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PokéMon Scarlet/Violet


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I'm starting this thread, eh? Weird...


pkmn 1.jpg

Anyway, PokéMon Violet. There are issues. Even I, someone who doesn't take note of framerates, screen tearing etc can see it plain as day. Draw distance is a thing. Note this is apparent from the second town. Before you reach the main school. The worst part is that every single PokéDex entry causes slowdown and stuttering. This isn't great for flaws in the most basic, yet fundamental game stuff. That's the negatives out of the way for now. Stay tuned for more on that, I imagine.


pkmn 2.jpg

The results of play session one. Not bad going really.

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Play session two - The visual hiccups get worse

There is a section wherein you are introduced to your classmates. Bear in mind this is a single room. Anyone not scripted to speak, jitters like they are a cardboard cut-out. All in-engine cutscenes have a pause at the beginning and ending. Plus the town I've just reached. There is a windmill at it's centre.. Just as jittery as ever.


I'll reiterate what I said in the news thread: Game Freak have made 3D PokéMon games before, right?

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I realised that I haven't actually talked about the PokéManz themselves yet. The funny thing, as someone with mostly Gen 1 knowledge. I don't really know who is new to this game or just new to me? So far most are quite charming, as expected. It is weird to see them all in scale in an open world map. I've run into the Bug encounters numerous times, because they were so small I didn't see them (not helped by the draw distance). I was a little surprised the Starter (Green cat) I picked doesn't have a third evolution? I thought that was a series staple. Then again, it might just be luck of the draw on my part. The Beast Machine From the trailers (and box art) is a strange non-PokéMon. It is a PokéMon. But more an NPC, along the lines of LoZ's Epona. I don't know if the series has done this before? But a nonparticipating PokéMon is a little jarring.


As noted from my pics above, the same min-max level grinding approach I take to RPG's like Disgaea, tends to be the main enjoyment I find in this series. Also the reason why I only played one of the games in Gen 1. 

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Quality of life fixes

Granted some of these things probably aren't new to regular PokéMon players. But they are to me. I typically rigorously go through RPG's with a promotion mechanic EG Shining Force, Vandal Hearts etc I see every promotion, every variance. 

With Gen 1 (Red/Blue), that was more tedious than fun. One of the fixes in this game is how the open world attempts to portray PokéMon as normal animals IE herds. How is this a QoL? Typically low level versions will be gathered around their evolution in the centre. Meaning you don't have to level up every low level you catch for their evolution. There are 400-ish in this game (I say "ish", as so far the highest entry I've caught in the PokéDex is 389) so being able to tick off entire evolution chains in one encounter is a time saver.


There is also the "Let's Go" function. Essentially auto-battle. Press R and your lead Mon will run around on the open map. In the field it will fight those herds and individuals wandering around. A good way to remove some of that levelling up tedium again. Also bolstered by the automatic EXP share. They really have made levelling up easier in the successive games since Gen 1.


Meanwhile, my Beast Machine can now turbo "drive", leap higher, swim and glide. As I alluded to in the news section, a HM Slave by another name. The Fly mechanic I mentioned last time. You are able to fly to any Poké centre (or other selective locations) after you visit them for the first time. But they don't show you the how. There is a black screen with a little loading sprite of a car being carried by four Birds. Oh and in case you were wondering about that frame rate as you glide high above the terrain? Worse than it still is in every town and village. If the scenario is busy. To allieviate this, the draw distance is pulled wayyy back. Removing 90% of surface detail until you descend.

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A Min-Max Day

The rough day weekend continues, so I decided to do some level grinding.

Side story: When my original Suikoden disc stopped working at a certain latter-game cave transition entrance. I opted to keep playing up until that point. So I levelled up my 60+ characters to the same level. Bought them all the highest level equipment and upgraded their weapons as high as I could. My thinking at the time, being that one of the many "quick fixes" for getting a game disc to work again might workout. Then I could steamroll the rest of the game with whoever I wished. None of those methods ever panned out. But I did get a solid few hours of play from a busted game. It gave me a taste for such level grinding in future.


Fast forward to 2022. I look at all the low level things I had caught, now in storage. Found a high level area that one of my main crew were Super Effective at clearing out and now we went from a PokéDex of 207 to 260. A fun mind occupying time sink, for a boring Sunday.

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Side questing done?

You have three mainline quests from the outset:

Subdue 4 colossal PokéMon

Defeat 5 bosses of Team Star

Collect 8 Gym Badges


Completing the first, opens up an additional quest. Which is predicated on completing the other two. The second questline, was very repetitive and boring. The way they've done the gyms now has made them too easy, also. Because they've catered to a fully open world/approach gyms in any order system. There is no real road block to your progress. Have a PokéMon of opposite typing in around level 30 and boom! Eight badges are yours. The previous strategy with overcoming gyms is virtually non-existent. My main team, are all around 65-70. Therefore one of them can solo several gyms without effort. Current PokéDex is around 290. To be honest, doing everything the game has asked of me, I'm starting to get bored. Next session I might steam roll the Elite Four and perhaps call it a day?

