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5 Things That Make No Sense In Pokemon Legends: Arceus

Pokemon Legends: Arceus does so many things so freshly that it can be easy to look past what doesn't quite click. This is hardly something the developers should be worried about — how often these days does a video game come out and online discourse is positive enough for us to forget its less stellar aspects? In short, congratulations, Game Freak. Lots of people love this one.

Pointing out what doesn't make sense in Pokemon Legends: Arceus might sound like nitpicking, or worse, we're just plain ruffling Rufflets. While there's never anything wrong with honest and well-meaning critique, think of this list as something cheekier. At its best, Pokemon has always been this magical world where the dens of monsters and the cities of humankind have come together in some fairly absurd ways. The franchise revels in it, and the best games in the series recognize it.

Here are five examples of absurdity's grand triumph over logic in scenic Hisui.

5 Drowning Pool

On the one hand, we get it. Rivers, lakes, and shorelines shouldn't be traversed without just the right Pokemon. That's core to the history of the series, even if it's changed from "anyone who can learn Surf" to "this one particular pal" for plot reasons. But there's something about the protagonist's complete inability to save themselves in Pokemon Legends: Arceus that crosses the line into downright silly.

Take just one step into a narrow river, as seen above, and the hero almost immediately thrashes their limbs all over the place. This is not intelligent. If you can't swim, that's OK — not everybody can, after all. But if you have four working limbs, which by all rights it appears the protagonist does possess, do not go flailing meekly into the night.

This guy, this Rei, all he had to do was reach out a few inches to either his left or right. A quick push of the feet and he'd be back to safety long before his body plunges into the — wait a minute, how deep can tiny river even be?

4 Breaking Bag

"Who wouldn't like more space in their satchel?" Don't give us that. This chump acts like he's pondering some revolutionary human thought in a world plagued by the peasants of Pokemon idolatry. What a brilliant man he is, a regular Tesla right here.

Except it's all a ploy to constantly nickel-and-dime the player into coughing up an increasingly incredulous amount of money for one more inventory slot at a time. To be sure, the satchel's paltry number of slots at the beginning of the game is a real bummer. And it's sweet to have a crunchy RPG-like system to do something about that. But this man is a crook. It isn't long before he's charging people a literal bag of Stardust's worth of money per upgrade.

It makes perfect sense that Bagin would exist in the Pokemon universe. Bad people abound, even if they're, for mercy, far outnumbered by good ones. What doesn't make sense is that an organization as strict as the Galaxy Team would allow him to destroy Jubilife Village's economy right in front of the stern Captain Cyllene herself. Cyllene does have a lot of paperwork on her desk, but we have empirical proof she looks up occasionally. We see it happen, it's canon. Arrest this blight on society, ma'am, before Almighty Sinnoh does so itself!

3 Honey, the Pokemon Shrank the Pokemon

For over half a century, mankind has looked upon the Poke Ball and seen a contraption straight out of science fiction, a tool that possesses the incredible ability to shrink the Pokemon that its wielder sends it launching toward in a bid to trap and contain the creature. Yes, Team Plasma had a point. But that's not the point.

Early on in Pokemon Legends: Arceus, Professor Laventon states, as a matter of course, that Pokemon have the ability to shrink themselves. "You'll recall, of course, that Pokemon possess the odd ability to shrink themselves down." No. Most of us do not recall that. Has anyone ever said that?

Poke Balls having been designed to use this ability to their advantage, by forcing the shrinking procedure, well, that's downright terrifying. It's sickening, but it makes sense in a narcissistic sort of way. But if Pokemon can shrink themselves at will, is anyone ever truly safe from them? When a Deoxys can slip beneath one's doorstep like slime, only to rematerialize in full, what then? This is either an example of Professor Laventon being a bit of a buffoon or it's a canon revelation with tremendous aftershocks to come. Thankfully, Laventon doesn't strike anyone as particularly intelligent.

2 True Lies

The Japanese gaming industry loves its silent protagonists. To make a long notion short, speechless heroes are designed so that the player can fill in all the blanks on their own. It's supposed to enrich our sense of connection to the character whose existence we effectively dictate. It works for some folks. Not so much for others. But a pillar of this approach has always been the idea that we as players know as much about our surroundings as the character whose thought process and dialogue we're providing.

In Pokemon Legends: Arceus, we know for a fact that either a boy named Rei or a girl named Akari, both about 15 years of age, gets plucked out of their world by the all-powerful Arceus and flung into a Sinnoh many years before people even called it that. The conventional take here, and it's not entirely unsupported, is that you play the role of a character from the "modern" Pokemon era when all the mainline games take place.

Furthering that, some fans have decided the hints are there to suggest you're an amnesiac future version of Lucas or Dawn, the Sinnoh League Champions. Rei and Akari certainly do look the part.

Here's the problem, and it's a big one. Dialogue choices throughout the game allow you to shape your character's experiences a tad, including a chance to tell someone there aren't even any Pokemon where you're from. All of a sudden, you know where you're from after all, or at least you know well enough. Your apparent mastery of catching and training Pokemon goes from making perfect sense to simply shoehorning the hero with a near-supernatural display of untrained resolve. Pokemon Legends: Arceus tries to have its Alcremie and eat it, too, and it loses any semblance of narrative sense in the process.

1 There Are No Rules, Except When There Are

Hisui is a wild place. One of the most exciting thematic aspects of Legends: Arceus is that people don't follow established rules that modern-era trainers abide by. This means that opponents will send out two or even three Pokemon at a time in matches. After all, why not? This feeds into the great outdoors as well; space-time distortions are especially capable of sending four Pokemon your way at once, but it's hardly impossible to get in multi-target scrapes elsewhere.

All well and good, but if no one cares to fight fair, why do we? This isn't some honor thing. These aren't vile people and wicked Pokemon who recognize an existing rule and willfully shatter it. This is just someone waking up in the morning, understandably under the impression that having a trio of stalwart little protectors is better than just the one.

But when we're up against these smart citizens and pocket monsters, it's questionable at best that we don't do the same. If your foe, who has launched a Snorlax, a Vaporeon, and a Goodra after you all at once, dares complain that you've got not just a Kricketune on the field but even a Lopunny, that is a bad person doing bad people things to your active and unwarranted detriment.

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