Like many Millennials and Gen Zs, I have strong nostalgia for the Pokémon series. My first game was Pokémon Pearl, and I have played every generation since. Pokémon’s latest installment, Scarlet and Violet, was GameFreak’s first attempt at an open-world game with multiple concurrent plotlines. I was hesitant to buy the game due to the subpar graphics, low frame rates, and large number of glitches reported by players. In the end, nostalgia and the excitement of “catching ‘em all” won out, and I purchased Pokémon Violet.
On the whole, I had a lot of fun with this game. Disappointed fans have said that it seems like GameFreak doesn’t care about its games anymore, but given the amount of detail put into certain parts of Scarlet/Violet, I simply can’t agree. To me, it seemed like the developers wanted to create a good game but were rushed to meet the holiday deadline.
I say this because the positive aspects are very well done. The world felt alive with a large variety of Pokémon moving freely in their natural habitats. It was cool to see water Pokémon swimming in oceans and rivers and bug Pokémon climbing trees. Most of the new Pokémon designs were fantastic, as usual. Some personal favorites are Clodsire and Fidough. The character designs were also creative and new. It was exciting to seamlessly sprint, swim, and fly from one area to the next, even when the frame rate dropped. I liked each storyline, especially Arven’s and the post-game story. In creativity and heart, Pokémon Scarlet/Violet nailed it. These elements are the result of passionate developers and not necessarily time.
The negative aspects of Scarlet/Violet seemed to be the result of rushing. Graphics were the main issue. The game looks fine for the most part but is incomparable to similar 3D games on the Nintendo Switch, such as Breath of the Wild and Mario Odyssey. The game experiences significant frame rate drops when looking at entities from a distance and entering a new area. Frame drops are a huge problem in cities. Finally, the world has a lot of problems with clipping and glitching into the ground and walls, especially during battles. If the game developers had been given more time, I think they would have been able to quality test more and solve these issues.
Overall, I don’t regret buying this game; I would give it a 7/10. I just wish that large game companies remembered the core of their business, which is not to make a profit but to create great games.