Why Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are Worth Playing


Daniel Lee

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet features both story elements from the original games and open-world elements first seen in Pokémon Legends.

Daniel S. Lee, Staff Writer

Less than a year after the release of Pokémon Legends: Arceus, Nintendo has come out with Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, which features both story elements from the original games and open-world elements that we first saw in Pokémon Legends: Arceus. With Pokémon being one of the favorite parts of my childhood, I decided to play Pokémon Violet, which has a futuristic theme, while Scarlet has an ancient/past theme. After hours of playing through a majority of the main storyline and exploring the immense world, I’ve come to the conclusion that Scarlet and Violet is a game that is worth playing for everyone. 

I was originally hesitant in buying the new Pokémon game, as content creators with early access had many things to say about the game-breaking bugs and terrible performance issues. Hoping the content would make up for this, I decided to buy it anyway. 

One key difference between Scarlet and Violet and other games from the series is that the box art legendaries (the Pokémon featured on the cover of the game) are met within the first few minutes of playing. On the way to the trainer’s first day of school at their academy, they meet the legendary Pokémon washed up on the beach. This Pokémon sticks with the main character from the story’s beginning and regains its lost powers throughout the game through one of the main storyline quests. One by one, the Pokémon gains the ability to dash, jump, fly, climb, and eventually battle alongside its trainer. This is a great way to switch up things for the series since players were only able to encounter the main legendary Pokémon in the endgame when they had basically beaten the whole game. In Scarlet and Violet, players can interact with this legendary Pokémon from the very beginning and have it as not only a companion but a means of transportation throughout their journey. 

Another aspect of the game that I really enjoyed was the freedom to choose what to do next. There are three main storyline quests in Scarlet and Violet. One of them is Starfall Street, a quest where the trainer must take down the bases of a group named Team Star which consists of bullies that formed a group from the academy. Although at first glance, this team seems like Team Rocket and other evil organizations from past games, it has a twist that I won’t spoil, and I really enjoyed playing through to find out more about the team’s origins.

The Path of Legends is another main storyline quest that is available throughout the trainer’s journey. In this pathway, the trainer along with a fellow student seeks to defeat Titan Pokémon that have been rampaging all over the region, as well as to find the root of their abnormal sizes. Through this quest, the trainer is also able to regain abilities for their legendary Pokémon. This quest offered something completely different from the others, an experience where the trainer could battle not just other trainers but powerful and gigantic Pokémon, which is a nice change in tempo. 

And finally, there’s the classic Victory Road quest which allows the trainer to challenge the many Pokémon gyms throughout the region and eventually the Elite Four to receive the title of champion. With the many different available, players are able to choose what they want to do, and when they want to. Whether that be attending classes at the academy, exploring the vast region, or completing a quest, there really is no correct order that the player must follow in Scarlet and Violet. 

As Pokémon Sword and Shield came out almost exactly three years before the release of Scarlet and Violet, fans expected a lot from this game. Besides Let’s Go Eevee/Pikachu, Sword and Shield was the first main Pokémon game to release on the Nintendo Switch console. A big contrast from the 3DS games, a whole new world of graphics and gameplay elements had opened up to the world of Pokémon. While following the traditional game structure of the previous games, Sword and Shield also had an open-world area on the map that allowed players to play with friends online and catch Pokémon together. Scarlet and Violet have perfectly expanded upon what Sword and Shield started, and I can confidently say Nintendo is heading in the right direction, and I’m looking forward to what Pokémon will have to offer in the future.

While having so many enjoyable content elements for players, the game has been receiving harsh backlash from players due to the many performance and graphic issues present in the game, and for good reason. As I played through the game, I couldn’t help but notice the extremely low frame rate when traveling on my legendary, and also random Pokémon spawning in front of me unexpectedly as they loaded in late. All these issues really tanked my overall enjoyment of the game, I was able to look past them and enjoy the game for what it had to offer. 

Overall, if I had to rate Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, I would give it an 8.2/10. While there is much to improve on, I can’t deny that this game was just really fun to play and had me glued to my Switch for hours on end. Even with the main storylines completed, there is much postgame content for me to look forward to, along with updates to the game. If you’re able to look past the performance issues in the game, I highly recommend this game to everyone, regardless of whether you have played past games from the series or not. While I may be biased as Pokémon holds a special place in my heart, I can wholeheartedly say that Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are really worth playing.