2022 has been an incredible year for the Nintendo Switch in terms of software. Both 1st and 3rd party fans have been satisfied with not only the games released but the variety of genres that Nintendo and its allies have dropped throughout the year. RPG fans have been delighted with the array of games they’ve gotten. But we’ve also had adventure titles, sports games, over-the-top action romps, and more! At The Golden Joystick Awards, the people behind it had a tough choice on who would go to the top of the mountain and receive the reward for “Nintendo Game of the Year.” In the end, Pokemon Legends Arceus won!
That will surprise some of you, given how some people felt about the game and how it was the first major Nintendo release for 2022! Of course, that proves that they started off on the best foot and everyone else had to play catchup. But, whether you agree with it being the “best of the year” for Nintendo or not, you have to admit the game’s impact.
Pokemon Legends Arceus completely changed how we view Pokemon titles as a whole. It gave players a semi-open world to explore and catch Pokemon in. Just as important, the way that players caught Pokemon was changed too. You didn’t have to battle them to catch them, you could throw Pokeballs at them, and they might be caught! The more you caught, the more you learned about them as you completed the first Pokedex.
There was a lot of innovation in those games, and players loved them. Clearly, The Golden Joystick Awards felt the same way.
The irony of Pokemon Legends Arceus winning “Nintendo Game of the Year” is that many felt the newly released Pokemon Scarlet and Violet would be in contention for such awards. If not this year, then next. Unfortunately, the release of Gen 9 has been fraught with bugs and issues, and it’s a far cry from what we had gotten at the beginning of the year.
Yes, the games function well enough in terms of gameplay, and it does expand on what Arceus did, but the visual and structural elements of the game aren’t as refined as they should be. As a result, there are bugs and glitches abound, and many aren’t impressed that the graphics didn’t improve in certain ways.
While Arceus had its problems, they weren’t anything like what Gen 9 has, and so it’s the better of the two Pokemon games in 2022 in many people’s eyes.