About the Game
About the Game
Pokémon Violet for Nintendo Switch is a role-playing videogame, the latest in the long running series from Nintendo and The Pokémon Company. Paired with Pokémon Scarlet, this game is one of the first instalments of the ninth generation of the loveable pocket monster games, of which there are 122 in total. Player can choose one of three paths or ways to play (see below for more details about these) solo, or they can play co-operatively.
About the Game & The Similarities with Scarlet
There are many commonalities between Pokémon Violet and Pokémon Scarlet, just as in many of the other paired offers in the Pokémon game universe.
The games are set in an open world environment, set in a land taken from the game maps of Pokémon Legends and Pokémon Sword and Shield respectively, all smooshed into one large land, called Paldea. And it is a truly open world that players can explore freely.
Travelling is convenient, and made even easier by fast travel points that you will find at every Pokémon centre along the way. Your main mode of transport is your Legendary Pokémon: Miraidon in Violet (and Koraidon in Scarlet), and these wonderful beasts can race over ground (transforming into motorbikes), water and even fly in the air. In between all this rushing about, you will enjoy excellent stalking and combat fun.
If there are wild Pokémon just going about their business, you can find them and collect them by using your own Pokémons to battle them. Otherwise, you can trigger a regular Pokémon battle by running into the wild Pokémon that you are hoping to collect.
You will also battle fellow trainers too, as is customary in Pokémon games, but for this iteration, you are not thrown into an immediate fight with other trainers on sight: rather you can approach them and proactively invite them to a battle. Pokémon centres and shops are now quick-access outdoor kiosks, so you can simply walk in and begin.
The unusual approach to battles notwithstanding, will, once begun, be familiar to fans of the franchise as the developers haven’t deviated from the tried and tested format. You have up to six Pokémon to choose between, each of them with their own four combat moves and boasting various elemental strengths, alongside corresponding weaknesses. You and your opponent take turns unleashing moves on each other until one team is defeated.
Terastallization is a new process in this paired game: a temporary power-up that can be unleashed to give your Pokémon more options in a battle. Essentially causing your Pokémon to become crystalised – with, of course, attendant abilities and improved powers – this feature can only be used rarely, replenishing itself very slowly indeed. The restoration/ recharging process can be sped up by a visit to a Pokémon centre.
Terastallization is not only for your Pokémon though: you can find pre-crystalised Pokémon in the wild and capture them to discover more about their unique forms. They’re not quite as rare as shiny Pokémon (which are pretty much the equivalent of genuine albino animals in the wild) but they are well worth following up if you spot one glittering in the distance as they can be a useful bonus play during a tight battle.
Between matches or simply for a change of scene, you can enjoy a picnic when you and the rest of your team sit down and basically make a sandwich, in a Cooking Mama-style mini-game. You have to stack your slices of bread with as many ingredients (bacon rashers, tomato slices, lettuce leaves, etc) as possible – at the end of the game the idea is to have as much filling on your sandwich as possible. And that is harder (and more fun!) than you might think.
Unique to Violet
While the games are both set in the same region, you end up in differing academies depending on whether you chose Violet or Scarlet. Your professor in Violet is Professor Turo, while Scarlet offers the services of Professor Sada, and Spanish speakers will quickly pick up on the fact that Scarlet seems to embody the past, while Violet looks to the future. (Sada comes from pasada which means past, while Turo’s from futuro or future.
Your professor’s clothing will help cement this: Sada wears furs and clothing more resembling a caveman, while Turo boasts sharp, futuristic clothing under his lab coat – as will your legendary Pokémon: Miraidon is something like a robotic lizard with pixelated eyes, while Koraidon looks rather like a metallic prehistoric bird. The two legendary Pokémon can take on different forms, Miraidon’s being Modes, while Koraidon’s are Builds.
As well as a future/ past difference, the other main difference between the two games can be seen fairly quickly, namely: the colour differences: in Violet the academy is called the Uva Academy (uva meaning grape in Spanish) while in Scarlet it’s the Naranja Academy (orange in Spanish, and coincidentally the English word for both the colour and the fruit comes from the Spanish word for the fruit.)
The uniforms, logos and décor of the two academies are picked out in the colours of their names: Naranja with a lovely orangey-red scarlet logo, and Uva boasting deep purple and logo which features a delicious-looking bunch of grapes. The uniforms are: Violet: a white hat, purple tie and shorts with a purple stripe, with black shoes and backpack. For Scarlet, the packs and shoes are the same, but with a blue hat, orange tie and orange striped shorts.
But if you crave creative freedom, don’t worry – you can buy new clothes in-game and customise your look to suit your own tastes. In each academy there is a unique journal detailing the antics of long-ago explorers. The Violet Book tells the story of Iron Treads, while the Scarlet Book is all about Great Tusk.