Photo: ‘Pokémon Scarlet’ & ‘Pokémon Violet’
The release of one of this year’s most anticipated games is set to release in under a month. With Pokémon fans expecting to be able to play the next installment in the beloved franchise very soon, there is still a lot of mystery to the upcoming games, ‘Pokémon Scarlet’ and ‘Pokémon Violet’. The “Victory Road” to the release date is long and obscure, as has been part of the Pokémon community’s culture for several game releases. Aspiring Pokémon trainers are excited, theorizing GameFreak’s trailers aid in the game’s hype, but, with the release being so soon, gamers also agree that the content posted so far is concerningly scant.
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The ninth generation of Pokémon in the franchise are to be revealed entirely on November 18, 2022. In the usual Pokémon Company fashion, the incoming installment will be split into two games, ‘Pokémon Scarlet’ and ‘Pokémon Violet’, incorporating exclusive content for each version. Although the entire roster of Pocket Monsters has yet to be disclosed, Nintendo hasn’t left gamers completely in the dark. They have revealed some monsters and gameplay in a slew of mini trailers and short clips of gameplay.
The Scarlet and the Violet of ‘Pokémon Scarlet’ and ‘Pokémon Violet’
Every generation is met with two new legendaries to mascot the opposing game versions. Fans were graced with meeting the legendary duo of the new Paldea region in the second trailer for the games back in June of this year. Scarlet players will be able to catch Koraidon, while Violet players will be able to play with Miraidon. The types of Koraidon and Miraidon have yet to be revealed, but fans are doubling down on both legendaries possessing a dragon-type. Koraidon’s second typing remains a mystery while Miraidon’s is heavily speculated to be an electric-type. As seen from the gameplay trailer, gamers have seen player avatars riding on the legendary Pokémon, evolving from the game mechanic implemented in the critically acclaimed ‘Pokémon Legends Arceus’ that was released in the dawn of 2022. The trailers revealed the legendaries switching forms allowing players to utilize Koraidon and Miraidon as transportation on ground, water, and sky. This is a revolutionary step into the franchise, having only allowed players to obtain bicycles to improve their travel speed. Previously, the utilization of riding Pokémon in-game complements travel speed and the immersion of being in the world of Pokémon.
Aside from the rideable duo, another pair playing off the titles of the game versions reflects in the reveal of two more Pokémon. Armarouge, a psychic and fire-type Pokémon for ‘Pokémon Scarlet’, is a humanoid that glows red and sports a yellow bulky tunic that transforms into a fire-blasting cannon. Its counterpart is Ceruledge, a fire and ghost-type Pokémon shrouded in blue and violet flames that wields burning blades for arms. The reveal of this pair had players rethinking their decision to which game version they would purchase, as the stunning duo created a divide in the antsy community since they’re both striking and appealing designs (some of the best seen in the last couple generations).
Luckily, the one thing that gamers can always depend on for consistency between the two games is the adored Starter Pokémon of each generation. Sprigatito, Fuecoco, and Quaxly are this generation’s grass, fire, and water starters respectively. With the general public falling in love with each of these designs, the top contender of this season seems to be Sprigatito, the kawaii green cat Pokémon. Many members of the community have fears of the adorable quadruped kitten being ruined by its final evolution as has happened with many quadruped starters in the past. The desire of most is for Sprigatito to remain on all four legs throughout its evolution chain. Only time will tell if Sprigatitio devotees will be met with satisfaction or disappointment as the final evolutions for the three starters are yet to be unfolded.
Exciting and Revolutionary Functions Added to Heighten Gameplay Efficiency
For the first time on a mainline game, GameFreak. seems to have incorporated a completely open world, not limited by storylines, progress bars, or player levels. It’s revolutionary for play-value, but kind of scary knowing that gym leaders and plot enemies aren’t going to be adjusted to a player’s team level. This opens up the possibility of a fresh player with a single level-5 Pokémon to challenge a high-level gym leader featuring a full team of level-60 monsters. This hasn’t been confirmed as a specific possibility, but it is theoretically possible given the promise of an open world with no boundaries.
Grinding your Pokémon team will be easier, as GameFreak broadcasted the new function of auto-battling. Supporting the immersion of the world, trainers are now able to send out their entire team to battle automatically against wild Pokémon. No more waiting minutes for a single battle to finish, as trainers can have all six members of their team battling simultaneously. Although grinding for your team’s experience level was an adamant part of prolonging the game’s lifespan, it is refreshing to see a time-saving function that’ll allow the player to progress through the storyline more efficiently. What used to take an hour to do can most likely be performed in just minutes! Hopefully, the gameplay outside of training your team will compensate for the time being saved with this awesome feature.
Theories of Time and Paradox
From game leaks, fans were able to theorize the theme of this region to be that it revolves around time and paradox. The Pokémon community’s most popular leaker, @Riddler_Khu, who only releases details of the games through enigmatic riddles on Twitter, provides daily material that backs the idea of what is being called Paradox Pokémon, monsters that will obtain variations from both ancient times and the future. Some speculate that the legendary duo, Koraidon and Miraidon, are the same Pokémon but originate from the past and future respectively.
Time has been a theme in previous game installments through the God of Time, Dialga, and the mythical protector of the forest, Celebi. Additionally, players got to explore the past in the last installment ‘Pokémon Legends Arceus’, which featured Pokémon and characters in a historical Sinnoh region (called the Hisui region). Perhaps that game was a teaser as to what’s to come with the game coming in November. Until the release, gamers will have to wait and see what is in store and if these theories are correct.
‘Pokémon Scarlet’ and ‘Pokémon Violet’ will be released digitally and in stores on November 18, 2022 for Nintendo Switch.
By Nino Vongphachanh
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