Just days after Ash Ketchum fulfilled his lifelong, 1000+ episode quest to be the very best like no one ever was, the world is due to welcome Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet to their Nintendo Switch libraries. It’s long been touted as a particularly ambitious project from Pokémon developers Game Freak, which won quite a few hearts earlier this year with Pokémon Legends: Arceus, the game that first shattered the Pokémon mold.
Unfortunately, Game Freak, like a hefty portion of the gaming world, seems to have found itself getting a bit too big for its britches. Arceus, despite its success, markedly teetered quite a bit due to the Nintendo Switch occasionally struggling to render its data into a clear, cohesive experience void of any lag. Whether this is on Game Freak for slacking off or others (namely Nintendo and/or The Pokémon Company) for not giving it the tools it needs, we may never know.
Regardless, it’s an issue that looks to carry forward into Scarlet and Violet, and unfortunately, early reviews for the titles indicate that the problem has only gotten worse.
Jack Rear, in a three-star review for Telegraph, recounted his tumultuous experience simply trying to get the games to work at all.
Even on a technical level, Scarlet and Violet struggle in ways that I’ve never seen in a Pokémon title before. Even after installing a stability patch my game crashed three times in various different places for no obvious reason.
In another three-star review for The Guardian, reviewer Tom Regan went as far as to call it one of the worst-running games he’s ever played before listing off a rather ugly list of examples.
It’s not hyperbole to say that Scarlet/Violet is one of the worst-looking – and running – games I’ve ever played. Pokéballs get stuck in rocks. The frame-rate in the open world constantly judders to a crawl. City buildings shimmer like a bad Photoshop cut-job, and the ground regularly disappears under your Pokémon, mid-battle.
And Lottie Lynn of Eurogamer, despite recognizing and even cheering its ambition, blasted Game Freak for releasing Scarlet and Violet in the state that it’s in.
The fact is Pokémon is a franchise which has the wealth – both in time and money – to fix these issues and, when they’re ignored, it sullies the overall quality of the games.
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet will release for the Nintendo Switch on Nov. 18.