Is Pokemon Legends: Arceus the start of gen nine for the Pokemon franchise?
The lines between Pokemon generations are blurrier than ever before. Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee and Pikachu, Sword and Shield, and Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl all have their own unique sets of Pokemon. Some can be transferred between each other, or will be in the near future, but the ability to import an entire PC of Pokemon hasn’t existed since the series moved off the Nintendo 3DS.
Officially speaking, Let’s Go is a part of gen seven while Sword and Shield and BDSP are a part of gen eight. Still, it’s getting harder not to look at each new game release as a standalone game in its own right.
So is Pokemon Legends: Arceus the first gen-nine Pokemon game? Is it from gen eight? Or is it something else entirely?
Pokemon Legends: Arceus is not a gen nine Pokemon game
While there’s a debate to be had about where Pokemon Legends: Arceus falls in terms of generations, it’s definitely not a part of gen nine.
A case can be made that Pokemon Legends: Arceus doesn’t fall within a single Pokemon generation. Though it features the same core mechanics of catching, collecting, and battling Pokemon, the game arguably stands as a spin-off unto itself.
Pokemon Ranger and Mystery Dungeon don’t fall into a specific generation, so why should Legends: Arceus?
The counter-argument is that other “spin-off” games have been lumped into generations. Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee are part of gen seven, while Colosseum and XD: Gale of Darkness are gen three. Each had gameplay differences that set it apart from the mainline Pokemon games. Despite that, all of them fell into a standard generation.
Odds are that Pokemon Legends: Arceus will go down as part of the eighth Pokemon generation. Though some will point to the introduction of more than 20 new Hisuian Pokemon as evidence of it being a new generation, that’s not unusual. Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon added multiple new Pokemon. So too did Pokemon Sword and Shield’s DLC, which served as the “third game” for those releases.
The debate may or may not linger moving forward. Regardless of Pokemon Legends: Arceus goes down as gen eight or a spin-off, it’s definitely not gen nine.