reviewed Pokémon Scarlet
Okay, let me get my bias out of the way. I've played every mainline Pokemon game since Pokemon Blue version. It was my entry into the series and I've been a fan ever since. I've supported and enjoyed each entry, but that doesn't come without complaints on each game that Gamefreak has released.
I think Pokemon Scarlet is probably the best Pokemon game to date (well, it basically ties with Arceus). The amount of QoL changes in this game actually makes me scared for what GF will remove in the future. Being able to purchase nature mints and bottle caps alone makes me want to play this game endlessly. I've personally had a blast playing solo raids because of how easy it is to make raid ready Pokemon, and there's a huge dopamine rush when you successfully finish a 6* raid and collect your spoils.
I have intense Breath of the Wild vibes when exploring the world. I mean, when was the last time you actually wanted to explore the world in Pokemon? When was the last time we were even able to explore and not have routes be a straight line?! Arceus as an exception, of course! Having the majority of the Pokedex accessible just by exploring actually encouraged me to complete the Dex.
While Pokemon games don't have a high bar for stories, this one was actually touching and I wholeheartedly enjoyed each story path. It makes me excited for what else they'll bring as DLC because the characters in this entry were actually likeable and didn't feel like they were bogging me down.
Aaand, of course, the issues. I can honestly say that this is probably the worst performing game I've ever played on modern consoles. There are constant frame drops (I can practically hear the Switch heavy breathing when visiting the lake), the battle camera clips into the ground, and my cute little Tatsugiri never shows his full body because it's always clipping into the floor! Some parts of the environment look like they're using N64 graphics. It seems GF put all their eggs in the Pokemon and character quality basket (Finneon has scales if you look at the Pokedex entry!), and decided to leave the environment in the dust. What a shame.
I'm holding out hope for a performance patch but I don't see them improving the graphics, which is an absolute shame. Ultimately, for myself, it doesn't hinder my ability to enjoy this otherwise fantastic game.
Reviewed on Dec 06, 2022