Skip to main content

Pokémon Violet and Scarlet are the series’ best bird-watching games

Pokémon Violet and Scarlet are currently the talk of the gaming world, though that conversation is mostly about the bizarre slew of technical issues. While those are understandably the focus, they shouldn’t totally paper over one of the best aspects of the games: They’ve got a lot of good birds.

Yes, Pokémon’s ninth generation feels as though it’s been specifically built with bird-watchers in mind. While previous games in the series tend to have one all-star flying evolution line and a smattering of winged friends hanging out in the world, Paldea might be Pokémon’s most avian friendly region yet.

A Pokemon trainer takes a selfie with an Ostrich Pokemon in Pokemon Scarlet.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

In terms of returning monsters, Scarlet and Violet include some of the series best. The excellent Corviknight and Talonflame evolutionary lines return, as do classics like Staraptor, Pelipper, Honchkrow, and Braviary. That selection alone gives players a lot to choose from if they want a strong flyer in their party.

However, I’m most smitten by its new birds, which are design triumphs across the board. This generation’s signature bird is Kilowattrel, which is Pokémon’s spin on a petrel. It’s notable for its unique flying/electric pairing, which cuts down its list of weakness to only rock and ice. It’s a combination that’s only been available on a handful of monsters, mostly reserved for more powerful legendaries (as well as the legendarily cute Emolga).

That’s just one of many great birds on the roster this time. Flamigo, which just looks like a regular old flamingo, is an excellent fighting/flying type that feels like this generation’s version of Cramorant. Espathra is a powerful psychic type that takes its design cues from Cleopatra. Bombirdier, a personal favorite, is a dark/flying combo that has fun trying to twist a stork into a classic Pokémon. The best of the flock, though, might be Squawkabilly — which is one of the series’ funniest name puns to date. The normal/flying type is a parrot with a pompadour haircut, making it look like Elvis. That’s about as delightful as these creatures come.

A Squawkabilly flaps its wings in Pokemon Scarlet.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you’re someone like me who has always imagined you’d be a bird keeper in the world of Pokémon, our time is now. It’s a bird’s world in Paldea, and the skies are wide open.

Pokémon Violet and Scarlet are out now on Nintendo Switch.

Giovanni Colantonio
Giovanni is a writer and video producer focusing on happenings in the video game industry. He has contributed stories to…
Battle Aces does for RTS games what Pokémon Unite did for MOBAs
Battle Aces' kraken in the cinematic reveal trailer.

Whether they're a traditional real-time strategy (RTS) game or a full-on competitive multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) title, these kinds of intense strategy games are often a time commitment. Players can spend hours having to strategically think and constantly ensure that they're building and investing toward the right things, fighting with the right character or unit matchups, and more.

I find that pretty exhausting, which is why I tend to avoid the most hardcore games in these genres. In 2021, though, The Pokémon Company got me to fall in love with a MOBA by boiling it down to its basics with Pokémon Unite, and now the same is happening with the traditional RTS in 2021 thanks to Uncapped Games' Battle Aces.

Read more
The best games you can beat in a day

Games have steadily become larger and larger as the generations go on. Thanks to the most advanced console and PC technology, developers are able to craft massive worlds and stories that would have been impossible in the past. While many of us enjoy sinking our teeth into a meaty 100-hour-long game from time to time, eventually fatigue will set in. That's where games on the other end of the spectrum come in. These games aren't afraid to tell a tight, compact story, or to explore a single gameplay concept, and then call it a day without stretching things out. They are no less impactful or memorable than their massive counterparts, and may even be superior in some player's eyes. Here are a few of the best games you can beat in a single day to cleanse your palate with some more experimental titles.

Minit

Read more
All Pokémon games in order: chronologically and by release date
Charizard and Venusaur.

Pokémon is one of the most successful video game franchises of all time. With a history spanning nearly 30 years, there are a lot of Pokémon games that you can pick up and play -- but where do you start? Unless you're a Pokémon professor, it might be tough finding the right game to play.

Do you want to just play every game in the order that they were released? Or are you looking to play them in a (loose) chronological order? We're here to help you out.
All Pokémon games in release order

Read more