Today, the internet is filled with hands-on previews of next month’s Pokémon Scarlet And Violet. Not from us though, because Nintendo has us on their Naughty List. So instead, we read everyone else’s coverage, and have handily compiled everything we learned in the process. Take that, corporations.
With this all in mind, here are nine new things we learned about Pokémon Scarlet And Violet.
So we knew that Pokémon Scarlet And Violet was going to be big, but the general mood across all today’s coverage is, “Woah! It’s even bigger than we thought.” During the hour-long demo the good boys and girls got to play, reporters were restricted to a small section of the overall map, and it turned out even that was far too big for them to sensibly explore in the timeslot.
During previews, players were given access to the legendary Koraidon, which apparently moves very fast, and even then the area still felt enormous. And to stress, was just a small chunk of the full game. Some guy at Polygon made a comparison to Breath of the Wild.
In previous Pokémon games, we’ve come to expect the Legendary Pokémon to arrive after we’ve battled the seventh gym, or so. While Nintendo still isn’t confirming exactly how early Miraidon and Koraidon will be showing up in Scarlet and Violet, word on the street is that it could be as early as...the start. Two different people who played the game have whispered to me they think this is going to be the case.
This’ll be great news, because apparently they’re very zippy. Even better, their forme-changing ways are automated, so if you’re gliding through the sky (with no stamina meter to worry about) and fly into a cliffside, they’ll switch to climbing up the side themselves. Then plunge into water, and they’ll auto-boat. Which sounds very neat.
A frustration of Pokémon games since there were Pokémon games, NPC trainers have always kicked off battles just because you wandered too close. No more, thank goodness. While exploring Paldea’s open world, such trainers will indicate if they’re up for a scrap, but now you’re the one to trigger them. Which seems only fair—it’s been their turn for the last 27 years.
While raids are still technically turn-based, that’s only between you and the Pokémon. Of the four people battling (wither real or AI), you can all fire off attacks whenever you want, or even at the same time.
When it comes to Terastallizing your monster, you’ll need to get a few regular attacks in first, in order to maintain some sense of balance. And that cheering we heard about before, that boosts others’ attacks? You can do that any time, too, not just when your Pokémon is KOd, as previously implied.
Sure, this is the normal way of things, but we were worried for a moment. In Arceus those prototype p-balls only did the one blip, and it was very wrong. Then in the big trailer a couple of weeks ago, there was footage of something that looked very similar, with only one shake! We were worried. We were ready to keep holding down B no matter what. But in videos we’ve spotted today, thank goodness, all three wibbly-wobs (scientific term) are back. Phew.
In Scarlet And Violet, the time of day will run on an in-game clock, rather than being linked to real-life. The same goes for weather. Those ideas seem fun in theory, but in practice they’re a pain in the ass when you’re only able to play at a certain time of day, or live somewhere with dull weather.
Different Pokémon will appear at different times of day, as you might expect, but it’ll all be on Paldea’s own clock. And now storms can roll in whenever, and your little trainer will duck and try to cover their head as you look for shelter.
Of the game’s three paths (the gym one, the finding giant monsters one, and the battling Team Star one), Starfall Street’s Team Star territory takeovers are the most surprising. Seemingly taking inspiration from Far Cry, they involve battling all the Pokémon of the baddie trainers in a camp, and then facing off against the boss. Previously we saw Mela, one of the Team Star bosses, driving in on a ridiculous machine apparently called a Starmobile. It seems that we actually have to fight this thing in some form, not just the Pokémon on board, although previewers were made to keep schtum about it by Nintendo.
Perhaps the most peculiar information to come out today’s previews is that you’re able to change the shape of your face whenever you want, even running around in fields, but if you want a new haircut you’ve got to go to a salon.
I’m so intrigued by what this says about the world of Pokémon, where humans can apparently entirely restructure their facial features and head-bones, but need someone else’s help with a new parting.
The poor ol’ creaky Switch has been struggling with its own games for years, but according to VG247, they experienced performance issues as they played. Clearly that was true of Arceus too, but we coped. Still, come on Nintendo, we’re ready. We know you’re waiting for BotW2 for the “surprise” reveal, but just let us have a beefier Switch already.