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Scarlet & Violet First Impressions and General Reviews Thread

It took me like 4 or 5 attempts against her. I ended up going to catch some other Pokémon then coming back to beat her. It was tricky but still possible so don’t worry! I personally liked the challenge though, I hate it when I just sweep them without any challenge.
Well, nice to know I'm not the only one having trouble with her. I see. I understand not wanting a boringly easy challenge. I personally just don't want something too hard because it takes the fun out of it for me if I have to get frustrated at something I'm having trouble with.
 
Well, nice to know I'm not the only one having trouble with her. I see. I understand not wanting a boringly easy challenge. I personally just don't want something too hard because it takes the fun out of it for me if I have to get frustrated at something I'm having trouble with.
I think the first two gyms were super easy so you go into that battle underestimating her but I had one of my Pokémon just sweep her first two then took another 2 to actually beat her main one!

Also that would be why level scaling would be amazing. They could add difficulty levels so if you want a challenge you could so hard and they are automatically a few levels higher at all times and if you want easy, a few levels lower or always the same level for normal.
 
I think the first two gyms were super easy so you go into that battle underestimating her but I had one of my Pokémon just sweep her first two then took another 2 to actually beat her main one!

Also that would be why level scaling would be amazing. They could add difficulty levels so if you want a challenge you could so hard and they are automatically a few levels higher at all times and if you want easy, a few levels lower or always the same level for normal.
Yeah. I still don't get why level scaling isn't in this game. Imo it even kind of defeats the point of an open world game. If there's no level scaling, there's still a certain order that you kinda have to do all this stuff in without having to resort to crazy ideas.
 
It was a huge oversight and considering a lot of the bugs they currently have, they probably didn’t have the ability to add it. Even if it was for Gyms only it would be so much better.
 
Pros:
-Let's Go is an awesome feature and I love it!
-I finally have teal hair. Been wanting that for a while.
-You can change your look before you start. Very nice.
-Overworld shinies. Nuff said.
-Exploring the areas are just a blast.

Cons:
-Even with Dexit and no building interiors, we have performance issues.
-Why do people, trees, and Pokémon suddenly disappear and reappear?
-Tera Battles online feel like a free-for-all.
-One and done TMs? Seriously? I was over that years ago, GameFreak!
-No level scaling. Just why?
-Why you gotta cut my boi Golurk from the Paldea dex, GameFreak?
-Again, NO BUILDING INTERIORS.

Don't misunderstand me. I am enjoying these games but it feels almost like a step down from Sword and Shield. I don't know if I particularly like that feeling.
 
I have finished playing my first playthrough of Violet this morning. I have a lot to say about these games! But with its pros and it cons, it has had been a blast to go through the whole region! I always got the impression in the past few generations that the games definitely do not put their full potential and the game developers keep cutting the edges for the sake of releasing them on a specific time pattern instead of finishing the games properly. Therefore, I had lower expectations this time around solely due to this thing becoming a trend, and also what I had seen in the trailers until that point. However, I enjoyed the games WAY MORE than what I had thought!

First of all, there are specific reasons as to why this game might feel more interesting than my previous experiences. First of all, I always played the games some time after their releases. Therefore, I was aware of all the new Pokémon, characters, plot, and such. I'd plan out a team in advance and just advance in the game accordingly. BUT! This time I had no idea what the starters would evolve into, what I'd encounter on the route, which enemies I'd face, what characters would come front, and what the story would be taking me to. Everything was mysterious until I found out throughout the gameplay.

Let's first mention what has had not been "the greatest".
  • Despite offering us a freedom of open world, the level scaling was awfully awful! I was facing my third Team Star admin (don't remember which one), and my Pokémon were early Lv. 40's. I was defeated as the admin's Pokémon were Lv. 50's. So I had to go back and grind so that I could defeat them. This is the first time when I realized the scaling was rather odd. Then I was about to challenge the last three gym leaders with my above Lv. 50 Pokémon. Guess what? They were about Lv. 10s and 20s. That was a total fun-killer experience. The game, aside from suggesting you to go to the Bug-type gym leader since they are nearby, never indicates any sort of order to visit the gyms. And still to this moment, it does not make a single sense to me why the game producers would not scale the levels accordingly with your process? That really kills the open-world element for the players.

  • At one point I was going through a mountain area, and I was stuck in a place where I could not walk out of the ground. It got me really anxious as I was worried I'd have to restart my game after processing so far, remembering what happened with BDSP gym thing. It took me quite a bunch of minutes to find an open spot that finally allowed me to leave the underground and get away from there. Little mistakes could really make your experience go in waste. They really needed a better time management to fix the bugs.
    I have read online that other players have experienced more and more serious problems, but it was nothing beyond what I have mentioned for me. And I own a Switch which I purchased when it was first released.
However, there are things that made me go really wow and very, very satisfied with my gameplay.
  • Characters. They are not really as flat and one-dimensional as they used to be in previous games. You can be overwhelmed by Tierno's dancing advertisement, Hau's appetite for malasadas. The rivals are not "just friendly person who is nice to you". Nemona was still a friendly person who is nice to you, but this time with a significant characteristic features. When you think of Calem/Serena as a rival, there is no personal image of characteristics out there. Just a peer cheering and supporting you. But with Nemona, you know that she is a very gutsy, fiery girl who is very straight-forward and often overly-excited.

  • The textures! They really give a depth and importance to your impression of the species of Pokémon or characters. It makes Pokémon feel more realistic than plastic toys. The characters also give more personal expression. I am not keen on giving unannounced names here in my review, but let's say I know all the details of clothing combining with their personalities. It has been a blast to the eyes, too!

  • The various goals give more depth to characters and Pokémon. You know as you achieve goals with Arven, you get to know this oddly-depressive person's past and personal issues. You start understanding them and then even get them to a better place eventually. You just see their personal growth deeper than the game characters who appear four or five times throughout your gameplay and then bam! They are just... better! The more time you have with the characters also make the whole "we are becoming good friends" vibe much significantly. In the last part where you resolve the problem with the professor and then come back to Paldea, when you walk through with three different people and then the boxart legendary, you just feel the friendship vibe with some texture and depth. It is not the same thing when, for example, in the ending credits you ride bike with Brendon/May in the end of OR/AS. You don't get that feeling, because you never had such personal/special moments with the other character throughout your journey. You never achieved something truly together.

