufflé crafted with complexity and intricacy, only to be finished with horseradish sauce or not followed careful systemized directions every chef and kitchen knows on how long it was to be cooked in the oven, yet serving it burnt or undercooked… just because. God, why did they rush the release of what is easily the best PKMN game since the original Diamond/Pearl back in 2006 and, really, first good [new] games (not counting Let’s Go P/E) since Black/White/BW2 – and why not spend the money to fix a game built for the fans and honoring by namesake the very God of the pokéworld? Money is a hell of a drug, and – apparently – enough will never be enough as long as the shareholders and billionaires know there’s no need for the games to be pefect or as craftsman a quality as they were back in Gen. I-IV when they will sell and make them billions of dollars regardless. We’ve long since said [& even taken to heart in our very design and CLC’s mechanization] visuals are the most important part of the media experience – and that rings even truer for a game foundationalized on the precipice of a new world with extreme lore/mythology depth on the most epic fictional scale imaginable whom deserved more than looking like a glorified Microsoft Screensaver we frequently wanted to close our eyes on but were forced to see constantly by peripheral vision when reading the dialogue.

A Soundtrack Of Old-World Synergization, Diegetic Naturalism, & Remixes Of Old Themes

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Besides that point also referencing something the fandom has been asking for (and there’s no reason can’t be added when almost every other major franchise has it and the technology makes it easy if the developers are willing to spend just a few bucks): voice acting, the soundtrack of PLA is good; it’s not all-time great or anything, but synergizes well with the aestheticization and reworks classic Diamond/Pearl themes and soundscapes for maximum experience. From the flutter of notes by flute signifying the opening credits theme of the original games flipped into the mechanization of the plot and call for ride pokémon of Hisui to mysterious to xylophones to timpani to tribal drums to chimes to mandolins, koto shamisen, and gaku-biwa, PLA utilizes ancient Japanese instruments for its major recurring themes – juxtaposing them with beautiful, sweeping string quartets and elegant piano ensembles, acoustic soft guitar strums, military horns and marching drums, and soul-quenching peace and diegetic background sound of nature (wind flowing through the trees, water flowing by the river, waves lapping, etc.). Oh, and there’s a hyperenergized livewire new wah pedal fxed electric guitar ballad in the battles – and the game frequently reuses or remixes old scores like Celestic Town’s, Oreburgh’s, Team Galactic’s, Distortion World’s, and Cynthia’s to super-effective acoustic synergization making for one of the best soundtracks in generations [especially in the epic church-like choral chants of the Dialga/Palkia boss-fight and lattermost finale, as we’ll get to later!].

The Stoy & Themes

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Actually, the best part of PLA might be the story and characterization: the best since Black/White and, quite possibly, the best in the history of the franchise. The core apothegm and crux theme of PLA is one that’s been driving mankind mad with burning curiosity since the dawn of time: the mystery, morality, and might of God [Arceus]. We begin the game in a dreamscape and otherworldly realm beyond the limits of space-time in which God speaks to us directly and takes us, throwing us back thousands of years and dropping us into an unknown land and time. Though the surroundings may not be familiar and the questions of when?, what? where?, how?, and why? linger on the palate, we instantly begin to recognize the faces around us: gender/age-bent versions [likely the ancestors] of the original Diamond/Pearl characters! We can tell how much pure fun the writer team at TPC had remixing these characters, and it’s a perfect way to amalgamate the old and give it a fresh new perspective keeping us guessing about who these people are and what that means for their modern-day Sinnoh counterparts. The tough-but-teddy-bear Cyllene is clearly referential to Cyrus down to the blue-hair and facial expression, showing the villain of D/P came from a lineage of heroes that manages to flip sides just like her corps’ name did. Commander Kamado is Prof. Rowan: a fantastic arc going from not trusting others and science to wanting to become a professor and pass on through generations next after our interaction with him. Irida is definitely modeled after Barry flipping the hyperenergized and overconfidence of the latter into a timid and shy girl who eventually learns to become sure of herself, Arezu is Mars going from good to bad, Clover is Candace going from bad to good, Coin is a genderbent Saturn staying bad-to-bad, Charm is Bertha [the Miss Fortunes are hilarious and a perfect classic ’80’s cheesy villain catburgler trio evoking reminisces of Team Rocket], Palina is Looker, Ginter is Volkner, Lian is Clay, Colza is Gardenia, Tao Hua is Mai, Peselle is Nurse Joy, Sabi is Cheryl going from clairvoyant region all-knower to lost-girl, Mai is Marley, the infinitely-detestable Melli Warden is Lucian, Rye is Riley complete with Lucario, Gaeric is Craasher Wake, Choy is Charon, etc.

