Our Journey into the latest world of Pokémon takes place in the region of Paldea, a region filled with luscious greens, rocky terrain and icy mountains. At first look, one could think they were playing a beefed-up version of Pokémon Sun and Moon due to the tropical environment you begin your journey in. As you progress further into different areas you soon find out this isn’t the case as the landscape starts to change and gives this Pokémon game its own identity which cannot be compared to its previous brothers and sisters in the franchise.
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, very similar to Pokémon Sword and Shield, is an open-world game which allows your character to go where they would like, unlike more classic Pokémon games where you were forced to follow a path. Another cool feature, like in Sword and Shield, is that there are Pokémon running around freely in front of you, there is no need to run into the grass trying to find a Pokémon to catch or battle. What has surprised me is that Game-Freak has not kept that element of surprise of not knowing what Pokémon is in the grass waiting to attack; I personally always found this exciting, especially when trying to hunt down a rare Pokémon that’s spawn rate is low such a Chancey or a roaming legendary Pokémon such as legendary dogs in Pokémon Silver and Gold. The anticipation of what this Pokémon could be and whether or not it is the Pokémon I am after, for me has been taken away however I guess the positive is that the frustration and disappointment of hunting for hours on end is also gone so it all weighs up at the end of the day.
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet have got a wide variety of Pokémon to catch and battle which is always a plus for any game that requires a collection of sort, the positive is that it has a good mix of the classic favourites, for example Pikachu or Growlith with a mix of the Pokémon from the Paldea region such as Lechonk (the pig Pokémon). What Pokémon Scarlet and Violet has brought is a new way of battling called Terastallizing. This form of battling allows the Pokémon to take on the type and characteristic of another element type. For example, as many know, Pikachu is an electric type however when Pikachu is Terastallizing it may change to the Tera-type of water which will allow Pikachu to have those attributes for a short amount of time. So far, in my journey I have only managed to do this a few times in battle, as your Tera meter does need to be refilled after each time a player does this to their Pokémon. Pokémon Scarlet and Violet has brought in some features such as pressing R on your Nintendo Switch to allow your Pokémon out their ball to collect items on the ground for you or to battle other Pokémon on their own. This is a quick feature which allows for leveling up quicker as well as collecting items more rapidly, however your Pokémon would still need to battle manually as like in previous games in order to evolve.
Graphically, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet has a decent set of graphics to it, the art work is a different style that one may have seen in Pokémon Legends Arceus and I did notice there was some slight changes in graphics compared to Sword and Shield. Personally, even though the graphic changes were slight I appreciated that Game-Freak kept that same Pokémon feeling and did not try change the games into something they are not. Pokémon games all have a similar feel to them even though each is different and that can honestly be said about Pokémon Scarlet and Violet- it still brings that enjoyment the same way Ruby/Sapphire did 20 years earlier in 2002.
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet is unique to its previous games in the sense as it has a variety of missions to do compared to a more traditional path of battling gyms to reach the elite four and face off against the champion. Don’t get me wrong it still has the battling of gym leaders however there is a twist, each gym leader requires the player to pass a test in order to battle them and earn a badge. These tests aren’t your normal beat the 3 trainers in front of the gym leader type of test, they require a bit more thinking or you may need to find something to get the gym leader’s attention and the battle can then commence. There are two other missions in which you can partake in, the first is where you have to find team star’s base, battle teams star’s Pokémon until the boss leader comes out to challenge you. Your mission is to stop team star and all the bases are plotted on your map. Lastly the final mission you can choose to do on your journey is help out a fellow trainer in hunting down a group of giant Pokémon scattered throughout the Paldea region however as I am still playing the game I am not entirely sure what the end motive could end up being.
Overall as a Pokémon fan who just wants to get out there, catch as many Pokémon as possible, battle as many trainers as I can find and just be a Pokémon master I’d have to say: Yes, this game may not be 100% polished and in some parts maybe rushed from what I’ve seen but overall it’s an improvement from some of the previous games and the future of Pokémon games is going somewhere. With Christmas just around the corner, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet is an excellent choice of game as it provides hours of entertainment for the young and seasoned trainer and better yet there are two games which allows for battling one another as well as trading with friends and family to get each games version exclusive Pokémon.