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Hands-on: Pokémon Scarlet & Violet's Performance Is Distracted From Neat New Features And Improvements

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We were recently invited by The Pokémon Company and Nintendo to travel to TPC’s UK headquarters in London to give a build of Pokémon Scarlet & Violet a full red line. Less than a month to launch – and we’ve been informed that the build we’re playing isn’t the final version – how does it all look as the 11th hour is fast approaching?

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first: The performance isn’t very good in the compilation we’re playing. We were really disappointed with how the game worked in built-in mode and were unable to test its handheld capabilities. we certainly had plenty made It’s like about the game, but we want to address this much questioned topic right away.

The game seems to run at around 720p with little to no anti-aliasing as far as we can tell, and a maximum framerate of 30fps isn’t consistently achieved when moving around the world at a reasonable rate. attitude. Objects and characters that are just meters away from the player will run at an even lower rate in intense scenarios, a technique used by many games to prevent frame drops and poor performance elsewhere, but not enough in this case to keep the keyframe rate consistent.

You might remember the last trailer showing a gym fight where the player had to wrap up Sunflora, with the Pokémon behaving very choppy even right behind the player; this is indicative of many of the more intense scenes we come across. Worse still, this was also true of a Sunflora we encountered in a battle during the same struggle. Our Pokémon’s framerate was consistent with the rest of the world, but Sunflora was bouncing around at as little as half the speed, possibly slower, and when we tried to switch our Pokémon to another, it seemed like it took a suspiciously long time. the game had to free up some RAM to make room for the next Pokémon’s model. Hmm…

In many of the more open areas the tissues can also be extremely dirty. In the main city of Mesagoza (which isn’t part of the open world and requires a separate loading screen), the walls, floors, and chairs practically blur into what we can sadly only call it. Clutter. The game isn’t very pleasant in dense, open spaces, and it still fails to maintain a good framerate. Honestly, what we saw made us very sad.

What further unites this is that interiors such as shops, gyms and the like don’t just have much more fidelity textures. everywhere, but it also seems to run at a significantly higher resolution with a solid framerate. We ran into mentor/rival character Nemona at a gym and her model was absolutely gorgeous, the same as the player character. We felt like we got a sense of what the developers were doing. wanted it looked like a game, but something – whether it was financing, an engine, or financing to develop a new engine – was blocking something.

But performance aside, there’s a lot to enjoy from what we’re playing. A number of quality-of-life features were introduced to streamline gameplay and get things done. i just feel better. Trainer battles no longer use the ‘line-of-sight’ system, instead requiring you to interact with said trainer to bring level 4 Hopips back to the stone age. Maybe a small change and nostalgia bug in our brain says the old system is better as it can work on the Game Boy, but we can’t deny that it’s been delayed for a while. Not all styles are completely gender-specific, either, so haircuts and boots that you liked in Sword and Shield and arbitrarily belong to other body type are no longer at hand. Beautiful.

Captured Pokémon now have this delightful animation once their Pokédex entry is complete: slamming personalized knowledge books and squeezing them into the appropriate digital shelf. Just catching a Pokémon feels more like an event, you know? When you go into battle with another, Pokémon that are near you stay where they are the entire time, they just stay there. It’s kind of weird to see this, but mechanically, it means that accidentally breaking into a Pokémon pile can spell disaster if you’re not prepared, as you’re forced to take them out in a row or do your best to weave your way out. Pokémon are (largely) monstrous, after all, you should feel at least a little bit intimidated.

We weren’t sure what to do when the new Tera Raids were shown at first, rather we assumed it would be Dynamax Raids with a grandma’s crystal swan memorabilia from Bourton-on-the-Water-vibe. Nicely, although the core concept is the same, execution is much better. The real-time combat system keeps the tension high and prevents an unstable opponent from bursting into tears by squeezing the rest of their team. The atmosphere is pretty great too, with Terastalized Pokémon radiating across the room as if trapped inside a huge Fox’s Glacier Mint.

Multiplayer is also something we’re happy to try. There’s no list of activities you can join other than fighting and trading with your friends, but the complete lack of restrictions on where you can go means you’re free to continue your adventure as you see fit. and your friends can do the same at their own pace. It’s nice to be able to hang around with besties.

There’s a lot of passion pouring into the game, which makes it all the more frustrating that performance is consistently below average. Small embellishments can be found everywhere, like spectators cheering as they land a Gym Leader on their last Pokémon, or your player character shielding themselves from the rain with their arms as they run across the landscape. Small details like this can take a game from ‘good’ to ‘excellent’, but we can’t see how disappointingly poor it performs and looks in many environments… because it’s everywhere.

We Really We hope that the final build of the game will fix many of the technical shortcomings we experienced, because the core concepts that the game offers are quite exciting. It’s this close to launch, however, but we’re skeptical as to whether things will ship in time. Check out our full review when the time comes – hopefully we’ll have reason to sing a different tune.

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