Hello and welcome back to P-Vock's Music Box. Sometimes, you get exactly what you want. Sometimes, you have a pipe dream that soon becomes reality.
Sometimes, you get a Legends Arceus.
Pokemon has absolutely stood the test of time and remains one of the most impactful and iconic franchises in all of media. As such, it has led to many people being very vocal about what they want out of the series as they grow and (pun intended) evolve. As gaming trends shifted to bigger, more cinematic games, Pokemon largely remained in its niche. While the industry showcased massive worlds and tons of customization, Pokemon stayed true to what it always was. Some would say it did this to a fault.
That is until we got Legends Arceus in 2022.
Finally, Pokemon delivered what many fans wanted for so long. Arceus had a more fleshed-out world that felt lived in with Pokemon that you could see interacting with one another in the wild. It had sprawling vistas with absolutely gorgeous views. It had full-on character customization and tons of ways to make your trainer really yours. It had awesome new ideas that had never been done before in a mainline game.
It was a breath of fresh air.
However, it did keep one thing consistent. It had incredible music.
While maintaining an allusion to the theme of Jubilife City from previous games (which makes sense, given when this game takes place), Jubilife Village manages to be fresh. Literally.
I swear, every single time I hear this theme, I can feel a cold morning breeze with those subtle wind chimes. I can feel the slight heat from a slowly rising sun with every rich note that just carries itself. I can feel a slight sense of cozy nostalgia as that subtle melody from Jubilife City plays on those almost melancholy strings.
For a town that exists as the hub in a game that is all about familiar tropes melding with new ideas, this kind of theme goes a long way in carrying that motif. It's one of the perfect tunes to put on during a calm morning in which you just sit with a cup of coffee and relax.
ALRIGHT, ENOUGH RELAXING. TIME FOR ADVENTURE!
Legends Arceus uses traditional Japanese art as a major visual and auditory theme throughout the game, which is fitting for a game set in the past in one of the more blatantly Japanese regions from the series. It uses these traditional instruments to compose a striking Wild Battle Theme that also uses a familiar motif while blending in new ideas.
We open with an oddly familiar barrage of notes that seamlessly transition the player from explore mode to battle mode. If you listen closely, you can hear a melody that seems very familiar to those who have played a classic Pokemon game, carefully placed in the mix of intense and bombastic sounds that combine to create another track that feels fervently familiar and funky fresh.
Not every track feels extremely familiar though.
Why does a series about children teaching animals about the power of friendship have so many bangin' battle themes?? That intro alone hits as hard as some of these death creatures could hit you if they ever turned on you (be a hell of a horror game, Nintendo).
The first moments of the theme are so aggressive and intense, really delivering the "Oh Shit" feeling you'd hope to have when fighting other trainers. After a while, the beat settles and it cools off a beat, reminding the player to think it through as they select their moves and decide how best to abuse their friend's pet. Despite the slight change in richness, the intensity and mood of the composition never wavers or falters.
Truly one of the best battle themes in the series if you ask me, which is a big compliment for this series.
I sometimes grow pessimistic and uninterested with this series. The childish nature and sillier tone, while understandable, just don't resonate with me as much since I have moved from being a child to a man-child. The simple mechanics and ease of gameplay don't challenge me as much as they would in something like a MegaTen or Xeno game. Despite this, I will always consider myself a fan of the overall franchise. Its lovable characters, god-tier music, and reliable fun make it a series I hold in high regard. So, when we get something in this series like Legends Arceus that really hits closer to what I love in a video game, it stands out as a truly memorable experience that I absolutely cherish and would totally recommend to anyone looking for an interesting adventure in a series everyone knows.
Thank you, as always, for checking out my content and I hope to catch you back here next time with another suggestion from my Music Box. Stay Brutal!
PS. I had to drop a cover of Jubilife Village. I really did love this theme.