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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The Battalion May 4, 2024

Criticism: ‘Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’

Art Critic Emma Lawson discusses how the new Pokémon game is one step forward and two steps back for the franchise.
Photo by Game Freak/WikiCommons

Art Critic Emma Lawson discusses how the new Pokémon game is one step forward and two steps back for the franchise.

Rating: 7/10
This review is spoiler-free.
There’s something magical about a world full of cute and creepy creatures who just want to be your friend. Unfortunately, the animations and game mechanics in Scarlet and Violet can easily shatter that immersion.
As a long time Pokémon fan, the series holds a special place in my heart. However, previous games have been disappointing to long-time fans of the series. For example, “Sword” and “Shield” were often ridiculed for being lazy with animations, having frustrating mechanics and having a story that didn’t make sense. Pokémon is a huge franchise, and it felt like the games weren’t living up to the standard of previous Nintendo switch games, such as “Mario Odyssey” and “Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.”
That didn’t stop the Pokémon community from excitedly waiting for the new generation, hoping for its success and to have a game that could be universally loved by the community. This was my hope as well. Thus, as an adult who can spend adult money, I picked up the game during a Target run and prepared to embark on a new Pokémon journey.
I knew in the first few minutes of the game, when my character stepped straight through the stairs in my house and almost clipped out of existence, that I probably should’ve waited a bit to buy the game so Gamefreak could fix the bugs.
After logging eight hours in the Paldea region, I can confidently say I had fun, but there are many little issues that prevented me from fully enjoying the experience.
The animations in Scarlet and Violet still lack polish. For example, when characters give you something, their models hand you an invisible object and say they gave it to you. Every Pokémon battle, be it trainer or wild, takes three seconds to begin from the game loading. Also, it’s not uncommon for the camera to clip through the ground so you can’t see the battles happening in the game. While these are just some of the bugs I experienced, other players have showcased bugs that make the game almost unplayable. Hopefully, these can be patched with future updates.
I also wasn’t able to truly begin my adventure until about three hours of tutorials, which was beyond frustrating because I have played Pokémon for over 15 years. There’s no way to skip these and it feels like a chore to get through. I didn’t start having fun until I was set loose into the world.
Luckily, the new Pokémon designs for the generation hold some genuine charm. Some lean more on the goofy side, but the game has a wide variety of Pokémon available, allowing the player plenty of variety to build their team. Many new designs were not released, meaning I could enjoy the discovery of a new Pokémon I had never seen before. Plus, I loved letting my Pokémon out of its pokeball to walk together.
Finally, the story is a bit different in Scarlet and Violet because the player can follow three separate storylines in whatever order they want. Some of the stories are more compelling than others, such as the Titan Pokémon storyline being my favorite, but the flexibility is a nice change of pace for the series.
Overall, despite its flaws, there is still a hint of that Pokémon charm hidden in the game. The game allows the player more freedom than some previous games and I had the most fun just exploring by myself. However, until the bugs get fixed and the optimization improves, I would recommend waiting or watching a playthrough to see if you’d like to play it yourself.

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