Pokémon Scarlet And Violet Review: Revolutionary, But Not Perfect


Hazel Mewett, Staff Writer

Contains Spoilers For Pokémon Scarlet & Violet

It has been almost three months since the release of the newest Pokémon games, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. These highly anticipated games were a new step for the Pokémon series, highlighting the concept of an open world where you could do what you wanted, when you wanted, how you wanted. While this was technically not the first open world Pokémon game— that title goes to Legends Arceus released earlier in 2022— having the entire new region of Paldea at the fingertips of the player was an experience people had wanted for quite some time now. However, despite the game delivering especially well on some aspects, there are other areas where it did undeniably fall short and that hold it back from the title of a true masterpiece.


Starting with the highlights, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet does have the open world that was promised, and it was delivered far better than Legends Arceus’s open world that was sectioned up and unable to be explored all at once. Furthermore, the stories are well written, with specifically Arven’s story and the final arc of the game with the professor and Area Zero being some of the best stories that the Pokémon franchise has told, period. The world of Paldea is lively and massive, and there’s always something to do. 


The new designs don’t fall short either, with some new favorites such as Palafin, Kingambit, Pawmot, and Garganacl making their debuts, and old gems such as Volcarona, Donphan, and Salamence given new forms as part of the mysterious new group of Paradox Pokémon. Finally, the music of the games excelled as to be expected, with themes such as Nemona’s battle theme, the Team Star battle theme, and Area Zero all being amazing pieces of music that will stick in the minds of the players for a long time to come. All in all, Scarlet and Violet did a lot of things right and lived up to their initial hype in many departments.


Unfortunately for the new games, there is also a very noticeable amount of missed potential. Level scaling (the ability for the world around the player to scale to the player’s strength, allowing you to truly go anywhere you want at any time you want) was left out of the games, some critical aspects of any good Pokémon installment such as the Elite Four and the gym puzzles fell flat and were underwhelming to many, and a slew of performance issues and bugs showed the game’s poor technical side. It’s a little disappointing; had many of these smaller problems been fixed before release, had Game Freak spent a little more time on Scarlet and Violet working on the little things, this game truly could have been the greatest in the series to date.


All of that said, however, it is important to characterize that while Scarlet and Violet do definitely have flaws, they are not bad games. On the contrary, these new installments are still an excellent step in the right direction for the Pokémon series, and did a lot of things well. Are Pokémon Scarlet and Violet perfect games? No. Are they good games? Absolutely. Are they worth your time to play whether you’re a long time fan of Pokémon or just starting in the series? I would say so.