Welcome to another YvoCaro Plays!
As always, these blurbs are mostly about the video games I’m currently playing. Unedited thoughts spring up in my mind, mostly game-related, sometimes not. Or a random train of thoughts starting with the game and ending somewhere completely different!
If you like these bits of gaming thoughts, you can find the previous ones here
To Buy or Not to Buy
If you are a regular to LadiesGamers you might know that I am in no way a Pokémon gamer of the very first hour. I got into the game pretty late, Pokémon Platinum was my first ever experience. Unexpectedly, I loved it. It was all new to me and I finished the entire game, looking to complete my Pokédex for a long time.
What made me love it most was the fact that the ladies in my gaming group played it at the same time, and we traded Pokémon, hatched eggs to help the others to special Pokémon and gave each other berries. I’ve often nothing beats playing a game at the same time others are enjoying it too.
But as I wrote in this YvoCaro Plays I never finished the games that came after it (though I do think I made it to the Champions Road in Pokémon White) but I was very glad when Pokémon Legends: Arceus came along. It was fresh, it was new and it had a semblance of an open-world game.
Surprisingly, GameFreak went back to the older formula now with Pokémon Violet and Scarlet. And I was on the fence for quite a while. Should I dive in again and buy it, or not?
Diving into Pokémon Violet
The Pokémon series of games is always sure to divide the gamers’ world. With every new release, there are always fans who absolutely love the new instalment, and fans of the series who are extremely let down by the new offering.
Funny thing is that I truly love all the progress that’s made with the series. I love the little details, the Quality-of-Life additions. Like playing with my favourite Pokémon at a picnic, or riding my legendary Miraidon (because I got myself, Pokémon Violet). What I’m not fond of in every new entry is having to go the pre-ordained route from one gym to the next. They solved this nicely in Violet, as there are three storylines. You can go for the familiar Victory Road, for the Path of Legends, where you have to find the Herba Mystica and you can “do” Starfall Street. And the beauty of it is, you don’t have to choose. You can go about it in whichever order you want and be distracted as much as you want as well.
Fans of the series have all started somewhere, and with every new instalment, we try to recapture the first feeling of excitement we had at getting to know Pokémon. Will this generation 9 game, set in the Paldea region, do the trick? The critics and the fans agree: Pokémon Violet and Scarlet nail it.
All reviews out there agree on another thing too: there are some significant technical problems with the game. Big enough to be a dealbreaker for some. You can’t read reviews or news on gaming websites without seeing reports of how miserable the games perform on the Nintendo Switch. Players report lots of clipping, lagging, and objects popping into sight at the very last moment and frame-rate are but a few.
Some say it’s the Switch that isn’t up to par with the performance the game needs of the console it’s running on, but if that is indeed true, it would be a stupid mistake to make: they knew what console they were developing for and what it can and can’t handle.
Very annoying, and I can well understand that players are disappointed, as the game has a price tag belonging to a AAA game. Remember when I wrote about Hokko Life and asked if Indie games deserve more leeway when it comes to judging them on their bugs? Well, it seems the big expensive titles are affected by the same kind of problems. Makes you wonder why games are being rushed out the door with issues and all.
Anyway, it’s causing a lot of discussion in the Pokémon world. Fans are bickering on forums whether or not the game is worth it. Some bitterly disappointed, others being adamant that they think it’s a great game. Even the review on NintendoLife was out of the ordinary: they gave it a 7 and were overall positive, mentioning the technical problems. But in the text there was a quote of a second opinion by the Senior Video Producer of NintendoLife, a thoroughly negative one. (You can find that review here)
Meanwhile: Puttering Along
With all this said and done, I’m truly enjoying my time in Paldea. I haven’t experienced many of the technical problems myself. Sure, the visuals farther away can be a bit wavy and things do have a tendency to pop up in sight. Maybe it’s because I’m playing it in handheld mode only, on a new Switch. I can’t say it’s annoying, if there hadn’t been much media attention to it, I would hardly have noticed.
I love the freedom it gives me. Once I overcame my fear of not being able to hack it in the Tera Raids, I was exploring at my hearts’ content. I try to work towards my goal but have found that I take many a detour, playing Pokémon Violet in a very laid-back manner. There’s one thing I wouldn’t mind getting rid of though, and that’s this silly school uniform!
Are you enjoying your time in Violet or Scarlet, or are you biding your time until things get better?