Pokemon Scarlet and Violet just launched, starting the 9th generation of the Pokemon games! It’s an exciting time for Pokemon fans, but what are the Pokemon Scarlet and Violet review scores? Did long-time Pokemon fans finally have the game they’ve always wanted, or did the game disappoint their expectations? In this article, we aggregate the Pokemon Scarlet and Violet review scores and see if it was the game everyone wanted since the release of Sword and Shield and Legends Arceus.
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Review Scores: 77 on Metacritic
Both Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet have a review score of 77 each on Metacritic, with a majority of reviews being positive and about a fraction having mixed reviews.
General feedback for the game was positive, but even the most positive of the reviews recognized how underpowered the Nintendo Switch is for Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. Performance issues abound throughout all review experiences, and it was enough of a problem for many that it did drag down the review scores given for the games.
However, the novelty of the open world, the new-found freedom players had in exploration, and their ability to finally choose their own path still allowed Pokemon Scarlet and Violet to feel like a fresh and exciting new experience. The improvements are noticeable and significant, with the entire game itself – barring the poor console performance – being an enjoyable full package of how a Pokemon game should be.
VG247 gave the game four stars out of five. In its review, VG247 writes: “Perhaps the best thing I can say is that this game feels more like the anime than ever. Part of that is down to the art, which continues to advance closer to the TV show. Part of that is down to the sense of openness, which imparts a real feeling that this is your adventure and not just a rollercoaster where you experience somebody else’s. On balance, Legends: Areus probably just pips it based on the novelty factor of its entirely different approach, but Scarlet & Violet is a delightful vibe – and that vibe is difficult to diminish. What a year to be a Pokemon fan!”
Gamespot gave the game 8/10. Its review reads: “While undercooked presentation and visual issues hold the games back, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are still the best mainline Pokemon games in years. They build off Pokemon Legends: Arceus’s open-ended design in some thoughtful and surprising ways, and retain that same level of depth that the mainline series is known for.”
VGC gave Pokemon Scarlet and Violet a review score of 4/5 stars. Its review reads: “The huge expansion and changes to the single player campaign are great, the size of the world and the joy of exploration are the best in the series, and the new Pokemon and battle mechanics introduced all sing. However, it’s just impossible to shake the thought of how much better the game would feel if it was on more powerful hardware, or simply ran acceptably on Switch.”
Of course, Pokemon fans will still obviously have a lot of fun with these games, especially those who can willingly look over their shortcomings. But while this version of Pokemon isn’t exactly the best, there is a lot to like about the direction the series is taking. The Sixth Axis says it best in their review that reads: “Pokemon Scarlet and Violet feel like the awkward second evolution of one of its starters. It’s growing into something resplendent, it’s showing signs of an exciting second type, but it’s got that weird vibe of a 20-something that hasn’t quite figured out who they actually are. Add that weirdly stretched feeling to the constant technical oddities and you’ve got a game that’s undoubtedly good fun, but it’s still not even its final form. I can’t wait to see what Pokemon becomes, but it’s not quite there yet.” The Sixth Axis gave the game a 7/10.
Conclusion: Is Pokemon Scarlet and Violet finally “it” for the Pokemon franchise?
In terms of game design and direction, Game Freak can finally shut up its critics with how well they overdid themselves with Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. With the disappointment of Pokemon Sword and Shield and everything else that made Pokemon Legends: Arceus great, Game Freak learned a lot and applied everything to Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. It’s such a shame that the Nintendo Switch can’t keep up with the requirements of the game (although it can also be argued that Game Freak really was just bad at optimizing the game). But what we see here is a glimpse of what Pokemon can be in the future, and makes us look forward to the next Pokemon game to come out, hopefully on a stronger Nintendo console… or beyond.
Meanwhile, for those of you who skipped Sword and Shield and Legends: Arceus, you are in for a total treat. The jump between Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon to Scarlet and Violet is so significant that you’d really appreciate everything new for the series that Game Freak has worked towards. If you’re a Pokemon fan who somehow will have Pokemon Scarlet and Violet as your first Pokemon game on the Switch, this is a great game to sink your time into.