Pokemon Scarlet and Violet suffer from serious performance issues, but it may not matter, Steam’s annual Autumn Sale has good games for computer players.
Visual defects can’t keep a good Pokemon game down
Nintendo’s newest entries in the popular Pokemon franchise, Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet, are groundbreaking in so many ways. Not all of them great.
Let’s start with the good stuff. Scarlet and Violet, developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo and the Pokemon Company, provide a full, open-world adventure game experience, allowing players to truly explore the region of Paldea. This shift alone brings the franchise into the modern gaming world.
That innovation is matched by a change in how the game’s activities are presented to you. There are three main quests to work through and each of them has an independent storyline. You can move between these anytime you want, mixing up the gameplay and getting some real variety.
There are new Pokemon to meet, too, including the starter choices Fuecoco, Sprigatito, and Quaxly, and the legendary Koraidon and Miraidon (which you get depends on whether you’ve picked up Scarlet (Koraidon) or Violet (Miraidon)). The creature designs are more inventive than they’ve been before, too, like the Cetitan – an evolved form of Cetoddle – which looks like a massive whale with legs. It might sound weird, but it looks amazing.
The music in Scarlet and Violet is also a level above what we’ve had before, with melodic themes that vary as much as the environments in the world, and hooks that stay with you.
All of this comes with what can only be thought of as a cost. Because technically and graphically, Scarlet and Violet have issues. Animations clip and cut out. Sometimes they disappear altogether. When it’s raining in the world the graphics slow to a crawl. Creatures and objects fall into each other in strange ways. The game outright crashes on occasion.
The resident Pokemon expert in my house laughed through every one of the glitches and performance issues we encountered. And it’s likely that the biggest Pokemon fans will be just as willing to ignore the many visual defects in these games.
Game Freak and Nintendo do not get a pass for releasing a game with so many issues, and I’d hope that they find a way to continue improving this franchise while getting a handle on the performance issues.
It would be a shame for people to start laughing at their beloved Pokemon games for the wrong reasons.
Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet are available now exclusively for the Nintendo Switch. Rated everyone.
Steam’s annual Autumn Sale has deals for everyone
For those gamers in your life who play on computers more than consoles, the annual Steam Autumn Sale is where you should look for gift ideas.
The sale runs until November 29, and there’s great curation at Steam, so you can get some advice from other gamers in making your gift-buying decisions.
Consider Cyberpunk 2077, which is half price at $40, or the just-released Spider-Man Remastered, on sale for only $52.
You can get eight games in the Far Cry franchise for only $58, or individual games for between $3 and $16. Or all the games in the Doom franchise for only $23.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is only $8, Borderlands: The Handsome Collection is $15, and Left 4 Dead 2 is only $1.30.
Steam makes it easy for you to gift a game to someone, too.