  • The exploration is finally back! It has been YEARS since the games felt like a true exploration. Especially in Alola and Galar, the caves, routes and specific areas felt like a linear hallway you have to follow straight to get to the other part. But this time it was an exploration! You'd have no idea what sort of place you'd end up with. And you'd have to walk all around to see what it is like! It was really great to see the Pokémon world in a giant, real life size area. The biggest issue I had with my Sword playthrough was how you would see big cities with grand buildings and such, but you would not even be able to come close to these buildings. Your only option is to walk through the streets that would not even allow you to step on the grasses, and you'd call it a day. Paldea has nothing like that! (Maybe except for not visiting each and every house anymore, but it was awkward to begin with anyway... And I'd rather have them unaccessible than having each one of them with the exact same wall/furniture/carpets and such.)

  • I also like how the games do not go for generic backgrounds anymore. You are exactly and literally using the environment you are on during the battles and evolutions, very similarly how it was done in Legends: Arceus. That being said, there is this one specific time my Pokémon evolved on a generic background, but it happened only once. I have no idea what was different at the time. I was in a usual location and there was nothing unordinary about its evolution. So that is a big question mark for me.

Let me give my thoughts on each goal, as well.

First of all, I really love the fact that three goals give spotlight to every type that we have in existence. I think the lack of some types not having a major role back then was really something that felt off. I wish this trend would continue in other creative ways in the following games too.

Victory Road

I really enjoyed hopping between gyms to fulfill the 8 badges quest. Choosing the order of my own felt really refreshing and unique while I achieved goals one after another. That is, until I found out that the last 3 gyms that I faced were horribly leveled, so bad that I barely got any EXP's from those. While the goal is great, the scaling was horrible, as I've mentioned above. I like most characters in a unique way. Still no gym leader beats Roxie for me in terms of personality, but still it was nice.

I like the Elite 4 as well. However, I've got to admit that the second Elite 4 member that you face does not really sit well with me. How at such young age someone can have achieved this far, and how the Pokémon can have enough time to be so strong. It feels a lot like everything happened overnight, like the way your character achieves it. The first Elite 4 member that you battle should be my favorite Elite 4 member ever. It adds more when you see their characteristics. I am not keen on giving spoilers, but there is that!

The aspect of having many Champion level trainers upon defeating the Elite 4 and the "Top Champion" makes more sense than everything else ever. Nemona facing you as one of the champions was a nice touch, too.

Path of Legends

The best thing about this goal is Arven. I genuinely love him. Although he does not show it off, he is a very heartbroken guy with a dramatic past. Feeling neglected by his parents and having merely a friend as a Pokémon, then finding the parent in question is... well let's not give spoilers here, but I feel relatable in a lot of ways with him, maybe that is why I like him a lot. Meeting him every now and then and spending time together with our Pokémon was one of the most wholesome things in these games. Encountering random Pokémon in giant forms and defeating them one after another also gave us a room to acknowledge them. That being said, I particularly did not enjoy the False Dragon Titan. There was no need to take the spotlight away from a type, although that was made up for later.

Starfall Street

Compared to the other two, Starfall Street was the least interesting one among the goals, but even that was something quite very enjoyable, so that says something. The part where you find out who talks to you with a nickname was very underwhelming, because I knew who they were from the first moments. I think bullied students forming a bullying team has a nice message to it, only if you can hear it out. The flashbacks to one year and half ago gave characters a depth that not many villainous team members get (apart from the admins, of course).

The Last Part

Once you achieve all three paths and go on one more journey with your friends was an awesome and emotional layer to the gameplay. First of all, I love the scenario put in that part that resolves the boxart Pokémon's story, the truth about professors, and the fact that you go through such journey with your friends, with whom you had experienced lots before make it stand out nicely. There are times where Serena and the others join you defeat Lysandre in X/Y, Lance accompanying you in Johto games, or other times where other characters join you during the climax of the events cannot be a compare to this. Because these characters, this time you actually experienced things together, you share memories that you know of, you know them personally, their pasts, weaknesses and strengths. It is nothing like what has been done other times. That's why, when in the ending cutscene where you walk through the grasses with your real friends and do something together until you reach your destination felt really wholesome and heartwarming. Also the part where professor reveals the truth about themselves and you have to go with the tide was quite impactful. The moment where the professor begs you to defeat them left some real impact on me. Man, that was brutal in many ways.


Overall, despite of its issues and "could be better" aspects, I have not enjoyed a Pokémon game this much for a very, VERY long time. My favorite set of games is Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire for many reasons, and mainly because of its exploration and mirage spots surprises, but this game, while I was expecting it the least, is a good candidate to defeat them. I will still wait a little until my excitement goes and see if I still feel the same, but I am definitely going to speak positively about this game more than negatively, that's for sure!

And I genuinely don't care about online critics at this point. Such game as Sword/Shield where many MANY problems were present and the spirit of the game in terms of exploration, flexibility, adaptability and depth were ignored received a huge blobbed 9.3, while this GEM receives only a tiny bit of 6 out of 10. That is not what justice should be...
 
Well, nice to know I'm not the only one having trouble with her. I see. I understand not wanting a boringly easy challenge. I personally just don't want something too hard because it takes the fun out of it for me if I have to get frustrated at something I'm having trouble with.

Interesting. I had a lot of trouble with Iono too, but I had a different issue than you. My issue was her Mismagius kept using Confuse Ray and I took the bait and Terastallized my Closdire to Ground forgetting that Mismagius had Levitate. Her last Pokemon can definitely be frustrating and I don't like it having no weaknesses, that realized something several members had feared about the Terastal mechanic, that you can use it to create no weakness situations like this. Ultimately I tried evolving my Pawmo to try and outspeed it, but I ended up not needing it. I just tanked it with my Clodsdire, using its Poison attacks this time, and used a few Super Potions and that did the trick. Not the most elegant of strategies but it worked.
 
