Pokémon Legends: Arceus is not an action RPG

Pokémon Legends: Arceus is classified as an action role-playing game, but its battle system suggests it should perhaps be labeled differently.

Pokemon Legends: Arceus is billed as an action-RPG, but it lacks some key gameplay elements and mechanics that would really make it part of the genre. So far, the last entry in the Pokemon The franchise has been generally well received by the Pokémon community as well as the gaming community in general. Game Freak has certainly shaken things up with the release of Pokemon Legends: Arceusleaving behind the standard gameplay loop that sees trainers battle to become the champion of a given region while introducing new concepts like space-time warps and Pokemon Mass Outbreaks.


Action RPGs usually combine different elements, like exploration and crafting, action and role-playing genres. They also generally emphasize real-time combat (as opposed to a turn/menu-based system) and maintaining control of one’s character both in and out of battle. games like God of the war and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild serve as prime examples of what constitutes a true action RPG.

Related: How Pokémon Legends: Arceus’ Stealth Compares To Other Games

Pokemon Legends: Arceus introduced a plethora of role-playing and action mechanics that aren’t exactly new to the gaming medium, but they’re a first for a mainline series Pokemon Title. A clear departure from tradition Pokemon formula, Pokemon Legends: Arceus leans into action RPG mechanics more than any of its predecessors. However, it may not lean far enough to really be considered an ARPG.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus’ battle system isn’t very action-RPG-like

Pokémon Legends Arceus - Every new feature revealed at Pokémon Presents Battles

Most action RPGs are primarily distinguished by their combat systems. Occurring in real time, ARPG combat is usually direct and reflex-driven. These types of games, often hack and slashers or shooters, tend to require quick thinking and quick reactions whereas Pokemon Legends: Arceus relies on turn-based combat, a staple of Pokemon series. However, having a turn-based combat system does not necessarily exclude a title from being considered an action RPG. For example, Final Fantasy XII also features a turn-based combat system, but it does so in a way that allows real-time elements to come into play while allowing players to retain complete ownership of their team’s actions.

Be able to quickly throw Poké Balls at wild Pokémon that roam the Hisui region in Pokemon Legends: Arceuslike Huisin Zorua, without engaging them in battle first is a new and welcome concept for the Pokemon series. It’s something that was lifted straight from the beloved animated series. Unfortunately, this concept does not apply to Live Battles as the only way to throw a Poké Ball at an already engaged Pokémon is to access the menu option to do so. While the transition from the overworld encounter to the battle itself is as seamless as possible in Legends: Arceusit would be nice, and more ARPG-like, if the fluidity continued into the capture phase of combat.

Related: Pokémon Legends Shiny Pokémon Change Based On Time Of Day

The success of the record launch of Pokemon Legends: Arceus marks a new and interesting direction for the Pokemon franchise. Although the game introduces a lot of action RPG elements, it could still be better classified as a linear action-adventure title. Either way, the verdict is in, and many Pokemon fans are loving it Pokemon Legends: Arceusregardless of the genre to which it belongs.

Next: Legends: Arceus Is A Perfect Model For Future Pokemon Games

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