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Pokémon Scarlet and Violet Review

Hello, Gamers! First of all, let me apologize for my absolutely awful posting schedule over the last several weeks. Probably like, the last couple of months, but, the point is, it’s been AWFUL and I am sorry. So, what do I have for you today? Well, for today I finally have my Pokémon Scarlet and Violet review. I’ve fully beaten the game and I’ve had time to gather my thoughts so let’s jump right on in shall we?

As per usual, I’ll start off by saying what I liked about the games, then go over what I didn’t like about them, and then give my final review. Those of you who are familiar with the Pokémon series know that when a new mainline game releases, generally there are two versions released (Legends: Arceus was an exception to this rule), and those versions have minimal differences when it comes to the overall enjoyability and context of the game. So, that’s why I’m just lumping them both together and reviewing them as a whole rather than doing a separate review for each game version.

What I Liked About The Games

This is a list of what I liked about the games in no particular order.

  • The story; starts off slow in the beginning but builds up quite a bit at the end.
  • Lots of cute new pokémon.
  • The game is open world. Some people have cited getting tired of open-world games but I really liked this step that Game Freak took with the game.
  • The game is gorgeous; steel-type pokémon have a polished look, fur texture can be seen on pokémon, etc.
  • Lots of interesting characters.
  • The shiny charm is 3x as effective in these games, which means when you get it, you’ll have really great odds to find a shiny. Check this post from Serebii to see the new odds.
  • The academic side of the game seems to be Persona 3+ inspired (most likely Persona 5 as that game made huge waves in the video game industry when it was released).
    • When you take a class you answer questions in class and you take exams based on the material learned in the lessons. In Persona, this is usually based on real-life information, but for Scarlet and Violet, it was information on Pokémon mechanics (for Scarlet and Violet most specifically).
  • Incredibly easy to EV and IV train your pokémon. So, there’s not really any need to breed hustle the “perfect” competitive pokémon, unless you just want to of course!
  • Terasteralizing adds a whole new level of difficulty to the gameplay.
  • Pokémon appeared to be accurately scaled in this game (no more tiny mons!).
  • Plenty of clothing accessories to buy.
  • Most complex character customization in the series yet.
    • Gender, skin tone, hair color, hair style, eye color, eye shape, eyelashes, and mouth shape.

What I Didn’t Like About The Games

Now let’s get into what I didn’t like about the games. These are going to be written in a specific order. I’m going to start off with things that I felt were more minor annoyances that were more of a personal complaint and then move into things that I feel were of greater concern and actually hindered the enjoyability of the game.

Minor Annoyances

  • Inability to skip the sandwich-eating cutscene.
    • It’s incredibly cringy and ridiculous. You’re also forced to sit there and watch it every time you make a sandwich on a picnic (which is a huge mechanic in the game, like making curry in Sword and Shield). So, if you eat a lot of sandwiches, be prepared!
  • Unable to know the weather in other areas.
    • In older games, I believe you used to be able to watch the TV to figure out the weather in each area (I’m not the only one who remembers that, right?). Now that you have a smartphone, you aren’t really able to do much with it beyond using your map and making phone calls, which leads to my next point.
  • No clock on your Rotom phone.
    • Just like Legends: Arceus, Scarlet and Violet are not synced to your system clock. Time passes in the game at its own pace, and you have no idea how to tell the exact time in the game! You’re simply given a symbol that shows whether it is day or night and you need to know the exact time of dusk/twilight to be able to evolve an Own Tempo Rockruff into a Dusk form Lycanroc.
  • Unable to wait until different times of the day.
    • In Legends: Arceus, you could wait at your camp until a specified time of day; dawn, morning, afternoon (I think afternoon was there), dusk, and night. Despite Scarlet and Violet having the same time system as this game did, there’s no way to wait until a specified time of day. I feel like this could be easily implemented through picnics (pitch a picnic and when you approach the table, have the option to wait until a specific time of day).
  • Game marketing about being able to complete the main objectives of the game in any order is misleading.
    • Why is it misleading? Because you very much and absolutely SHOULD NOT do that unless you want to have your backend handed to you over and over again. There’s a recommended order to take on all gyms, titans, and Team Star bases and you should do them in this order to be able to enjoy the game without it being too difficult (unless you enjoy the challenge, or you like pain).
    • I feel like for their marketing to have been the most accurate, the levels of the gyms, wild pokémon, titans, and bases should have scaled as you progressed through the game (where all of them started at a low level, and as you progressed they scaled naturally).
  • Some of the new shiny forms aren’t very creative.
    • A lot of them are very close to resembling their regular form, which isn’t creative and makes finding them even harder.
  • You can’t change your full outfit, you’re stuck in your school uniform the entire game (minus being able to change your hat, shoes, socks, gloves, and bag).
    • This made a lot of players angry because since generation 6 we have been able to change our full outfits. I wasn’t too bothered by it (because you’re a student at a prestigious academy so I get why they had you wear the uniform for story purposes) but after I beat the game, I found myself missing being able to change my clothes completely. 

