This story began on Tuesday, January 25th, when I woke up with a sore throat.
By Friday, I was going a bit spare and was tired of being in the house. I went to the doctor around lunchtime and was given the okay to be around people. And the first thing I did with that freedom was head to my local GameStop and buy Pokémon Legends: Arceus.
The combination of still feeling under the weather and the release of a new game in the Pokémon franchise was enough to coax me to curl up under my blankets, pick up my joy-cons, and launch right in.
For the first time in a long time, I felt myself getting lost in a Pokémon game. As I waited for the antibiotics to kick in, I explored the old/new world of Hisui.
On day one, I logged somewhere between eight to ten hours. I think I played through the first and a chunk of the second area along with the introduction. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m far from a completionist when it comes to gaming, but the Pokédex concept had me intrigued. Plus, catching Pokémon was the easiest way to gain enough points to gain Research Levels.
The next day, I logged over 12 hours. And, that was mostly in one sitting. I swept through the game, taking myself to Alabaster Icelands. I even found the accidental spoiler as to where the endgame took place. But seriously, you have to know that if you give a person the ability to scale cliffs right next to a mountain, then the absolute first thing they’re going to do is scale the mountain.
And by day three, I beat the main story with my game time running 25-27 hours. I played through Alabaster Icelands and went onto the endgame. I learned some lessons that I’ll take with me when I get around to a second playthrough. And the final battle soundly beat me a few times before I figured it out.
From the moment I hit the button to start the game, I was hooked. One of my hobbies is obsessing over theoretical time travel, and for Pokémon to take it and use it as the basis to set up the game was something I didn’t know I needed until I got it.
Wandering among Pokémon as they went about their business was (and still is, if I’m honest) a thrilling experience. We’ve all had dreams of wandering through the world of Pokémon in a way the games previously have not let us. Bringing crafting into the game also had me grinning. And the storyline itself was intriguing as there were twists and turns as you made your way through the game. Despite the fact it was doing double to triple duty at times, the team behind this game put some love into it.
I cannot tell you the last time I binged a game like I did Pokémon Legends: Arceus. Had I not been sick, it likely would have taken me weeks to finish.
But I was happy to be sick for the first time since school. I explored another piece of a world I’ve loved for most of my life. I got to experience a Pokémon game that I didn’t know I needed.
A side note, because I loved the open-world concept of Pokémon Legends: Arceus, a friend decided I needed to be introduced to more games of that style. Out of that, I found Horizon: Zero Dawn.
For a few years, I haven’t been doing things that I used to do to relax. But this game helped inspire me to game more. I finally beat a game I’d been working through for 2 years, Spider-Man. Because Pokémon reached outside its comfort zone, I was able to as well.
On top of that, the game helped me through what could have been a boring weekend. Being sick is not fun at all, but adventuring made it a bit better.
Monday came, and back to work I went. But I went well rested, the game beat, and my heart was just a bit more full because of a game that brought a beloved franchise to life in ways I hadn’t seen in ages.
While people had a lot of complaints about that game (and even though I have a couple), it kept me company on the tail end of a rather long week. Not only that, but it opened the door for me to be introduced to another franchise I would grow to adore.
As we approach the first anniversary of Pokémon Legends: Arceus, I’d love to know your thoughts about the game. Do you have fond memories of Pokémon’s first attempt at an open-world style game? What was your favorite part?
Please share your thoughts with us on our Boss Rush Facebook Group or our Boss Rush Discord
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