Pokémon Scarlet and Violet
The open world experience I didn’t know I wanted.
By now, I’m sure many people have seen the posts and articles about the bugs and graphics. In typical fashion for me, I’m fortunate enough to have encountered zero bugs or issues and so my experience has been painted entirely by super cute Pokemon and interesting NPCs.
I was most surprised at the strength of the team I have. I have only swapped out from my main (Sprigatito, for the record.) once, and only just to evolve my Pawmo to Pawmot. I have the same six Pokémon I first caught. Is it a balanced team? Probably not. Most of my team is fully evolved except for two, and it was effortless once I started doing the Tera raids, which reward you with xs, sm, m, and l exp boosts.
Also interesting was giving you two ways to pay for things in-game, the standard currency, and LP, which racks up quickly. I mostly use my LP to buy sandwich toppings. Camping is back, but unlike before, it’s not curry but sandwiches you make and feed your Pokémon.
You start in your house, sure, but your main bedroom is the dorm room at your school. At the time of this blog, I used it once. A mystery I haven’t solved yet though is what the friendship points with certain people like the teachers or the nurse are for, though it feels reminiscent of Persona’s social links. I’m certain there are no romance options, given that kids are still a strong demographic.
Since it is an open world, you have no plotted path of taking on gyms, fighting the current version of the elite four, become a champion. So far, I’ve seen three paths offered up, with no reason you can’t pursue all of them: fighting Pokémon Titans, which appear to be giant versions of regular Pokemon so far. The goal of this is to get mystic herbs so the person who wants you to get the herbs can make legendary beneficial sandwiches.
Instead of you being the only champion you encounter except the one heading the elite four, is your friend, who also serves as your rival but isn’t antagonistic. It’s this friend/rival that encourages you to go for being a champion.
Lastly, is this version’s version of Team Rocket, or later equivalents: Team Star, which is just delinquent students that recruit (sometimes, if I understand correctly, by force)? Someone recruits you to help take them down.
Those seem to be the three primary things to do, and that’s before Tera raids, wild Terastallized Pokemon. It’s a lot. My first thought when I reached my first area was “This is such a huge area!” And it was just one small portion of one area’s map. Imagine something akin to the size of Skyrim but in a Pokémon setting.
I feel bad for those who encountered bugs or graphical problems, but I can’t get enough of playing it. I would recommend this to absolutely anyone who enjoys Pokémon games for sure.
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