Pokémon Scarlet & Violet Reviews
The open-world gameplay of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet is a brilliant direction for the future of the franchise, but this promising shift is sabotaged by the numerous ways in which Scarlet and Violet feel deeply unfinished.
An interesting reworking of the traditional Pokémon gameplay for an open-world setting brought low by its lifeless environments and graphics
"The open world inherently changes so much for the series that it needed a total ground-up rethink of the mechanics"
A significant advancement on Pokémon Sword and Shield and while it's not hard to see how it could be improved further this is the most ambitious and entertaining Pokémon has been in a long while.
Despite technical shortcomings and some filler content, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are chock-full of meaningful additions to one of gaming’s most popular franchises. At worst, these games are steps towards the Pokémon games for which players have clamored, but more often, they serve as effective thesis statements for where the series goes from here. Either way, I can’t wait to see where Game Freak evolves the experience from this point.
Pokemon Scarlet & Violet's open-world approach reinvigorates the long-running series.
Despite my frustrations with its structure, mechanics, and the fact that it looks and runs like a middling GameCube game most of the time (there were several instances, even outside of the open-world areas, where character animations would drop to near stop-motion levels of movement), I still left Scarlet and Violet enamored by its character relationships and neatly tied-up themes of finding one’s own joy in the big, wild Pokémon world.
I know, I know, I’ve had my fun mocking the visual glitches and performance issues in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. But I really hope that the performance issues don’t ultimately define how we talk about this generation of games. This isn’t just a game that needed more time in production—Paldea is fundamentally not designed to be pleasant to explore. The open-world mechanics might have felt more novel if I hadn’t also fallen off Pokémon Legends: Arceus earlier this year for similar issues with samey world design and unremarkable graphics. Scarlet needed to clear that low bar, and it did not. Maybe by the time the next generation comes along, the series will be able to recapture what makes Pokémon so thrilling in the first place.
Unfortunately, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet didn’t get the development time they deserved. It’s hard to see a franchise that means so much to me finally start heading in the right direction only to come up short. I sincerely hope that Game Freak and Nintendo will start listening to fans and critics and turn things around.
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet capture all the magic of the past and merge it with the improvements of the future, resulting in two fresh installments with very good ideas. The graphics is still their biggest weakness, but they shine so brightly in everything else and they are SO special games... that they get our A's.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
How proud one feels to know that one belongs to a place that is seen with such beauty from the outside. Long live Pokémon... Long live Game Freak and the mother who gave birth to them.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet feel like the awkward second evolution of one of its starters. It's growing into something resplendent, it's showing signs of an exciting second type, but it's got that weird vibe of a 20-something that hasn't quite figured out who they actually are. Add that weirdly stretched feeling to the constant technical oddities and you've got a game that's undoubtedly good fun, but it's still not even it's final form. I can't wait to see what Pokemon becomes, but it's not quite there yet.
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are ambitious new entries in the franchise that are held back by abysmal performance issues.
Scarlet and Violet offer some great new ideas for the Pokémon franchise, ruined by a world that seems very rushed and unfinished.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Pokemon Scarlet & Violet is more than the sum of its parts. Those parts include the woeful performance and optimization problems, which are a real drag – but much of the rest of the title soars so high that it does go a long way to make one ignore them, after a fashion.
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet is an audacious experiment toward the franchise's future and hosts a lot of potential to grow into something that changes everything we know about Pokemon for the better. It has a lot of issues in performance which could do with some tender love and care, but that doesn't stray from the fact it's a solid, wholesome Pokemon game down to its core.
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are great games mired by a host of technical issues.
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet take the long-awaited step into a fully open-world, but one poorly implemented and marred by frustration. A compelling story and characters are a saving grace in what is ultimately a fun game, but Pokemon's attempts at modernising continue to fall disappointingly short.