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For decades, the Pokémon Company has sought to replicate the full glory of belly hunting, a major inspiration for its titular series, and for decades it has been hampered by RPG tropes, hardware limitations, and a repetitive, uninspired design philosophy. Enter “Arceus”, a game that proves that even a series as bread-and-butter as Pokémon can wildly develop its formula. Gone are the troops from the previous mainline games, replaced by an open world set in the ancient past, heavily based on feudal Japan. The typical “fight to weaken so catch” format has been replaced with a mechanic encouraging players to sneak in and throw balls in third-person shooting style. Best of all, Pokémon of all rarities spawn right in front of you.

“Arceus” is a desperately needed Pokémon formal shake-up. It’s a game that, like “Breath of the Wild”, inspires you to search its world for more secrets and more mysteries.

Available at: Nintendo Switch

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