Just beat the main story. Here are my thoughts:

Okay, Victory Road is kinda meh on story (but story isn't a huge focus in this path) and Nemona's... okay as a rival, but I do like her as more of a mentor character who's helping you along and just waiting for you to get to her level so she can go all out against you. Arven's story arc with Mabosstiff also tugs at your heart strings (although not nearly as much as his relationship with the Professor, poor guy just gets all of the tragedy in this story).

Team Star and The Way Home though, those are really strong in the story department and are filled with lots of emotional reveals and surprising plot twists. They really make you feel bad about taking down Team Star's bases with flashbacks that make you feel sympathy for the friendship the bosses have with each other and the grunts worrying about and lamenting the bases' downfall. They also seem to be conveying a very powerful message to kids with this storyline, that fighting begets more fighting and many bullies are the way they are because they've suffered bullying themselves. Luckily it all resolves happily with Team Star able to continue what they're doing under school supervision.

As for The Way Home. Hoo boy. This is a doozy by Pokemon standards and I never expected them to go this hard. First of all, looks like there was some truth to the rumors about the past and future Pokemon. And here I thought Paldean variants killed that rumor. And speaking of death. They did it. I never thought they'd do it but they did. They put death in a Pokemon game with the bombshell reveal that the real Sada/Turo died and the one we were talking to was just an A.I. I figured from the beginning of the game that Sada/Turo might be the villain of the game (a very interesting first for the series, with the Professor being the main villain) with how sus they were being, staying holed up in Area Zero and only talking to us through a monitor or phone, abandoning Arven, and how callously they're willing to reveal the original Professors' time travel experiments. But for this to be what was going on? I was not ready for this reveal. It also ends on a really bittersweet note thanks to the original Professors' security protocols forcing the A.I. to fight you. Which yes, makes the original Professors, not the A.I., the true main antagonists of this game, their obsession with bringing the past/future into the present is so extreme that they programmed the tech they left behind to fight you tooth and nail to protect it. And it really ends on a bittersweet note. The A.I. is forced to leave in the time machine to shut it down, but they are in a sense realizing their creators' ambition. Arven loses his parent, but the A.I. at least conveys their love for him before departing. And you're the hero of Paldea, but you're not being publicly recognized as such because the whole incident in Area Zero rightfully needs to be kept under wraps.

I do think there's one minor plot hole here because despite the Area Zero incident needing to be kept a secret they seemingly have no issue with Paradox Pokemon roaming around the entirety of the crater when one of them already escaped previously and they also seem to have no issue with you capturing them, taking them up to the surface, and battling random NPCs with them (I guess we're passing them off as Paldean variants or something?). Overall though, excellent story, the odd numbered generations come up with a great story once again. And who was it that said open world games can't have great stories?
 
This took me like, almost a week to write, but I finally have my full review of Pokemon Scarlet. Full warning, this review contains some major spoilers, so don't read it if you don't want to see them.

Gameplay

The exploration of this game is amazing, definitely my favorite part of it. The region feels huge, and every part of it is able to be reached. Heck, you can even run around on top of buildings. And you’re rewarded for exploration. Gimmighoul Coins, Items, TMs, and Wild Tera Pokemon. I’ve sunk 50+ hours into adventuring through this region and I am still discovering new things!

I do have to say though, I am kind of mixed about how they decided to handle gaining more exploration tools. On one hand, I really like the idea of slowly gaining more ways to get around the region, and by the end you can fully explore Paldea with ease. But on the other hand, I was kind of sad that I had to wait to swim, climb, and fly. Granted, by the time you beat Klawf, Bombardier, and Orthworm, you can pretty much access all of Paldea if you try hard enough, and it was kind of fun trying to get past large gaps or large rivers.

While I’m on the topic of Paldea’s exploration, I wanted to talk about the Ruinous Legendaries, and the quest to get them. This is easily my favorite way they’ve handled a legendary quest before. I knew about the legendaries, but I actually hadn’t been spoiled on the quest it takes to find them and I’m so happy I wasn’t. I discovered one of the ruins within my first few hours of exploration, and I was so interested in what it held. The quest ties in so well into what this game is all about, exploring and finding your treasure. I’ve seen so many different things while looking around for these stakes. And it makes the Pokemon that come from the quests even cooler. They’re not interesting just because they’re legendaries, they’re interesting because they have a cool quest attached to them…. Also I have a bias towards collect-a-thons.

It was hard to decide whether or not I wanted to add this to the exploration section, but I decided to make them separate. As mentioned earlier, Paldea is absolutely massive. And the verticality to it is incredible. It’s like Legends Arceus’ Coronet Highlands x10. Every region feels flat in comparison (though it’s hard to say since many of them are still stuck with the top down perspective). The extra height helps the region feel even bigger, and it makes exploring so much fun.

The region is also beautiful. It has everything: grasslands, mountains, forests, snowscapes, oceans, lakes, waterfalls, and a desert. And dotted around it are several cities that all look so different. I do have to admit though, while the cities are all great, nothing really sticks out. Don’t get me wrong, I like them all, but none of them really pop to me like Galar’s Motostoke, Ballonlea, and Circhester, or Kalos’ Lumiose and Laverre. But seeing as this is the first time they’re attempting to build towns in a game that has a free-camera basically the whole time (besides the one town in Legends Arceus and the one in the Crown Tundra DLC) I can understand if they decided to not go crazy with the theming. And as I said, these towns are still really nice. Mesagoza is huge, and I love that you are even encouraged to climb around the tops of buildings with the various items scattered around up there. Casscarafa and Levincia are both towns on the water yet they’re completely different, and I love the cottage/cabin vibes from Montenevera. This region is my favorite to date, there’s no doubt about that.

