Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Review: A Frustrating Evolution

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet constantly getting in their own way, fitting together every phenomenal story moment and struggling with an equally frustrating design decision or technical issue. It’s an absolute shame because scarlet and violet feel like her Finally driving the franchise’s core designs in a meaningful way. But the absolutely deplorable state in which the game was released cannot be overlooked.

Just like any other Pokemon game, scarlet and violet Start with your young adventurer embarking on a journey around the world, but this time there’s a little catch. Your character enrolls in a prestigious Pokémon Academy, meeting some friends and rivals along the way.

Where scarlet and violet The real difference from previous entries is how the story plays out. There are three concurrent narratives: Victory Road, the quintessential Pokemon fitness challenge; Starfall Street, where you destroy bases of the criminal student group Team Star; and Path of Legends, where you’ll face off against massive Titan-type Pokemon. These connect scarlet and violet new open-world approach, and you can tackle them in any order.

All of these activities have specific levels, but the freedom presented in scarlet and violet really breathes new life into the Pokemon experience. This is the first Pokémon game in years that actually feels like one adventureand it gives you a lot of influence over how your story unfolds.

Over and beyond, scarlet and violet Get a little more ambitious with your storytelling, especially with the Team Star storyline, which delves into the past and personalities of the defaulting leaders. It’s apparent early on how much care has gone into writing and designing the characters, all to the benefit of the story.

The new Paldea region is lush with wilderness and diverse biomes, but the size of the world is where the cracks are showing. Whether you’re playing in handheld or docked mode, the game is constantly stuttering and the framerate can fluctuate wildly, even when just running around. I’ve also encountered literally dozens of bugs during my review playtime, from falling through the floor and restarting the game to a truly egregious pop-in where people and Pokemon suddenly appeared just meters in front of me.

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are clearly games that were released too early and just needed more polish. Even just from a graphical point of view, so much of scarlet and violet looks rough and unfinished, with muddy textures and awkward animations.

Aside from the new open-world focus, if you’ve played a Pokémon game before, you’ll be instantly familiar with the core loop of scarlet and violet.

Battles play out similar to in Pokémon Legends: ArceuS, which takes place directly on the map instead of moving to a separate combat area. The franchise’s turn-based combat is pretty much the same as always, but there are plenty of new Pokemon and moves thrown into the mix. On the whole scarlet and violet The new cast of creatures feels like worthwhile additions, and there are some real standouts, from the hilarious little fairy Tinkaton, who wields a massive hammer, to the lingering ghost spirit of Primeap known as Annihilape.

In scarlet and violet, Pokemon roam the field, and you now have the option to send a Pokemon into auto-battle and solve things quickly if you just want to gain some experience. Simultaneously, scarlet and violet you can exchange experiences at any time, ie your entire group levels, regardless of whether you are fighting other trainers or catching new Pokémon.

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Of course, the other major new feature is Terastalizing, which lets you turn a Pokemon into a souped-up Crystal version that can change types mid-battle. Terrastalizing can only be used once before needing to be charged in the Pokemon Center, which means you’ll have to think carefully about when and where you want to use it. Overall, it’s a system that feels a bit gimmicky, but adds a little extra layer of strategy.

There are a handful of other new mechanics and changes to help scarlet and violet a unique identity. The most obvious is the addition of new legends, Koraidon and Miraidon, who essentially act as your motorcycle for most of the game.

These Legendaries make it a lot easier to get around, and as you defeat Titan Pokémon you can unlock additional abilities, such as: To swim or fly to see more of the world. At the same time, there’s a robust fast travel system that takes you instantly to any Pokemon Center you’ve visited before.

There’s also a brand new picnic system that allows you to craft your own sandwiches, which will then provide helpful stat boosts to your entire party. You can also buy food in towns to get various other effects. The sandwich-making is a nice feature, but I mostly found it superfluous to the overall experience and not something I really needed to engage with.

on the other hand is scarlet and violet Co-op that finally lets you explore the vibrant world of Pokemon with friends. It’s an absolute blast to be able to walk around the world with your buddies, rather than just a small, specific area.

Terra Raid battles take place across Paldea, pitting you and three friends against a powerful Terrastalized Pokémon. If you win these battles, you can catch the Pokemon and get a bunch of valuable supplies like experience candies or items that can change a Pokemon’s terrastalization type.

Of course, technical issues also constantly hamper the co-op experience, often resulting in game crashes or visual glitches that make character and Pokemon models look like wild Frankenstein creatures.

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Review – The Bottom Line


  • The new open world format adds a lot of freedom.
  • Some of the franchise’s best characters and stories.
  • Really imaginative new Pokemon.


  • Abundance of performance issues and bugs.
  • Poor graphics performance even when the game runs well.
  • Some systems, like sandwich-making, feel redundant.

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are filled to the brim with good ideas, many of which are executed fairly well, but it feels like the games could have really become something special if they had been given a little more time to bake.

scarlet and violet Capture the spirit of adventure in a way no Pokémon game has been able to in years, but the abysmal performance and bugs really start to spoil the fun after dozens of hours.

There are some mechanics that ultimately feel gimmicky, though scarlet and violetThe storytelling and exploration of ‘s feels like the breath of fresh air the franchise desperately needed. More than anything, I’m hoping for how an eventual DLC can improve the overall experience or how Game Freak can learn from its mistakes to create an even more memorable experience in the future.

[Note: Nintendo provided the copy of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet used for this review.]

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