A Pervasive Mystery & The Best Storyline Since B/W

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Oh, and Rei/Akari is a fantastic rival-turned-friend based on the other avatar and Luke/Dawn, whose nightly potato mochi dinner table conversations are a pleasure along with one of the many new characters in the game. Prof. Laventon is a goofy dadbod ski-hat ball of pure comedic relief, earnestness, and lovability whom completes a trifecta troupe of incredible chemistry that welcomes and guides us through this region, Adaman is a peacockish pretty boy whom has epic repartée masqerading as hate when it feels like love in almost an Ash-Misty dynamic with Irida you can’t help but root for romantically, Iscan the burly yet scaredy-cat Hawaiian guy in charge of Basculeigon is humorous, Warden Calaba, Vessa, & more complete the overworld. There are even doppelgangers of different-gen characters to parallel D/P’s original celebration of previous gens while expanding the story’s ramifications in important [and epically-plot twisting!] ways. Zisu looks an awful lot likea genderbent Lysandre from Gen. V, Irgo is directly lifted from Black/White’s subway – not even looking any different whatsoever and having the same outfit on while telling us he was dropped into the overworld just like we are for extreme mystery of what is God’s plan with these drop-ins and why we aren’t alone, and Beni the kind-hearted old-man who looks like an ancestor of Wally from Hoenn prepares our nightly potato mochi is revelaed to be a pseudo-villain in an epic plot-twist in the finale as we’re weaved a tale of crisis we become heroes in by preventing apocalyptic chaos by closing a space-time rift atop Mt. Coronet whose origins are mysterious and believed to be the handiwork of a God in agnosticism. Nothing can prepare us in characterization, plot-twists, shock-value, genius for the standout character: whom is quite arguably the best character ever in Pokémon history: Volo.