This is an interesting dex to me, like there are a lot of cool-looking Pokemon. Not all of them appeal to me, but in general, the designs are interesting and fun. Most of the designs just look like typical Pokemon and fit right in with the many generations before, but then there's this small handful that are just… weird… In particular, I’m talking about the Nacil line, which starts off looking like a Mario Mushroom and then evolves into something out of Minecraft, and Flamingo who is literally a Flamingo with a loop around its neck. Like, I’m someone who sometimes likes the really simplistic designs (Dewgong is literally in my top 10), and I actually really like Flamingo, but isn’t that just a little too simple? I think they could have at least changed the color.

Overall though, I really like this dex. It still doesn’t top Gen 7’s dex for me. Heck, even with all the ultra beasts, I am not sure if anything will ever top Alola’s dex for me. But, I think this is still a solid dex. From the starters to the legends, this is a great one for sure.

It’s not a review of this game if I don’t talk about this, so I am going to have to spend some time on it. Usually, I’m not bothered by random frame drops in games, and weird graphical glitches are just kind of hilarious to me. Besides the camera clipping into the ground during some battles, I actually haven’t experienced anything too bad. I did have this super funny glitch where after I closed the map, one of the icons of a Pokemon from the map stayed on the screen and kept moving around while I moved the camera. Like, you can’t make some of this stuff up, it’s hilarious.

That being said, I do think these glitches are something that need to be fixed with a patch. As funny as they are, this game needs to be fixed and there needs to be some more optimization. For now though, I won’t let the glitches affect my review of the game too much.

Story and Characters

I don’t hide that I’ve never been all that interested in the battling aspect of Pokemon, so the gym challenge doesn’t usually excite me all that much. But, I was interested in seeing how they would handle the challenge this time around. After all, it’s pretty hard to follow up Sword and Shield big performance/sport theming with their gym challenge. Overall, I enjoyed the challenge as much as I could. I liked being able to challenge the gyms in any order, but I really wish they would have added some sort of level scaling system, then you can truly challenge them in any order without having to worry about the levels.
The gym tests themselves were pretty cool for the most part. There were some I wasn’t the biggest fan of the ones for Tulip’s and Grusha’s gyms, but I really enjoyed Kofu’s and Larry’s Gym Tests.

The gym leaders themselves were pretty cool, but I feel like they were missing just a little bit more character. The only gym leaders I felt like I knew more about after facing their gyms were Grusha, Iono, Kofu, and maybe Tulip.

But while I think the gym leaders were a little flat, the Elite 4 was amazing. While I still couldn’t fully grasp everything about them, their personalities shined. Heck, even if I hadn’t met any of them before seeing them in the Elite 4, I think I would still be saying that. The character interaction in this game is excellent, and it really helped me get to know Rika, Poppy, Larry, and Hassel. They did such a great job with them. I also like Geeta a lot more now too. Though she didn't get nearly as much as the Elite 4, the few lines she had were great. In particular, I liked that one about Nemona, and how she was holding back against Geeta when battling her for her Champion title.

That final battle with Nemona is awesome! I haven’t enjoyed a battle that much, ever. I really liked how they saved the final battle with your rival till after you’ve both achieved the rank of Champion. This was a great way to end this section of the story!

I was not expecting to like this storyline as much as I did. Honestly, when we were first introduced to Team Star, I was pretty underwhelmed by them. At the time, I thought they were going to be just a bunch of school bullies wearing slightly modified school uniforms, bike helmets, and star-shaped sunglasses. And I was pleasantly surprised to see that this was not the case. From the grunts, to the big boss herself, Team Star is amazing. The beginning makes them out to be bullies, but it turns out they’re the exact opposite, they’re just a bunch of kids who were bullied and who tried to step up against the bullies. I really like how they didn’t even wait for the end to reveal this, it was hinted at more and more after the story goes on, and it really gave me a sense of “Why am I tearing this team apart then?” I was so conflicted everytime I entered a base.

Storming the Star bases was actually pretty fun. As someone who doesn’t like battling all that much, the Let’s Go battle feature has been a blessing for me, making it much easier for me to grind out some levels or get some materials. And I really liked how they used it for raiding the base. It was so much more fun being able to battle a bunch of grunts all at once. I do think it would have been cool if they added an increase in difficulty with it though, perhaps with each one you do, you have one less minute to complete the challenge, or more Pokemon to defeat.

The Squad bosses were all great. I like how they each played a role in building Team Star, and how we got to see a little peak at all of their backgrounds. They all seemed to have very different personalities, and they all stood out from each other. They are easily my favorite “evil Team Admin” type characters in the series to date.

Then there was that little bit with Director Clavell/Clive. I admit, I’ve been suspicious of Clavell since he was first introduced, and I was pleasantly surprised to see he wasn’t the big bad at all, he was just misunderstanding the situation, and he was doing everything he could to fix that.

Going into this game, this is the section I believed I would end up liking the most, and I was not wrong (Starfall Street is a very close second though). Then, I get into the game and I’m immediately a little unsure after initially meeting Arven. Dang, he was a brat in the beginning. But, he proves that he isn’t that bad a guy after all, and I quickly grew interested in his story after defeating Klawf and finding the first Herba Mystica.

The titans themselves were okay, though I would have liked something a little more with them, like having to dodge obstacles or go through harsh terrain to get to them. You get a hint of that with Bombirdier, and you do have to chase Orthworm down, but I would have liked to see something for the others. Maybe there’s a big storm over Casseroya Lake before you beat Dondozo and Tatsugiri, making Pokemon more restless and aggressive. Or, maybe there’s a big sandstorm in the Asedo desert, making it harder to navigate.

