Pokémon Scarlet & Violet review roundup: 'an awkward evolution'
The long-running series has hit a snag with critics, but is Pokémon Scarlet & Violet's problem hardware related?
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Pokémon reviews
♦️ Pokémon Scarlet & Violet has an Opencritic score of 76 after 27 critic reviews
👌 60% of critics recommend the new Switch game
Pokémon Scarlet & Violet is exclusive to Nintendo Switch
💰 The games cost $59.99 each, but you can buy a double pack for $119.99
It’s time to pop those Pocket Monsters out of their Pokéball confines once again, as Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are here. However, it looks like Nintendo and Game Freak’s latest entry in the incredibly popular franchise failed to bowl over reviewers.
The game represents a shift in the series’ classic formula which first began with Pokémon Legends: Arceus, however, Scarlet and Violet introduce online multiplayer, a more expansive world to explore, and some twists for players to enjoy.
Unfortunately, though, it’s currently sitting on a score of 76 on OpenCritic with only 60% of critics recommending the Switch game. That’s not exactly a disastrous result, but the more worrying news is that most of the reviewers lambasted the game’s awful performance and subpar visuals.
GameSpot believed that “Pokémon Scarlet & Violet’s open-world approach reinvigorates the long-running series”, awarding it an 8 out of 10.
VG247 shared the same opinion, saying “Pokémon Scarlet & Violet is more than the sum of its parts. Those parts include the woeful performance and optimization problems, which are a real drag – but much of the rest of the title soars so high that it does go a long way to make one ignore them, after a fashion.”
Nintendo Life was less impressed, awarding the two titles a 7 out of 10 saying, “It's a smaller step than many may have hoped for, especially considering what Pokémon Legends: Arceus did, but it's definitely one in the right direction.”
The Sixth Axis also gave the Pokémon game a 7 and said: “Pokémon Scarlet and Violet feel like the awkward second evolution of one of its starters. It's growing into something resplendent, it's showing signs of an exciting second type, but it's got that weird vibe of a 20-something that hasn't quite figured out who they actually are.”
Meanwhile, The Telegraph said “Pokémon's first fully open-world title has a lot of ideas but never quite manages to stick the landing with any of them,” giving the game a 6 out 10, and The Guardian gave the exact same score, saying: “Technical problems and an evident lack of development time take the shine off this ambitious new outing for the world-conquering critters.”
Pokémon Scarlet & Violet doesn’t appear to be a bad game by any means, then, but it’s unlikely it’ll make it onto our best Nintendo Switch games list. However, temper your expectations and be prepared to whether the games’ stormy performance issues.
Will you be trying to catch ‘em all on November 18? Let us know in the comments below.
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