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So they decided to try something different..


Traditionally, there are two ways to evolve a PokéMon: Level up and elemental stone.

There has probably been more since. But this gen, they decided on two new ways. You'll note I didn't say they were good!


1000 Steps

In this game there are three PokéMon that only evolve by taking 1000 in-game steps. Two problems with that:

1. This is based on the Mon's steps, not the player.

2. There is no in-game step counter, at all.

To that end, you have to use the Let's Go system I mentioned earlier. Press R and your little fighting animal will walk around of it's own accord. However, if you run and outdistance it. It will return to it's ball. So you have to walk.. Slowly. Doesn't that sound fun?


Learned Moves

You level up, a PokéMon learns a new move. You can choose to learn it or forget it. At a typical level up, you see the move 'Stomp', an innocuous Normal type move. You opt to forget it. WRONG! You've just locked your Mon out of evolution. How do you know which move will be important? You don't, without a guide.

Doesn't that sound fun?

So far, I've discovered this applies to two completely unrelated Mons.


Another of the many "what were they thinking?" moments in this game.

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End screen.jpg


The End...

This session, I defeated the Elite Four, two "final" Champion battles and a bit of a joke three stage final boss fight. Although I'm sure there is post-game stuff available now (there were these seal things I found in various caves) I think I'm done. There was a lot of side stuff such as actual Academy classes and food crafting, that I simply didn't bother with. At 341/400 PokéMon caught, I was pleased with my first playthrough progress. I had my permanent team about a third into the game and dominated the rest with them. All the others, I just grinded level ups and evolutions. Then put them back into storage. It's one of those things that you only really need one of every type. When you have one really good Dragon, for example. What's the point of the other seven? The lack of personality being one of the areas the differentiates PokéMon from other large party RPGs, like Suikoden. "Cute" isn't really a substitute for characterisation. To me, at least. In that respect, in spite of being open world, this is as shallow an RPG as PokéMon Red was. The open world nature of the game adversely affecting any potential difficulty* and challenge that might have mitigated that. 6/10


*Not a single trainer of any level in the game healed their own PokéMon once. Even the final boss didn't have a potion.

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  • 2 months later...

Started this (Violet) last week and despite the sometimes horrendous performance issues I've been enjoying it a lot. 


Pokémon games are typically quite similar to one another and follow the same format, but whilst the last mainline entry - Sword/Shield - made quite a few changes whilst still incorporating the gym battles and that route from start to finish of the 9 gyms + Elite Four + defeat bad guy Team this completely melts away all those rules and let you go at the game in whatever order you like, going wherever you like and being completely free to explore, catch and find Pokémon whenever and wherever you feel like.


There is still the typical setup at the beginning where you get a starter from this regions' Professor, meet your rival and get introduced to the world and how everything now works, this lasts about an hour and then you're free to pretty much go off and explore as much as you like. The gyms from the tried-and-true format are still in here, as are the super powered 'titan' Pokémon similar to Arceus and the bad guy Team (this time called Star) but the big difference is you can tackle them however you feel like, completely ignore them, make a beeline for one over another and all that jazz, you have complete freedom to do whatever you fancy. 


Also new to this game is the Academy in the central city of Mezalona (or something like that) which incorporates many elements from the real-life city of Barcelona, (as this is set in an amalgamation of Spain and Portugal) here you can take classes where you learn more about the world and Pokémon in general. I have to say though, up until now it feels a little pointless, you sit in these different classes (History, Biology, Art etc.) and learn about Pokémon related shenanigans in a little classroom, similar-ish to a Persona or something, but that's about it. There doesn't seem to be any incentive to stick with these classes (which have 2 per subject) so I don't really know what the point of them is really, the Academy itself looks great and all but it feels a bit needless. Nevertheless, it is an addition that makes the game feel distinctly different from what has come before.


If you've played Arceus, you'll be familiar with the gameplay loop here as the two are incredibly familiar. Essentially, you're put into one big open world and then sent on your way to explore, catching Pokémon (which appear in the world, not hidden in tall grass) to your hearts content, finding various salves, TMs and other items dotted around the world. In this though there is more to do, you can battle many trainers dotted about, but if you meet their gaze it's not an auto-battle anymore (which I'm not sure I like), fight in raid battles similar to Sword/Shield which are manifested in a crystal form around the world, you also have Pokémon dotted around the world which have big beacons of light going into them. I'm actually not sure why these are special as the ones I've fought so far have just been a few levels above others in a particular area but they're there and a fun distraction.


The world in this doesn't feel anywhere near as empty as Arceus either. There's huge towns and cities complete with all the charm they had in the previous games, Pokémon centres, the trainers dotted about which I've mentioned above and the landscapes themselves have been quite varied compared to the mainly lush green fields of Arceus, here there are rocky mountains you explore, savannahs, green areas (of course) and I'm sure many other different landscapes I'll discover as I explore the island more, it's a humungous world to explore, a lot bigger and more impressive than Arceus, but more daunting at the same time.