This all being said, this was still my favorite section, and it's all thanks to the story with Arven. As I mentioned earlier, I grew interested in Arven’s story after getting the first Herba Mystica. Legit, I thought this man had a Miraidon or something when he called out his Pokemon after the player left. Then, after defeating Bombirdier, I realized the Pokemon was actually his sick Mabosstiff. The poor boy is just trying to do this to save his dog! I loved this little storyline, and by the end of it, we get to learn so much about Arven, yet there still seems to be so much more to know. Which brings me to the final part…

Okay before I talk about this bit of story I wanted to talk about Nemona, Arven, and Penny, the true stars of this section of the game. I mostly saved them for the end simply because I wanted to talk about them all together. I love these three so much. I really was not expecting them to go so hard on the whole ‘Nemona loves battling’ but they did and they pulled it off so well. She’s always excited to run into a battle, even if the situation is dire. That final battle with her was amazing. The little cutscene they do before it, where the Nemona and player seem to circle around each other then face off is amazing. The cutscene after the battle is great too. Girl was legit brought to tears. Whether it was because she lost or she was just so happy to finally battle someone at her level, I don’t know, but it made me cry with her. Penny is adorable, that poor girl just wanted to protect her friends. And her little bits of dialogue are great. The anime one? Perfection. She’s amazing. Of course, Arven is my favorite. C’mon, you give me emotionally damaged children, they’re going to be my favorites. He’s an absolute baby. But his growth in the game is pretty fun too. I loved watching as he grew to be closer friends with the player.

Each of the rival’s personalities are so unique, and not only is their interaction with the player great, the interactions they share are excellent. I love this group, and they are what made the ending of the game so amazing. Legit, I would play this game over again just to witness their interactions again. Please can we get an anime with this crew? Even if it’s just a few shorts, I would love it so much.

Now I can talk about the final segment of this game, The Way Home. Story wise, this was easily my favorite section of the game. And of course that’s because of Arven, Penny, and Nemona. It was so hard to make progress because I had to keep stopping to read their bits of dialogue as we walked down. But this trio wasn’t the only thing that made this story special, it was the story itself. I absolutely love the way it was written. Area Zero is made out to be this scary, dangerous place, but then you get there and it’s strangely peaceful. This was the one section of the game I went completely unspoiled in (well, I knew about the Paradox Pokemon), and I am so happy I managed to avoid spoilers for this area. Before going down to Area Zero, I was expecting this deep, dark cave full of dense forests and huge Pokemon, but Area Zero was full of light, and wide open spaces. It’s basically the opposite of what I was expecting, and it’s really fun to explore.

Then there’s the story itself, the reason the past paradox Pokemon and the Koraidons are both here. I really wasn’t expecting Professor Sada to be dead. At some point, I was wondering if that wasn’t the real Professor Sada, but I didn’t expect them to be like “Oh yeah she’s dead”. I really thought that Professor Sada’s AI was just evil and had locked up Sada somewhere. But no, she was good till the end, despite her programming. This game was full of twists and turns, but there truly was no twist villain (Unless you count the real Professor Sada, who allowed the time machine to remain open in the first place and let all these past Pokemon in, even if it caused destruction. Also she was a horrible Mom). Legit, I shed a few tears as Professor Sada’s AI started to be consumed by her programming, and when she told Arven she was proud of him. It was beautiful.

The last cutscene ends it off perfectly. Just a group of friends and their oversized motorcycle lizard, taking a little detour for another adventure. I was balling by the time I reached the credits.

After Legends Arceus couldn’t beat out Pokemon Sun and Moon as my favorite games, I truly thought nothing ever would, but despite its flaws, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet have. This is my favorite Pokemon game, and I can not wait to experience it again.

With that, I think I am going to rank this game about an 8.5/10. These are great games that certainly have their flaws, but despite that, they are still a lot of fun, and I really hope Game Freak continues to make open-world games like this in the future.
 
Then there’s the story itself, the reason the past paradox Pokemon and the Koraidons are both here. I really wasn’t expecting Professor Sada to be dead. At some point, I was wondering if that wasn’t the real Professor Sada, but I didn’t expect them to be like “Oh yeah she’s dead”. I really thought that Professor Sada’s AI was just evil and had locked up Sada somewhere. But no, she was good till the end, despite her programming. This game was full of twists and turns, but there truly was no twist villain (Unless you count the real Professor Sada, who allowed the time machine to remain open in the first place and let all these past Pokemon in, even if it caused destruction. Also she was a horrible Mom). Legit, I shed a few tears as Professor Sada’s AI started to be consumed by her programming, and when she told Arven she was proud of him. It was beautiful.

I definitely think the original Sada/Turo is meant to be the main antagonist of this game. Even though they're revealed to be dead, their impact can still be felt, especially in The Way Home. Their actions caused the mess you have to clean up, creating the time machine you have to shut down, bringing Paradox Pokemon to the present, bringing the two Koraidon/Miraidon to the present that squabble with each other. None of the characters you interact with are truly antagonists, but the original Professor's ambitions are clearly the cause of the conflict. And while it might be a stretch to call them evil because they seem to have good intentions, I think we can clearly say that they're antagonists because they're causing problems for the entire region. I did also like the dynamic with A.I. Sada/Turo where they don't support their creator's ambitions and assist you in stopping them but they're forced to fight you as the final boss because of how the original programmed them, it makes the main antagonist and the character you fight to resolve the main plot two different people (well, sort of anwyay) which is something I don't think I've ever seen in a story.
 
Okay, so last night I cleared the end-game and got to the credits, so I can post my full opinion now (I'll just spoiler it all save for the first few paragraphs, end-game spoilers ahead):

Open world Pokemon is great. Even if some things are not executed all too well, I will always take open world over running back and forth in a small patch of grass for 30 minutes looking for a particular Pokemon to show up. Pokemon is an adventure game, and open world is adventure. So I hope they keep going down this road.

I know a lot of people are disappointed that some things did not carry over from Arceus. I set my expectations on that low from the beginning. The vibe I got from Legends Arceus is that since it's set so far in the past when Pokemon and humans were not working together as much, that explains the different gameplay mechanics. Do I want them in the other Pokemon games? YES! Did I expect them all to make it? No. Nevertheless, there are some QoL things that definitely SHOULD have been carried over. Legends Arceus' gameplay was so fast paced. IIRC the status effects and such did not take a whole long way to go through the messages, whereas S/V is right back to old slow-paced outdated traditional Pokemon. That is a disappointment (although I will say that the raid battles ARE fast paced and that is a lifesaver versus Sw/Sh). In Arceus, battles were seamlessly integrated with the world, which S/V did somewhat. But they don't feel as seamless as Arceus.

