Pokémon Catching In Arceus Is More Complicated Than Ever & That's Great

It's been known that catching Pokémon in Pokémon Legends: Arceus is more involved than it was in past games for some time now, but a new gameplay trailer has revealed just how complicated it really is. The 13-minute gameplay reveal showcased many aspects of the game, including new details on how Trainers will capture the many creatures that they'll use on their journey to create the first-ever Pokédex. It would appear that players will need patience and cunning if they want to live up to the Pokémon motto and Catch 'em All.

Catching Pokémon in past games has been as simple as walking around in tall grass until finding the right Pokémon, then doing battle until throwing a Poké Ball. Although there were different Poké Balls to give players an edge in certain locations or conditions, the fact is that it all boiled down to RNG. In Pokémon Legends: Arceus, catching is quite different. The fact that capturing Pokémon is more complicated than in past games was revealed long ago, but it wasn't known just how much until the most recent gameplay trailer. There are many new nuances to the process that will apparently make it a process requiring finesse, and even some degree of strategy.

Related: Everything We Know About Legends: Arceus' Alpha Pokémon So Far

The new catching mechanics revealed include Pokémon temperaments, special catching items, and new details about stealth captures, as well as a missed opportunity to correct a hole in the existing mechanics. All of these combine to make Pokémon Legends: Arceus a gameplay experience that the series has never had before, one with an exciting amount of depth. Even though all of the details about the game's capture mechanics won't be known until it actually releases, what has been revealed promises hours of engaging Pokémon catching. Fans may want to pre-order their copy of Pokémon Legends: Arceus before it's too late.

One of the biggest reveals in the new gameplay trailer was that some Pokémon will react to the player character in different ways. It showed the reactions of three species: Bidoof, Starly, and Shinx. Bidoof, the lovable doofus that it is, simply stood still and did nothing while the player aimed their Poké Ball. Starly moved away from them, and Shinx immediately launched an attack. It's unknown if there are more temperaments, but even the three that have been revealed change the game a great deal. Players will need to keep in mind how different species will react and plan accordingly if they wish to capture them.

Another big change is the use of items to aid in capture. Although the series has experimented with the concept in the past, no title has implemented it as much as the new game promises to. The Pokémon Legends: Arceus gameplay preview hinted that Trainers will have many items that will help them capture Pokémon. The existence of Smoke Balls was already known, but it was apparently one item among many, as the trailer shows that players will be able to use Berries to distract Pokémon and gain an advantage when attempting to capture them. The Berry thrown in question was a Sitrus Berry, but a Cheri Berry was also shown in the player's inventory at the same time, and it is unknown if different Berries will have different effects on wild Pokémon when thrown. The trailer also mentioned "lures", although it did not go into detail about them, which means that there are likely even more items that player will be able to use in order to help them capture Pokémon.

Stealth is another aspect about the game that was already known, and its importance makes Pokémon Legends: Arceus look more like Monster Hunter than anything. However, the trailer has an interesting detail about it that promises to make it a much more important feature than previously thought. Apparently, aggressive Pokémon will enter an "alert state" and cannot be caught outside of battle if players catch their attention or fail to capture them with one stealthy Poké Ball throw. Although it might be a minor detail, it still shows that catching Pokémon requires much more finesse than in previous games. It's unknown if otherwise passive species will also enter a similar state if players fail to catch them with their first Poké Ball, since captures can still fail in this game, but the prospect is an interesting one.

All of the new catching mechanics mean that the process is much more complicated, but it also provides more options. Although whether or not players can catch Arceus in Pokémon Legends: Arceus is still unknown, capturing Pokémon looks like it will be more exciting than ever. Players will be able to choose how they catch their Pokémon: If they want to start every capture with a battle, then they can, and they can also use stealth for every capture if they'd like. The choice of using items or not, and in what ways they will use them, is completely theirs. It might seem like all of it makes catching Pokémon a lot harder, and it just might, but it can also give players more freedom in a sense. The mechanics may even allow players some degree of roleplay, in that they can pick a capture "style" that fits their character.

Related: Pokémon Legends: Arceus Can Have Its Own BDSP-Style Grand Underground

Of course, there are some aspects to the new capture system that don't go far enough, and Pokémon Legends: Arceus' catching may mean that Gen 9's is the same way. For as long as the series has been around, Pokémon will faint and cannot be captured if defeated by battle in the games. In the anime series, on the other hand, characters capture Pokémon after a knockout all the time, so the disparity is quite odd. Given the fact that the only capture during a battle in the gameplay reveal was one where the wild Pokémon was lowered to about half health before it was caught, it would seem that this has not changed. There doesn't seem to be much keeping the developers from allowing players to capture Pokémon after defeating them, except perhaps tradition. It could even be a fun and balanced mechanic if done right: a wild Pokémon defeated after a battle could have a greater percentage to be captured, but players would only get one chance to do so before it runs away.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus may be beginner-friendly and a great entry to the the series thanks to its new innovations. The new methods of capturing Pokémon in the new game promise to contribute greatly to gameplay. The more involved process can give players a greater game experience and enhance their enjoyment of (and connection to) the game. Even aside from the mechanics themselves, catching different species in different ways will help players advance in the Galaxy Team and grow as a Trainer, and eventually even gain access to new areas. Although it was already known that catching Pokémon would be important to development and the story, the new trailer provides a new glimpse into how it will do so. Growing from a fledgling researcher to the author of Hisui's first Pokédex is something that will likely be satisfying for many players, and make Pokémon Legends: Arceus a game like the series has never seen before.

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