The day had finally arrived, the day I had been waiting for since I beat “Pokémon Shield” back in Nov. 2019. The newest main Pokémon series game has been released, “Pokémon Violet and Scarlet.” I had preordered the game beforehand, waited until 12 a.m. Nov. 18, and had my Nintendo Switch charged up for the night ahead. It wasn’t the experience I was expecting, but it was a worthy one at the end.
Overall, I’m conflicted. It is such an ambitious game; there are so many new features that have never been seen before in a Pokémon game (especially not a main series game) and there is so much content. The story was unique, full of surprises and kept my interest the entire time.
When starting the game, the character customization is the first thing you do. It is more detailed than any other Pokémon game to date. There were a good amount of options compared to past games, and although it isn’t too detailed, it was exciting to have more choices in this gameplay.
Your character is a member of a prestigious Pokémon trainer boarding school with a school uniform. Because of this you cannot take the uniform off and there are very few clothing items. The only accessories available are hats, glasses, backpacks, gloves, socks/leggings and shoes. However, there are many stores to shop at and many different cities to visit.
Each main story Pokémon gameetting is based on a real life country and typically takes inspiration from the cities inside that country. This time the game was based on Spain.
There were the classic eight gym badges that must be completed, but there were two brand new sections to the game. One of them was Team Star, a group of students at the school who you must battle to achieve five badges over the course of the game. The story unravels as you progress and there is more to uncover as each battle ends. Finally, there are titan battles in which you must gain five more badges throughout the game. You fight massive Pokémon in five different regions. My favorite new feature is that you can ride the legendary Pokémon throughout the entirety of the game. The Pokémon is ridden like a motorcycle, and you unlock more abilities after obtaining the titan badges.
There are so many things to uncover in this game and there are plenty of hours of gameplay to dive into. It is a thrilling experience overall.
However, there were many problems; problems that should not occur in a AAA game. Upon opening Pokémon Violet for the first time, I immediately noticed the graphics. Not in a good way–they were awful. They’re reminiscent of the original DS games. The shadows were pixelated, there was no detail in the visuals, there was a general overall blurriness, there were glitches very often, the non-player characters completed repetitive movement and the same characters were copy-pasted to one another. It all felt lazy. These seemingly little details felt massive when playing and it honestly took away from the experience. It grew to be frustrating.
It is important to mention that Nintendo has been known to rush game designers to push out content quickly. In this instance, it would make a lot of sense if this is the case. “Pokémon Scarlet and Violet” has many new features and is a large game overall. If Game Freak, the game developer company, was competing against a deadline, it makes sense if corners may have been cut in the graphics department.
This is especially frustrating because it would have been such an amazing game if it didn’t feel lazy or unfinished.
The part that makes me conflicted is that it is still an incredible game and worth the price. It is just unfortunate that it wasn’t as good as it could and should have been.