A Characterization Palette For The Ages: Gender/Age/Morality-Bent D/P Ancestors

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Volo of the Ginkgo Guild is a masterpiece character for the pantheon of video games, and the #2 Greatest Character In PKMN History, only after 2010 Black/White’s N. A mercantile genderbent Cynthia with bonus visual evocation of Link from Legend Of Zelda by his outfit coloration to blonde hair to even build, our chief Hisuian comrade never more than a few mere feet away from us throughout the entire storyline of PLA hails all the hallmarks of a benevolent angel and friend/rival constantly peppering us with cute smiles, empowering compliments, and helpful tips/items that all work by his cover job as a merchant of rare goods with a sweet-tooth for excavation and curiosity with legends that never manifests itself as anything more than innocence bolstered by our preconceptions of heroicism and pokélove by Cynthia’s connections. That’s what makes the post-game plot-twist and true revelation hit the hardest of any video game we’ve played in years characterizationally: Volo [+ a Giratina pulling the strings and manipulating him from the shadows] is actually the villain and mechanization of the entire storyline. This is one of the most jaw-dropping and epic plot-twists we’ve ever beheld. A wolf in sheep’s clothing, we watch in horror as the nightmarishly-expressionless and morality-deprived wicked face of an Arceus-themed hidden paraphernalia/iconography imposter reveals *he’s* the one who opened the space/time rift, used us (betrayal by a best friend with a serial-killer’s ability to hide in plain sight, watching over us in malevolence) to do his dirty work of collecting the plates for him to steal and take ‘by force’, and put the entire region and millions of lifeforms and creatures in jeopardy just to draw out and converse with/conquer God and create a universe anew… all with the power of a hidden accomplice snake demon pulling strings and lurking from the shadows with malice conspiratory objectives to commit genocide if necessary to get revenge on God: The Greatest Pokémon Of All-Time – Giratina. The character motivations and accomplice breathe parallels to Cyrus of Team galactic [already an S-tier villain from the original D/P games], except he’s better by the epic plot-twist antitypifying everything we could possibly know about him and far more character-depth and relatability by his hard life toiling away at a proto-9-5 without externalization of meaning in anything beyond nihilism and unhappy childhood anyone who’s experienced depression can relate to and lust to know why life is so unfair and why the world is broken. Volo also majorly parallels the G.O.A.T. Character in PKMN: N – both are mysterious white dudes with minimalistic designs and long hair in ponytails beneath hats whom watch us from early in the game, are fascinated and existentially-driven with complex ideas and curiosity about the world around us and why everything is, have dark backstories, wield a legendary PKMN whom recognizes and entrusts them with major powers, control the entire narrative from behind-the-scenes, are figures of iconoclasm who hate how civilization and the laws of the universe work, and are wolves hiding in sheep’s clothing (N: literally, down to his New Testament Jesus shepherd iconography and namesake, really a Zoroark in disguise analyzing and trying to take down humanity for its and its animal kingdom friends’ one-perspective black-and-white ideal of segregation, wielding creation-level power to reshape the world as they singularly deem fit). Though we slightly give the edge to N, Volo is damn good enough to challenge the throne and even outdoes him in areas like team – a dark-version N for the ages showing PKMN still has the writers and craftsmen in their rolodex/organization to recreate the magic of lost early gens,.. if they want to.

One Of The Most Epic Plot-Twists In Video Games: A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing & The True Boss/Villain(s) Of PLA In A Puppeteered Coup D’Etat To Genocide A Universe & Overthrow God

Photograph Courtesy Of: Nintendo, Gamefreak, & The Pokémon Company

Is God is good or bad by nature; all-powerful and letting tragedy befall the world with a blind eye or all-good and not powerful enough to stop the many crimes and ugly sins of the world: murder, rape, trafficking, narcotics, betrayal, starvation, overexposure, war, abuse, etc. in philosophical complexity in themes/questions? This is all brought to life by elegant award-worthy screenwriting ‘the temples li in ruins: columns cracked and broken like pillars now turned into spears [how the spear pillar got its name: epic] stabbing into the heavens]. There’s also tangible relatability in the fact he just wants to meet God – if any of us were actually given the ability to meet in-person and conquer God, we would probably do the same thing; after all, God has been inseparable and the entire crux we’ve based our civilization and laws since the beginning of time – and that’s without any bonafide proof even of his existence. Devil iconography [+ references to Greek mythology and N] also 10x amplifies the badassery – from the dominant consonants in his name (V and L) to hairstyle’s horns to betrayal as the ultimate worshipper and studier of God who devoted his entire life in perceived benevolence, but is still given the cold-shoulder by a ruthless deity paralleling Giratina’s arc being exiled/banished from heaven and doomed to the hell-synergized Distortion World alone for all eternity in purgatory by a tyrannical and megalomaniacal Arceus just because he dared to defy God for unknown reasons, perhaps even with justification. The ability to wield such a perfectly-synergized legend easily the most beloved one by the fandom all-time and hold his own being powerful enough to be his trainer is a feat for the ages, as well as one that honors longtime diehards who’ve flooded 4Chan/Reddit/Tumblr with fanart of Cynthia with Giratina since ’06 D/P. CYNTHIA IS THE VILLAIN OF THE D/P PREQUEL/REMAKES – HOLY SH*T.

N x Cyrus x Blue x Cynthia: Volo – The Greatest Character In The History Of PKMN?

