An initial review of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet


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On Nov. 18, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet were released into the world. After months of speculation across many platforms , many waited with bated breath to see if any of their hopes and dreams for the ongoing game series would come true.  

Now that the titles have been out for nine days for fans to enjoy, some would argue that Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are the best games in the entire franchise. For others, the game’s shortcomings hold them back from reaching their full potential.  

First, the pros. Both games feature legendaries (Koraidon in Scarlet and Miraidon in Violet) that are given prominent roles in the storyline. Most players of the series will be familiar with the traditional Pokémon narrative of acquiring the legendary Pokémon at the end of the game.  

However, Koraidon and Miraidon are unique as the player acquires them at the beginning of the game. Serving as traveling companions, the Pokémon serve to cart the player around over the game’s many different biomes. This subversion of the traditional Pokémon format is a breath of fresh air, and the ability to ride a Pokémon over the course of the game is incredibly fun.  

Similarly, Scarlet and Violet allow the player to make far more choices than in previous Pokémon games. With a host of new customization options, the games allow the player to have self-expression; something severely lacking in earlier titles. 

In addition, the game allows players the freedom of  direction. While former games had extremely linear maps, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are more akin to contemporary open world titles. This means players can choose which gyms to enter first and which trainers to battle along each route, among a host of other narrative continuity options. 

Now for the cons. It is clear the game wasn’t ready to be released yet. While it doesn’t fully impede players, both titles suffer from extreme frame-rate and glitching issues. 

Characters will frequently “fall” or “glitch” through the floor – many of these instances being recorded for laughs and posted online. The visuals of the game also suffer – textures are often blurry and the lighting of the world glitches, refusing to operate in a natural manner.  

Despite these issues, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are still fun to play. However, there needs to be an update from the developers to fix these glaring issues. As the game is expensive ($79 dollars in Canada), it’s easy to be disappointed by the game’s incompleteness. 

If these issues are resolved, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are worth purchasing. Until then, hold onto your money, or be prepared for a game that is extensive but ultimately incomplete.

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