Gameplay/Enjoyability Hindrances

  • Shiny pokémon no longer sparkle or make noise in the overworld. If you read my last point under minor annoyances, you’d see why this is a hindrance because you may accidentally pass by a shiny without realizing it.
  • Higher-level raids, 5-star and up, are not very common. Only one 6-star raid spawns per day (and one 7-star if there is a raid event). There’s still an overwhelming amount of 4-star and 3-star raids even at the end game.
  • Herba Mystica, required for the highest level sandwiches (and the shiny sandwich) are only found in 5-star and up raids and they are exceptionally rare. I feel like they should be a guaranteed drop for 6 and 7-star raids (at least one per raid) but they aren’t.
  • The Pokédex only has 400 pokémon in it, and besides a small handful of pokémon at present, Game Freak hasn’t come out and confirmed whether we will see more returning pokémon or not.
    • Due to Johtonian Wooper and Galarian Meowth being present in the game, we can assume other regional variants will be able to be brought into the game as well.
    • Hisuian pokémon are in the game, but we don’t know exactly which ones.
    • The other pokémon outside of the ones listed above that are going to be transferable to Scarlet and Violet due to them having 7-star raid events are Charmander, Charmeleon, Charizard, Scorbunny, Raboot, Cinderace, Froakie, Frogadier, and Greninja.
      • Charizard and Cinderace’s 7-star raid events have already passed but Greninja’s will be available from Jan 27th – Jan 29th and again from Feb 10th – Feb 12th.
  • Technical issues like memory leak which is causing FPS drops, overall lag, and in extreme circumstances game breaking glitches. I left this one for last because it is probably the biggest issue of them all and is really a testament to how Game Freak needs to reevaluate its game quality.

My Overall Rating

Overall Rating

So for my overall rating for Scarlet and Violet, I give it a 4 out of 5 stars. I didn’t feel like the things that I found personally annoying were enough of an issue to bring the rating down too much on their own, but paired with the gameplay/enjoyability hindrances, I feel like that was enough to bring down the rating. I think the game is honestly great and I really enjoy it, but it’s not perfect. These games and Legends: Arceus come dang close though, so I hope GameFreak keeps going in this direction with their development (and maybe give them some more time to bake in the future).

Wrapping Up

I hope you enjoyed reading through my Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet review, Gamers! I had a lot of fun with this game and I really enjoyed it, besides the few things I mentioned above. Have you had a chance to play the game yet? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below!

I mentioned this above but I don’t want it to get lost for those who wish to participate: The 7-star Greninja Tera Raid event will begin this weekend, Jan 27th – Jan 29th. After that it will run for one more weekend, Feb 10th – Feb 12th. If you want to add this special Greninja to your game, you won’t want to miss out on this raid event!

That’s all I have for now. Later, Gamers!

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