One little thing I DO like about SV before I forget - Snow. We finally have actual snow. Not hail. It's so refreshing. It's so nice to go into snowy regions and the battles not constantly have to do the animation and message that the Pokemon were buffeted by hail. It is snow, not hail, afterall. A much needed change here.

The new Pokemon - Ehhh. I'm mixed on them, as I always am. So far I haven't come out of this generation with any top favorites like I did back in Gen VIII, though. Sprigatito is a candidate because it's so darn cute. That doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of decent Pokemon designs here, though. The three dogs are all great, I just was disappointed that they were all monotypes. There's only so much room in my party and monotypes don't typically make it.

Regional variants really took a step back this generation, I think there are only two? And one is yet another Gen 1 Pokemon. Because of course it is. >.> And what in the world is up with the the Diglett and Tentacool "clones"? They are clearly regional variant quality Pokemon, but they are given their own spots in the Pokedex. And of course, they're both Gen 1s... Ugh. Why does my favorite Pokemon - Galarian Rapidash have to be relegated to regional variant status, yet Wiglett is its own Pokemon? sigh

I suppose the lack of regional variants can be excused by the existence of paradox Pokemon. I only just got into the end game so I'm not too familiar with them. I liked Misdreavus's paradox form and its ghost/fairy! That's neat. Almost inclined to add it to my team, but IDK. For the most part I'm not in love with any of the paradox Pokemon either, even though it's a really neat concept.

One thing that I pointed out in my first impressions were the variety of Pokemon available in the early game and I still think that's a very strong point for the game. Incidentally, even though Sawsbuck has been one of my top favorites since B/W, I never did use one in my part until this game!

The graphics in this game are pretty weak, certainly not up to the standards that Pokemon should be at with how massive it is. Nevertheless, the Pokemon themselves looked fantastic. A lot of work went into the Pokemon models and their textures. They look better than ever before!

Oh, also, the interfaces in this game are quite pretty, a large step up from previous games. The Pokedex entries having their own pictures is really neat.

The music: I'm sorry you all, I know this is unpopular, but the music in this game is for the most part forgettable. Some of it makes me turn the volume down (the twangy country music in some areas. Ew). I did like the early game wild Pokemon battle theme (the funky one lol), and some of the end-game themes were memorable. But for the most part, this is one of the weaker generations by music. That makes Pokemon music nearly half-half for me. Half of the generations have great, memorable music, the other half...not so much.

Character customization: Disappointing. Don't get me wrong, the ability to edit facial features is amazing. That should definitely be implemented from here on out. But wearing a uniform the whole game is not fun. Especially considering one of the characters - Penny gets to waltz into classrooms without a uniform. I know her role in the story makes it make sense she isn't wearing a uniform, but it doesn't make sense that she gets away with it when she's attending classrooms. One thing I've noticed is that the game's stores have "spots" for clothing, they're just greyed out. I wonder what this means? Why have them if they're not in the game? Maybe in the DLC we will get to get out of our uniform? A bit late, if you ask me. and I'm not counting on it, but I am left wondering.

The story: Okay, so this game felt rather sporadic in story there for a long time, but really it was all just building up to the endgame. I really like Koraidon. It was a surprise to have the box legendary be your partner the whole way through the game, instead of some powerful mystical Pokemon you encounter in the end game. And they did a great job with building up Koraidon as a friend. When I first saw the box legendaries in the pre-game reveals I was neutral on them, but seeing Koraidon in the game certainly warmed me up. It is very cute! Koraidon being your exploration Pokemon was also a nice move, as opposed to previous games either having HMs or non-personal partner Pokemon. I don't think they can pull this off in every future game, but I do think this is my favorite method. Even if IMO climbing came so late in the game I was thinking we weren't even going to have that ability (which would be very strange for an open world game, very limiting!).

The endgame was really interesting, I'll just put it that way. The final battle with the "other" version of our box legendary actually felt quite dramatic. Also I just have to say that the cutscenes in the endgame are a massive improvement from the past games. We finally have characters showing dynamic expressions!

The plot twist with the "professor" was quite something. A bit depressing for Pokemon. Poor Arven.

There were no all-out villains in this game and that was refreshing.
 
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My "Watched threads" page has failed to work for the last couple of weeks, so I completely forgot about this thread. Dang it...

Decided to watch an LP before playing the game myself, so that I could plan my course and team. It was a very nice enjoyable experience. The main game was very enjoying, and I've found myself playing the game (Violet) hours at a time. The main game ending was emotional and full of stuff I never expected to see in a core Pokémon game. The characters were all likable, Paldea feels vast and open, and battle transitions are very smooth. The post-game, while short, was nice too, and I also enjoyed befriending all the teachers. That last bit I actually got wrapped up last night before going to bed. With 300 of the 400 Pokémon collected, I look forward to the heavily hinted DLC.

PS. Did anyone else catch the nice Sw/Sh reference? Sonia's first book can actually be found at the academy, conforming these game chronologically take place after the Galar games.
 
Oh, didn't even notice this was a thread XD

Beat this game a bit back, gotta say they're quite solid


Pros:
+Solid set of stories that intertwine well. Shout-out to that finale.
+A solid set of new mon. Not all of em are winners but lots of fun and creative choices this time around. Cool to see we also got a mix of regional variants (even I think there weren't quite enough), cross gen evos and the new concept of ENDGAME STORY STUFF paradox mon was pretty interesting.
+Some of my favorite human characters in the entire series.
+Terrastalization/Terra Battles being a super fun gimmick. getting different mons with different types is probably gonna up the replay value for me
+The open world is super engaging, even if not fully flawless
+ Being able to explore with friends via union circles was super cool and really helped immerse me into the aspect of sharing this grand journey



Cons:
-techical problems and BUUUUUUUUUGS
-weird clunky ui. The dex and map both come to mind.
-The strange removal of a couple of series essentials (eg. switch mode being optional, Elite 4 rematches)
-Fairly abysmal clothing options


Overall, really enjoyed my time with these games and I'll probably be returning it . A couple stuff hold it back from true series all-time greatness but still pretty solid.
 
