Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet were released this week and the final product is inconsistent with games published by The Pokémon Company and Nintendo. It is for sure, the worst-looking game published by both on the Switch. Aside from the lack of visual fidelity, the game runs poorly when it comes to frame pacing. Truly a disappointment for what is actually a decent game.
When it comes to native Switch titles, I keep a level of expectations. For things like resolution, shading, lighting, and other environmental details I know what I am getting into. Yet somehow Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet feel like a step back from Pokémon Legends: Arceus which just released earlier this year. I can get past almost all of it, but it is disappointing nonetheless.
As for performance, Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet run between 48 and 28 frames per second. To me, that is the game’s biggest problem. My eyes can adjust to 30 frames per second, I am not the most unrelenting performance nerd on social media. Although how the game quickly moves from highs to lows in frame pacing is jarring. Overall I find it difficult to play as it is a terrible experience.
Apart from these issues by far, the game’s worst problem is the pop-in. I can jokingly say that there is an element to surprise battles in Scarlet and Violet because you have no idea what Pokémon is going to pop in right beside you. As the flowers and terrain elements pop in, it is hard to see if it is a Pokémon or not. These issues combine to make this one of the worst experiences Nintendo has made on the Switch.
Can It Be Fixed?
While TPC is struggling to find a new identity with the franchise on consoles, it has landed somewhere between Pokémon Legends: Arceus and Pokémon Sword and Shield when it comes to Scarlet and Violet. Yet it does not make sense how they have managed to have Scarlet and Violet look and perform inferior to both titles.
The good news is, this may be fixable. I can not blame this on the Switch hardware, a Switch Pro is not going to fix this game. There is absolutely no reason why Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet is an inferior experience compared to the previous two titles. Hopefully, Nintendo and The Pokémon Company can fix this soon.