Pokémon fans are finally getting the open-world adventure they've always wanted

Pokémon fans are finally getting the open-world adventure they've always wanted

This story about innovation in Pokémon, boiled down, in 1:28 minutes.

What's the fuss?

After 25 years, Pokémon is finally revamping the formula of their games to give players more freedom. Even the biggest franchise of all time needs to innovate every once in a while.

The situation

Pokémon had their own video showcase recently to show off their upcoming releases. Aptly titled Pokémon Presents, highlights included remakes of 2006 favorites Pokémon Diamond and Pearl as well as a sequel to 1996's Pokémon Snap which originally launched on the Nintendo 64.

The surprise announcement however, came from the upcoming release of a fully open-world Pokémon game. Titled Pokémon Legends: Arceus, this next major entry in the mega-franchise is a bold new step for the line of games. Allowing Pokémon Trainers to freely explore the world with less boundaries and catch wild Pokémon in a brand new way, this evolution of the formula is what gamers have been asking for.

Boiling it down

Mainline Pokémon games have generally repeated the same core formula since 1996's Pokémon Red and Blue - new Pokémon Trainers will capture and train their own team of Pokémon to take on 8 Gym leaders (essentially challenging battles) and then the Elite Four (even more challenging battles) to become the best Trainer in all the land. Of course, each game puts their own minor spin on the formula (i.e. new regions, new Pokémon to capture, etc.), the general framework is the same.

The latest releases in the mainline series were 2019's Pokémon Sword and Shield. Despite positive critic reviews, many gamers were disappointed by the lack of innovation in the series as these new games largely adhered to the same formula established in 1996. Although there have been spin-off games that have somewhat reinvigorated the series, the mainline games haven't taken new steps to reimagine the gameplay experience. With Pokémon Legends: Arceus, it seems like Nintendo finally realizes they only can repeat the same concepts before fans get frustrated.

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