A lot has been made of the games many performance issues, I'm playing this about 3 months after launch and so I can't speak for the launch performance, only my experiences here in February '23, but needless to say, they haven't affected my enjoyment too much so far. By far the worst of the bunch is the framerate though, it's just horrendous pretty much everywhere and in towns and cities it can go down to a literal crawl as you explore. The graphical glitches and stuff are few and far between, I've had one instance in the sea where a picture of a Poke Ball was placed over the Poke Ball itself and many times when the floor will become see-through as you enter a Battle along with some weird camera moments which block the screen. So mostly of the laughable variety of glitches really, only the framerate annoys me from time to time but it's manageable and the game is still playable, it just feels a little janky and unstable, particularly in towns & cities.


I'm very much enjoying it so far, it's addictive in the same way that Arceus was but has a bit more substance to it, more to do and more of that Pokémon charm in general but particularly from the cities and towns which were mostly absent in Arceus. There's a few bits I don't like, like the framerate as mentioned above, a few other nitpicks like not being able to enter shops anymore and talk to people, just being presented with an in-game shop/café menu, similarly you can no longer go into every house in a town or city, only a select one or two and even that's rare, which is a shame, as it makes towns and cities feel more like a façade than in previous games.


But yeah, it's fun and addictive, a perfect blend of Arceus with mainline Pokémon sensibilities really, with everything made of the performance issues I didn't expect to enjoy it this much but I couldn't put it down yesterday and am thinking about playing it again tonight as I'm typing this out now lol.
























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  • 1 month later...

I've now almost finished this, not sure exactly how many hours I've put in but it was 45 last time I looked.


Weird one really as the Arceus elements in this should've elevated it to a level above previous more run-of-the-mill entries but the more I've played of it the less the Arceus elements wow and you're back with much the same formula as previous entries. The Titans and Gyms work well enough but the third Team Star questline is just shit, you go in a base, fling out a load of your pokemon to defeat x number of their Pokemon then the boss shows up on a big Hot Rod looking thing, you battle and that's that really, the latter stage is fine, the former though is just pointless, there's no difficulty to it, it's just mindless.


I have a lot of complaints with how shallow the cities feel as well, they don't have the life and soul in them like in previous games, they lack a personality. It doesn't help that all the Gyms look exactly the same either, I miss all the puzzle elements to completing them too, there are 'Gym Tests' now before you can face a Gym Leader but they're mostly just easy, boring shite that you can do with your eyes closed.


I think that's one of my biggest complaints with the way Pokemon has been going is it has got more and more dumbed down in terms of difficulty and this is just the easiest of the bunch really, no challenge or bite to it whatsoever. 


A lot has been made of the numerous glitches and performance issues this game has but none have affected my enjoyment so I can't dock it any points for that, its biggest crime is just being the next Pokemon game rather than the reinvention and rejuvenation I hoped for really. Arceus is by far the better game in my view.

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12 minutes ago, DisturbedSwan said:

but the third Team Star questline is just shit

Yep. I really don't know how the development of this antagonistic force went from PokéMon thieves and animal abusers (Team Rocket) to mischievous school kids with a heart of gold? They could have cut their entire section from the game without negative consequence.

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Yeah I definitely agree it could’ve been cut completely and nothing would’ve been lost, it was just completely pointless. I would’ve much preferred the usual mysterious lair, battling minions before battling that lairs boss than what we got in this, the mindless Pokémon battling away by themselves was just completely pointless.

The team this time turning out to actually be a bunch of nice kids was actually a nice twist though I thought but I do get where you’re coming from and it would’ve been nice to have a properly evil team again, rather than the milquetoast ones we’ve had in recent entries, culminating in Team Star.

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As you said there was no need for the same car fight every single time. In spite of the typing, in the end I didn't even need to switch out my PokéMon to beat it.


I think they sadly peaked with Team Rocket. Being just an outright evil gang upto no good. The concept seemed to have nowhere to go but toned down.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finished this at the weekend, probably the worst Pokémon I've played in recent memory unfortunately.

Aside from the open world, there's just nothing that special about it and the nature of the open world means that various compromises to the cities and other bits and pieces have been made which results in a whole lot less charm than usual, the cities and towns just feel like museums to be looked at rather than actual places inhabited by people and Pokémon with their own little intricacies. 


I have carried on with the post-game and am currently re-fighting the gym leaders, I'm not really sure why but I just thought it won't take me long and I might as well. Might attempt to catch one or two more legendries whilst I'm at it as well.


I have to say whilst my overall experience with the game was only good and not great, with the game being pretty forgettable overall, the last segment after you've finished all the different quest paths and venture into the unknown is pretty cool and the ending is decent as well, without giving anything away of course.

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1 hour ago, DisturbedSwan said:

probably the worst Pokémon I've played in recent memory unfortunately.


On 14/12/2022 at 00:26, OCH said:


There you go. I wasn't exactly singing it's praises myself. This probably being the first (and likely last) 3D PokéMon I've played.

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