TLDR Life: I'm having fun with Pokemon Scarlet and Violet anyway
I'm having fun with Pokemon Scarlet and Violet anyway
December 05, 2022
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet is a good singleplayer (and coop) game drawn back by bugs and performance dips.

So I bought Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. It's a fun and refreshing game to play that brought me back to Pokemon. It also triggered me to revisit the past titles mainly figuring out how Pokemon Home will fit in my playthrough puzzle. Here is my spoiler-free play in progress review to Pokemon Scarlet and Violet:

+ An over-arching main quest with 3 storyline quests.
+ Coop is fun.
+ New pokemon species and new starters have better design than previous gen.
+ Open world and no linear quest playthrough.
+ New Pokemon bonding activity.
+ New way to engage wild Pokemons for training.
+ Lead Pokemon outside the Pokeball follows you again.
+ Local coop sessions

- Noticeable visual glitches (e.g. a floating pokeball during battle, world clipping on certain camera views, game lighting / shadow flickering).
- Performance dips (e.g. FPS decrease or lags occur due to assets loading afar).
- No drop in and out sessions during coop.
- Lengthy text prompts.
- Bugs (e.g. no attack animation, missing string).
- While free roaming beside you, your Pokemon would go back to their Pokeball instead of teleporting next to you if they fall behind too far.
- Rare game crashes. Press Up, X, and B button at the main menu to access backup save copies.

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet is a good game in terms of its non-linear game progression, and the numerous activities available (there is a little bit of Pokemon Snap in it). Although the game plays like a beta. I don't recall any first-hand glitches in Pokemon Let's Go, Pokemon Sword and Shield, and Pokemon Legends Arceus. The performance dips makes you wish this was released on the (rumored) Nintendo Super Switch instead. Is it Gamefreak's fault or is it the aging Nintendo Switch - is it both? Nintendo will make more money with a next-gen release anyway.

The coop is fine but it can definitely be improved. Since it's the first iteration of a coop, I'll let it pass. Being able to play local wireless is a big bonus too! In coop, each player has to connect to the host first (via link code) before setting out. If the host is disconnected, everyone gets kicked out; everyone has to do the set up process again. You can imagine improving this via implementing a coop drop-in feature while the host is running their link code. Anyway, the current coop does its job especially on raids, Pokemon bonding activities, and catching a wild Terrastilized Pokemon of their own.

You're NOT missing out from singleplayer too (except on trade evolutions). Both playstyles are balanced and I recall catching exclusive mons on public raids. And it doesn't matter which color you'll pick (I bought both). More importantly, there's something new in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. I recommend Pokemon Scarlet and Violet - not because it's Pokemon - but because it's a refreshing take on the game.