Finished the game earlier today.

Overall, that finale was wild. Definitely pushed the story into my favorite one of the main series, dethroning B/W. I honestly had a bit of trouble with some of the later fights too, which was fun as that hasn't happened to me in with pokemon in roughly a decade.

Definitely want gamefreak to just keep doing games like this in the future, but improving and iterating on the formula they introduced with S/V. There's still ways to go in detailing the region, adding content scattered across the land, distinct locations, etc, but yeah for me, this was the first time in many years a pokemon game felt like pokemon.
 
man. where to even begin.. ? whenever i start a new pokemon game, i try not to set any expectations. i give every single new game a completely fair shot to leave an impression on me, whether positive or negative, and try to judge them based on the game's own content and try not to be like "well, (insert previous pokemon games) had..." like some fans do, mostly because i feel that's setting myself up for disappointment. that said, gonna break this up into chunks.

  • this. this was so much fun to do. people can rightfully criticize game freak's tried, true, and mostly boring formula of getting 8 badges and becoming champion thing that has stuck with pokemon since the beginning, but one thing they have been getting right over the years are the characters. i'll get into them specifically soon, but most of them have left a really good impression on me and they have a lot of personality, which is great!! i want my gym leaders to not be boring and have something interesting about them, yknow?
    • even the most boring gym leader there, larry, is actually... fun? like his whole entire personality is to be bland, but he's really anything but because of that. i really appreciate that he's kind of a caricature of your typical overworked office worker.
    • iono!!! her high-energy definitely made me more excited for her gym fight for sure
    • i like that kofu is the kind of guy who talks in puns and wordplay about cooking and fishing and ties them into pokemon battling
    • geeta gives off a powerful presence (as a top champion should) and it was no surprise that she ended up being the final fight and my god her theme absolutely slaps. i don't think there has been a bad champion theme in years though, so this is mostly keeping up the good work, here.
    • i'm very interested in how poppy became an elite four member when she's like... six years old?? how did the conversation go?? did she battle geeta and nearly beat her and the former was so impressed that she was invited?? that's the only scenario i can imagine lol
    • the above being said, it's nice for once to have the elite four actually interact with each other instead of existing in a vacuum like most others seem to. they actually really do seem to know each other, and while this may certainly be the case in previous pokemon games, there was zero real interaction whatsoever between them, no fun dialogue or anything whatsoever. glad this was changed this generation
    • and last but definitely not least, nemona herself leaves a lasting impression as your cheerleader and rival the whole way through. and the thing about it is, she very much feels and is every bit of a rival that i think people could've asked for. she's definitely not silver or blue, but she doesn't really need to be. not all rivals in pokemon games need to be complete jerks to feel like satisfying rivals and i think nemona is the right way to go about with this. especially in the end where the both of you battle as true equal champions and you really see the cutscene after and how she's happy at how much you've grown. the fact that she has lost doesn't faze her not one bit and only excites her even more for future battles. that is a rival i can get behind
  • with all the good though, must come the bad. i agree with others who have stated here about the non-existent level scaling. because of this, i completely cleaned house with every gym leader with zero difficulty at all, with my pokemon being ~79 by the time i faced the last gym leader (grusha). i think part of this is probably my fault because i spent a significant amount of time doing tera raids which give you exp candies which makes leveling absolutely trivial. i think if i ignored tera raids entirely and challenged the gyms and did training the Old Fashioned Way (battling trainers/wild pokemon), i would've been at a significantly lower level and maybe had more of a difficult time, but eh. who knows, really. still though, would've been nice to have it.
  • i'm sorta disappointed that as far as i'm aware, there's no way to rematch the elite four. i can sort of get the logic behind this since you're champion and all, but... surely it can't hurt having fun rematches with rika and the gang, right?? i kinda wished game freak incorporated elements of sun and moon here and made it so you can "defend" your rank in a way as different elite four members or other characters were to challenge you. oh well.

  • mmm. y'know, going into this story, i kinda expected team star to be this bland, boring evil team kinda like team yell in swsh. mostly a gag and time-waster until we face the Real Antagonists, y'know? but wow, was i wrong. very, very wrong. i even had the impression that team star were the bullies, and it turns out that they were poor kids being bullied all along! as someone who... had a not so pleasant grade school experience, i felt really touched by this story.
  • the mechanic of sending out three of your pokemon to fight 30 different trainers' pokemon, i gotta admit, is really nice. i like that they went this route instead of traditional pokemon battling, although i think the time given was WAY too generous. if you had a decently leveled pokemon, you could clear a team star base in 2-3 minutes max. if anything they should've given you 5 minutes to start with
  • the bosses themselves having different origin stories is actually really interesting, and even cassiopoeia giving background as to each boss was nice too. for example, finding out giacomo was the one who apparently composed the team star music (lol), and i think atticus made the uniforms? little things like that add personality to the bosses that were appreciated, and seeing them interact with the real boss at the end was super touching. god how this story was wrapped up in a nice bow was extremely satisfying. team star doesn't really have to disband, they can continue all being friends and going to school like things are meant to be without fear of being bullied.
  • i think the only negative i can put here is that in hindsight, the "penny being cassiopoeia" thing is very obvious if you think about it. also director clavell pretending to be a student named "clive" was kinda cringe at times, although i understand that was the intention what with the director himself being an old, out of touch man lol

