The Daybreak update to Pokémon Legends: Arceus came out on Pokémon Day and I’ve been having a blast with it. Engaging in these massive mass outbreaks is not only a lot of fun, but it also makes shiny hunting more entertaining and really helps in perfecting Pokédex entries. There’s also the Eternal Battle Reverie, which I didn’t expect to enjoy as much as I did. Turns out fighting Origin Dialga and Palkia at the same time wasn’t exactly what that was about, but it’s still fun anyways.
I plan on reviewing it all soon, but there’s something I wanted to talk about before doing that . The pastures in Pokémon Legends: Arceus needs an update, mainly for space.
For those that don’t know, pastures in Pokémon Legends: Arceus are what PCs from the mainline Pokémon titles would be in that setting. It’s a place for Pokémon you’ve caught to go to whenever you have a full team of six. Besides a great feature that not only allows you to release multiple Pokémon at once, but rewards you for it as well, it largely functions the same way as PCs have over the years. However, there are some issues with how it works in this game.
There’s Needs To Be More Space
Getting into the one I already mentioned, there absolutely needs to be a pasture size update. There are 32 pastures, or boxes, with 30 spaces for Pokémon in each pasture. That means you can own 960 Pokémon at once, plus the six in your party. That’s pretty much always been the case for Pokémon games, but the nature of this one makes that a bit of an issue.
In previous games, you only needed to catch Pokémon once to fill in the Pokédex entry, and that wasn’t even a necessity. But with this game making the completion of the very first Pokédex the primary goal, rather than beating gyms and becoming the Pokémon League Champion, you’re naturally gonna have to catch a lot of the same Pokémon, along with performing other tasks, to research them. If you haven’t released any Pokémon and completed the game, I’m willing to bet money (that I may or may not have) that you have rows upon rows of Ralts and Glameow in your pastures.
This is a problem, but it wasn’t a huge one. Even after I got all research levels to 10 and obtained the Shiny Charm, I still had a decent amount of free space. But with this update introducing the “massive mass outbreak” mechanic, which requires you to catch Pokémon to investigate them, the pastures get filled up quickly, and makes it so you’ll have to release Pokémon quite often before being able to catch more (battling them is also an option but it’s much more difficult and tedious than just catching them).
I think it would make sense to double the pasture size and make it so there’s 64 of them to accommodate for this new mechanic (though if they made it at least 48, that would be enough). Of course, that would also mean there’d be even more pastures to search through when they inevitably get filled up and you’ll have to release Pokémon again. But at least you’ll have a lot more space to work with at the end of that.
Now, while I believe the space of the pastures was the main issue, I would also like to reiterate that it was only a major issue after the release of the Daybreak update. There are other issues with the pastures that have been present since the beginning of the game. While they’re not as major, I find them worth mentioning anyway, so…here we go.
They Removed a Neat Feature
Honestly… I wasn’t sure how to title this problem, but let’s talk about it. Another way that PCs operated in earlier Pokémon titles was that when a Pokémon is removed from a space it occupied, any Pokémon that were ahead of that space in the same box would occupy it by moving back accordingly. This kept the boxes tidy and made it easier to find newly caught Pokémon without having to resort to the search feature, because they would always be at the end of the first box with an open space. Oddly enough, GameFreak removed this feature from Pokémon Legends: Arceus.
For whatever reason, whether you’re adding a Pokémon to your party, moving them around, or releasing them, whichever space they occupied would stay vacant unless you were swapping with another Pokémon. This not only makes the pastures look like a mess (especially when releasing multiple Pokémon), but also makes it very hard to find newly caught Pokémon without the search feature, unless the last pasture you were in was the first one with an empty space. The solution to this is simple: make it so Pokémon that were in front of empty spaces automatically occupy them again.
The Search Feature Isn’t Great
Speaking of that search feature, even that has its issues. You can use it to find Pokémon by their primary or secondary typing, moves they know, nature, gender, or markings. It’s very useful, especially when the pastures have that previously mentioned problem of Pokémon not occupying empty spaces behind them. However, even though the feature describes itself as finding Pokémon that match the set conditions, it doesn’t quite do that, and even it’s usefulness isn’t absolute.
Rather than finding and displaying the specific Pokémon based on the search conditions, the game still makes you find them yourself by displaying all the Pokémon, but graying out all the Pokémon that don’t fit the conditions as well as graying out the pastures that don’t have the desired Pokémon in them. This isn’t a great search system design, especially because this game does away with sprites and presents Pokémon only as the side-ish profile of their 3D models in your party and boxes. While you’d have no issue finding colorful Pokémon, any of them that blend in with the gray Pokémon around them would be made even harder to find. Try to guess which Pokémon species was searched for in the picture below.
We Can’t Sort The Pastures
To repeat myself again (cause I know you’re not tired of that), we have to catch a lot of the same Pokémon to progress in Pokémon Legends: Arceus. A vast majority of them literally come in different shapes and sizes. For whatever reason we’d have to do so, looking through them all in the pastures would be very helpful with a sorting feature to organize the Pokémon however we’d like, whether it be alphabetically, species or Pokédex number, height, levels, marks, or anything of that sort. As you saw by the title of this section though, this is a feature we don’t have.
This is something that the Pokémon games have never had for PCs before, so I can’t fault GameFreak too much for not adding this in. However, if I may repeat myself again, this game isn’t like older Pokémon games, due to the greater emphasis on catching Pokémon. In theory, you could complete the main story of traditional Pokémon games without ever needing to catch a Pokémon yourself or look in the PC boxes. But in this game, you pretty much have to do both of those things throughout the main story, especially catching Pokémon. And I don’t even wanna get started on the side quests that involves this. I can’t fault them for not having this feature, but it’s still strange that they didn’t put extra care in how the pastures worked.
Maybe they will add another update to the game soon, with these changes and more. If not though, that won’t change how great the game is, because I still love it and this update made me love it even more. But even with all that love, catching Pokémon is getting to be a bit of an annoyance, and I don’t want to be annoyed with what’s the best aspect of this game, cause it really doesn’t deserve it with how fun they made it this time around.
What do you think? Do you believe the pastures need to be updated in any way? Or do you think it’s fine the way it is? Are there other changes that need to be made that I failed to mention? While we’re at it, how do you feel about the new Daybreak update? I’d love to hear your thoughts.