Photograph Courtesy Of: Nintendo, Gamefreak, & The Pokémon Company

The duality eposition and 180-flip of Cynthia is even more genius and breathtaking when in consideration of the names of her and Volo: in Latin [the ancient language, synergized with Sinnoh and its Gods of Olde], Volo: I want (= Azelf, Being Of Willpower), Cynthia aka Sentia: I feel (= Mesprit, Being Of Emotion), and the trinity-completion is another character whose presence is of major importance in the canvas – likely a mother figure or even perhaps a time-traveled older tragic widow or betrayed/champion-lost Cynthia who is thrown back into Hisui and wants to plan revenge on the God responsible for her demise as to why she knows so much more about the Sinnoh legends and has an interesting dynamic with a Volo she perhaps manipulates/uses for her own gain: the biggest mystery, potential Easter Egg, and complex, layered, IQ-ambitious story since N/Ghetsis and Gen. V – Cogita: I Know (= Uxie, Being Of Knowledge). Wild. When Volo throws his first pokeball and Cynthia’s music theme begins and we see Spiritomb come out, God: that might just have been the most epic fan moment we’ve ever experienced in a video game – he wields who was already one of the best characters, hardest bosses, and ultimate champion in PKMN history’s face, team, and mythos for a new generation in what’s easily [by addition having to defeat Giratina not once… but 2X in both forms (!!!!) afterwards] toughest battle in the entire franchise in 25+ years [only rivaled by Red on Mt. Silver in G/S/C and HG/SS, and we’re still giving the edge to Volo] and easily the most epic: one that, even with a team of Legends, took us 5x to fully beat on a red emergency-beeping sliver of health on one ‘mon left. Volo is like N x Cyrus x Blue x Cynthia on steroids, and a character for the history books. Epic. There’s even further intrigue and mystery by the fact Mistress Cogita in a secret home in the overworld looks like an Old Cynthia too even down to the facial structure, name constants again C_a and number of syllables in three, and color scheme of black/white – whom utters bizarre dialogue signifying a connection to God somehow and omnipotence seeing some of our exploits while not even being there. Was she Giratina disguising itself as a human? Was she actually Cynthia or his mother? Is she from another time? Is Volo? The fandom will certainly have billions of hypothesized theoretical analyses on these for years to come! Within the overworld, there is an ecosystem of three major groups representing three nations all worshipping different religions, themes, and causes.

The God Of PKMN: Gatekept Behind Heaven’s Gates, Even When A Box Legend

Photograph Courtesy Of: Nintendo, Gamefreak, & The Pokémon Company

The Diamond Clan worshipping their perceived ‘Almighty Sinnoh’ who controls time [Dialga], The Pearl Clan worshipping their perceived ‘Almighty Sinnoh’ who controls space [Palkia], and the Galaxy Team w. a Survey Corps who worships neither but instead believes and advances knowledge through the power of science and is trying to complete the very first pokedex. There is an uneasy alliance and treaty between the clans ready to go to war at any time and harboring extreme hatred of each other due to the vast difference of their belief systems diametrically clashing by the laws of physics – all while we try to keep peace in the region while dealing with a crisis in the frenzy mode of god-powered noble pokémon wreaking havoc in the region. The complex allegory of PLA is one of celebratory principle, value, and unity upon interpretation: the false-yet-wholly-believed ‘Gods’ of the clans and xenophobia/division metaphorize our religions like Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, etc. – presenting the radical-yet-rootable notion they all might be smaller parts of a larger shared whole just like Dialga and Palkia [+ Giratina] are smaller segments and demigods to the one true creator and ruler of all: Arceus. Maybe we shouldn’t hate, pillage, or go to war with each other focusing on the differences that arise via time and perpetuate through space and history, but instead come together through the similarities and let science reveal more about God’s true nature [such as evolution perhaps being the mechanism by which God created life instead of Eden stories debunked by mountains of research/evidence] just like our field research in the pokédex did on Arceus to piece together the whole story of God and evolve as a civilization and species. Brilliant.