When you first boot up Pokémon Legends: Arceus, the game has you choose your starting character from a small pool of generic presets. This has been true of almost all mainline Pokémon games going back to the first choice between “Boy” and “Girl” in Pokémon Crystal. Even the more recent releases have chosen not to implement a more robust, custom character creator that one might expect from a modern RPG. The understanding, at least with modern Pokémon games, is that you’ll be able to customize your character’s hair, eyes, and clothes later on to suit your specific style.
This is also the case in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, a game that is, on most counts, the most modern re-imagining of Pokémon to date. However, something’s missing. Actually, there’s something there that never goes away. Your trainer photo. The photo of your character that shows up on the page that tracks your progress through the game. This is another staple that dates back to the series’ roots. But where previous Pokémon games have given players the option to update their trainer photo as they update their character’s looks, Pokémon Legends: Arceus’ photo remains the same. For the entire game.
Check this post’s header image again. That’s not an early photo. I have completed this game, and my character still looks fresh off the dollar store shelf. That’s not me anymore. I look much cooler now.
So why doesn’t my photo reflect that? Or, if it’s not going to reflect that, why have it show up in enormous size every time I go to save the game? I don’t even need the game to automatically update my photo whenever I change my look (even though that seems trivial). Previous games have allowed me to take a new trainer photo at designated times and places. So why not in this game?
Now perhaps, if you know a little something about this game, you may be thinking to yourself, “well, this game does take place in the past, so maybe photos weren’t-” BUT LET ME STOP YOU RIGHT THERE.
What about this fool? Huh? What about this dude? His whole thing is that he takes pictures. Pictures of you. Pictures of you and your Pokémon, even. What about him, smart guy? If this guy’s not going to let me update my goddamn Pokémon driver’s license, then what’s the point? Why have this big, dumb photo at all? Why bother putting in a whole guy and a whole building dedicated to the practice of photography if you’re not going to let me use it to change the ugly-ass starting photo that you make me look at every single time I save the game, Game Freak??
There is precedent for this. It’s in previous Pokémon games. There’s already a photo guy in this one. I just. I don’t know. It seems like a weird oversight.