The upcoming Pokémon Legends: Arceus looks like it will be taking a lot of inspiration from Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and it has the opportunity to improve on the game’s crafting system in a big way. Crafting in video games is a great way to improve tools, weapons, and armor, and to create new items to help players on their journeys. BOTW was no different, as it made great use of crafting throughout the story. Its crafting system is good, but not perfect, and Legends: Arceus can make it even better.
Crafting is just one of the new RPG elements that Legends: Arceus will introduce to the series, and although it’s been light on details as the game nears release, it is currently known that players will be able to craft different kinds of Poké Balls in addition to healing items for their Pokémon. Pokémon Legends: Arceus also references a cut item from Gen 4, in addition to new ones like the Smoke Ball, so it’s confirmed that there will be more items to craft than the ones fans are familiar with. It’s also known that players will gather the materials needed to do so in the wilds of Hisui, and that they will be able to craft some recipes by hand. The only previous Pokémon game to allow players to create their own Poké Balls was Heartgold and Soulsilver, and from the information available now, Legends: Arceus’ crafting already looks to be a major improvement over the ones in past titles.
Crafting in BOTW needs to be done at specific places in order to do just about anything, and requires a great amount of time and effort in gathering materials. In the past, Link’s items were hidden in grass, but BOTW ended that trend. Although it is satisfying to find rare items, and not meant to be easy, it can often lead to frustration due to the scarcity of certain prime items and the despair of finally getting a rare monster drop only for it to tumble off of a cliff due to the game’s ragdoll physics. There are quite a few things that Pokémon Legends: Arceus can do to improve this process, as well as some things that it could learn from BOTW.
How Will Players Craft Items In Pokémon Legends: Arceus?
In BOTW, crafting is used for one of three things: cooking meals or potions with beneficiary effects, improving Link’s armor in order to make it more effective in combat, and creating Ancient weapons and armor that will finally allow him to fight back against the terrifying Guardians. It’s not without its big problems, which BOTW 2 could fix, but it’s still an exciting part of the game. Since there won’t be any Guardians, or weapons and armor for that matter, judging from what’s been revealed so far, crafting in Pokémon Legends: Arceus will likely focus on the creation of Poké Balls, medicine, and helpful items. How many different recipes and materials there will be, and what crafting will look like, are both up in the air at the moment.
So far, few craftable items have been shown. It’s confirmed that Poké Balls will need to be crafted and may not be available for purchase, but the game’s trailers and footage have focused on Hisuian Forms and major game elements, so crafting has seemingly fallen by the wayside. One thing that is confirmed is that some items (such as the basic Poké Ball) can be crafted by hand, and will not require a special station in order to make them. How crafting these Poké Balls will work in Pokémon Legends: Arceus is currently unknown. According to the Pokémon Legends: Arceus website, there will be workbenches where players can craft items, so not all recipes can be made in the field. It’s also confirmed that Apricorns will be the basis of most (if not all) Poké Balls and that many recipes will have two ingredients. Details on the crafting are few and far between, so there are plenty of possibilities at the moment.
What Pokémon Legends: Arceus’ Crafting Can Take From BOTW’s
BOTW does a lot of things right when it comes to crafting. The adaptive system, flexible recipes, and experimental possibilities are part of what makes it great and fun, so Pokémon Legends: Arceus would do well to follow its example. From the information available so far, recipes are set and players will not be able to add additional items in order to improve them, which does make sense. Doing so could make more advanced types of Poké Balls less useful, and make catching Pokémon too easy. The game would, however, likely benefit from a little bit of flexibility. If not adding ingredients to known recipes, then manually crafting without the help of a recipe, like BOTW lets players do, would likely be a well-received feature. A simple list with no room for experimentation could become drab and disappoint players.
Another fan-favorite part of crafting is the iconic tune that plays when Link cooks a recipe. The happy jingle and bouncing ingredients have delighted many players on their adventures in Hyrule, and something similar could do the same for Pokémon Legends: Arceus. Since at least some crafting will be by hand, it may not be exactly the same, but if the game does choose to have at least some nice crafting music, hopefully it’s as catchy as BOTW’s.
How Pokémon Legends: Arceus’ Crafting Needs To Set Itself Apart From BOTW
Of course, there are also several downsides to BOTW’s crafting system that Pokémon Legends: Arceus may be better off excluding. Crafting the best items, like the ones Kilton’s Monster Shop offers, is made overly difficult by the scarcity of key materials. The Star Fragment is possibly the rarest item in the game, and it’s a perfect example. They can’t be gathered normally, and only appear from shooting stars that fall from the sky randomly. If that wasn’t bad enough, they also disappear after a short time, and since they tend to fall far in the distance from the player’s location, they’re often gone by the time they reach them. Thankfully, it would appear that merchants in Jubilife Village and the Ginkgo Guild will allow players to easily access at least some rare materials, but the game would still be better off not making any as hard to acquire as the Star Fragment.
Another thing that Legends: Arceus can do to improve on BOTW’s crafting is to centralize crafting stations. Healing items for Pokémon will likely be vital, so being able to make them all in one place could improve the mechanic immensely. BOTW saw players going from cooking pots to Fairy Fountains to an ancient machine in order to craft, so a lot of legwork was involved in the process. At least some crafting will be done by hand, but for that which isn’t, a single type of crafting station for Poké Balls, medicine, and items would go a long way toward streamlining the process. If there is indeed only one type of crafting station, Pokémon Legends: Arceus could also benefit from the option to have either a centralized list with every recipe or tabs for different types of items.
Source: Pokémon Legends: Arceus
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