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Rating 4

Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet - Review

The true Pokémon adventure we've all been waiting for.
Score: 4/5
Reviewed by Natalie Collazo on Switch - November 28, 2022   

The latest installment in the long-running Pokémon franchise, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, has finally been released! From the start, you can see Game Freak's commitment to making a game unlike anything they've ever done. The open-world adventure puts players in the region of Paldea, a tropical paradise home to the new partner Pokémon Sprigatito, Fuecoco, and Quaxly. Following in the footsteps of Pokémon Sword and Shield and Pokémon: Legends Arceus, the game expands beyond simply collecting gym badges and defeating the Elite Four. Scarlet and Violet have added three different story paths that players can experience as part of their studies at Naranja Academy. The three paths, Victory Road, Starfall Street, and Path of Legends, all intertwine to tell one story that follows the growth journey of your legendary partner Pokémon, either Miraidon or Koraidon.

A New Way To Play

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet push the envelope of what players normally expect from a Pokémon game. Of course, catching 'em all is still the primary goal, especially now that the number of Pokémon officially exceeds 1,000. This time, though, players are encouraged to explore paths as they see fit. Miraidon or Koraidon (this depends on your game version) can be ridden across the entire region so that you can find new Pokémon and discover new places. To further expand on this, their powers and abilities depend on how much of the main story you complete. For example, if you defeat two Titan Pokémon as a part of the Path of Legends storyline, then your legendary partner Pokémon will be granted the ability to jump higher than ever before, allowing them to reach even higher places.

Speaking of Titan Pokémon, Scarlet and Violet also add several new kinds of Pokémon to the mix, including Terastallized Pokémon, Titan Pokémon, and Paradox Pokémon. These three different types all play their part in the story to add even more depth to the world of Paldea. The most important of these three is Terastallized Pokémon, as they are essentially this region's special ability. The form grants any Pokémon caught within the region the ability to grow stronger according to their Tera type. This Tera type is the same as the Pokémon's given type, but this can be changed by using another new item introduced in this game, Tera Shards. Like Dynamaxing, Terastallized Pokémon take on a different form in which they wear crystallized crowns that depict their Tera type. This can only be done with one Pokémon at a time and must be regenerated at a Pokémon Center before it can be used again, but it results in some intense battles.

Predicting Pokemon Scarlet and Violet's Remaining Tera Type Symbols | News  World Tick

Versatile Progression

Rolling around to intense battles, the different paths also introduce all-new kinds of battles. The Victory Road path gives players a chance to experience Pokémon as it originally was by battling eight gym leaders and finishing off the Elite Four. Then, Starfall Street has you challenging the rival students from Naranja Academy known as Team Star. Both of these battles are relatively similar in that you are asked to complete a minigame before you can challenge the gym leader or the Team Star leader. These battles are filled with dialogue and special cutscenes that really accentuate what it is to be in a Pokémon battle. Similar to previous games, defeating these gym leaders and Team Star leaders will grant you new abilities that will help make it easier to catch Pokémon of different levels.

Traversing has also been completely revamped. Where Sword and Shield added the idea of an open world, Scarlet and Violet take that and make it even better. In many instances, you'll find yourself simply exploring the world on either Koraidon or Miraidon's back, collecting items you find on the ground rather than working through the story. There is no clear or set path so you are encouraged to explore and battle as many trainers and Pokémon as you possibly can. Of course, this can work against you as some Pokémon will be much stronger than you, but finding that out for yourself is half the battle!

An Incredible Journey

Unfortunately, the game does suffer from certain issues that make it difficult to play. It's no secret that background NPCs look incredibly choppy and in some cases, just don't appear. There have also been several instances in which Pokémon battles will occur with the enemy Pokémon not even present in battle because they were not rendered into the scene. As a result, those playing on the older Switch hardware have reported their console overheating or closing the game altogether. Where a normal Switch game will kill your battery while in portable mode, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet make it almost impossible to consider the option.

It is also important to note that this game does not feature the National Pokédex. This means that you won't be able to actually complete a Pokédex with every Pokémon in existence in either of these titles. However, the quality-of-life additions that were added to this title and the expectation of a patch to fix all of the above almost overshadow the game's issues. There is so much love poured into this game and it's very apparent in just about every facet, making the future of Pokémon look brighter than it ever did before.


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