As A Recent Pokémon Convert I’m Excited For Scarlet And Gen 9

Image: The Pokémon Company

Soapbox articles give our team a chance to share some personal perspectives; today it’s the turn of Tom Whitehead to admit he might be a Pokémon fan now.

Back in early January I wrote about how Pokémon Legends: Arceus would be my first game in the series, a confession for which I was instructed to recite 10 ‘Pika-Pika’ chants and read the Pokédex 5 times. Well, dear readers, I’ve played it. The good news is I’ve very much enjoyed it, even if my progress has been slow (I haven’t seen the credits yet).

As someone who plays almost exclusively in portable mode I’ve been largely unbothered by the humble (and arguably poor) technical aspects, and have been drawn in entirely by the actual gameplay and design. The thing is, though, everything is a discovery for me, because beyond a handful of Pokémon I know courtesy of writing about Nintendo for a living, every time I see a new creature or item I get bitten by the curiosity bug. What’s that? What’s its level? Can I capture it?

One of the smartest design choices is the presence of those ridable Pokémon, to help you get across water, up cliffs, find treasure etc. Unlocking each one has made me think “ooh, I need to go back to get that wisp I saw on top of a hill”. A lot of it is game design 101 executed brilliantly.

Discovery is everything then, especially as my Mum is also playing her first Pokémon, so sometimes on visits we’ve compared teams and traded extras. I’m living the Game Boy gen 1 life in 2021, sort of.

Discovery is everything then, especially as my Mum is also playing her first Pokémon, so sometimes on visits we’ve compared teams and traded extras. I’m living the Game Boy gen 1 life in 2021, sort of.

As I’m still in the middle of my first proper Pokémon game I was pretty excited, then, to see the Arceus style of larger spaces being shifted into an open world ‘gen 9’, with Scarlet and Violet due ‘late 2022’ on Switch. If Arceus is a side-alternative game, then I’m intrigued to get in on a new generation from the start and try to join in, even if all the complex conversations around min-maxing and gigaball crafting whoosh over my head.

The trailer was only a brief look, but it looked charming to me, and the starters are undeniably cute – it’s all about Fuecoco for me. The trailer and information are relatively limited beyond those glimpses of the settings, a few of the pocket monsters (I’m sure the ones shown are significant, I have no idea) and the main characters. We have a solid 9 months or so of steady reveals to come, no doubt, a number of which will probably mean little to me beyond reactions of “ooh, looks interesting”.

What I sense, though, is that being such a newcomer may be a benefit, as I’ve seen a number of series veterans suggest they’re a tad jaded at this stage. There’s also the valid argument that Game Freak really needed to take a year extra on a game, in order to make strides not just technically but in terms of broader ideas for the franchise. So if you’ve played every Pokémon game of the last decade, I can understand why there may be concern that it could be another raggedy effort. I was aware of those conversations around Pokémon Sword and Shield, and I was firmly in the camp that the visuals and in particular animations weren’t good enough at the time, just from watching videos as an outsider.

After all, Pokémon is a multimedia juggernaut, so its games should be top tier in every respect, theoretically. In reality, the games rarely show the craft and technical wizardly that we see from a number of Nintendo’s first-party efforts, for example.

We can probably safely assume that Violet and Scarlet will be a leap for the main series in terms of its open world and freedom, but not in various technical ways. Those debates will swirl, especially among those that are the most passionate and invested in the IP.

For me, though? I’m just looking forward to discovering more Pokémon as a newcomer, so I’ll likely be there day one for Pokémon Scarlet. I’m Welsh and red is my favourite colour, ok?

Further Reading:

Related Posts

This Week on Xbox: New Games, Upcoming Releases, and Events

Summary Related:This Week on Xbox: New Releases, Events, and UpdatesThis Week on Xbox: Three New Xbox Game Pass Launches, New DLC, and UpdatesThis Week on Xbox: Day …

Read more

The Body Bugs are Coming for You – Free Today on Xbox

The team at Redstart Interactive recently launched two new games: grapple-heavy platformer Get-A-Grip Chip and its edutainment successor Get-A-Grip Chip and the Body Bugs, on the Xbox …

Read more

Xbox, Dolmen, Multiplayer, and You

In the days leading up to Dolmen‘s release today on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S, we had the opportunity to talk in more detail with the …

Read more

Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands: Glutton’s Gamble is Out Now for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

It takes a strong stomach to face the monster in Vesper’s second Mirror of Mystery, available now in Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands! Trouble is brewing as Imelda, the …

Read more

Farm the Dead to Stay Alive in Deadcraft

Summary Take on the apocalypse today with Deadcraft on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S! If you’re not sure whether you’re ready to face the full zombie …

Read more

Rabbids: Party of Legends Brings The Rabbids Back to Xbox

Rabbids: Party of Legends brings the Rabbids back in a new multiplayer party game, coming to Xbox One on June 30. After an accidental spin in their …

Read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.