Fans were promised Pokemon an open world, vast and new, to explore without limit to discover astonishing critters and weave as many friendships as rivalries. “But Pokemon Scarlet and Purple brutally bend under the weight of this ambition”, sigh The Guardian. Released on November 18 on Nintendo Switch (as usual, two versions coexist, which are distinguished only by a few exclusives), the latest titles from the Japanese studio Game Freak are causing a lot of ink to flow.
Basically, fans will find the formula that made the success of previous opuses: the player arrives from an academy of Pokémon trainers, and must discover and tame a myriad of these creatures. The British daily The Telegraph remember that, in an earlier episode, the action took place in Galar, very inspired by Great Britain, but “Pikachu and his friends got tired of our little island. So they set sail for the sunnier region of Paldea, a sort of Spain and Portugal in Pokémon sauce.” The hero, as usual, must choose one of the three starting companions – with the evocative names of Poussacha, Chocodile and Coiffeton – which the London newspaper finds particularly cute and successful.
At the limit of the playable
In terms of form, however, this fantastic and virtual version of the Iberian Peninsula is greatly disappointing with its graphic environments and display problems. The Guardian to complain : “Without going into hyperbole, Scarlet and Purple are some of the least visually and technically engaging games I’ve ever played. The Poké Balls get stuck in the rocks; the animation is extremely jerky in the open world; city buildings glow like bad Photoshop editing, and the ground frequently gives way under your Pokémon in the heat of battle.”
Tea washington post pointed development issues that are not new. According to the American newspaper’s mood post, fans have been able to show some kind of leniency since the switch from 2D to 3D environments in 2013, but their patience may be running out and they should be less understanding of Game Freak. .
“Even though ‘Scarlet’ and ‘Purple’ are amusing, they are both in an inexcusable state. At the edge of playability, graphical issues are swarming around every corner.”
A slightly different story emanates from the Guardian. “We can speak of a tragedy, since under their most wobbly aspect, the game mechanics ofScarlet and Purple are among the most convincing of recent decades in the license Pokemon. Thanks to the freedom offered by exploring a large universe, this installment comes closest to offering the feeling of a globe-trotting adventure.” The variety of quests to accomplish is welcome and the rhythm varies pleasantly between moments of relaxation and other more full-bodied ones, appreciate the daily life.
However, the open world would have benefited from more judicious design choices, highlighted polygon. Particularly because it causes the player to either run into opponents they find it hard to get past too early, or face them so late in the game that they run over them too easily to be a challenge. . This does not prevent Paldea from looking lively and inhabited, appreciates the specialized American site.
Fortunately there is history
It is above all the narrative that has conquered polygon. The Raisin or Orange Academy (depending on the version) is full of colorful personalities. “Within the school, I met teachers and scholars who were more than happy to share their stories and wisdom with me.” And this is just a simple overview of the character gallery.
What to find an interest in these titles largely penalized by their technical defects, estimates Kenneth Shepard, the critic of Polygon. “I still left Scarlet and Purple under the spell of the dynamics between the characters, like the ability to approach different intertwining themes, on the subject of finding personal joy in this vast and wild world of Pokémon. […] I leave with a feeling of enthusiasm for the future” of the license, vshe concluded optimistically. While hoping strongly that development lessons will be learned from this half-hearted exit.