Review of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

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Pokemon: a magical world where humans and fictional monsters coexist together.The Pokemon franchise, created by Satoshi Tajiri, comes in many forms. It’s a show loved by many, a card game which invites players to put their skills to the test, and a video game series allowing players to experience the world of Pokemon themselves. This franchise has become so large over the years, you can see it everywhere. Most stores will have some kind of Pokemon product, such as video games, books, toys, cards, and more. It holds a major role in many kids and adults lives. Kids love to play the video games and collect cards, while on youtube there are many creators whose success is based on the Pokemon franchise. Although there are many games, movies, and merchandise for Pokemon, they all focus around one central point, the core series of games. There are currently 122 games released, and only 18 of these games are core series, with the first main games being Pokemon Red and Pokemon Green. And, with the release of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, we have landed in the ninth generation of Pokemon.

Pokemon took a major turn with the release of their latest games, adding new features that haven’t been introduced in mainstream games yet, and also releasing the official 1000th Pokemon. Most mainstream Pokemon games follow a similar script: You’re a kid who just began your journey and received your very first pokemon from your region’s Pokemon Professor. You start your journey by making your way through many different environments in the game, and beating 8 strong trainers called Pokemon Gym Leaders. Beating these leaders earns you badges, and once you collect all 8 badges you can challenge the top four strongest trainers, and then the Champion. During your travels you catch and raise your pokemon, and uncover a world domination plot by an evil organization. During all of this you previously only had a restricted area to try and catch pokemon in. Pokemon Scarlet and Violet broke away from this pattern, and there has been a lot of controversy surrounding this decision. 

Many players of the games have grown up playing the old games, and they all followed the same storyline that was listed above. These players were skeptical of the new freedom allowed in Scarlet and Violet, and weren’t too sure of it at first. New players who have only recently started playing Pokemon love this new style, and don’t like the older games. Pokemon Scarlet/Violet take a turn away from the set line: in these games your path isn’t set, and instead you have three storylines to follow in any order. These storylines were: The Gym Challenge, where you would challenge eight gym leaders and the Elite Four; The Titan Line, where you would team up with an in game character to hunt down unusually large pokemon; and finally, The Team Star Line, where you would investigate five different bases scattered around the map, uncover secrets of the school, and set things right with in-game characters. The three different storylines is something that was never used in a Pokemon game before, and it was huge for players since it added extra freedom to the game. Another new feature is the open world you get to explore. Past mainstream games you only had a set path, with set areas to find and catch pokemon. As we progressed through generations, the in-game world was given more and more freedom, and with the release of Pokemon Legends: Arceus, we had the first official open world game. But Scarlet and Violet introduced the first core series open world game, and the Pokemon community loves it. 

I am an avid Pokemon enjoyer, and along with my brother, I have played many core series games, including the latest Pokemon Scarlet. As someone who grew up with the restricted world and gameplay, I really love the open world concept for this game and prefer it over other games. And with the introduction of the three storylines, I truly feel like Pokemon is heading in the right direction to please their community. However, although I enjoyed the game as a whole, I feel like it was short compared to the rest and that Pokemon could have added more story content, which they probably will later on, but it will be in the form of paid DLC(Downloadable Content). Another Pokemon enjoyer, and a Chemistry teacher at Washington, Mr.Cho, says that he enjoys the game, but also feels that there is a lack of content. Pokemon Scarlet was the first game he has played in years, since the times of Yellow, Fire Red, Pearl, and Heart Gold, which are all some of the first games created, and Cho states that compared to those games, Scarlet was too easy, and was too short. 

Overall, I would rate this game an 8 out of 10: it was a beautifully designed game, with lots of little details placed around the map, and there was a lot more freedom with how you played. But with the lack of content, and various bugs at the release of the game, there is a high chance that if you want more content, you will have to pay for an expansion. It’s definitely a great game, but it is not the best core series made. 

Chase Burgess is a senior who is in his second and final year at Washington High. He was born in the Bay Area but has moved around alot and moved to Oregon for 6 years before finally returning to the Bay. He has been in journalism before in 8th grade and is excited to be back at it. This is his second year at the Hatchet and as an editor he is ready to make sure you receive the best articles. His hobbies outside of school include biking, skating, reading, and doing origami as his creative outlet. He plans to graduate from Washington and then go to college pursuing psychology and journalism. Outside of school he works at a Lego museum in Niles and spends his weekends working and spending time with his family and friends.

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