‘Pokemon Scarlet’ and ‘Violet’ Divide Fans

Nintendo | Game Freak

Pokemon fans are notorious for their strong opinions regarding new entries in the long-running video game series. The latest entries, Scarlet and Violet, have been met with some divisive reviews and numerous superlatives. Some are calling them the best entries in the series yet, while others say the games show clear evidence of outright laziness on the part of the developers. 

So, what’s the truth? Are the new Pokemon titles any good, or are they just a pair of buggy messes? Let’s take a closer look.

Scarlet and Violet

The two latest entries in the Pokemon series kick off the ninth generation of the long-running RPG franchise. They’re set in the Paldea Region, which is modeled after Spain. Paldea is full of both returning and brand-new Pokemon, giving trainers another excuse to set out on a grand adventure, winning gym badges and catching all the cute critters the new area has to offer.

And, truth be told, the game is downright fun. The new open-world design is a refreshing change of pace from the prior entries’ more linear exploration. Likewise, the open approach to finding wild Pokemon is a huge improvement over the random encounters that defined the games for over 20 years. 

Technical Shortcomings

Fans and reviewers alike have made it clear, however, that they’re less than enthused about the new entries’ performances. The ninth-generation games suffer from some noticeable framerate drops, jagged edges on map geometry, and just general bugginess that makes the whole experience feel rushed.

It’s frustrating to see the world’s best-selling media franchise struggle this much to create a polished gaming experience. Whether or not these issues are enough to hamper your enjoyment of the game, however, depends entirely on your patience for some minor issues in your video games.

The Bottom Line

The short version is that Scarlet and Violet are unparalleled video games in a number of ways. They represent the best the Pokemon franchise has ever been, but they’re still loaded with graphical glitches and other troubling performance issues. Still, you’re not going to find a better game from a design standpoint on any console this holiday season.

If you can stomach some stuttering framerates and a bit of graphical roughness, Scarlet and Violet offer some of the best RPG action you can get on the Switch. Just make sure you save your game often and leave the auto-save feature on in case the game crashes out of nowhere on you.