Pokémon Legends: Arceus is available now on Nintendo Switch, for $59.99.

Arceus is a notable entry in the Pokémon series for several reasons. It’s the first mainline prequel, taking place in the ancient Hisui region, which will eventually become Sinnoh (Gen 4, Diamond and Pearl). Whereas other main Pokémon games are released in pairs, there’s only the one version of Arceus.

Arceus also breaks up the gameplay formula in many ways, including a near total lack of trainer battles. The Hisui region is still untamed, broken up into free roaming regions filled with wild Pokémon. Pokéballs can be hurled outside of battle, with different Pokémon reacting in different ways.

Instead of traveling from town to town battling gym leaders to become the very best, you’ll be catching ’em all to fill out the region’s first regional Pokédex. Filling out the Pokédex involves much more than simply catching each Pokémon once. A single town, Jubilife Village, acts as the hub between excursions into the wild regions.

For another series first, the three starter Pokémon are taken from other regions and games, Rowlet (Gen 7), Cyndaquil (Gen 2), and Oshawott (Gen 5).

Pokémon Legends: Arceus is available now, exclusively on Switch. It’s rated E for Everyone with Mild Fantasy Violence.

This article was written by

Eric has been writing for over nine years with bylines at Dicebreaker, Pixelkin, Polygon, PC Gamer, Tabletop Gaming magazine, and more covering movies, TV shows, video games, tabletop games, and tech. He reviews and live streams D&D adventures every week on his YouTube channel. He also makes a mean tuna quesadilla.