The Duality of Pokémon

The Duality of Pokémon

Lukas Hutchens, Contributing Writer

Pokémon is the most successful franchise ever. Just think about that. The franchise has made more money than Star Wars, the MCU, and Harry Potter. It has beaten all of those. And yet, despite how much money they have, the games quality can very heavily from game to game. Originally, they used to release a new game every few years. Now though, they went the Call of Duty route and released a new one yearly. And while they still mostly hold up, the quality is not quite what it used to be. This shows this past year especially. They have now decided that one game is not enough and released two. Is more polish but small, the other bigger, bolder, but full of bugs. It is time to see which is better, Pokémon Legends Arceus, and Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.

Firstly, let’s discuss Legends Arceus. One if the big changes with this is the art style. While the main look of the game sticks with the same look they’ve had since 2014, there are a few differences. 1t has a much more dynamically shaded style, to make it seem darker and less colorful. Battles also use these brushstrokes around the screen to make it seem much more dynamic. This game also lets you catch Pokémon by just throwing a ball at them. Just throw a ball, catch something, and keep walking like nothing happened. There is also one very big detail, and that is the polish. While the game is not very large, and all of its areas are sperate zones, this is actually good. This allowed them to focus making sure there a few to no bugs, and I have not seen any bugs so far. Everything has worked perfectly. Aside from jumping on a ledge somehow.

But, there are still a few downsides. One of which is that there is not a very special gimmick added. Previous generations have had Mega Evolutions and Dynamax, but this one has neither. Its main gimmick is mastering moves. This allows for agile style moves, do less damage but can sometimes let you go second, and strong style moves, do more damage but might get one less turn. While this is still better than whatever Z-moves were supposed to be (don’t ask), it is still disappointing that there is no special addition. Also, the gameplay may get too repetitive for some people. To get more money, you need to do research tasks like catch the same Pokémon 5 times, or see it use a move a certain number of times. While I enjoyed this, I can see how some people may grow tired of this. What doesn’t help is that the areas are also fairly empty, with only a few Pokémon scattered.

Next up is Scarlet/Violet. These are the more traditional games out of the pair. While Arceus had open zones to explore, this game has an entire open world to go around. No random barrier to stop you, just open road. The art style also looks surprisingly good for a Pokémon game. The colors are much more vibrant and make the overall world look much nicer. There is also the story, which switches things up for a change. Instead of just trying to do the normal beat all gyms beat champion schtick, this game has three different routes to take. One for the normal gym route, one to defeat giant Pokemon called Titans, and one to bring down the new evil team of the game, Team Star.

Now for the cons. Oh boy the cons. So first things first are the bugs and performance issues for the game. Yes, they can be pretty rough at times. These issues range from cutscene stuttering while loading, new areas not loading in right, and even the game crashing. On the other hand, some of the glitches are absolutely hilarious! Nothing like seeing a person in the distance walk like an animation that forgot to be smooth. Also fun seeing pokeballs just float in the air, seeing the inside of your trainers head but with their face still there, or just seeing the trainer go full on rag doll and have their arms just flailing through their bodies. Great stuff! There is also one final glaring issue. The “open world” isn’t actually that open. While yes, you can still go where ever you want, you may not last long since none of the wild Pokémon sale to your level! And neither do the Gyms/Titans/Star bases. You can just be walking, see a giant level sixty elephant come running at you, and all you have is a little cat. This makes it so that instead of exploring the whole world as you want, you need to follow a path so that you can actually stand a chance.

While both have their issues and strengths, I would have to say that Legends Arceus is the better game. While I find most of the glitches in Scarlet and Violet to be funny, there will be people who are far more critical. Also, Arceus’ zones are fine with you exploring, and will not try to randomly steam roll you at a moment’s notice. I also find the art style to be just a bit more appealing. At the end of the day, it is up to personal tastes, but I personally say Arceus is better.