  • ah, arven's story. or well, it's easy to get the impression that this is more for arven's benefit than the players', although this is quickly proven wrong when the players' koraidon/miraidon reacts positively to being fed the sandwiches with herba mystica in them. it's established at this point that this was the path that i needed to go in order to help miraidon get its powers and abilities back.
  • the actual story itself is ok, but repetitive. i suppose you can say that about all of the three story paths, as you tend to do the same thing with some variation in them, but i think the actual battling for this part was very same-y with very little difference - i come across a titan pokemon and arven helps me battle it and we beat it sorta thing - and we celebrate, go into the cave with herba mystica, eat a sandwich while giving miraidon a piece and being happy it's slowly regaining abilities.
    • the kicker here - that being arven's own masbostiff - gives not only the story a lot more punch - but also builds on arven's character. i liked that he's not so tunnel-visioned on getting herba mysticas for the sake of making food with them, he's doing it so he can save his pokemon's life. it's a twist that, by the end of it all, had me definitely ranking this i think above even starfall street. when i found this out, it became clear that there was actual mutual benefit and purpose to obtaining the herba mysticas.
    • also thank fuck that masbostiff is still alive at the end, there was a small teaser where it seemed like it wouldn't have made it and arven looks away, dejected but at least he did his best, and then masbostiff bloody stands up and has its energy back!! and even has its original strength back to the point where it can bloody battle. in fact, it's in such pristine condition that nearing the end of The Way Home, arven felt confident enough that it can take on several paradox pokemon on its own. definitely impressive and speedy recovery, here.
  • the last battle. oh my god. i cannot express enough in words how cool it is to fight arven after all that we both went through battling titans and collecting herba mysticas only to have a battle to test my own strength to see if i'm ready for area zero. the very same area zero that really crushed this guy emotionally to the core and critically wounded his beloved childhood pokemon. to anyone who has forgotten, pokemon battles in-universe are more than just who wins or loses, but they're a way to better understand your opponent, which i think is the real purpose here. to gauge strength and to see if we're really ready for the final road of our journey.

  • game freak knocked it out of the park here and that feels weird to say. i know it's popular to criticise them on a LOT of things, but how they've tied the three paths together into this converging story and had all three major characters interact with each other is amazing. upon entering aera zero, all three characters sort of meet for the first time, with the biggest thing in common being that they have strong friendships with the player. but there's actual effort to get to know each other. in the dialogue as i progressed in area zero, they've spoken to each other to try to get to know each other and their background, what their parents were like, things like that
  • arven himself is also developed exponentially here. we find out before this point that his parents are the professors of the region and our whole goal is to meet up with them at the bottom of area zero. but man, this guy has had such a rough history, and that's an understatement. we find out from him later on about the time machine that the professor is working on and how it's finished and brought back past/future pokemon to the present.
  • it's also weird that by the time i reached area four, that the prof started to act a bit sus, and i really liked this foreshadowing that the prof was an AI. overall very creepy writing that fit in with the wreck that was lab 4. also later finding out that arven's parents were killed in that same lab was... rough.
  • i don't know how to express this other than the fact that holy shit the final fights vs the professor is probably one of the best fights in pokemon gaming to me. like i mentioned before - pokemon battles in-universe are more than just winning or losing - they can have other purpose to them, and i liked that above all, the prof's AI going back to the past/future served as closure to him in a way. he still feels distraught finding out what happened to the real professor, and man if i was in his shoes i'd be absolutely destroyed so in all honesty he took all of this pretty well.
  • MIRAIDON GETS SPECIAL MENTION HERE FOR BEING AN ABSOLUTE BADASS and overcoming its rival and kicking its ass in the end
  • i think the biggest negative in this story, as odd as it is for me to say, were nemona and penny. for a vast majority of this story, their skills aren't actually put to real use beyond battling the paradox pokemon that interrupts the group every time i went to a research station. there's not a whole lot of cohesion beyond the group getting to know each other in the beginning or combining their skillset or something.
    • penny doesn't really do anything with any sort of tech or does any hacking the whole story, so her inclusion is questionable (although it's funny seeing her react to both nemona and arven so i guess she's the humour character here). at the very beginning she restored power to the area zero base there, but that's the only time we see her flex her skills. i think using her again in the research lab #4 wreck would've been interesting - maybe have the button to release the lock be damaged or something and have penny's help fixing it sorta thing. idk. i feel like more could've been done with her
    • i can sort of see why nemona is here... the area zero pokemon are no joke and someone of her strength would definitely be helpful. but i feel like her carefree nature oftentimes conflicts with the seriousness the story is trying to convey sometimes. a big example of this is the whole family reunion comment after the two miraidon meet again and it comes across as very tone-deaf (and she gets rightfully called out for it). i get that nemona's personality is BATTLE BATTLE BATTLE and this seems entirely in-character with what we know of her but even a little sympathy goes a long way. idk. there were moments here where i was like "wait seriously nemona lol".
  • hot take - this story alone, even with its flaws is better than BW's story. i realise that i'm going to attract pitchforks here, but come on. especially at the very end, with the exhilarating battle with the prof's AI and the opposing miraidon/koraidon itself, how could it not be better?? my emotions were being tugged the whole way through and a main series pokemon game hasn't done that, EVER.

if it weren't for the various visual glitches and framerate dips this game would be an easy 9.5/10.
 
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with all the good though, must come the bad. i agree with others who have stated here about the non-existent level scaling. because of this, i completely cleaned house with every gym leader with zero difficulty at all, with my pokemon being ~79 by the time i faced the last gym leader (grusha). i think part of this is probably my fault because i spent a significant amount of time doing tera raids which give you exp candies which makes leveling absolutely trivial. i think if i ignored tera raids entirely and challenged the gyms and did training the Old Fashioned Way (battling trainers/wild pokemon), i would've been at a significantly lower level and maybe had more of a difficult time, but eh. who knows, really. still though, would've been nice to have it.
79? Jeepers. I'm done with the post-game, and my Pokémon still aren't that high. Yeah, I didn't really do raids before the post-game, but even with the few that I did, I didn't use any of the Exp. Candy I got from them.
 
I did struggle against a few of them:

Tofu (the Water Gym Leader whose name I can't remember) because I was underlevel
Iono because of Mismagius

The rest I mostly swept. I didn't really do raids or trainer battles (I mean, I did, just not a crazy amount of them).
 
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