What a 20-year-old Pokemon fan really thinks about the new games: Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

To say that Nintendo’s new Pokémon games, Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet, have received mixed reviews is an understatement.

Some fans are calling the Nintendo Switch games, which were released in Australia on November 18, the best entries in the video game franchise to date, while others are fuming about performance issues that “break the game”.

I’ve been playing Pokémon games since 2002, working my way up from the original GameBoy Color entries to Nintendo DS games and recent Nintendo Switch releases like Pokémon Legends: Arceus., which happens to be my favorite game of 2022.

So what does a 20 year old Pokemon fan and avid RPG player think of Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet and are these games worth the money? Let’s dig.

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Good

Catch 400 Pokemon

There are so many Pokemon to catch in this game, which is a huge point in its favor if you’re a collector like me. With a whopping 400 Paldean Pokedex items, including 107 brand new Pokemon, you’ll really want to catch them all.

Open world game

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet build on the open-world features of previous entries in the Pokémon franchise, including Pokémon Sword and Shield and Arceus. But while those games relied on bounded open-world sections divided by loading screens, Scarlet and Violet’s map is huge and completely open.

Story

With three main quest lines that weave together into a massive overarching story, the storyline in these games will keep you engaged. There are some lullabies here and there (especially if you’re distracted by catching Pokémon for hours like I am), but the storyline is definitely one of the most expansive in the franchise to date.

Nostalgia

Not only is the Pokémon series the most profitable in video game history, it’s also one of the longest running, with the first games debuting in Japan in February 1996. The series holds a lot of fond memories for players young and old. the sweet nostalgia in Scarlet and Violet is undeniable.

Not so good

Performance issues

There is no avoiding it; Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are buggy and can feel unfinished. The framerate is not always at zero and often lags, textures get messed up and models appear and pop randomly. The game has crashed for some players, and while these issues don’t (usually) make the game unplayable, it’s not up to the usual Pokemon standards.

It’s a little too big

Open world games can be amazing, but with the biggest map of any Pokemon to date, Scarlet and Violet sometimes feel empty. Wide fields, snowy slopes, and rocky terrain are full of Pokémon, but not much else. The game could have benefited from more battle trainers and areas of interest in the landscape or just a smaller map.

Too much talking

The first part of the game bombards you with dialogue scenes that feel slow and crammed, and every time you approach a key moment later in the game, you’re inundated with even more text on the screen. It often goes on for minutes, and I’ve stopped reading after a while because much of the dialogue wasn’t important to the plot. It’s irritating and the script could do with some serious trimming.

Verdict

Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet are incredibly fun games, especially for players like me who love collecting every Pokémon in the Pokédex. That said, games prioritize size over detail in many areas, and I’d happily give up some open spaces for a more immersive and less laggy experience.

I was definitely hoping for something more polished like the sequel to Pokemon Legends: Arceus, which comes out in January 2022. Some tech gurus and long-time Pokemon fans are hoping that the game’s upcoming patches might fix some of the game’s issues, which sounds promising, though it probably won’t fix major ones performance issues.

That said, I would definitely buy these again as gifts – though maybe not at the regular price of $79.95. Get them instead on Amazon’s sale, where the games are down to $62.

For the best gaming experience, I’d also recommend running games on the new Nintendo Switch OLED console for $478 at Amazon , which has an improved display and twice the internal memory of the standard console. If you’re looking for something cheaper, go for the classic Nintendo Switch for $429, or grab a bargain with the Nintendo Switch Lite, currently on sale for $319 on Amazon.

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