The Pokémon Company officially announced that Pokémon Scarlet and Violet will launch on November 18 and provided us with a brand new trailer filled with more information. Alongside the clip, The Pokémon Company shared several details about the game, such as the fact that it’ll be a true open-world game with a four-player co-op.
However, we have some lingering questions about what we learned today, as the trailer left some details vague.
The Pokémon Company says that players can explore the region in a non-linear fashion, but to what extent? Will the game just straight-up thrust us into the region like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild did?
Most likely not. There will probably have some sort of structure, perhaps something like Elden Ring where there are beginning, middle, and late game areas. That could still be a ton of room to explore within those areas and progress through the game at your own pace.
This isn’t the first time Pokémon delved into non-linearity. All the way back in the second generation with Gold, Silver, and Crystal, players could tackle a certain section of gyms in a different order. After beating Morty, the fourth listed gym leader, the typical order goes like Chuck, Jasmine, and then Pryce.
However, players are actually able to take on those three gym leaders in any order, with Chuck and Jasmine residing in Olivine City and Cianwood City, respectively, and Pryce in Mahogany Town. To compensate for this small degree of freedom, each of their Pokémon was at similar levels, so once you got to your seventh gym leader, the game felt a bit too easy.
Speaking of gym leaders, it’s unclear if the new games stick with the traditional eight gym leader structures or deviate from them. While Sun and Moon utilized Trial Captains, Sword and Shield went back to using gym leaders.
What about getting rid of gym leaders altogether? Pokémon Legends: Arceus proved that a game could be compelling without them. However, removing gym leaders doesn’t seem like a likely move for a mainline game.
One of the big reveals in the new trailer is that up to four players will be able to explore the region together. So far, we don’t know what kind of features will be included in multiplayer. What is the extent of the communication? How will lobbies work? Will there be lobbies at all?
Nintendo doesn’t have nearly as robust of an online infrastructure as its competitors Xbox and PlayStation do, so I’m cautiously optimistic here. If Nintendo can implement good quality of life measures within its multiplayer components, then playing with three other people will be incredibly fun.
Unfortunately, while we don’t have confirmation of this quite yet, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet will probably require a Nintendo Switch Online subscription in order to access multiplayer functions like trading and battling. Sword and Shield required it, so it’s very likely it’ll be the same here as well.
At the end of the trailer, we saw the two mascot legendary Pokémon Koraidon and Miraidon. It seems like the theme of this generation is the past vs the future. In Japanese, “Korai” means the past, and “Mirai” means the future. So it makes sense that Koraidon looks more organic while Miraidon looks more machine-like.
Additionally, the new professors, Sada and Turo, play into the theme. Sada is in Scarlet and wears prehistoric-looking attire that goes along with Koraidon’s “past” motif. Turo, on the other hand, is in Violet and wears a sleek bodysuit and futuristic, fitting with Miraidon’s “future” motif.
Furthermore, the new region is based in Spain, and “Pasada” means “past” while “Futuro” means “future” In Spanish. That explains why the professors’ names are “Sada” and “Turo”.
Let’s discuss Pokémon typing for a bit. Being a machine, a likely typing for Miraidon could be the dual Electric/Steel, as it also has lightning bolt shapes coming out of its eyes. Another possible combination could be Electric/Dragon or Steel/Dragon, but those have already been used by other legendaries before in Zekrom and Dialga, respectively.
Koraidon is a bit harder to guess. It definitely looks like a Dragon, so we’ll start with that. If we’re also leaning into the organic/nature theme, then something like Grass/Dragon or even Fairy/Dragon could work. Both combinations have already been used by plenty of non-legendary Pokemon, but no legendary Pokémon just yet.
We also don’t know what the final evolutions of the starters will be, as well as their typings. Some generations experimented with giving the final evolutions interesting dual types. X and Y gave us the Fire/Psychic Delphox while Sun and Moon had the Water/Fairy Primarina. Additionally, in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, Hisuian forms gave new dual typings to starters whose final evolutions didn’t have before. Typhlosion went from pure Fire to Fire/Ghost while Samurott went from pure Water to Water/Dark.
However, this isn’t the case for all starters. In Sword and Shield, the final evolutions for the starters stayed pure Grass/Fire/Water (which is pretty boring so please Game Freak, don’t ever do this again). Hopefully, we’ll see some more creative type combinations when the new starters hit their final forms.
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