For a few years now, I have been shopping for the mainline Pokémon video games primarily out of some twisted sense of obligation. Again in 1999, Pokémon Pink and Blue launched on the good time for me; I used to be ten on the time of its launch and had already gotten an excellent sense of what Pokémon was all about due to the anime present. Quickly sufficient, my associates and I had been utterly hooked: we traded collectively on the playground in school, speculated about what the upcoming Gold and Silver iterations would deliver to the desk, and mentioned the most recent anime episode in absurd element – a lot to the annoyance of our academics, I am certain.
Then one thing occurred. After Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire launched in 2003 for the GBA, 4 years after the franchise first acquired its claws into me, I simply… cease caring a lot. I am unable to fairly pinpoint why it occurred at that exact second in time, however I can at the very least break down my reasoning.
After three video games (I used to be by no means one to buy each variations of every iteration), the Pokémon video games simply did not provide up sufficient selection to maintain me anymore. There have been new Pokémon, certain, a brand new world to get misplaced in, and a bunch of recent options like Double Battles and Pokémon Natures. However at its core, Pokémon was nonetheless primarily about tackling a collection of Fitness center Challenges earlier than taking up the Elite 4 – woohoo. Not solely that, however every entry doggedly handled you as if it was your very first Pokémon recreation, thrusting obnoxiously prolonged tutorials in your face earlier than you may actually get into the meaty stuff.
It was very a lot a case of “been there, accomplished that”.
Nonetheless, I continued to purchase the following Pokémon titles – Diamond, Black, Black 2, X, Solar, Extremely Solar, and Sword – deperate for certainly one of them to deviate from the identical drained construction that is shaped the muse of the video games for the reason that franchise’s inception. Whereas entries like Solar and Extremely Solar offered a glimpse of one thing totally different, every recreation – for probably the most half – failed to offer the brand new expertise I used to be in search of. It appeared that Pokémon had nailed its strategy and would not be deviating from it anytime quickly; it is aware of its viewers and it simply did not look like I used to be part of it anymore.
I missed out on Pokémon Legends: Arceus, primarily as a result of it simply did not appear like a mainline Pokémon recreation to me, regardless of the promising options that it demonstrated from the off. For some motive, I simply noticed it as a spin-off title, which in some ways it is. But it surely wasn’t fairly what I used to be in search of.
So this brings us onto Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. When it was initially introduced, the promise of a real open world made my ears prick up in curiosity. Okay, this sounds attention-grabbing, I believed, but it surely wasn’t fairly sufficient but to tug me again in. With the discharge of a model new trailer and a few supporting info through the newest Pokémon Presents, nonetheless, Sport Freak could have had my curiosity, however now it has my consideration.
The promise of an entire open world which lets you sort out the Fitness center Challenges in any order you see match is tantalising sufficient by itself, however the truth that this core mechanic solely makes up one of three potential storylines? Yeah, I am undoubtedly . As well as, the video games appear to be breaking away from the repetitive “ten 12 months previous leaves residence to turn into a Pokémon Grasp” trope by requiring you to enrol at both the Naranja Academy or the Uva Academy – relying in your alternative of model – and this easy deviation to the collection’ core narrative has piqued my curiosity greater than any earlier title.
Granted, I am unable to say that the entire ‘Treasure Hunt’ and ‘Terastal Phenomenon’ mechanics do a complete lot for me in the mean time, however by and huge, Scarlet and Violet’s new discovered give attention to freedom and participant alternative excites me greater than I care to confess. Might these new titles spark an extended dormant love for the franchise as soon as once more? It is proabably too early to say in the mean time, however for the primary time in additional than a decade, I am genuinely excited to see what these new titles deliver.
What do you make of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet to date? Have the options demonstrated to date accomplished sufficient to excite you? Tell us!