One lunatic's love-hate relationship with the Pokémon franchise, and his addled musings on its rights, wrongs, ins and outs. Come one, come all, and indulge my delusions of grandeur as I inflict my opinions on anyone within shouting distance.
[I was playing Legends: Arceus, but then after I finished exploring the Crimson Mirelands I dropped everything for, like, a week to perform an archaeological survey and write up the results in the style of an actual academic publication. Was this a good idea? No, obviously not, but I did it and here it is.]
Although the Galaxy Expedition Team’s understanding of the contemporary ecology, geography and society of the Hisui region has advanced dramatically in the short time since the expedition’s arrival here, the region’s ancient past is still largely an enigma. This is largely because no branch of the GET is explicitly dedicated to historical and cultural research. These tend to fall by default within the broad and somewhat nebulous responsibilities of the Survey Corps, as the branch whose members most often interact with Hisui’s indigenous peoples, the Diamond and Pearl Clans. In the interests of pursuing cultural research more actively, and at the recommendation of Survey Corps recruits assigned to the Crimson Mirelands of southeast Hisui, who had encountered several ancient “ruins” while exploring, the GET commissioned members of the Corps to identify sites of archaeological interest throughout the Mirelands and evaluate sites for possible future excavation by a joint crew drawn from the Survey and Construction Corps.
In a break with usual practice in survey archaeology, project staff were not instructed to catalogue surface finds. This is owing to the annoying propensity of the Hisui region’s characteristic dimensional anomalies to deposit artefact fragments of varying ages seemingly at random across the landscape. The resulting archaeological “noise” makes it extremely difficult to extract a meaningful chronology of human settlement from survey data using the standard methods of survey archaeology. Accordingly, the survey has focused primarily on mapping architectural remains that are visible from the surface, as well as features of the landscape that may be artificial in origin. This report discusses four major sites identified by the survey – the Gapejaw Bog Complex, Solaceon Ruins, Brava Arena and Shrouded Ruins – as well as the general characteristics of earth and stone archaeological features observed throughout the Crimson Mirelands.
This survey would not have been possible without the cooperation and guidance of numerous members of the indigenous Diamond and Pearl Clans, particularly Diamond Clan Warden Arezu, Pearl Clan Warden Calaba and Diamond Clan chieftain Adaman, all of whom have freely shared their knowledge and expertise with project staff. Staff also wish to acknowledge the contributions of numerous Pokémon recruited individually by members of the Survey Corps, as well as, and particularly, the regular invaluable aid of the “noble” Pokémon known as Wyrdeer and Ursaluna.
Last time I checked in, I was about to try to do… something… about the enraged “noble” Pokémon, Kleavor, the Pearl Clan’s “lord of the woods.” Professor Laventon’s plan is to leverage the player character’s incredible skill at throwing $#!t by mashing some of Kleavor’s favourite foods into throwable clumps, which will in some way achieve something good, probably.
listen, it’s been a mere week since this game came out and I started playing yesterday; that qualifies as punctual for me
For the benefit of anyone who hasn’t decided yet whether they want to buy this game, here are some thoroughly de-spoilered opinions:
It’s very different; it’s quite unlike the traditional Pokémon formula. Follows Pokémon Go and Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee in putting the emphasis on catching and releasing a lot of Pokémon to progress; follows Sword and Shield in putting the human characters and their motivations front-and-centre a bit more than previous titles. A lot more open-world-action-game-y than Sword and Shield ever tried to be. Cares a great deal about Pokémon’s exploration/discovery themes. Sometimes Pokémon try to murder you. Battles with other trainers are not completely absent, but so far a very minor aspect of the game, appropriately enough given its premise and setting; it’s mostly about wild Pokémon. So far I like it; the characters are great, the new Pokédex system is great, the environments (both natural and human) are very pretty if you care about that. I mean, I have to reserve full judgement until… well, if my previous record on Pokémon games is anything to go by, until about 10 years have passed and I’ve played it all the way through multiple times, but yeah, so far it seems good.
Also, while playing this game, I was watching an episode of House, M.D. (episode 8.8) in which the title character remarks – out of nowhere and to the utter bafflement of everyone else in the room – that “Arceus created a universe with three states of matter.” It’s totally in-character; House spends a lot of time playing video games and he enjoys saying cryptic things just to mess with people; I just thought it was a fun coincidence that I’d never seen that particular episode before and happened to watch it during my first day with Legends: Arceus.
Anyway, this concludes my not-a-review; from this point on, HERE BE SPOILERS (but only for what I’ve played so far, which is honestly not that much, so unless you’re observing absolute blackout protocol it’s probably fine). Let’s talk about the first… chunk… of this game, and some things I thought about it.