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Friday, June 3, 2022

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are Open Borders... AND Multiplayer?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I conceptually like almost everything but the actual gameplay style they're going for.

On Wednesday, The Pokémon Company International announced the following trailer of Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet—the second one we've seen (the first from the end of February). They also announced that Junichi Masuda will be leaving GAME FREAK and will be the Chief Creative Fellow of the Pokémon Company, which is the same rank that Shigeru Miyamoto has at Nintendo. I'd say this strengthens my comparison between Masuda and Miyamoto. (I'm not a fan of either man.)

This change means that Masuda will have creative control/heavy influence over Pokémon as a whole multimedia franchise, as opposed to just game development. It's pretty likely that his influence over the development of Scarlet and Violet is already complete, and it's also somewhat likely that whomever will be producing Pokémon games at GAME FREAK instead of him may share many of his philosophies, so not much may change.

Anyway, speaking of change, here's this second trailer:

Big confession: The past vs. future theme of the games (Scarlet being past, and Violet looking to the future) completely eluded me after my first time watching the trailer. I was more focused on the Science is Amazing guy, since that reminded me to go update my article on every Science is Amazing guy in the series. It's not clear from the trailer how the four-player adventure actually works. It's also not clear from the website.

Pokémon Scarlet Violet connect with friends head out adventures science multiplayer
If you just want the guy saying that the power of science is amazing, I added a screenshot of that in the article that I just hyperlinked above.

The site mentions trading and battling Pokémon, as well as exploring the region. Will I be able to battle Pokémon versus my multiplayer pal, or can I go into multi double battles with NPCs? How about with gym leaders? ...Well... that brings up the next point. Are there even gym leaders?

The site boasts that the game is an open borders experience where you can venture across the world... without regard to a storyline. In other words, gym leaders won't be obstacles to be able to access more of the world, and whatever storyline there is, it won't be linear. This likely means that the story will be very minimal-to-irrelevant, since whatever progress the story has won't match your progress and growth as a trainer. That's... not something I'm a fan of, but it's very much like what The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is like. It means the game is an instant no-buy for me. Even if I like Quaxly enough to produce artwork of it.

Will you be able to go to the game's legendary Pokémon almost immediately? That's Koraidon the red lizard for Scarlet, and Miraidon the purple lizard for Violet. Koraidon looks like a dinosaur, while Miraidon looks almost robotic. Since the game appears to have this past vs. future theme, that means there should be something of a story, right? Why have a theme without a story?

I suppose that since I sided with Team Past over Team Future in Splatoon's Splatfest, then if I were to get the game, I'd be more of a Pokémon Scarlet enjoyer.

As for the other Pokémon, I don't like Pawmi, as someone who doesn't like electric yellow rodents more broadly. And you can't make me like Lechonk. I'm sure China will like it, but Wooloo is way better. But Smoliv? Smoliv is cute.

There's a clear Wild Area influence, plus Pokémon Legends: Arceus... plus, y'know, open world-style gaming. Actual open world stuff. But there are still Pokémon levels here, so that'll have to be managed very carefully across the environment or else open world won't really work.

Even if the open world does work and it's designed... Ludwig isn't and won't be a fan of that style of game. And he knew that was the style that the series would try to go to after the Wild Area, which was why he refused to get Pokémon Shield. But if you do find this style to be good and fun gameplay, what do you think about the information from the second trailer? How about the new Pokémon? And how about that multiplayer?

More importantly this week is the update for Pokémon Smile.
There was a Pokémon Presents two months later that went into much more detail about the game, its open borders, multiplayer, and battle mechanic gimmick.
There's more colour-based version exclusives.
Nintendo message-tested the open borders and multiplayer features in time for the final release.


  1. I wasn't expecting to even be seriously thinking about getting this after I was quite underwhelmed by Brilliant Diamond, but I'm already at that point. And if one of two things is confirmed, there's no way I can refuse. Basically, I want to have the option to:

    a) turn off the thing where the game displays move effectiveness on moves you've used on the same mon before


    b) turn off EXP Share

    I don't DARE hope for both.

    1. I don't think the move effectiveness feature is a big enough thing that it's potentially a deal breaker.

      Forced EXP All could have catastrophic effects on the difficulty curve.

  2. I have so little enthusiasm for these.

  3. I think Violet is going to sell a lot more than Scarlet. I know my bias for robots is showing, but I feel like the design for scarlets legendary could have been so much more. At least compared to Violets robo legendary that goes all out. I mean I preferred Pokemon Moons legendary rather that Pokemon suns but both were pretty equal I feel.

    The past has already happened, look to the future Ludwig and try something new with Pokémon Violet!

    1. Well, it's not really a choice between Scarlet vs. Violet for me... it's whether I'm getting the game at all. >.>

  4. Looks meh but at least the grass starter looks the best


      Believe me, I'm very biased towards the Grass starters, but I greatly fear what Sprigatito will evolve into. I think Quaxly has a foolproof path towards brilliance.


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