Yes, The Glitches In ‘Pokémon Scarlet And Violet’ Really Are THAT Bad
Like many other Pokémon fans around the globe, I was excited as hell for the release of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet—the first true open-world Pokémon game. In the weeks ahead of November 18th, at least once a day I would remember Release Day was coming up and get a little rush of giddiness. I’m in Japan at the moment, so I went all out: I made a reservation ahead of time at the Pokémon Center, bought an adorable keychain plush of my beloved starter (Sprigatito, or Nyahoja in Japanese), and got an onigiri at 7-11 that was wrapped up like a PokéBall. My dear Smoliv was finally near!
On the way back, I read a tweet on the train that mentioned glitches, but I wasn’t worried. That kind of thing never bothered me too much before. And besides, I remember well how a bunch of Pokémon fans on Twitter complained that Pokémon Legends Arceus had bad graphics—an opinion I still strongly disagree with.
Unfortunately, my experience starting Violet went something like this: “These graphics actually are pretty lackluster, huh? Well, can’t wait to get to Sprigatito! … Oh, this must be those glitches I read about. It’s not so bad. I can still enjoy this game. Except… huh… huh.“
Usually, I am the type of person whose fanatical love for a series like Pokémon would at least allow me to enjoy the game as a whole, despite graphics glitches. But Scarlet and Violet is really testing the limits of my love. Yesterday, my game froze as my Igglybuff flew right through some boy’s Pelipper. Heaven forfend you start a battle on a hill. You’re forced to watch as the camera frantically figures out what to do and how best to eliminate that blue triangle which suddenly appeared in the corner of your screen.
The glitches are widespread. They’re throughout the whole game. They’re in handheld and docked mode. There is no escape. So, naturally, social media is full of ridiculous—and often hilarious—Scarlet and Violet glitches. It’s so bad that if you search the game’s hashtag, videos of glitches is almost all you get.
There are so, so, so many more, but you get the picture. If you’d like a really smart explanation of exactly what’s going on, complete with graphs comparing frametime and framerate, look no further than IGN’s Performance Review. But the basic conclusion is that this game is glitchy as shit, in a way that’s frankly inexcusable for one of the top three biggest IPs on planet Earth.
The videos of the game’s glitches are really funny. But, if I’m being wholly honest, the rampant nature of these glitches is making it really hard for me to feel engrossed with this game and to enjoy it to the extent that I know I would otherwise. It’s frustrating! If Game Freak had just admitted the game needed more time and pushed the release date back a few months, I’m sure Violet and I would have been inseparable. I am always a proponent of the “I don’t mind the extra wait, just give the game the time it needs” move. That’s why I wasn’t too upset when the new Zelda got pushed back last year. If Tears Of The Kingdom comes out looking like this, you will find me in a puddle on the floor.
So anger and frustration are due here. And Game Freak needs to get their shit together and get this game patched ASAP. What’s rough about that is the burden of this folly is going to fall not on the people responsible—i.e. whatever executives at Game Freak or Nintendo decided to ship out an unfinished game—but on Game Freak employees who have probably been overworked and stressed out for ages because of an unreasonable deadline. Game Freak appears to actually have at least some reasonable workplace policies, which stands out in an industry known for long, grueling hours—very much like anime. Whatever the case may be, those employees are not the ones who deserve our ire.
So far, neither Game Freak nor their parent company Nintendo has made any kind of statement addressing the game’s gigantic glitch issue or its poor graphics. I deeply hope they at least acknowledge the issue, and soon. I am worried for the safety of my wind-riding Igglybuff.
Image credit: Game Freak
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